Pregnancy & The Outdoors

Title Nine FitFest, Bravangelist Fitting and Bra Giveaway!

I was recently invited to a Title Nine Media Only Bra FitFest in Berkeley, California.  I feel like someone was reading my mind out there because I was in a dire need for a GOOD sports bra.  I'm about three months postpartum and a nursing mom...which means none of my pre-pregnancy sports bras fit.

I found it! 3-Reasons Support Bra

I was dreading to look for a sports bra because I have never found one I've actually liked, never mind one that I could nurse in!  With the help of a Title Nine "Bravangelist" aka bra experts, not only did she help me find a sports bra that I can hike, bike and run in but one that I can actually nurse in.

With a talk about my activities, a quick measurement and the fact that my bra size changes almost daily due to breastfeeding, my Bravangelist found me the perfect bra, 3-Reasons Support Bra, a review will be coming and keep reading for a chance to win a FREE bra!

A Little Bit About Title Nine...

  • They are evangelical about women's participation in sports and fitness activities
  • Title Nine was founded in 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area and have 23 stores in the US.
  • Not only do they have bras galore, but they have a clothing line including swimsuits, active wear and the Skirts with Benefits - hidden shorts!

2015 Bra FitFest - SF Bay Area

Title Nine will be holding FitFest events throughout the spring and summer that spans cities across the country and include:

  • Personalized bra fitting advice from a "Bravangelist" expert
  • An expanded assortment of bras
  • Bras for all occasions from sports, work-to-workout, everyday and date night
  • A "Bounce-ath-a-lon" for those who want to put Title Nine bras to the test, with stations like hula hoop, jump rope, cup stacking, run around the block, hippity hop ball (picture above) & burpees.

For Bay Area FitFest locations area the following...

June 17-18, 10 am - 7 pm
218 N. Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95030

June 24-25, 10 am - 7 pm
208 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

July 15-16, 10 am - 6 pm
1637 Mt. Diablo Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Anyone interested in participating should RSVP at the local Title Nine Retail Location.  Visit for a full list of cities and more information.  If you attend a FitFest make sure you FB, Instagram or Tweet a picture with the #T9FitFest

Title Nine Bra Giveaway!

Here's your chance to enter to win a Title Nine Bra!  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway.  Please see below for giveaway details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open to anyone in the US and will include a personalized fitting (either in-store or by-phone, depending on location) and one (1) bra.  Winners within driving distance of a TitleNine store will be asked to redeem their prize at the closest/preferred retail location.  Giveaway is open from 6/12/15 until 11:59 pm PST 6/22/15.

I would like to thank Title Nine who invited me to the "Media Only" Bra FitFest for the purposes of this giveaway.  As always these are my true and honest opinions.

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Confessions of a Pregnant Outdoor Mom

Pregnancy.  The Outdoors.  Being a Mom.  Can the three all mix?

If you followed me on social media over my recent pregnancy, you know I stayed active outdoors throughout my entire pregnancy. I loved all the encouragement from everyone from the social media world and people on the trail but....

Rock scrambling anyone? 20 weeks pregnant
I'm not going to lie, it was difficult at times to even get out the door.  With two kids in tow already, an ever growing pregnant belly and the fact that I just wanted to sleep, heading outdoors didn't seem as enticing.  As usual the rewards of heading outdoors, especially during pregnancy always made me better and I can honestly say I never came back saying "Well I wish I hadn't gone outdoors!".  Yet here are a few pregnancy confessions this outdoor mom would love to share with you.

NOTE: I am not a medical health professional but these are my own personal observations and suggestions based on my three HEALTHY pregnancies with the approval of my personal doctor.

Confession #1: Staying Active Outdoors ~ I Don't Want To

Before I became pregnant I was hiking, running, biking and lifting weights, but as my pregnancy progressed I slowly had to stop doing certain activities or reduce the intensity of these activities.  By the end of my pregnancy I was left with light hiking and walking but I vowed that I was going to stay active, especially in the outdoors.

In my first trimester biking with the kids.
My confession is that once the pregnancy hormones hit the fan, I just wanted to take a nap but there was always a force driving outdoors.  Most of the time it was my kids needing to go outside so they could run around like wild animals or the fact that I needed fresh air because every smell in my house made me want to vomit.  Whatever the reason even though I just wanted to nap, staying active outdoors was one of the best things I did in this pregnancy.

