I began pushing at about 1am.
The nurse had me pushing 3 times for ten seconds with one breath in between.
Insert CrossFit WOD cliche here - but it truly was!
My midwife asked me if I wanted to have a mirror at the end of the bed to watch, and I said yes.
I'm so glad that 1) I said yes and 2) I had the epidural ... the process of watching Logan be born was absolutely incredible. We could see his blonde head of hair right away!
His head remained in the same position for what seemed like forever. I couldn't really feel the contractions but I could feel the pressure build, and hear his heart rate drop on the monitor - this was my indication to push.
The nurse was amazing [shout out to kelly for calling in to put her with me]
She gave me just the right kind + amount of encouragement. She was on my right holding my leg, and Jordan was on my left. The 2 midwives and the OB were at the end of the table waiting to catch Logan.
After about 45 minutes of pushing, there was a brief period during a contraction where Logan's heart rate dropped dangerously low - "you have to push hard, alli!" my midwife said "or else we'll have to do an episiotomy.....!"
Well, that was enough for me! With one a huge p u s h with everything I had, I felt Logan's head POP through, and with one more push the OB pulled him earth-side. Logan gave two quiet cries to announce his arrival and within seconds he was lying on my chest seemingly so content.
How do you even describe what it's like to meet your baby for the first time?
I still haven't found the words.
All I can remember saying is "hi baby! hi baby!" and Jordan remembers looking at him and saying to me "he's perfect."
Time stood still as Logan lay on my chest.
Jordan cut the cord, and then we waited for the placenta to come.
The OB has theorized that there was something wrong with mine due to his lack of growth over the final 6 weeks of my pregnancy. When it came, I had Jordan take pictures of it [the report showed that nothing was wrong with the placenta, but it was small].
The routine measurements occurred, and within the next 90 minutes they had brought a wheel chair into the room to bring me to our private room where we would stay for the next 36 hours.
pre-baby plan: blog about baby + me weekly
post baby plan: get the blog up 9 weeks later...
When Jordan and I woke up on Monday, January 29, we had no idea that had been our final sleep as a family of 2. We took our dog for a walk and decided jokingly it was about time we got the car seat installed since I was due in 2 weeks. It was 11am when we finally got back into the house and I saw that I had a missed call from my midwife with the results of my recent ultrasound,
“Baby hasn’t grown much and we’d like you to go to the hospital to see the OB.
Pack your bags, as we may have to induce you.”
Not the news we wanted to hear, but we did our best to remain calm as we got everything we thought we needed together, We made quick arrangements for our puppy, and set out for the hospital.
Although small for a full term baby, and not growing in the final weeks like a baby “should,” the anatomy and fluid were normal.
The OB checked me out and reported I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. She presented me with an option: go home and wait 1-2 weeks with constant monitoring, or have my water broken manually and get the process started today.
Jordan and I had joked that a Monday would be the ideal day for a birth since it's his shortest day in the clinic - I guess we manifested this! We opted to proceed with breaking my water and started to let family know.
Within 3 hours of seeing the OB, my midwife arrived at the hospital and manually broke my water. Little bit of a pinch but nothing too bad. I wandered around the room, ate some lunch, chatted with Jordan and texted friends for the next 4 hours. Nothing but small cramps starting to happen,.
My birth team was disappointed that I hadn’t dilated further, and we proceeded to the next step — induction with an IV pitocin. I was hooked up on the left with the IV and on the right with a fetal heart monitor. I wasn't going anywhere!
Within 20 minutes, the REAL contractions started. And boy, they came on strong.
I worked to breathe through them, shut my eyes so tight, and took my breath right down to my pelvic floor for a count 1-2-3 and then back out 1-2-3. The contractions went from 20s in duration to a full minute within the hour with just a one minute break in between.
It was horrible.
I thought about how my mom had done this with no epidural, and all of the women I knew who had managed.
The stories of delivering in cars, or on the side of the highway.
Even the nurse said to me “I had 2 without an epidural - so you can do it.”
I was surprised at the self doubt I showed myself here:
“are these nurses judging me that I can’t handle this pain?!”
“am I less of a women for the fact that I am struggling to make it through?”
but the overriding thought was what my friend had told me about her epidural - “it was a dream!”
When I was checked again, after an hour of this 11/10 pain I had still only progressed another cm.
“We won’t see this baby for another 12 hours” quipped the nurse.
12 hours?! I thought. "There’s no way I can manage this for another 12 hours!"
