Baby Cj’s Birth Story

Published October 30, 2014 by coachkatriel

I wasn’t afraid of labor.

I imagined that I would be walking around town and would notice some cramping and that over time, it would get more intense until I got to the 5-1-1 and I would know it was time to go to the hospital.

I wasn’t afraid of the pain. I’ve done painful things before. I worked out through my pregnancy and assumed I would labor hard for a few hours and be able to focus on my breathing and relaxing and be able to manage just fine. I had decided there was NO WAY I would have an epidural. I “knew” I could do without.

I felt ready. I felt confident. I felt anxious for it all to start.

I felt pretty cocky about it all, to be honest.

And what’s that saying? Pride comes before the fall?

So, the night before my due date, at about 10:30, I noticed a strange “trickling” sensation. I’d heard that water breaking didn’t necessarily mean a big gush so we called the hospital. They told us to come right in.

Since contractions hadn’t started, they had us walk around and bounce on a ball to see if we could get anything happen. When that didn’t work after a few hours, the nurse hooked me up to pitocin to get things going.

When the contractions started, I had Seth put counter pressure on my lower back and I’d breathe slowly and calmly. That worked fine for awhile, but as they raised the amount of pitocin, the contractions got increasingly more intense. I felt like my body was being torn to pieces. It felt like the contractions were coming each one on top of the last and getting progressively worse. Contractions that painful HAD to be making a huge difference. I HAD to be almost there. According to all the books I’ve read and everything I’d heard, when the pain starts to get so bad that you don’t think you could it anymore, that meant you were almost there.


After 11 hours on pitocin, I was dilated to a three.

A three.

For those who don’t know, you’re supposed to get to a ten before the baby can come out. Which means the amount of pain I was in then was just going to get a lot worse.

I was completely emotionally and physically fatigued. I felt defeated. There was no way I could keep going.

I felt like my body was failing me, that I was failing my body, but the doctor basically said I could have epidural then or need surgery later, that if I kept forcing my body to endure that level of pain without relief, I would wear it out and we would have to have a c-section. I’d heard so many horror stories about the epidural and am terrified of needles. But my doctor said it would give me the best chance of having an uncomplicated delivery which would be what was best for my baby girl.

They placed the epidural at about 4:00 in the afternoon. And after all the monitors and sensors and things were in place, I was able to sleep for two fabulous hours. At 6:30pm, there was a shift change for the nurses and when the new nurse came in she said that one way or another, I would have a baby on her shift. Which was true-I had 4 hours left to be ready to push since my broken water meant I had a 24 hour time cap. I was at a four when she checked me at 6:30, and had progressed to a ten three hours later. I felt so blessed that the epidural had been placed well so I wasn’t in pain and that the epidural hadn’t slowed progress at all and that my sweet girl’s heart rate stayed perfect the whole time.

We started pushing at 10:00, and even though I had no sensation down there to tell if I was pushing effectively, my nurse told me I was a champion and that my strength training was paying off. My beautiful daughter was born at 10:42pm, healthy and beautiful with a full head of dark hair.

My Beautiful Little Girl

My Beautiful Little Girl

Holding her for the first time was incredible. I have such love for her already and love seeing my husband be a daddy as well. And when I try to be bitter about my birth experience not going the way I’d planned, I look at this beautiful girl snuggling on my chest and know that my birth experience was perfect because it brought me my baby. She’s so sweet and so precious and she came into the world according to God’s plan. I don’t know why it had to happen the way it did. Maybe because I needed to learn to not be so prideful or to learn to trust God better. Mostly I feel grateful for that last nurse for being so positive and encouraging, and to the rest of the hospital staff for taking such good care of both of us. I feel grateful for my family members and friends who send me their positive thoughts and prayers. I’m grateful for my husband for standing by me and being there for me-I know it wasn’t an easy day for him either. I’m grateful for my Heavenly Father for His hand in keeping us both safe and for giving me the most special little girl to love forever.

It’s been three weeks since she was born and we are both doing great. In three more weeks, when I get the go ahead from my doctor, I’m going to share with you all my journey as I work back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ll get back into blogging more consistently then. For now, I’m going to keep enjoying my bonding and recovery time with my sweet girl.


