Monday, September 18, 2017

Whole30. The "After" Blog

I DID IT. Ididitididitididitididit.

Not only did I do the Whole30, I did the Whole 42. Basically that's just the Whole30 plus the 12 day reintroduction of food. (to see how it all makes me feel)

I should clarify, it wasn't only me who did it. My wonderful and supportive husband also came along with me on this journey. I would HIGHLY recommend doing this with a partner. I would have given up if I were alone. Plus, we promised each other if ONE of us cheated we would start over, so there's motivation right there. Don't be the one who eats a cookie on day 29, don't be that guy.

Day 31

I really did plan on writing down more than the first and last day. Life happens though. My side by side pictures will speak louder than my weight loss. I am currently at 249. I started at 255. Although that seems low (to me) The changes in my body have been immense. (I have to remind myself.) I was hoping for a larger scale decrease, not going to lie, but it’s all going to be ok because I have proof of my body changing in picture form.

Today, compared to 30 days ago, I have MUCH more energy. So much that I don’t need to nap when the kids do, or go to bed at 8. (normally)

I am still semi-creaky, and my lower back isn’t all the way loose, but the real winning here is that I realized that if I move my body I immediately feel better. Maybe it’s because I am in my 30s now, but i feel like the tin man when i wake up and exercise is like my oil. It loosens me up and makes me want to dance! If I don’t move all day I feel worse and worse. I hate that it’s true, but a nap doesn't do it, a run does.

I know I am learning life lessons that I should have learned earlier, but heck, I can should all over myself or I can move on.

I haven’t craved sugar for a while, peppers taste like candy to me. My relationship with food is what is the biggest change of all. I am sure if the inside of my body could talk it would be screaming from the rooftops all the good that’s going on that we can’t see. To get a little personal, I don’t have NEARLY the amount of bloating or gas, i don’t feel “too full” or sluggish after a meal, All my systems seem to be working more properly. My skin is softer. My belly fat is going away. You guys, that never happens to me. Normally I lose weight from the top and bottom first and move toward the middle, then I give up before the middle changes at all. This is breakthrough.

My mind has changed from “what/when can I eat next” to other things, like remembering I used to have hobbies and stuff I liked to do before kids. My brain space was taken up so much by food and sugar cravings (I separate them because processed sugar isn’t really a food, it’s more like a poison or drug) that I felt like I was losing myself being a mom who was addicted to food.

When Tim asks “what do you want for dinner?” my answer before would have been “I’ve been thinking about this since breakfast, something carby and salty and bready with something sweet and creamy after. Now the answer is “I don’t care” Which by the way is the more correct answer, for me. I understand that food is meant to be enjoyed and meant to bring us together as community and family, and those are the times when we can eat something special, but most of the time the answer to the “What should I eat?” question should be…."Oh, hadn’t considered yet”

When my brain space was taken up by food, weight, body image, and then GUILT over thinking about food, weight and body image, there wasn’t much space for other things. It’s almost as if there was a plot against me to keep me from thinking too deeply. ;)
So there it is, the proof is in the puddin’ or actually in the pictures, there is no pudding involved.

I am still going though, these pictures were taken about 2 weeks ago. I am still changing rapidly and I can feel myself getting stronger. Ill keep writing (for myself mostly, stones of remembrance) as I notice differences and have revelation. I am having a lot lately.

Whole30. The "Before" Blog.

I started the Whole30 today. I have “started” (not finished) many of these fad diets, but this one feels different. 

During a meeting with a lactation consultant we were discussing reasons why my milk supply has not come in fully. (baby is 2.5 months old)

The hypothesis we landed on was that I could have Insulin Resistance. (basically pre-diabetes) In a nutshell, if she is correct, my body doesn't process sugar the way it should. That leaves my milk cells clogged with glucose and unable to get the protein, water, and carbs that it needs (on top of glucose) to make the milk! 

If I can re-balance my body through diet to function the way it should, maybe my milk will come in. That's the idea.

This came as quite the relief because it seems like the key to EVERYTHING that has been going on within my body. The symptoms she mentioned were ALL me. 

-General malaise, trouble losing weight no matter how hard I try, skin problems, sugar cravings, low milk supply etc.

My body has been acting weird around sugar for a long time and I just haven't had the guts to stare it in the face and say, ok, is there something you want to say? 

What if I listened to my body and it told me to never eat sugar again? 
What if my body told me something was wrong? 
What if I had to make a big change that I simply didn't feel like making? 
Who would I be if I was at my goal weight with a body that functions properly?
What would I THINK ABOUT all day?