Although I had a rough outline of what I had hoped his birth would look like, I had put flexibility first.
Whatever is safest for baby.
Whatever I’m feeling in the moment.
And in that moment “give me that epidural!”
By 10:30 I was given the epidural — and yes, it was a dream.
My mom stopped by, as did Jordan’s family and I was able to smile and have a real conversation with them.
I progressed quickly and just after midnight the nurse informed me, it’s time to P-U-S-H!
photo: lace photography
Giving birth to Logan is a day that has forever changed me.
But this is not that story.
I shared the picture because how could I NOT show the world his sweet face.
No this story is different....
I was 21 years old, recently graduated from university and unsure of what my next step was. Having recently finished up playing varsity sports at Wilfrid Laureri University and Durham College, I turned to bodybuilding type fitness to fill the competitive void in my life. This led to me spending sometimes up to 4 hours a day at the gym, working on isolation training and cardio with the sole purpose of burning X number of calories.
One day, one of the trainers at the globo gym told me his client had said to him "I want to look like her" pointing at me while I was on the treadmill for session number 2 of the day
he responded "if you want to do that, you'll need to find 4 hours in your day to dedicate to your fitness"
to which his client responded "nevermind."
You see, his client was a 30 year old mother of 2, working full time and was still prioritizing her fitness. However, she didn't have 4 hours/day 7 days a week to spend at the gym.
This feedback struck a nerve.
The professional identity I was trying to create at that point was to be a positive influence in the health and wellness journey of others.
Most people cannot, and should not be spending 4 hours a day in the gym.
To my dismay, I realized the very people I wanted to influence could in no way relate to a 21 year old female who had endless hours a day to spend at the gym.
Training with the sole purpose of looking a certain way was not healthy for me physically or mentally. And it was actually hindering the very career I was wanting to foster.
I had to make a change.
CrossFit truly changed my life.
An amazing workout in 60 minutes or less, that shaped my body, gave me strength I never knew I had, boosted my cardio to levels I never had even as a varsity cross country athlete and most of all - allowed me to stop focusing my workouts solely on aesthetics.
Now, as a new mom I get it even more.
I don't have and I don't ever want to feel the need to dedicate my life towards my looks. Working out with an aesthetic goal in mind is totally OK, but it will never again be the sole purpose I get out of bed in the morning.
Right now, I have to try really hard just to carve out 20 minutes for me a day.
I felt like the most badass mom ever this week when I got my 3-week old baby into the stroller and my puppy hooked up to the leash and made it around my 800m block for a walk.
I have created a post partum fitness series to give mom's a place where they can work on their fitness post baby, in a supportive environment that isn't just focusing on lbs lost. Of course, we want to feel good in our skin, give our unused wardrobe the attention it deserves but it cannot be the only reason we prioritize fitness in our busy lives.
We train to build a strong pelvic floor, so we aren't peeing while be laugh for the rest of our lives.
We come together and train so we can spend time swapping stories, or learning how other momma's are coping with aspects of their child's development.
We train in a place where we can bring our babies because otherwise, there's just no chance we could make it out of the house for fitness.
We train because showing our little one's the important of self care and momma strength is so important.
I hope you'll join me.
hey there mama,
It may have felt like the day would never come, but you've finally got the all clear from your health care provider and you're ready to start exercising again. But now what?
Where can you go with baby in tow?
What is the safest, most effective way to gain strength, stamina, endurance and perhaps shed a few lbs?
Even with a smooth delivery, it's important we spend time on the basics of working out
before diving back to 100% intensity. Even if you were in the best shape of your life just a year ago,
it's important to take this time to connect with your postpartum body.
let's do it together
monday + wednesday
starts monday march 5
bring baby with you & connect with other moms through health & fitness
post partum is forever, but moms who have had babies in the last 20 weeks will benefit most from this fitness series..
We held our co-ed baby shower this past weekend, and I am overwhelmed at how well-dressed, well-exercised and well-educated baby winberg is going to be!
The sunday afternoon event was held at our house but hosted by my mom and sister. I dressed up for what felt like the first time in years!
One of the gifts got me thinking about being proactive - ANCHOR homeopath Aimee Marples gifted me muffins to freeze and have on hold for once the baby is born. Genius! I since kicked it into pre-baking and freezing mode.
Here is an awesome recipe I found, made and have since frozen (and yes....already eaten a number of....)