The Three Primary Energy Pathways

Published July 24, 2014 by coachkatriel

I observed a conversation regarding whether a higher fat or a higher carbohydrate diet was better. The one has had great success in maintaining a low body fat percentage and having good energy throughout the day by eating a high fat diet. The other has had great success in achieving strength gains and having high energy during high intensity workouts by having a higher carbohydrate diet. This conversation got me interested in the different energy pathways the body uses and how to find a balance between what these two were saying in order to help people achieve their best results with the goals that they have.

Carbohydrate and fat are both food energy sources. In order for your body to use carbs or fat for energy, however, it must be converted to ATP, which is the energy currency of the cells. There are three primary energy pathways that the human body will use to convert our food energy into ATP depending on how quickly we need the energy.

The Phosphagen System is the fastest of the energy systems, used during short-term high-intensity activities such as a max effort deadlift or a short sprint. The phosphagen system uses creatine phosphate. Your body produces creatine phosphate using amino acids and can store a small amount in the muscles. Because there is a limited amount in the muscles, this system can get depleted very quickly. You might supplement with creatine in your post workout shake in order to more quickly replenish and even increase your creatine storages so you don’t fatigue as quickly.

The Anaerobic System is also used during high-intensity activities, but in those that are slightly longer, lasting between 30 seconds and three minutes. The anaerobic system requires carbohydrate and can replenish itself very quickly, assuming there is enough carbohydrate available in your system.

The Aerobic System is used during low intensity exercise and it can utilize either carbohydrate or fat. This is the system we’re most likely to spend the most amount of time in during every day life.

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for your brain and your muscles. It’s important to note that after high intensity exercise, muscle cells are very insulin sensitive, which means your muscles will be likely to take up the carbohydrates consumed shortly after your workout. Outside of this exercise window, it’s typically the fat cells that are the most insulin sensitive, so they would take up the extra carbohydrate consumed throughout the day.

If your everyday life is more sedentary, it might be wise to consume most of your carbohydrate dense foods such as fruits and grains around the time you workout and have primarily vegetables, fats, and proteins the rest of the day. If you are very sedentary, vegetables should give you enough carbohydrate during the day to adequately fuel your brain and muscles and would help you to avoid fat storage.

If you are very active during the day, eating some slowly digesting carbohydrates might be more beneficial to you as following a higher fat, lower carb diet might leave you feeling pretty fatigued.

Overall, listen to your body. Monitor your intake. Be mindful of what foods you are eating have carbohydrates and which have fats. Pay attention to what your weight is doing from week to week (if that’s important to you). Make sure you are eating enough to support your energy needs but not eating so much that your body can’t use all the energy and ends up storing it as fat.

No one likes burpees anyway

Published July 10, 2014 by coachkatriel


I’ve gotten to the point in my pregnancy where the list of movements I have to modify is much longer than the list of movements I don’t. Anything bodyweight or gymnasty or that involves bouncing is going to involve a modwod. Most things with a barbell, I can manage mostly…but if I have to pick it up from the floor, my stance will be significantly wider and depending on the day, it just might not work out.

The best part about being pregnant is being able to feel my baby girl move. I love that she’s getting stronger and that I can feel her move more now. I love that she likes to dance while I sing. I love that she kicks me in the morning if I’m slow getting up. I am learning to love and laugh at the comments I’ve gotten from people so far.

1. You look….uncomfortable.
2. No way you’re due in October! You’ll never last that long
and of course
3. I bet you pop tomorrow and have a perfectly normal healthy baby

I’m grateful for my husband for how well he’s been handling my crazy and my meltdowns and my panic attacks. And for being supportive of me in working out and eating healthy.

Third Trimester. Here we come!

Beachin and Week 24 Bumpdate

Published June 20, 2014 by coachkatriel


We took a week off from our normal routine and got on a plane to Portland, rented a Subaru and drove to the coast to meet up with my family. Our adventure included Denny’s, long walks, Pig’n Pancake, sunshine, ice cream, bike rides, reading, exploring small towns, America Ninja Warrior, the aquarium, and catching up on extra sleep. When my mom was a little girl, Seaside Oregon was her family’s vacation spot of choice. Loving the Oregon coast is in my blood and I hope to pass that love on to my baby girl. 