It’s hard to face myself and admit that the way my body functions and feels could be MY fault. 
That the key to being the healthy me that I've NEVER been is just me stepping up and taking responsibility.

Don’t ask me why this is all so hard for me, because I'm not exactly sure why, it just is. 
I am going to have to do some deep soul searching to fix this. I am writing all of this down because I believe in the power of testimony. If I can write down all the positive changes I see this month, I can keep going. This may seem very unnecessarily detailed, but whatever.

I weigh 255 as of Day 1, and I will not be weighing myself again until day 31.  

Currently my body feels:

Bloated, overweight, tired, creaky, hard to move my lower back too much, slightly weak, very tired all the time, and low energy. When I feel like this i am less patient with myself and with my family. I feel entitled to “treats” or “breaks.” I feel sorry for myself and want to cry a lot. Getting up to do things is harder than it should be. Saying yes to my kids wanting to go outside is hard. It’s also over 100 degrees though, so i get a pass. My right ankle has been inflamed for longer than I can remember, my wrists hurt when too much weight is put on them. My skin is spotted one my chest and back. My knees crackle and hurt when I hike. Is that it? hah. that’s just off the top of my head.  

Im not expecting the Whole30 alone to be my savior, but I am hopeful that it will help change my outlook and jumpstart me to keep going on this path as long as it takes to get me healthy. It’s not just for me anymore, it's for my family. I would like to be around for my kids as long as possible.

On my next blog post, I will share the before and after pictures (and much more), in case you are curious.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

36 weeks, BIRTH.

At 36 weeks and 2 days I had a suspicion that labor was coming soon. 

Went to my doctors appointment, and the doctor began his routine 36 week exam. 
Wouldn't you know it, my water broke right there in the doctors office! 

How's that for timing! (and mothers intuition)

Then it suddenly hit me...wait, that means I have to have my babies today. Like, today is the day. Like, right now. No looking back, I don't get another week.


Doc went to send off a test to make sure it was amniotic fluid. When he left I burst into tears. 

Tim was anxiously pacing and trying to calm me down while he was beginning to feel the nowness of our babies coming to meet us.

We were freaking out.

Doc came back and affirmed that it was amniotic fluid and asked me when I ate last. 

"Um, right before I arrived, maybe 8:30-9?"

"Ok, we'll schedule your c section for 5pm then, go home and sleep and don't eat or drink anything, not even water. Check in at the hospital around 2, congratulations."

Just like that, having babies. Woah. 

We went home, and we TRIED to rest.

Tim cleaned up the house, I sat in our bed wide awake. Then we packed our van and headed over to St. Joe's.

It was about 2:30 when I got into my room. The nurse had me shower and get into a robe, we were all smiles and giggles. Steph and Tim got into their scrubs.

Nice nurse lady monitored my belly for the heart beats, and then quietly slipped out of the room and came back with 2 more nurses. They started prepping me for surgery. One lady put socks on me that we're hanging off the edge of my foot. Man, I hate that.

The drugs guy came in shortly after and explained the 2 different ways it could go. Most likely I would just have an epidural and Tim and Steph would be my support people in the room. If something went wrong or they felt like they needed to get babies out quicker they would put me under. 

Tim and Steph got dressed in their scrubs and hats and took selfies.

The nurse then said "Ok, well you walked right in here, you wanna walk to the OR? We'll come get your husband and sister when it's time"

I wasn't in pain at all, so I did. 

I did notice though that it was only 3:50 or 3:55. That seemed a little early to me. 

When I laid down on the surgery table, the drug guy leaned over and said "Baby B's heart rate is a little low, we're going to have to go a little faster. I'm going to put you under right now and it will feel like no time has passed, and you're going to wake up with babies."

Then I started to realize...oh snap, something is wrong! They're moving really quickly and putting me under! 

Oh Yeah, but they didn't have time to wait to put my catheter they did that while I was fully awake and un-drugged.  I will never forget that feeling.

As they started to tie my arms to the table I leaned over to the nurse closest to me and said "since I can't hold them right away, I want you to bring them right to Tim and have him hold them skin to skin, and can you tell him what's going on?"

She said that none of them could leave at the moment but she'll fill him in as soon as possible. 

It was like a movie, a mask went over my face, drug guy told me to breathe deeply. 

You better believe I breathed as deeply as I could to make sure I got it all. 

I tried not to let panic or fear set in, but you know when someone is really comforting and it makes you wanna cry? Yeah, the nurse near my face was too nice and I almost started crying....but I held it in long enough to breathe in my drugs. There were really bright lights, a mask, lots of people in scrubs, and then BOOM. 

