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I Miss Running

by Meghann on September 24, 2015

You may have noticed it’s been a while since I’ve talked about running (or anything exercise related, really). The truth is I had to stop running right around 30 weeks. I tried – really, really tried – to make it work (I even bought a support belt!), but the belly was getting too big and the crazy side stitches I had didn’t seem worth it. It was a good run, I mean, to make it to 30 weeks while consistently run/walking three miles every other day is something I’m really proud of. We had some good times (like the 8K I ran in Seattle at 23 weeks or the fourth of July race I did with my sister at 27 weeks), but I knew taking it easy for the last 10 weeks was what my body needed.

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So after I stopped running, I started walking. Maddie and I have continued to walk 2+ miles every day. I’ve also been taking prenatal yoga classes at a local studio (that I love) every Sunday. Prenatal yoga is awesome. I wouldn’t say it’s a hardcore workout, but it’s definitely relaxing and great at giving my muscles a much needed stretch.

Now that I’m nearing the end of pregnancy, I find myself itching to run again and register for races. We’re just now entering running season in Florida and it seems like everyone is signing up for ALLTHERACES. I can’t tell you how tempted I am to put my credit card down and start making a plan, but I know that’s not very realistic. I’ve had friends who were able to jump right back into running after pregnancy and achieve amazing PRs mere months after giving birth. I’ve also had friends who struggled with returning to running (especially while breastfeeding). At this time I have no idea where I’ll fall, so I’m saving my money and crossing my fingers for the best.

Of course, none of this stopped me from registering baby girl for her first diaper dash…

diaper dash

I know, I know, the odds of her crawling at 6 months are pretty slim (or nonexistent, really), but it’s the only runDisney diaper dash she’ll be eligible for since she’ll age out of the 2016 Wine & Dine Diaper Dash. I still think it will just be cute to put a bib on her and gently assist her across the finish line. 🙂

If you can believe it, the one thing I miss more than running is strength training. I gave up CrossFit after my miscarriage last year and really miss it. Because of my funky uterus, I was told at the beginning of the pregnancy not to do any “heavy lifting” so I’ve shied away from any strength training the last 9 months. I’d really love to return to CrossFit, but I’m afraid the post-baby budget (daycare is $$, yo!) isn’t going to allow it. I’m currently researching other plans and alternatives that have similar CrossFit-esque style. I don’t have any official plans yet, but I’ll let you know once I do.

I know the topic of getting back to “pre-pregnancy shape” is frowned upon but, if I’m being truthful, a big motivation to wanting to jump back into running and strength training is to fit into my old clothes again. I miss my old clothes, I miss the way I looked, and I miss feeling good about my eating and exercise habits. I’ve let a couple of things slide the last few months (particularly my ice cream and french fry consumption) and while I have zero regrets, I think I’ve had my fill for a while. Again, I don’t know what life will be like post-baby, but I’m hopeful it will contain a lot more vegetables and maybe some wiser choices when ordering from my favorite take out menus.

How was your post-baby transition back into exercise?

The Run Chat

Brooks Running will be hosting the Brooks Blog Ambassadors for a live Q & A on September 30, 5 PM – 6 PM PT (8 – 9 EST). The Q & A will take place at Brook’s newest online running community, The Run, and cover personal running journeys, motivations, training, and blogging tips/tricks.

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Yes, the chat is the night before I’m scheduled to give birth, which will honestly be a great distraction! Hopefully I’ll be there (unless baby girl decides otherwise!)

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessie September 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm

I was one of the lucky ones that breastfeeding actually made me shed pounds without even trying. I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy because allofthedonutsandpasta. Then I started running and weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant. Keep the faith. You are healthy and active. You will be fine.

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2 Malissa September 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

I’ve followed your blog for a while now and am excited about your newest member of the family.
I understand your love for running & missing out on all the fun! I sat on the sidelines for months {due to injury – no baby in the belly} That just made my love for the sport grow even stronger. My husband and I meet at a race so running will always have a special place in my heart. I hope you and your baby girl can share that special bond.
Congrats!