I had to take another week when I got home to really focus on catching up on my homework and getting back into my weekly routine. Seth’s been switching me to be a morning workout gal and I am finding that I am so much more productive when I am up at 8:00 instead of 10:00. I add an extra two hours at the beginning of the day and get an extra two at the end of the day after work since I get my workout in the morning instead. The hardest part is getting out of bed (I fight Seth tooth and nail every morning) but once I get out of bed and am on my way to the gym, I feel better.

Pregnancy wise, The Workout Mama posted a weekly bumpdate on her site, and I thought her format was cute, so I’m borrowing some of her ideas for today’s post 🙂

Estimated Due Date: October 9th, 2014 – at each appointment, the doctor has said I’m measuring very consistently with where they’d except me to be for that due date.

Gender: Girl!

Weight Gain: Yup.

How I Am Feeling: I definitely noticed a difference in my energy when we were in Oregon. On previous trips, I would walk for hours on the beach every day. I went on one really long walk that wore me out for the rest of the trip. My pelvis is also loosening up, which is awesome cause it’ll make it easier when I have to get the baby out, but also a little bit painful sometimes. I’m in love with my baby though and get excited whenever I can feel her dancing in my belly. I like to have conversations with her and tell people about them. I love looking at all things baby, and if I get too stressed, you can find me sitting in a recliner at target staring at the wall of baby stuff. I’ve got some baby clothes in my crib already and I’ll routinely sort through them or picture my little girl wearing them.

Movement: I did an awesome job of building a protective layer of insulation and cushion around my baby girl, so I don’t always notice her movements very well. As she’s getting stronger, I’m able to feel them better and am excited for that!

Sleeping: If I have my pillow nest set up, I’m golden.

Clothing: I have a pair of white ankle length maternity jeans and a pair of black maternity leggings (both from target) that I wear with all my shirts that still kind of fit. Other than that, I’m in maxi dresses. For the gym, I bought some tank tops that are longer and looser in the tummy but for the most part, my stretchy workout pants still fit well enough.

Exercise: This week so far, I’ve been able to get 4 days of exercise in at the gym with strength training on two of those days and a 15-25 minute conditioning workout after. I’ve also been able to fit in a walk and am hoping to get more of those in. I’ve been modifying movements that involve jumping, running, or lying on my back because of how my body feels. I’ve also had to modify things with pull ups (usually to ring rows) or push ups (going knees down) and burpees (I don’t always go all the way down to the floor cause it smooshes my belly and doesn’t feel right) Most of the time, I stick with the RX level weight on the MetCons, but I’ve been taking my snatches and cleans from the hang position instead of all the way down to the floor. Each night, I’ve been doing some stretches to help loosen up my back and they help a ton.

Most Looking Forward To: I sent my mom this text this morning: “We’re gonna get our nails did together and our hair did together and we’ll have tea parties together and dance parties together and we’ll deadlift together!! I’m so excited to meet my baby girl.” I’m also excited for my first baby shower coming up in a month!

I’m feeling Twenty-Two (weeks pregnant, that is)

Published June 5, 2014 by coachkatriel

I woke up this morning singing the Taylor Swift song “22” because…I MADE IT 22 WEEKS!!!
I’ve been able to feel baby girl dancing around in my belly and it’s the best! I’ve heard that as she gets stronger, I might not enjoy it as much, but right now I’m just loving that pregnant feeling.
Seth convinced me to start waking up a little bit earlier to “bro out” with him at the gym. Yesterday I did some back jerks, back squats and overhead squats (with a pause at the bottom) and hubby commented on how I’ve managed to maintain a lot of my flexibility still. I let him know it’s more likely just the relaxin. He said we might need to inject some of that into some of our less mobile clients. When deciding how heavy to go on my squats, I take about 70% of my old max and then take the recommended percentage off of that. I make sure to stop at a weight before I feel like I’m straining to put the weight up.
Today we did some Olympic lifting complexes. Olympic lifting is my favorite because I always feel so hardcore tossing the barbell around, but I’ve definitely had to cut back on the weights as my belly is getting bigger and I can’t keep the bar as close to midline anymore. After lifting, we did a metcon (The metabolic conditioning portion of the workout). I changed a lot of the movements from what Seth was doing but managed to get pretty sweaty and stinky in my 10 minute metcon still.
I felt much better about my nutrition this week and I feel a lot stronger and better than I have for awhile as well. I’m really enjoying this part of pregnancy and am even able to laugh instead of cry when I try something on and it doesn’t quite fit right anymore.
This post is part of a link up with Katie Did What for Healthy Habits today! Click over to her page to check out the other linkers!