The next thing I knew I was coming to and Tim was over me holding our babies. I tried to talk but my throat was so sore. Apparently they put something down my throat. I managed to shed a little tear and say through my oxygen mask "oh my gosh, they're so cute I want a million more!"

The whole procedure was only 15 minutes long. Tim was holding our babies by 4:15. He had no idea what was coming, they thought they were waiting to go in, and suddenly a nurse came in and let them know they had to do an emergency C section and that the babies were on their way.

He explained it to me and I saw pictures, but what happened next was so sweet. Tim sat down with the new tiny babies and put them skin to skin on his chest to regulate their temperatures. He cried and held our babies and comforted them while I was getting stitched back up. He is an amazing dad. I still cry looking at the picture of his face when he first saw the little miracles.

I might keep that picture to myself.

On June 22, 2015:

Rose Summer Norris was born at 4:10 pm, 6 lbs 7.4 oz.

Theo Mutlu Norris was born at 4:12 pm, 4 lbs 8.8 oz.

I don't remember how long they were, sorry. There was a lot going on, none for which I was conscious.

We were told after the fact, but Theo's heart rate was down in the 60's. That is about half of what it should have been. He also had a chord wrapped tightly around his neck and shoulder. 

Rose had the chord wrapped around her ankles.

I joked that she was going to bungee jump out but never had the chance.

Me, Tim, Rose, Theo and Steph were transferred to recovery, where I would deliriously begin to fall in love with my new family, my 2 new perfect healthy children.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 34

I kinda feel like I don't have to write ANYthing after you see this photo. I mean, look at me! 34 weeks and completely huge!  I don't know if you can tell, but my nose has grown. Like, straight up big nose. Is that even a thing?!

I must admit though, I don't feel this big. It actually shocked me when I saw this image from someone else's perspective. I just look down and see a belly, and I can kinda see it in the mirror, although we don't own a full length mirror. (Probably a good thing)

My body just grows little by little each day, and then one day, BAM! I have a hard heavy beach ball on the front of me and I'm like, where did that come from?!

Ya know, those videos that show men putting on pregnant suits and wearing them for an hour, or even a day, are very amusing.  They are not that fair though. I didn't just wake up this big and feeling kicks in one day. It's been a (very) slow process. I think it's super funny to watch them, but poor guys don't even get a chance to get used to it!

So, here I am...haven't been blogging for a number of weeks. I have no excuse. It's like the less I have to do, the less I want to do ANYthing.  I am very fortunate to not be working, but I think this whole "resting" thing has made it so I don't want to do things that people who are resting should be reading, writing, or getting the house ready. I am just straight up sleeping all day and eating when I'm awake. Sorry everyone for waiting so long. Pure laziness.

Our babies are doing GREAT! They are both around 5 lbs and moving a lot! Every ultrasound has been positive.  The doctors and ultrasound techs are very impressed at my long torso. They say they have never seen twins NOT be squished together in there. They have their heads together in the middle of my belly and baby girl is breech going down and baby boy is head down with his bottom up!

Straight Yin Yangin'

They even said that the boys head is on the girls belly.  CUTE ALERT

It is pretty cool, although every once in a while I wish they were squished more, because they will kick me in the pelvis and in the ribs at the same time. I really love that. I just have to straighten my body and hope it stops.

I'm not sure this is a sensation that I really want to remember, or to happen again. It is pretty intense.

So, with baby girl (yeah we know her name, no we're not telling) being breech it looks like unless she flips it will be an automatic C-Section.  The doctors didn't say she couldn't flip, but they didn't tell me to hold out hope for it either. I'm thinking she has run out of room, but anything can happen! Nothing is final! We will just pray for her to flip, and if she doesn't then it was the way my birth was supposed to happen, and that is just fine with me.

Although I am all about birthing the natural way, and if baby girl flips I will do that if I can, I have to say that having a scheduled C-Section doesn't actually sound that bad either.  What I am most afraid of going into labor is all of the unknowns.

How long is it going to take? Back labor? 36 hours? Epidural? No Epidural? Ripping? Episiotomy? Pushing forever? What if, what if, what if.

With a C-Section, although it is a surgery and I will have to recover, I kinda know what to expect.
Go in this room, put on this gown, we're giving you this drug, it will be over at this time, you will recover in this amount of time, etc.

I know, nothing is the same for everyone, but I feel ok with either way of birthing my babies. Whatever is the most safe for them and for me.

I am NOT wrapped up in the "This is the best way to give labor, other ways are not" mentality. As long as I have my 2 babies safe in my arms, they can come whatever way they want. I really hope I am never caught judging another woman's labor. YUCK. Not my story, not my place to talk about it. It causes so much unnecessary damage to comment on (criticize) labor and motherhood.  Let's be honest, it's going to be hard and we're all going to do it a different way. There.

