I'm Pregnant and Deadlifting All the Way to the Delivery Room (Part 2)

11.     Alyssa, you were working hard at TFL almost right until you went to the hospital to deliver. Did you experience any complications, hypertension, excessive water retention, anemia which could have been impacted by working out so late into your pregnancy? What were your feelings during those last few weeks before you delivered?

Al: Honestly, I felt like a whale. It was an awful feeling. You know that you’re pregnant but you still struggle with the fact that this is the heaviest you’ve been, nothing fits right. Not that you’re expected to fit in clothes that you wore before you were pregnant. That was hard for me because I had worked so hard to lose weight and then all of the sudden her I am 30 pounds heavier than when I started and it was just frustrating.

An: Not wanting to go out because she didn’t feel good, didn’t feel comfortable. She was afraid people would think she didn’t look good, ya know, “I don’t feel like going”.

Al: One night I think I changed like 4 times before we left, because I was like this doesn’t fit.

Yeah, like which stretchy pants or jeans with rubber bands can I wear? I can still fit into these!

Al: I avoided buying maternity pants for a long time. I said “I’m really not that big,” but you are, you need those pants.

An: And of course I would tell her she looks beautiful and she wouldn’t believe me. She would say “We’re not going anywhere!”

Al: He would say “You look glowing” and I would say “I’m sweating, alright, I’m not glowing.”

Well that’s the thing, you can’t see it or appreciate it. You’re going through this physical transformation, your hormones are going crazy, you want to kill people, you want to lay in the corner in the fetal position. There’s all these little things going on. But in fairness, there is like a glow, a glow about a woman who’s in the worst pain and agony in her life.

Al: I see it on other pregnant women. I mean, I see it when I look back at pictures of me, especially the baby bump photo shoot we did, I can honestly say that I see it then. And I didn’t notice it when I was in that moment.

12.   Angel you have been pretty consistent right along as well, did you see anything changing in your own routines?

An: Other than the frequency, not really. I just kept going at it.

Al: He was so scared to get fat. [laughing]

An: Yup, I kept rocking those bootcamps and strongmans, ya know?

13.    It’s D-Day, and by that, I mean it’s delivery day and things are moving a mile a minute. Where were you and what were you doing when the time came? I know much of it was a blur for me, but what do you both remember about going into labor and then the delivery?

Al: It was a Tuesday morning. He woke up to get ready for work, I didn’t have to be in to be until 3 that afternoon, so of course I’m going to sleep as long as possible. And I rolled over in bed and my water broke. So I get up and I’m like “Something is wrong.” I didn’t realize that’s what it was when it happened. And I ran into the bathroom and he’s brushing his teeth. He said “Are you Ok? Why are you awake right now? It’s 6:30 in the morning.” I said “Ummm, I think my water broke.” He said “Seriously? So I don’t have to go to work today?” Like that was your first response.

An: I hated that job so every morning I’d get up and under my breath I’d piss and moan. So I checked the bed and I was like “That means no work today, this is awesome.” Like you said, our minds were running a mile a minute, we didn’t have our hospital bag set up, didn’t have anything set up. So we had to scramble around the house, grab everything, did like buck-thirty (130) down 91 to get to the hospital.

Al: I called my doctor and she said she guessed she would see us in an hour.

Truth be told, even when your water breaks, you usually have hours to go. So you could have had a nice little picnic, ya know.

Al: We didn’t even have the Lamaze class yet, they were scheduled for that following weekend.

An: Palms sweaty, dude I was nervous as hell.

Al: And we got there and he tells the nurse we hadn’t gone to the classes. She says “Sweetheart, it’s ok, we’re still gonna let you have the baby.” [laughing]

An: I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, what am I supposed to tell her, I know nothing. You gotta coach me through this.

To be fair, I went to LeMans class, Lamaze class, not LeMans like the race cars, and it was still a blur for me. There’s nothing you can do, she’s pushing out a baby and you’re like “What do I do? What do I do?” I’m standing there watching, “Breathe, breathe, I can’t breathe, how am I telling you how to do this?” So things get a little too crazy, you didn’t miss out on much. The classes weren’t that exciting. So, natural birth?

Al: That was my original intention and I made until 6cm and the girl told me I wasn’t breathing like I should be, so if I really want to do this the natural way like I wanted, I needed to control my breathing because I wasn’t going to be able to push when the time comes if you’re that stressed out. I said “What are my options?” She told me I could get my breathing under control and they’ll help me or I could get an epidural so I could have some time to relax and regain my energy. She told me I had 5 minutes to think about it before it was too late, so I was like “What do I do?” I’m looking at him, and he says “It’s obviously your choice. You do whatever you want but remember what your original goal was and if you don’t think it’s going to be possible, there’s no shame in getting an epidural.” I said, “Fine, we’ll do the epidural.” Complete 180. But I wanted to eat, I wanted to drink and of course they don’t let you drink anything. And this guy shows up with a buffalo chicken wrap and some Cheetos and I’m like “Really? What is wrong with you?” [all laughing] I couldn’t even have one Cheetoh because I’ll throw it up and so I get to watch this guy eating everything I want to eat right now.