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
(recipe and photo from www.acalculatedwhisk.com)
In a time when so much is unknown, at least I'll have some good food on hand for myself and to pack for lunches for Jordan as he takes on both of my chiropractic practises.
- Dr. Cain
online diary of my pregnancy originally written from November until now
I am living and I am growing another life.
It is incredibly important to have support throughout this process.
Chiropractic has been an important part of my support team throughout my pregnancy. I've experienced so much structural change to my body, and my biomechanics have altered greatly. Without adjustments I don't think I would have been able to continue working at the rate that I have been - I just finished my busiest month ever in practice!
I'm down to just two pairs of lululemons that fit but I'm still holding out on not buying maternity clothes (ok, I was gifted a pair of maternity jeans by my husband because he couldn't deal with this "goal" of mine).
This part of my pregnancy has been a challenge in a different way. The first 4 months were dealing with the extreme fatigue and the mental changes of an identity shift. Months 5-6-7 featured a much-welcomed boost in energy, but daily changes to my body, my nutrition, my fitness and some back and hip pain. Now, as my belly has grown quite a bit I've been challenged with pregnancy-induced rhinitis, shortness of breath as well as the extremity swelling I've heard so much about. Pregnancy-induced rhinitis I've been trying all sorts of natural remedies like a saline spray, nasal strips and homeopathic remedies - but the biggest help with the rhinitis has been getting adjusted regularly.
How I'm feeling //
A little frustrated with sounding sick when I feel otherwise fine.
More and more tired as the days pass by and I continue to grow.
Ready to get our house ready for baby (stay tuned for reno picks!)
Advice I've received//
I had a wonderful phone call with a chiropractic colleague of mine in Maple Ridge, BC, Zehra Gajic who has a special interest in pediatric, pregnancy, birth, and post-partum care. She owns a clinic where she works alongside a team of doulas + midwives + RMTs to give women the support they need during this time, and to empower them with education. She was a wealth of knowledge, and offered me advice in a multitude of areas relating to birth.
Breastfeeding can be extremely difficult - what to expect and what services are available should I need extra support.
Changes I've made//
I am wearing compression socks often to help with the ankle and foot swelling - a gift from my husband that has made a big difference in decreasing my end-of-day soreness.
Just this week, I've reduced my coaching schedule and reduced my chiropractic schedule to ensure I keep my energy high.
How I'm eating//
A regular appetite, finally!
- Dr. Cain
WHAT NEW BELIEF, BEHAVIOURS, OR HABITS, ADOPTED WITHIN THE LAST 5 YEARS, HAVE MOST POSITIVELY IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
I was as guilty as the next person for only being half-there in conversations I was having. Now, I put the phone down and work to engage fully with the person(s) in front of me.
This has allowed me to have some of the best conversations that I may have otherwise missed out upon.
PURCHASES OF LESS THAN $100 THAT HAVE MOST IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?
YogaToes - I wear these daily for 45 minutes after a long day of being squeezed into shoes.
WHAT WOULD YOU PUT ON A BILLBOARD?
A slogan at ANCHOR. Far too often we sell ourselves short, I truly believe that if you want to do something, you can do it so long as you show up for yourself.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FAILURE?
Enrolling in a sport business management program graduate degree after I graduated from university and subsequently quitting the associated internship 2 months early. This program led me to realize I did not want to be in the corporate world, and it was during this time I discovered chiropractic and knew that was my calling. Although I pride myself in my follow-through, this job was leading me away from what my heart desired, so I quit. When disappointed at myself for my 'failure' my dad pointed out to me that it's as important to discover what you don't want as much as what you do want.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL UNFOCUSED OR OVERWHELMED?
I rarely feel unfocused, but I can get easily overwhelmed. When this happens, I make time in my day to write or journal. I do a huge brain dump and I find clarity in this.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU GIFTED THE MOST TO OTHER PEOPLE?
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. I re-read this book yearly and regularly reference or refer people to read.
HOW DO YOU ASK BETTER QUESTIONS?
I try to understand the type of learner or thinker of whom I am asking the question of. I regularly try putting yourself in the shoes of the other person. What would elicit the best response?
WHAT HAVE YOU BECOME BETTER AT SAYING “NO” TO, AND WHAT APPROACHES HAVE WORKED FOR YOU?
I say no to things that don't support my health, happiness or definition of success.
Know your core values.
Visualize how you would feel if you said yes.
Trust your gut.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST WORTHWHILE INVESTMENTS YOU’VE EVER MADE?