Hey, I'm having a contraction right now!

Just a braxton hicks...don't worry.

So, basically, babies could come anytime now. They are totally full grown and safe to come out. In about a week and a half I will be full term, and anytime after that is a bonus.

If I go into labor, they will check to see if she's still breech. If she is we'll go ahead into the operating room. If not, we labor.  Please just pray that it is safe, not stressful, and the babies get everything they need to come with me as soon as they can.

I can't wait to introduce them by name!

I'm contracting again! It has been longer for me though, then for you reading this. I stopped to watch an Ellen youtube video and cry. That's real life. Thanks for reading!

April and He and She who shall remain nameless (for now)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Week 31

I feel like I'm on summer vacation.
The kind of summer vacation that is confusing because I haven't had one of those in over 10 years.

My last day of work at the bank was now about a week and a half ago. It is AWESOME! My feet don't swell as much, I eat a lot more, and I take naps on the regular. I am so fortunate to have this opportunity!

We went to our appointment with the OB, and just asked "Can we talk about what it would look like for me not to work anymore?"

She replied, "Oh, you need a note? Let's get you one, when do you want to stop?"

In shock, Tim and I looked at each other, and I said "How about tomorrow is my last day."

Just like that it was done. No more work, Doctors orders. It blew my mind!

Could it really be that simple? I'm just allowed to not work and still get paid for a little while? Is this real life?

It makes me feel a little weird, but I know it is a good thing because my job right now is to grow babies. Growing babies includes doing stuff like sleeping, drinking water, putting my feet up, and coming up with cool ideas on how to dress our babies when they come out.

I think my clock in/clock out mentality is just part of how I have lived for the last 14 years, but now I am clocking in and never clocking back out which is probably much harder.

I do help Tim with our business, but it is very relaxed. I think I could get used to this. Although, it will only be another month or so and then It'll all radically change again. (I'm so excited!)

Check out how big I am now!

They say I am measuring at 37 weeks. My body has about 8 lbs of baby in it right now, and I'm not done yet. (Injesusnameamenstayinthereforaslongasyouwant)

We had our second ultrasound to measure Baby B to see if he is growing at the same rate as Baby A. He looks good! He is still a bit smaller, but he is growing along with Baby A just fine. Nothing to be worried about. I think he's going to be a professional diver, or a yoga instructor. Check this one out!

Fully bent in half and loving it.

I tried to do that same position because Baby A is breech right now, but I can barely even touch my own knees anymore.

Downward Dog is nearly impossible for me, even when Tim helps me. I don't know how pregnant ladies do yoga at all. Actually, I don't get how anyone does it. It's hard and I hate it.

I will do whatever I have to do though, to get my Baby Girl head down so a Cesarean isn't my only option.

I'll downward dog for you little girl. I'll try my best!

The last couple of weeks have been awesome, hard, uncomfortable, relaxing, and necessary.
I am feeling good and the doctor says I'm doing great. The babies are moving a LOT!

There's your update! See you sooner than later, I don't have much else to do.

April + Babies

Friday, May 1, 2015

Week 28

Today I woke up in my 3rd Trimester with hands so swollen I couldn’t make a fist.


It’s hard to believe I will have babies soon, and I won’t just be pregnant forever.

I am in my 28th week, and I have a LOT to update on, so buckle up readers!


First of all this is what I look like now. 

I don't feel so big, but then I'll see a picture and be like, dang! 


I'm feeling over all fine, but it's getting a little harder to sleep. I guess I should take that back, my hips are doing a GREAT job falling asleep, and so are my forearms.

Ok, so I want to talk about the medical side of things first before I dive into the wonders of birthing class.  A couple weeks ago we had an ultrasound to measure the babies growth.  Now normally when we have these, we don’t really get a call to tell us how it went, we just see the results at our  next appointment with the OB or CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife.)


This time though, I received a voicemail at work from the Nurses office saying they would like to discuss the ultrasound results with me at my earliest convenience.


That was a little scary.


Then I received a voicemail from an office called “Maternal Fetal Medicine.” They wanted to make an appointment for me as soon as possible to run a high risk ultrasound.


That was a little more scary.


I had no idea what was going on, so I asked  my boss if I could take a moment to make a few phone calls.

As soon as she gave me the go ahead, I headed back to the break room, already trying not to cry, and started making calls.

I was freaking out inside… “What is wrong with my babies?” “Are they ok?, am I OK?”  Of course, the worst scenarios were running through my head.


