C-Rae’s Birth Story

C-Rae’s Birth Story

Mama: Maggie M.

Type of Birth: Vaginal, unmedicated

Birth Location: Hospital

Primary Care: Obstetrician

After suffering from bulimia for three years, and having a love and hate relationship with food, I finally achieved my “skinny” body. It was great until I began to lose too much weight. I went from 145lbs to 115lbs. The numbers looked great and initially I felt great. But soon after, I began to feel sick. I began to have hot flashes, I was losing about one to two pounds a week, my hair was falling out, I felt nervous, I was sensitive to heat and my hands trembled and went numb all day. I felt pain in my legs and felt weakness throughout my body. I could not sleep at night and if I did sleep, I would have horrible nightmares. In addition to all of this, I constantly felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest. I finally, literally, dropped one day and went to the emergency room. C-Rae’s Birth Story

On that day, my entire life changed as I was informed I had an autoimmune disease: Hyperthyroidism.

The doctor informed me that my situation was pretty grave and I needed treatment immediately as my thyroid was overactive and my heart was compromised. A week later, I began radiation therapy. Unfortunately, the treatment resulted in hypothyroidism as the radioactive iodine burned my thyroid gland completely. I no longer had an overactive thyroid. Instead I had a completely under-active thyroid. I began to gain weight weekly; I had no energy and felt completely depressed.

I then began my other struggle with weight, but knew that due to my medical condition, I had to make smarter choices. I joined a community gym, but left after several years of running on the treadmill and not seeing any results.

Finally in 2011, my husband began Crossfitting and I was overwhelmed with his results. I joined shortly after and began seeing an immediate transformation with my body. I saw immediate gains; I had toned arms, a toned stomach and finally, a butt! Aside from the physical gains; I was able to work on my lack of internal strength. I felt a kind of fulfillment with finishing a workout (that someone else organized), that involved pull-ups, push-ups and weights; something I never considered previously. Before I knew it, I was deadlifting more weight than some of the males at my gym!

I finally felt invincible; I felt healthy and strong both inside and out.

In October of 2013, my husband and I decided that we wanted to have a baby. My endocrinologist informed me that due to my thyroid condition, I may have a difficult time getting pregnant, and if I did get pregnant, the risk was high that I could have a miscarriage. I knew that I was strong and my body was healthy because I had never felt that healthy before. I continued working out and in fact, I began a back squat progression and I was back squatting the heaviest weight I’d squatted before.

One night, the night before I was planning to do my heaviest back squat, I began to feel sick. I knew something was off. The following day, I found out I was pregnant. My first reaction was, “Oh my God! I’ve been lifting so heavy! What if I hurt my baby??” The doctor then reassured me that if I had been Crossfitting prior to my pregnancy, my baby was not at risk. “But take it easy and don’t try to lift so heavy,” she said.

I was then faced with the biggest decision of my life and I thought, “I am actually pregnant after being told I may not get pregnant, but should I stop dong what has made me feel so healthy for the last two years?” I decided to continue Crossfitting because I knew I had to stay strong mentally and physically; for my baby AND for me. I actually didn’t work out for almost two and a half months of my pregnancy due to severe morning sickness. When the sickness gave me a break, I began to workout and actually felt it subside after workouts.

Now working out was obviously not the same; I could not run and I could not do some movements with the bar without hitting my belly. Thankfully, the coaches at the gym encouraged me to workout as they modified my pull ups to supine rows, my running to rowing, my burpees to box step ups, and my push ups to push ups on my knees.

I worked out out until I was about 38 weeks pregnant. By then I was becoming overly exhausted from not being able to sleep, and because I was starting to get too many Braxton Hicks contractions during workouts. I knew I had to listen to my body and that it was okay to take a break. I knew my body was still very strong and ready for the next challenge: birth.

On August 26th at 06:30pm, as I watched a movie with my husband and my best friend, I felt a sudden and excruciating pain in my back. Ten minutes later came another wave of pain. I knew this was not normal, and I had doubts I was going into labor as the day prior my doctor informed me I was 2cm dilated. My husband and I went to the park and I walked around for an hour having “pains” in my lower back; every four minutes for at least 30 to 45 seconds. I realized I was in labor as the pain was excruciating and my contractions were every four minutes.

As they became stronger in intensity I began to focus on each pain as if it were one of those horrible Crossfit workouts. My husband, said, “Pretend it’s like a WOD; focus on getting through each contraction and not on what’s to come.” We decided we would walk around the park for about an hour as we did not want to go to the hospital too early. I wanted to try a drug free labor and delivery.

At about 9:15pm, I knew it was time to head to the hospital as the contractions were becoming intolerable. On our way to the hospital I told my husband, “Well there goes the whole ‘No Epidural Plan’ because this really hurts!”

We got to the hospital at about 9:45pm and at this point, I could not even sit on the wheelchair to go up to Labor and Delivery. I then heard the most amazing news ever, “Ma’am you’re at 9cm! You need to go straight to delivery! Do you still want an epidural?” With a huge smile on my face I looked at my husband and then at the nurse and said, “No way! Let’s just do this now!” I then realized, “I am so ready for this; I’ve been ready! I am the strongest I have ever been and I am going to make this happen right now!”

I was prepped by the nurses and within a few minutes my water broke. “I feel her head, I have to push!” I told the nurse and she said, “Honey, it’s too early for you to push!” “No, she’s coming, I need to push! I am going to push!” I said. The nurse checked me and said, “Oh wow! You are crowning! You need to push!” I pushed for about ten minutes and at 10:37pm, my angel was in my arms.

It has been seven weeks since I gave birth to my sweet angel. Although I have gone through sleepless nights and postpartum pains, I look at her every day and think, “I did this… I grew this child inside of me for 39 weeks and she is beautiful and healthy. I gave birth to her and I kicked butt at it.”

I now look forward to going back to my routine and preparing my body for the next challenge, whatever it may be.

I also look forward to teaching my child the importance of being strong mentally and physically by making healthy decisions. I look forward to the days when I can begin running with my child, doing push ups with her on my back, and even showing her that her mama can lift her papa!

Guest Mama Maggie is a first generation American, born and raised in Burbank, California. She comes from a family of six: mom, dad, three brothers and herself. She married her boyfriend of ten years in 2013, and remains close to her family and siblings. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Social Work. She worked many years in Child Welfare and is currently a Clinical Social Worker for Health Services. She is also in the process of obtaining her License in Clinical Social Work. She’s admittedly a homebody and enjoys watching movies at home while barbecuing and having a glass of wine. When she’s out, she’s usually working out, running, and walking her dog Rocky. Within the last couple of years, she ran a marathon and participated in a Crossfit competition. She hopes to someday return to dancing as she was previously a background dancer for a salsa group. In the near future she’d like to focus her time with her daughter and hopes to travel with her as much as possible. It’s something she always wanted to do as a child.

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