My chiropractic education. While at the time, the 4-year and $150k (more than that if you consider 4 years of lost income) was very overwhelming-- I now have complete control over how I spend my time, complete control over my financial future and I have the opportunity to be active and work with people. I also have the opportunity to go into any subset of chiropractic I feel compelled to-- athletics, family care, pregnancy, prenatal, coaching -- even the business side. Having freedom of choice is the greatest gift I gave myself when I began chiropractic in 2011.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK?
If you feel compelled to do so, you should write it! I wrote my first e-book last year -- mindshift macros because I felt like I had something important and useful to share with the world, and that would impact the health of others.
WHAT ARE SOME UNUSUAL HABITS YOU HAVE?
I wait until my gas tank is on E until I fill up.
I've made the same "wish" at 11:11 since I was 14.
As a medical professional with a profound interest in nutrition and a baby on the way, I was excited to receive this book for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I dove into it right away!
Right from the start, I knew this book was going to be a great resource for me, and become a recommendation to patients and friends who are expecting and/or have young children.
Babies don’t do much besides eat, sleep & poop. So, in order to know as much as possible about how baby is feeling we need to look at how they perform these 3 things. Digestion is a complicated process, and one of the leading causes of pediatrician visits. Looking out for number two is an extremely well-written book taking an evidence based approach to how to set your baby's gut up for success - all in a non-shaming, guilt-free way. The author, paediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Bryan Vartabedian tackles hot button items such as the microbiome, breastfeeding, formula, allergy development, immune system and more in a way that makes you feel informed to make the best decision for you + your baby + how your birth and the early months and years unfold.
Here is an excerpt from the book about some things to keep in mind about just how important the intestinal tract of your baby is:
1. It’s the ultimate source of nutrition. That is . . . after the placenta. Before birth the placenta gives your baby all the nutrients she needs. After delivery, the gut takes center stage to replace what your placenta was doing.
2. It’s part of the immune system. The gut plays a key role in the development of a healthy immune system. In fact, most of a baby’s immune cells are in her intestines.
3. It’s a hormone factory. It may sound surprising, but the process of digestion is under heavy hormonal control. Depending on what your baby eats, the tummy hormones released will vary. Gut hormones shape things like hunger, fullness, and how hard the gallbladder squeezes.
4. It holds on to fluids and minerals. The intestines are key to holding on to liquid to meet a baby’s basic fluid needs.
5. It’s home to the microbiome. As we’ll learn, the bugs found within the intestinal tract play a key role in helping a baby adapt to a world full of foreign things.
6. It has its own brain. There may be some truth to the accusation of having your brains in your arse. The intestines are home to a vast network of nerves rivaling those found in even the spinal cord. This enteric brain, as it’s called, is critical to digestion and the elimination of the stuff we don’t need.
7. It’s a work in progress. Your baby’s gut goes through several months of growth and development as it adjusts to the new outside world and all its nutrients.
[source: Dr. Bryan Vartabedian's looking out for number two: a slightly irreverent guide to poo, gas and other things that come out of your baby]
This book enables all parents to be equipped with the science + tools you need to make important decisions for your baby.
I recommend this book to all expecting parents or parents of young children.
- Dr. Alli Cain
There is no standard of care for post-partum women.
Birth is trauma to the body. Whether you feel birth is a positive or a negative experience, it is still an injury. Recently, I was listening to an activeRX podcast with BIRTHFIT founder Lindsey Matthews and she said "if an NFL player sustained a birth injury, they would be out for the season!"
Chiros, PTs, midwives & OBgyns have undergone a ton of education pertaining to embryology, prenatal care, and identifying red flags but when it comes to the post partum period -- there is simply no standard rehabilitative program.
There is a significant gap in the training of health professionals in the post-partum period for women. A few weeks ago, I found a 4-finger diastasis recti in a patient 3 years post partum. The patient has returned to full exercise (CrossFit) 6 weeks after giving birth, but had persistent low back pain ever since. Upon discovery of the diastasis, she said to me "why didn't my doctor check for this before clearing me?" to which I responded "well, it's not your drs fault.... they didn't learn this stuff in school."
But while we can blame a lack of education, as health professionals we are taught to think critically — and does it make sense to give better rehabilitation to a sprained ankle than it does to a women after she has given birth?
Of course not.
When I see a patient with an ankle sprain, I typically give an 8-12 week prognosis for healing. We look at this healing process in phases.
