Friday, August 30, 2013


Just wanted to thank Color Me Rad for hosting our giveaway.  Remember...if you didn't win, there is still time to register for the 5k over HERE!

Big congratulations to our 2 winners.....

Marchelle D. and Debbie R.

(Check your emails for the registration codes...)

In other news, I have excitingness (yes, I make up my own words) coming up next week.  More specifically....I have a plan, and a goal, and I'm gonna share it with you.  (And document it all here on the blog!)  You won't want to miss this...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

RAD Giveaway!

*giveaway has ended, comments no longer accepted

Just when you thought your Wednesday couldn't get any better, boy oh boy do I have some exciting news to share!

Last year, St. George held their very first Color Me Rad 5k.  I was SO excited, and anxious to sign up.  Then.  I realized it was on a Saturday morning.  And ALL of my Saturday's consisted of nursing clinicals.  Sadly, I had to watch all the social media outlets of all my friends (and strangers) participating in the race I so badly wished I could be apart of.

It was then, I decided that one day I would run that race.  And I would include my girls in it too....
(I mean look at this mom and daughter, how cute is that!?)

Alas, this day has come!

Yep.  You read right people!

Color Me Rad 5k is again coming to St. George, Utah on September 28th and I'm going to be taking a trip back down to the city I love in order to make that race my first post-baby race.  I am SO excited!

My girls are THRILLED at the idea, especially after I showed them pictures like this...

I'm a little nervous getting back into the swing of exercising again...but I need it.  I need it not only for my physical well-being, but for my emotional and mental health well-being!  Exercising makes me a happier person, a better mommy.  My body is aching to get started and I can't wait for this fun race!

From what I was told last year, the race is a TON of FUN!  Imagine color, lots of it!  I mean, seriously...just look at the pictures for yourself!

What I love most is that there will be people of every size, age, and fitness level participating.  There will be moms with strollers, friends running in groups, couples running together!  It looks like a big RAD party.

So mark it on your calendar SEPTEMBER 28th, and head over to their website to check out all the details but more importantly GET REGISTERED!  Come meet up with me and lets have a Rad Run together!  It is definitely not too late to sign up!

When you register...make sure to register under my team!  (In Progress for Good, last name Bowling)  I'm doing the 9am heat and would love to have you join me!

Want to know how your Wednesday just got a little more exciting?!  The people over at Color Me Rad 5k have offered to give TWO of my local readers an entry into this race!!!  Yep.  You read that right.  The giveaway starts today and will end on the 28th at midnight so you don't have much time.  You have a few options to enter:

First entry:  leave a comment on this blog telling us about a Color Me Rad race you ran....or if you haven't ran one, why you are excited to run in this one!

Second entry:  click the link on rafflecopter to "like" In Progress For Good's Facebook page

Third entry (and mandatory one):  click the link on rafflecopter to "like" Color Me Rad 5k on Facebook.

It's that easy!  Friday morning I'll announce our winner!  So spread the word, lets all GET REGISTERED for Color Me Rad 5k in St. George and make it a big ol' party!

While this post and giveaway was sponsored by Color Me Rad 5k, the thoughts and opinions in the post are solely mine.  
Want to learn more about the Color Me Rad races or worried about if the color is safe for young kids?  You can get all those details HERE.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Here I am.  2 weeks postpartum, ready to face the music scale.  

I'm not going to sugarcoat anything.

I did not maintain the diet I hoped to for this pregnancy.  I resorted to fast food and quick, easy meals.  A lot.

I did not move as much as I would have liked either.  (Read:  I did not exercise basically at all.)

I was busy, and tired, and full of a lot of other excuses.

I was afraid of the scale for months.  I originally was trying to stay at the 180 mark for the pregnancy.  That didn't work.

And when I passed 180, I stopped stepping on the scale.  Because lets be honest...if I'm not stepping on the scale, it isn't happening.  Right?  Right?

So wrong.

A day before I delivered, I finally gained the courage to get a weight.  I knew it wouldn't be pretty, but I knew I would want to know where I ended the pregnancy at.

So, without further stalling.....198.6 was my delivering weight.

That puts my pregnancy gain at about 43 pounds (from the day I got the + sign on the pee stick).  Dang.