Thoughts at 21 weeks

Published May 30, 2014 by coachkatriel

I’ve been really, really, really lucky and blessed with this pregnancy so far.
For one, we got pregnant really quickly after we started trying.
For two, the doctor’s never had any trouble finding our baby’s heart beat.
For three, at the ultrasound, baby was progressing properly and normally and had all her parts and pieces where they needed to be. I follow a lot of different blogs and talk to a lot of different people, and I know that those things alone make this pregnancy an abnormally smooth one. There have definitely been some difficulties that I hadn’t anticipated, but I still count myself as incredibly blessed.

I know this sounds super cheesy, but I am so grateful for the miracle that is life. What started as a couple cells has grown into a fetus with 5 fingers on each hand and two perfectly adorable little shins that make me giggle with excitement every time I watch the ultrasound video.

I’ve been grateful for this second trimester to have been able to get my workouts in. With my strength work, I listen to my body and stop before I feel like I’m straining and definitely stop before my form collapses. With my conditioning work, I try to give it my best while still incorporating lots of rest and drinking lots of water. It’s sometimes hard to not get too competitive during my workouts and to not get embarrassed on the days when I come in last place. I have to remind myself sometimes that it’s NOT ABOUT ME and it’s definitely not about my pride right now. It’s about trying to be healthy in preparation for childbirth and to keep my baby girl healthy as well.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t done a great job with the nutrition. It’s been really hard for me to get back into a good routine with my nutrition after feeling dreadfully awful my whole first trimester. I’ve struggled to find a healthy balance and have definitely overdone the free meals. And because I’ve been eating what I feel like when I feel like it, my weight gain in this first half of pregnancy has been pretty terrifying. I faced the scale for the first time in 3 months on Wednesday, and I broke down and cried. I’m so over that now and back to watching my intake-not restricting my calories because I know I’ve got to give my baby what she needs to grow, but also trying not to go overboard with my intake. Really trying to focus on having more vegetables and protein and drinking lots and lots of water as well.

Even if you’re not pregnant, I recommend tracking everything you eat for 1 week. I logged onto my personal account on myfitnesspal today for the first time in…I have no idea how long…and I logged every bite I’ve put in my mouth today. From where I’d ESTIMATED my intake had been to where it ACTUALLY was after two meals, I was about 500 calories off, and that’s with just two meals. So if you’re struggling in anyway with your weight and not sure what’s going on, log your food!

So grateful for the opportunity I’ve had so far to experience pregnancy and praying for things to continue going as smoothly as they have been! I know what I need to do to improve and am looking forward to the next months!

Oh, hi baby!

Published May 7, 2014 by coachkatriel

We’ve been really excited and hard at work getting The New Warehouse ready for our CrossFit gym. My family came down to help build stuff this last Saturday which was awesome since I am not a super helper when it comes to building stuff. Probably the highlight of the day for me though was when I was yawning and felt a little “bloop” (somewhere between a flutter and a punch) in my belly. For a moment, I was confused and wasn’t sure what had happened and then it dawned on me…my baby was trying to tell me to get back to work! But honestly, I was so excited to feel that little movement and although I haven’t felt anything as definitively as that bloop since then, I’m excited to be able to feel my baby more as he or she gets bigger and I’m REALLY excited to see the little cutie on the ultrasound in two weeks. Because I’m a bit of an emotional cheeseball, I started singing the chorus from Big and Rich’s “Lost in This Moment” shortly after I recognized the bloop as a baby movement and I definitely started tearing up a little bit. I’ve dreamed about being a mom since I was a little girl and I am so excited to meet my baby! And yeah, it’s been a little bit challenging emotionally to gain weight and have every. single. person. ever. comment on how big my belly is getting, but little moments like that when I remember why my body is changing, I just feel so blessed and grateful to be able to be growing a baby right now.