When the injury occurs -- there is an initial rupture of the ligament, as well as torn blood vessels which release inflammatory cells and hormones that cause pain. The injured party typically limps their way into my clinic and reveals a swollen ankle with localized bruising and tenderness everywhere.
In the acute phase - the body is working to protect from further damage -- this is typically 2-4 days post injury, but the time varies dependent on how you treat your injury.
As an acute injury transitions from protecting the injured site to repairing the injury tissues, you enter the sub-acute phase of healing. This phase commonly lasts up to six weeks post-injury and features the body doing what it does best - healing itself! At the cellular level, fibroblasts are synthesizing proteins to restore the injured fascial connective tissue framework, and new capillaries grow to re-vascularize the injured area. The new tissue is weak, but responds to stress + load from the body in order to increase tensile strength.
After the sub-acute phase, we move into the chronic remodelling phase - tissue healing does not stop at that magic 6 week post injury mark - it can last for over a year! Healing is a continuum, and the new tissue laid down by the body continues to mature and respond to you as you strengthen and stress it. The body is amazing at healing itself, but when it first lays down the new tissue post-injury, it lays it down in haphazard fashion and it does not have a lot of strength. The injured ligament gains strength as it is loaded and stressed in a proper, controlled way (through a proper rehabilitation program!). Again, this remodelling phase can last up to a year, and if you're following a proper program you are given timeline goals, and are regularly reassessed to ensure your proper progression.
So, if this is the timeline to heal an ankle -- don't you think a woman deserves more time to rehabilitate after she gives birth?
Let's shift our mindset away from the magic 6 weeks of healing, and change our expectation that a women should snap back to mental + physical normalcy by this mark.
The post-partum period deserves more respect.
- Dr. Alli Cain
Dr. Alli Cain is a doctor of chiropractic, and owns a clinic + fitness + yoga studio in Keswick, ON. She is currently expecting her first child due Feb 2018, and is aiming to lead a shift in how women approach their body & fitness post partum. Her first post partum fitness series will launch in spring 2018 at ANCHOR / crossfit. yoga. lifestyle.
Are you expecting in 2018? Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to know about program dates and registration.
photo: 6 weeks to 28weeks
online diary of my pregnancy originally written from the end of september to november
Things are starting to get real as the baby makes it way from the size of a carrot to the size of a coconut!
Throughout these 9 weeks, I flew to chicago for a chiropractic seminar, had my (surprise!) 30th birthday party, celebrated my husband's 28th birthday.
I feel a certain "settling in" to being pregnant. One of the neatest things, were the first feelings of movement from the baby! I don't think any words can explain what these sensations feel like the first few times you feel them.
At this point, I have monthly midwife appointments. These appointments are 30 minutes in length, and we discuss common questions and concerns, things to expect, next steps and they check the fetal heartbeat.
At the beginning of this period of my pregnancy, I had gained just 8lbs, but throughout these months I put on another 10lbs - actually the 10lbs came on in just under 2 weeks!
While daily movement and sound nutrition is key - I believe that the pregnany body is going to do whatever it wants to do in terms of weight.
How I'm feeling //
I've gotten that second trimester boost of energy I looked so forward too. No longer do I feel the need to sleep in, or take multiple naps a day. I am feeling the effects of a growing body in my clinical practise, and certain techniques I utilized for patient treatments are beginning to be modified so I can be most effective.
Advice I've received//
I reached out to Dr. Crossley, colleague of mine at Align Health Centre who has 3 children and treated all the way through about how I could be most effective with my changing proportions. She offered sound guidance in how I should be moving my own body to be most effective in my treatments, while still keeping baby and my body safe.
Changes I've made//
I've reduced my workouts to 2-3x/week and only upping the intensity intermittently. Chiropractic is physically demanding, and I am finding that I have a limited supply of energy.
In a few instances, I felt I worked out too hard, and towards the end of my day of seeing patients I was really fading. I shifted my more demanding workouts to non-chiro days, and keeping the chiro-day workouts light and it's made a huge impact on my energy levels throughout the day.
How I'm eating//
Finally! I'm able to consume a vegetable! While my dietary preferences are definitely skewed towards carbs, my diet has mostly returned to my pre-pregnancy normal which consists of eggs + egg whites, protein shakes, salads and vegetable stirfy.
- Dr. Cain
Dr. Alli Cain Team
Our mission is to act as a catalyst for as many people as possible to make a meaningful change to their health.