So I sat down to call, and they explained very shortly that Baby B was measuring quite a bit smaller than Baby A, and they’d like to take a more in depth look. They referred me to “Maternal Fetal Medicine” who I called next, and they made appointment for me the next morning at 8 am.  They promised more answers after the appointment.


Right away I called Tim and told him everything. We prayed for our little boy, and tried not to be too stressed out for the rest of the day.


The new doctors office was really nice and had a HUGE screen for us to watch the ultrasound happening. It was pretty cool. They took over an hour to measure and check and look at the babies. As much as I like ultrasounds, and as much as I love seeing their little faces,  I was pretty over this one toward the end. I just wanted answers!


We double checked, it’s still a girl and a boy.


When she had gotten all the measurements the doctor came in to talk to us about the results.  Looks like Baby Boy is measuring close to Baby A in every way except his little belly. They see nothing to be worried about, as long as he keeps growing in proportion to Baby Girl. He says Baby Girl has better “Real Estate.”


If we don’t see growth in the next few weeks we could potentially have to have them soon to keep him safe. Woah.


So basically, from now on, I can have my babies ANYTIME. Like, next weekend or June 20.

Our babies will be perfectly normal and healthy and stay in for 36 weeks (injesusnameamen)

Ok. So we're taking a class called "birthing from within." It is us and 3 other couples and we're meeting every Friday for 5 weeks. We have only a couple weeks left. 

Our teacher is a doula with a soft voice and a middle part. She is very nice. 

This particular class leans more toward the "inward" side of birth. Not like, inward, like, uterus, but inward like spiritual and emotional.

Every class we have artwork, questions, and exercises to figure out how we will react in labor to the pain and extreme emotions that come up during such an extreme moment (or hours.)

My favorite (and least favorite) exercise is the "Ice test." In this test we clutch an ice cube for a minute to see how we respond to pain. For the first minute we focus on the pain. For the next minute she turns on music, or tries to distract us. The third minute she'll have us focus on our breathing, or moving to help with the pain.

Turns out if I'm singing and counting things I am totally distracted from the suckiness.  First I start looking for patterns and stuff to count (I counted all the panels of glass in sight.) Then I had to start making noise. I sang "let it go" and it was great. 

There are a few things in this class that are "not my style" but those things are easily overlooked and the helpful things outweigh them for sure. 

We have class tonight and we have to bring our "birth bundle." I'll leave that one  to your imagination. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Week 25

My hair is awesome. 

It's so soft, nice and growing so fast! It's too bad my legs are following suit, I can't even reach them anymore.

In fact when I look down all I see is belly. Like, no matter how hard I try.

One of of the many cool things about my belly is the fact that my mid section was my biggest area of self consciousness before I got pregnant. So now that it's a highlight of beauty I feel really good about my whole body!  

I know, I know, I should have already loved my whole body before. I did most days, but let's be honest. Every once in a while it can be a struggle with our ever expanding and contracting bodies. 

Now I am confident that if I can love my body when it's big, I can love it forever after this. It will now be my beautiful reminder that I carried (at least) 2 babies and they found their home in me for a little while :)

My friend Nalia told me I don't look pregnant from behind. She is now my best friend. 

Week 25 is proving to be the hardest week yet, body-wise. It's harder to do normal things like slouch or sit up from laying down, or sleep without a pillow UNDER my belly. Sitting in chairs hurts if they aren't squishy, standing up hurts because my feet swell at the sight of shoes. 

C'est La pregnant Vie.

I love everything about it.

I believe God made us to feel like babies when we're pregnant so we can have compassion when our babies are here. 

Seriously though, If I can't burp I feel like crying.

I can't sit up by myself and it makes me want to cry.

If I lay down right after I eat it hurts until I sit up and burp.

When I am sad, angry, hurt, in love, happy, overwhelmed, I cry and can't explain what im feeling.

I can only have certain foods.

Do you see what I'm getting at? I feel like a total baby! When they get here and they're freaking out about something I'll be able to look at them and be like "I get it."

It's the grace of God I tell ya.

Oh hey, look how cute Tim looks holding a baby with a matching outfit on! What a guy. So comfortable with a baby in his arms.

This is actually a twin! Not ours though. Thanks Rhee's for having a twin boy and girl for us to play with and get ready for our two! We will be happy if they're half as sweet as yours!

We're starting birthing class tomorrow! I am sure I'll have a great update next week. This class should be awesome and also a little stretching. It includes this pain coping test where you hold an ice cube until it melts and your partner tries to comfort you. I can't wait. This is bound to be hilarious. 

Anyway, peace out.