I had stopped hiking around 36 weeks but I continued walking EVERY day between 1-2 miles.  For more details about hiking while pregnant, please visit my post on Backpacker Magazine, "Bun in the Oven: Pregnant Hiking".

Confession #2: The Aches and Pain ~ Everything Hurts!

Everything hurts more when you are pregnant, so when you mix an outdoor activity it is hard to admit but every little joint hurts more than normal! Plus it takes longer to recover even from short  hikes due to the "wonderful" ligament laxity that is produced during pregnancy.  Whether I stayed home or headed outdoors everything still hurt, so Tylenol was my best friend.

36 weeks ~ I was trying to hike the baby out. [Photo by Daniel Barrantes]
Early in my pregnancy I continued road biking, but as my belly got larger different areas of my body started hurting more than I could take and sadly I had to stop biking in my second trimester.  Oddly enough, hiking and walking helped minimize the swelling in my hands, feet and other areas of my body.  Even though it took me longer to recover, I felt the "good" soreness of a workout and swelling was almost a non-issue in my last pregnancy.

Confession #3: Emotional "Stuff" ~ I Just Want to Cry

I'm not a really emotional person, but pregnancy changes everything.  It's those pregnancy hormones that make you worse than a Bridezilla.  Just kidding.  But only sort of.  I just wanted to cry some days, whether it was because of a stupid sappy commercial, my kids driving me insane, or simply the fact I couldn't see my feet anymore.

The outdoors helped regain my emotional stability on days when pregnancy, motherhood, and just plain life seemed like a big blur.  Personally, the outdoors is my time I spend talking with God, my husband and kids.  It sets the scene so my emotional status can get in check.  So on days when I felt like crying, I headed outdoors to get perspective on things and I always came back with a smile on my face.

Confession #4: Labor & Delivery Day ~ It Was Easy, Sort of...

I gave birth outdoors...just kidding!  But have you seen those ladies who do? It's a little much for me but there's a movement out there.  I can't directly say the outdoors made my labor easy, but I was active in the outdoors much longer than in  my previous pregnancies and the labor compared to my others were "easy".  Anyways, for those who are interested here's my "Labor Story":

5 minutes before birth!
Giving birth for the third time was easy, like to the point where the baby practically fell out of my body.   Waiting for the labor to actually start on the other hand was not easy.  I was 38 weeks pregnant and just miserable, everything took four times as long to do and I was constantly scared of peeing my pants in public.  Whether because I was actually going to pee my pants or afraid that water was going to break.  I was to the point where people just stared at my huge belly...I was "scary" pregnant.

My husband had decided that it was too much for me already to deal with our two kids and life so he decided to stay home until after I gave birth.  I remember a few hours before I went into labor, we were driving home from my son's preschool, I cried and prayed to God that I'd go into labor that night.

As usual, I had fake contractions the rest of the afternoon, but I distracted myself with housework due to the ferocious "nesting" stage I was in.  I was cleaning the house....I even had this urge to clean the windows on the outside of the house.  I just needed to do something, I wanted to go for a run but I just physically could not.

The "fake contractions" continued even through a video conference call I had for Latino Outdoors and we joked about that I might be in labor.

Later that night, after the kids went to bed, my husband and I were watching TV re-runs, when I finally admitted to my husband I thought I was in labor because things were getting a little painful.  I stretched, laid down a towel on the couch (thank goodness) before I decided to spend the rest of the night on the couch. I sat down on the couch and immediately my water broke.

After that it was kind of a blur, but the women from my familia came over (and my dad) and we headed over to the hospital.  Our beautiful baby boy was born before sunrise!

But for those who want to know....
  1. Medicine: I went into labor naturally but I didn't want to feel ANY pain so I had an epidural and the lowest amount of pitocin to get things rolling.
  2. Labor: I pushed the baby out in ONE push.  It took longer to prepare the room than to get the baby out.
  3. Recovery: My recovery has been amazing.  More to come on this but I was released early from the hospital and it's been a faster and better recovery than my previous births.
I confess, I'm so glad I'm done being pregnant but I will always cherish the lovely outdoor memories and adventures I had with this pregnancy.  The love of the outdoors starts from the womb and I know this little guy already loves it.

Confessions are good for the soul, especially pregnancy confessions! Leave a comment below with your pregnancy outdoor confession.

Related Posts and Links:
  1. Confessions of an Outdoor Mom
  2. The Family of Four Hikers is Growing to FIVE!
  3. Backpacker Magazine ~ Bun in the Oven: Pregnant Hiking
  4. "Sleeping Under the Stars" Family Project Completed!