I'm not really weighing in yet.  And I think at the 6 week mark is when I'll officially start tracking the weight loss.  I figure that gives me 6 weeks to allow for all the fluids to drain off and give me an accurate weight.  Typically, I lose a decent amount in those 6 weeks with very little work needed.  So it wouldn't be accurate for me to be jumping up and down with excitement to get on here and say I lost 7 pounds last night.  And another 5 the day get my drift.

I have my 2 week check-up tomorrow.  I'm finally starting to not be quite as sore.  I'm still sore, just not needing to down the percocet's any longer.

My plan for the next month:  eat well.  I am breastfeeding, and it's important to me.  Drink lots of water!  And slowly but surely up my daily steps.  By my 6 week appointment, I'm hoping to be ready to start running again.  (After all, I have a lot of races planned and scheduled!)

So there's the honest truth.  And here goes losing the pregnancy weight....and more!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Birth Story

I realize because this is a blog mostly about getting healthy, some of you might not be interested in reading this.  But because this is a blog about my life, I feel I must include important moments like these to remember.  So read on...or skip this post...

Also.  Note that because I think it's always easier to read LOOONG posts if they have pictures, my pictures will be randomly placed as I tell her story...

The week of August 4th was a busy one for our household.  Out of all weeks, this was the week that I knew would be difficult to arrange if our baby girl decided to come on her own.  I had previously been scheduled for a c-section on August 13th, and as uncomfortable as I was...I knew it would easiest for our family if this baby stayed "cooking" until then.

Children have a plan of their own.

On Wednesday August 7th, I woke up to some pretty intense contractions.  I had been feeling contractions on and off for the past week.  But I knew they were Braxton Hicks.  Wednesday morning, that changed.  These became crampy, and painful.  They would take my breath away.

I didn't say much to anyone...after all, I didn't want to be the girl who cried wolf!  So I just endured them.  Kept an eye on the clock to notice if they were getting closer together.  By afternoon, they had become about 10-12 minutes apart.  But I wasn't sure when the on-call doctor (my doc was out of town) would want me to come in with the risk of uterine rupture and all.  So I made a call.

The nurse called me back almost immediately.  She told me to head over to labor and delivery, they wanted to monitor me.

Luckily, Jason was home by this point.  He called his mom to come be with the other kids as I packed a hospital bag...just in case.  On our way out the door, I stopped for one last pregnant-selfie...

I sent a quick text to my parents (they were vacationing on their annual Lake Powell trip) and we headed over to the hospital.

Once we arrived, they put me in an evaluation room, hooked me up to monitors and told me to sit tight for an hour.  By the time the hour was up, the contractions were coming about every 8 min.  The nurse paged the doctor to decide what to do....but I had a feeling our baby was coming that night.

The nurse came back to inform us they were prepping for surgery and within 15 minutes I had an IV, antibiotics on board, name bands, had met the doctor on call who was to perform the surgery, was gowned up, and ready to walk to the OR.  They took me back first, had Jason wait in the eval room all bunny-suited up and said they would call for him after I received my spinal.

I was nervous.  Sure, this was my 4th baby...and my 3rd c-section.  But I was scared.  I remembered all too well the puking that happened after both my other c-sections.  Imagine puking for hours and hours and HOURS after having your abdomen cut open.  I would get so sick that I couldn't even open my eyes to see my babies.  I started to tear up just thinking of what was to come.

As I entered the OR, the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me.  Hands down, best anesthesiologist I've ever had.  I told him my concern about getting so sick.  He sat and talked things through with me.  Eventually, we decided to forgo the morphine in my spinal.  He cautioned me that I would feel more pain, but hoped it would help me not to get so sick.  I told him I would take the pain every day over the 10+ hours of throwing up.  And I'm happy to say, it worked!  I felt amazing during and after the c-section.  No sickness.  Thank you Mr. Anesthesiologist for making this go-around the best yet!

Once Jason came in, he took the obligatory photos and I was told surgery was about to start.

As the doctor began, things seemed great.  I kept asking Jason if she (the doctor) was getting close to the uterus.  He couldn't tell.  I listened to the staff tell stories and find suitable "birthing music" on their iphones.  I wasn't throwing up.  Things were great!