14.     ESPN does a feature called inside the numbers and I like to recreate a similar run down if you don’t mind: How long was labor? Height/weight/APGAR?

Al: Labor was 10 hours with an hour of pushing. He was 5 pounds, 8 ounces, 18 ½ inches, so he was little peanut but he was 4 weeks early so that was to be expected. He had the cord wrapped around his neck and they didn’t know until he came out. Of course, NICU gets called down and they want to see him right away. I didn’t really get to hold him at first, I got to hold him for maybe 10 seconds while he was all wrapped up. And then they took him off and said if I wanted to go see him, I’d need to be able to get up and go to the bathroom by myself. Well, I got up because I wanted to go see him. My legs were still tingly but at that point it didn’t matter because I just wanted to be near him.

If it makes you feel better, I came out with the umbilical cord around my neck and my face was purple and look how I turned out.

An: I saw that and inside I was freaking out and outside I was like ok, come on, everything is cool.

Al: He got an 8 on his APGAR the first time and then a 9 after 10 minutes. They were pretty impressed because he was early and most premature babies don’t score that high so I was happy.

We’re gonna get personal. Total weight gain?

Al: I was 130 before I found out I was pregnant, lost 6 pounds in the first trimester, and that day I was 165.

An: I gained none. [all laughing]

Except for when you ate that buffalo chicken wrap and the Cheetos. So total weight loss since?

Al: I’m now back down to 134 so I’ve got 4 pounds left a year later. So I can’t complain. I don’t really know where it is because I fit into jeans I couldn’t wear prior. Whatever, I don’t care, it’s just a number at the end of the day.

15.     Unless you are dealing with a newborn and all the changes that come along with that experience, it can be really difficult to understand just how demanding having a baby can be. What do you guys see as the biggest hurdle moving forward regarding motivation and consistency once you realized that Alexis is the primary focus?

An: The biggest hurdle for me is time. Especially with the job and overtime and callouts on top of the home stuff like keeping the house clean and food prep and taking care of this guy. Finding time for the gym is tough, actually finding time. And then if you do have time, you have a short window, so you have to get it in. We try to set things up and it falls through.

Al: We’ve noticed some of our friends who don’t have kids give us the hardest time about going out. I don’t have the time for that, they’ll figure it out when they get there.

An: And that’s the thing, we were always able to go out with friends or out to dinner. It’s like, yeah, I want to be able to do that but now I just want to get home and spend time with this guy.

Al: You just want to be able to relax with the family and hang out and make dinner. He’s never gonna be this age ever again. No offense but I’d rather be hanging out with him.

16.   Most recently, I have seen you guys switching off between consecutive classes, like the Alyssa at the 4:30 and Angel at the 6pm large group classes. Is this the most recent adjustment you’ve made to put in the work? What is the plan moving forward?

Al: Staying in shape is important to both of us, so if we don’t have a babysitter it’s still something that we want to be able to do. Instead of worrying about who is going to watch him and forget it, neither of us will go. We just figured, I’ll take one vehicle and you can meet me here with him, and we can swap off and I’ll see you after. It’s what works for now until he can entertain himself while we both work out.

An: I wish I had more time but it is what it is for now.

17.     We have a few expectant mothers and fathers at TFL right now and it’s something that always presents a unique challenge, but especially so when it’s your first. I also know that every experience is different. You guys are now a year into that experience. What is your advice to those people on or about to embark on a similar journey? How do you see exercise fitting in to your role as a parent? Do you think he would benefit from joining the community at TFL someday?

An: I see it as I want to be the best dad I can for this guy. So I hope that he sees us parents working out to get him into being active and not be that kid sitting in front of the t.v. playing video games all day and not being healthy. I want him to be active like us. I hope that hits home with him.

Al: Being healthy and active is invaluable. I think if you can teach that to them when they’re younger then they’ll just see it as something that they do every day, not something that they look at as a chore. It will be something that he hopefully enjoys like we do. It will just be second-nature.

An: When he gets older, I want to be able to beat him on the basketball court fair and square.

Well, that’s all the questions I have for you both. I’m glad that others at TFL can really benefit from hearing your thoughts and I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and share some very personal experiences with me.