Check out these other outdoor parents and their tips on staying active during pregnancy:

  1. Staying active outside: Pregnancy by Rockies Girl

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

"Sleeping Under the Stars" Family Project Completed!

I am very glad that at the beginning of the year, we inadvertently started an awesome family camping project which has brought us many cherished family memories.  We nicknamed it  "Sleeping Under the Stars".  Twelve months later we have "completed" our family project's goal which was to...

Camp outdoors for at least one night, each month for the entire year

Now you may ask why there are quotes around "completed".  If I had followed my own rules, we should have camped in December but we didn't.  Why?  Well it wasn't because the weather was bad (Is the weather in California ever bad?) or that we did not have time.  The reason was my pregnancy...our last camping trip was pretty painful to sleep on my luxury camping pad, I knew that it would only get worse if we camped a month later.

But the "Sleeping Under the Star" results are in...
  • 21 nights camping, over 11 months in 12 different campsites in two states
  • We camped at five (5) California State Parks, two (2) National Parks, two (2) Regional Parks, one (1) Private Campground
  • One WHOLE week of continuous camping and two successful backpacking trips with our toddlers in tow!
I still haven't had a chance to write about all the locations we visited but I still wanted to share the bits and pieces our year long project!  So here I go!!

January 2014 ~ Half Moon Bay State Beach: Francis Campground - Half Moon Bay, California

Camping by the beach is always fun, throw in a Mavericks surfing competition, friends, and crazy big waves and it becomes very memorable! The huge crashing waves sounded like fireworks all night long.  Half Moon Bay was a great location to start our project.

California winter camping is beautiful, especially when we were having record break warm temperatures for February! We spent a Valentines Day grilling up the BEST heart-shaped rib eye steak and enjoying the California coast with our little family!  We love camping by the beach.

When you think of Orange County, camping is not usually the first thing that comes to mind but we had a very relaxing time at O'Neill Regional Park Campground.  Dry creek exploration along with a visit by some beautiful tropical birds definitely ranked high on our "outdoor fun" list!

We love to road-trip! Throw in some camping are we bound for a great time.  We made a one-night stop at Pismo State Beach on our way to Los Angeles.  We had some delicious Mexican food that night and enjoyed sand dollar collecting the next morning before continuing on down the road to LA.

Our first family backpacking trip of the year with so many firsts! From rattlesnakes, to carrying in our own water, to trying some dehydrated meals, this hike-in campsite was a great way test out the "backpacking with toddlers" water again!

June 2014 ~ Sequoia National Park: Dorst Creek Campground and Pear Lake (Backpacking)

Our longest camping trip EVER! Six blissful days at Dorst Creek Campground in Sequoia National Park.  Wildlife visits everyday and countless memories made on this little piece of National Park.

We decided to incorporate a overnight backpacking trip at Sequoia National Park and do an overnight backpacking trip to Pear Lake.  The kids had a blast on this 7 mile (14 mile Round Trip) in and out hike to Pear Lake, and our 4 year old son hiked the ENTIRE way!

July 2014 - Lake Camanche: South Shore Campground - Valley Springs, California

When we camp, we normally just camp with our family and a few close friends! But once a year we attend my church family camping trip of about 100 people!  This campground might not be my first choice but it sure does have a great place to cool off: Lake Camanche.  A great "plus" of someone else organizing the camp is that someone else does all the cooking!

Pregnant Camping Month #1: This was also the first month, of "Pregnant Camping" but no one knew about it yet except my husband and I!

August 2014 - Salt Point State Park: Woodside Campground - Jenner, California

Not only do we love camping with our children, but we love taking our Jr. High and High School students from my church, camping!  Thanks to our partners at Latino Outdoors, we were able to take our group camping at Salt Point State Park.  Our students hiked through the Pygmy Forest, played soccer on a beautiful Northern California beach, learned to chop wood, make fire, and cook over an open flame!

Pregnant Camping and Hiking Month #2: This is where I started noticing how even in early in my first trimester, I needed lots of WATER and snacks!

September 2014 - Mount Diablo State Park: Live Oak Campground - Clayton, California

I wouldn't call this a "failed" camping trip, but we were so confident in our camping skills we failed to check something very important, our cooking options.  We planned to cook all via firewood but didn't realize because of the drought and Mt. Diablo's fire danger level we could only use stoves and coals.  Thankfully we brought our backpacking stove which we used a lot during our one-night camping trip on the "Devil Mountain"!