Then.  I could tell something changed.  I could tell something was wrong.  The doctor kept asking the anesthesiologist if the table could drop any further.  He told her it was as low as it goes.  (She asked another 3 or 4 times.)  I looked up at Jason to gauge what was happening.  I couldn't tell.  I was told to brace myself for some pressure...that was an understatement.  I literally felt as if I had both doctors kneeling up on the table on top of me pulling me open.  Tugging and yanking, more asking to drop the table.  This wasn't normal.  This wasn't the same "pressure" I felt in previous c-sections.  Something was wrong.

I heard the doctor who was assisting say "I can't get her, I can't get a grip on her."  The entire table shook.  Hard.  This was the point I was really wishing for MY know, the one I had to say good-bye to, Dr. C.  This doctor ended up being very calm and great, but I trust Dr. C, he knew me.

Jason said afterwards that they literally were on top of me, pulling my stomach open wider...and fast.

Everything happened so fast.  They were yelling for the nurse to get the vacuum ready.  I looked to my left and saw them hooking everything up.  As they ran it over, the doctor said she didn't need it.  I could feel as they took Madison from my belly and waited for her to cry.  Nothing.

I knew sometimes it takes babies a little bit to become stimulated and release that first scream.  I told Jason..."make sure you get pictures."  (He kind of forgot he was on camera duty with Connor.)  But I didn't realize all that was happening in that moment.

Normally, when I've delivered c-section babies in the past, the doctor will hold the baby above the blue screen for a second to let me get a peek.  I'll hear the baby cry.  None of that happened this time.

Jason and I have always had an agreement...he is to always go with the baby.  No matter if I'm sick and throwing up, no matter what....he promised me he would always go with the baby.  This time was no different.  

I kept watching Jason for a clue as to how serious things were.  I could see the worry begin to grow in his eyes.  He quickly bent over, kissed my forehead and was gone.  That's about the time I heard the doctor say, "keep listening should hear a cry anytime now."  


I could feel the situation get serious.  I looked up to now watch the anesthesiologist who was no longer paying attention to me.  Instead, he was intensely focused on what was happening with my baby.  That is when I felt the tears well up.

Silently I sat with hot tears rolling out of my eyes and I looked to the door and saw the code team rushing in.  I couldn't talk.  I couldn't swallow.  I had no idea how bad it was.  My doctor was staying calm, taking care of me.  But my world was spinning.  I just wanted to hear my baby cry.

I watched as 4 staff (who I now know was the neonatologist, and NICU nurses) ran in, with another 5 out in the hall gowning up.  

I felt helpless.  I felt alone.  I prayed.  

Jason later told me that he was basically dancing from side to side as they all rushed around, trying not to get in anyone's way.  He described how her little body was completely limp, no muscle tone at all.  She was completely blue, not breathing.  Her APGAR was a 2.  Not good.  (Again, I had no idea of any of this...just that something was wrong.)

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I heard the soft sound of what I thought was a cry.  I looked up and asked the anesthesiologist...'was that her?'  He looked down to see my tear streaked face and nodded.

Things from that point got incredibly better.  She gave us quite the scare those first 5 minutes of life.  I will never forget the feeling I had, being strapped to a table...uncertain about what was happening, not able to help.  It was one of the worst feelings I've ever experienced.

It was about this time that Jason came over and explained they were taking her downstairs, she needed an IV placed for fluids.  I asked if I could see her first.  He brought her over to me for a quick kiss and she was on her way.  

(My first glance at my poor bruised baby)

Not quite the birthing experience I hoped for.

I stayed upstairs for about an hour in recovery.  Jason was downstairs with our new baby.  I hated it.  Finally, I wasn't sick after a c-section...yet I STILL couldn't hold my baby.  I sat in my recovery room alone, tearing up.  Worried.  

 (Before they took her away...)

 Jason came up once to check on me, to make sure I wasn't puking in my room all alone.  He explained the IV, said she would receive a bag of fluids and then be re-evaluated.  I kept asking my nurse when I could get downstairs.  (I'm sure she loved me for it...)  All I can say is thank heavens for facetime!  Jason got on and finally gave me a good look at my baby.  Oh how I wished I was there with her.

I thought I was handling things pretty well until my parents called.  They had no idea all that was happening.  Jason simply sent a picture with her weight after they got her breathing.  When my mom called to ask how she was, I choked up.  I couldn't even get the words out.  Finally I explained that I didn't know, she wasn't with me.  I hadn't even seen her yet.  Oh how my heart ached.