Pregnant Camping Month #3: I needed to bring more padding and pillows for my ever growing belly.

October 2014 - Shenandoah National Park: Big Meadows Campground - Stanley, Virgina

I think this was our most memorable overnight camping trip because it was our only "Out-of-State" camping trip, we were dying for cold weather and we finally got to test out how warm our tent and sleeping bags kept our little family!  We still had some hiccups, like not being able to find the water spigot until the morning and running out of diapers. YIKES!

Pregnant Camping Month #4: For some reason this was the best night of sleep I remember so far in my pregnancy!

November 2014 - Spring Lake Regional Park: Group Campground - Santa Rosa California

Photo Credit Latino Outdoors
As a Regional Coordinator of Latino Outdoors I was able to get my Wilderness First Aid Training Certification!  That was a goal that I really wanted to complete this year.  Of course the training was held outdoors and we camped for two nights at Spring Lake Regional Park! Not only did I get my certification, my children were able to come along, my husband and fellow church youth worker Nate also got their certification!  Thank you so much Latino Outdoors!

Pregnancy Camping Month #5: This was was pretty rough couple nights sleeping, even with lots of pillows, and thus ended camping for 2014.

Chasqui Mom Last Thoughts...

We had a BLAST camping this entire year!  This family project started off as a "well let's take advantage of the warm winter weather" and turned into an epic year of camping and backpacking for my family.  It has helped us become better campers, our kids LOVE camping and ask to camp all the time now.  Many more posts will come of this project because I have experienced so much and can't wait to impart the things we have learned enjoying to be outdoors as a family.

Related Posts and Links:

  1. "Sleeping Under the Stars" Family Project

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagramPinterestGoogle+ and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!-

The Family of Four Hikers is Growing to FIVE!

9.5 weeks - Hiking pregnant mamá
One of the questions I get asked the most is "What age is a good time to start hiking with you children?"  My answer is always the same: "Since in the womb!"

I've been holding in a secret and I wanted to share that I've been heading outdoors with another little future hiker in my tummy for a couple of months now. We are expecting our newest little adventurer in March 2015 and are very excited to welcome our precious little gift from God.

Our #3 has already been hiking, biking and camping in the few weeks it's life.  My other two kids don't care that I'm pregnant so I don't have the luxury relax on the couch like I want to, so we are still heading outdoors for the family's sanity!!  The third time around means my abdominal muscles are non-existent so even though I'm just bloated in the picture above, it's nice to have a little bump again.  And yes I'm hiking in jeans....don't kill me, I know I broke my own rule!

But here is my precious little one's heart...

The List of Baby Questions

I know the drill about the barrage of questions people ask in my prior pregnancies so I'll answer them upfront:

Was this a planned pregnancy?
Yes, you are talking about a former accountant and an electrical engineer.

How do you feel?
Overall, I feel exhausted and terribly hungry.  Like I said earlier, my other two kids don't care I'm pregnant, so I'm lucky if I can get a 15 minute nap.  My hunger goes through the roof when we head out hiking or biking, so I need to drink and eat even more when outdoors!

Are you still going to be active in the outdoors?
ABSOLUTELY!! I'm going to continue hiking, biking, walking, running, camping as much as I can.  Of course taking in consideration my exhaustion levels and other pregnancy aches and pains.  I have to keep up my activity level up or else my "weird exercise allergy" will be worse once I'm done being pregnant.

Are you going for a natural drug-free birth?
NO. I love not feeling pain, especially down there.  I'm might be a little hippie and granola but I love modern medicine so bring on the pain relief.

Is this your last one?

What are you looking most forward to and also not forward to?
I'm looking forward to seeing my two toddlers enjoy having a baby in the house.  I'm especially looking forward to seeing another little child enjoy the outdoors! I'm terrified of the level of not sleeping that will be going on in this house for a long time and learning how to backpack with THREE children.  I think I might want to buy llama for our backpacking adventures!

6 Weeks Pregnant - Biking with all my babies!
I'm truly excited with "Bebe numero 3" and looking forward (not really because pregnancy sucks, for me) to the next 30 weeks.  Until then, I will give thanks to God who created the majestic mountains and oceans that my family enjoys so much, as He continues forming my new little one in my womb...

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Psalm 139:13-14

¡Mas Aventura Viene! ~ More Adventures to come!

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!