(Getting fluids through her little I'd hate to be the nurse that had to place them in babies!)

My nurse finally got a clue and allowed my bed to be wheeled downstairs.  I was able to hold Madison's little foot (that's all I could reach) for the first time.  She looked like she had been through a war.  Her poor face was bruised, all up her ear and head.  But, she was peaceful.  She was perfect.

The pediatrician came to talk to me, explained that 'something strange happened from the time I was being monitored before the c-section to delivery.'  It was unusual to have a delivery like this when the strip she was being monitored on looked so great just an hour before.  (In my head, I said a silent prayer...I was SO thankful they didn't opt to send me home earlier...heaven only knows what the outcome could have been!)

After Madison got the fluids, she began to perk up.  Things were looking good.  They opted to keep her IV in, just in case.  But felt she was doing much better than before.  I was taken to my room and told they would bring my baby to me when she was done being monitored.

Again, I was frustrated.  But understood.  I was just anxious.  I wanted my baby!

Finally, about 10pm that night I got to hold my baby for the first time.  The NICU nurse was so cute, trying to teach me about safety and go over everything with me....I couldn't tell you a thing she said, I was just ACHING to get my hands on my baby girl!

(FINALLY, getting my hands on my baby!) 

Words can't describe how relieved I was to hold her, and nurse her!  I have to be honest, I was a bit worried about bonding with this little lady where she wasn't planned and I had a hard time getting excited about the pregnancy because I was so overwhelmed.  I can assure you, bonding was no issue:

Daddy was proud as can be, and I finally was willing to hand her over to him.  (Not going to lie, I didn't want to let her go once she was finally in my arms!)

Shortly after they brought me Madi Jo, our 3 other children were brought to the hospital.  I probably should have recorded their excitement, it was electric!  Since Mikayla is the oldest, she had the privilege of being the first to hold her sister...

The girls kept 'ohh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' over her, it was fantastic!

Kaitlyn couldn't stop grinning at her.  She didn't want to even look up for a picture...

And Bubba.  My sweet Bubba, he sat by me the entire time.  Once Madison was brought over he kept saying 'hi baby' over and over again!  He instantly fell in love with her, we all did!

It was an emotional night, and one I don't think I'll forget.  I can't say how grateful I am that everything turned out beautifully.  And now, we are a family of 6....whoa!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baby Arrival!

Before I start, let me say:  the transition from 3 kids to 4 was not what I expected, has been emotional, has been difficult, has been different.  (Maybe that is because when I delivered Bubba, my older girls were just that....older.  They were pretty much self sufficient.  I mean I had to supervise, but they could entertain themselves, they knew to listen...or else!  That is surely not the case this time.)

Secondly, to say things have fizzled out on this blog over this pregnancy would be an understatement.  I've neglected it.  And there is a part of me that feels bad about that...but only a part.  I needed a break.  I have had a difficult time adjusting to all the change in my life from school, graduating, becoming a real live nurse, to moving away from the place I call home...the place I found myself again, to an unexpected pregnancy, to trying to be a mom and a wife, to just finding time for me.  Yes.  I needed a break.  I needed to figure out what I was doing.  And I realize I may have lost a lot of readers over this decision.  

I'm okay with that!

Really, I am.  Because you see, I've never written for readers.  Sure, I love motivating others to become their best self...but it's never been about becoming a blog celebrity.  (Is that even a real thing?)  Don't get me wrong, I was flattered...absolutely heart felt FLATTERED by the outpouring of love and support when my blog was in the running for the big HealthLine contest earlier this year.  And I was speechless when I had reporters calling to run stories on me....ME!  But as fantastic as that is, this blog has always been about one thing...real life.  And for the last several long months, real life was swallowing me whole.  

So thank you for allowing me a blog-hiatus.  I needed it for me, and for my family.  And now, if you are still reading, I hope you'll enjoy picking up with me now as I work on figuring out life as I know it now!  

There are many things over the last few months I'd love to share.  And eventually I probably will reflect on those times here.  But not today.

Today, I'd like to introduce the newest member to our family.....

Madison JoAnn

born August 7th
7lb 1oz
18.5 inches long

(check back tomorrow for her birth story...didn't want to overwhelm you all in one day!)

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