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3 Elsa September 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I had a c section with mine (unplanned so it really threw me off). It took me almost three months to get courage to start running again. I was just super nervous about anything other than walking for a while because I still feel my c section at times. Now I do a stroller bootcamp twice a week and walk/run three times a week.
Also, I had these grand ideas that I’d be out running with baby right after. For the first two moths I had to sit on the couch and breast feed her ALL DAY. And then it turns out you’re not supposed to run with babe until they are 6 months ( or good head control).

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4 Megan September 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm

I am currently 37 weeks and have followed your blog for a couple years now – fun to read your updates, as you are only a bit ahead of me!

I completely understand the feeling of not having regrets but at the same time ready to get back into shape post-baby. I think that every woman’s body is different, and pregnancy certainly doesn’t impact us all the same way! I had some pretty hilarious delusions that I would be that kind of pregnant lady who doesn’t gain more than 25 lbs and is all belly, and – frankly – that has certainly not been the case!

Hang in there – almost done! Then we can enjoy our babies and get back on the wagon 🙂

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5 Meg September 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm

I had a c-section. I didn’t move much at all for the first 6 weeks, healing from the surgery, but after 6 weeks with the Dr’s go-ahead, I walked a lot. Throughout the pregnancy, I gained 45 pounds. I lost 30 lbs during those first 6 weeks. I was exclusively breastfeeding, and eating like crazy (nursing hunger is real). By 12 weeks, I could wear my “old clothes” with Spanx on. I recommend spanx post-c-section. The compression feels good. Now, with an 11-month old, I can wear my old clothes. They all fit different as my body shape has changed. I now exercise daily, usually just walking. I would be considered a thin person, but I am still 10 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight, and that’s ok.

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6 JoAnne September 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm

i think you and I probably gained a similar amount of weight during our pregnancies and I feel you, I want nothing more than to fit into my old clothes. But here I am 4 months postpartum and things still fit a little funky. My boobs are still big so shirts fit weird and I’m holding onto weight in my hips that make my pants uncomfortable. All of this is to say, be gracious with yourself and your postpartum body. It feels so good to not be sharing it with a human baby anymore but it’s still not fully mine again with breastfeeding. You will eventually have your body back and fit in those old clothes!

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7 Cheri @ Overactive Blogger September 24, 2015 at 11:03 pm

This post is great. Me and my husband are gonna start to try when he gets back from China next week and I know it could be a while, or it could be soon, but I’m interested to see how it affects my exercise. Thanks for sharing!
Cheri @ Overactive Blogger recently posted..Really? Me?

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8 Jessica September 24, 2015 at 11:23 pm

I’ve had two babies and my recovery was very different with both.
After my first pregnancy with my son, I didn’t get back into running until I was about 3 months post partum. He was voracious and ate very 1.5 hours around the clock until he was a month old and then every 2 hours after that for a couple more months. It was my first baby, I was exhausted, and I was also paranoid about (er,….everything, lol) my supply decreasing. I had heard that your supply is well established by three months so that’s when I ran again. Everything felt great pretty quickly. Looking back I know my supply would have been fine. I always had plenty.

With my daughter I was much more confident about everything and went on some slow walk/ jogs pretty early. As much for my sanity as for weight loss. My doctor had said to listen to my body but wait until the 6 week check up for anything strenuous. I haven’t had any adverse side effects or anything, and while I wouldn’t have wanted to wait until the 3 month mark, I wish I would have laid off all exercise until 6 weeks pp. I felt pretty worn down physically a lot of the time, although as I said, it helped my mental state so much that it was tough to just rest.

Long story short, rest it up until at least the 6 week mark and longer if that feels best. Even if it is hard to resist. Whether you breastfeed or not the postpartum period really depletes your resources mentally, emotionally and physically and the bets thing you can do is to allo yourself to completely heal.

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9 Jessica September 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm

Sorry for the typos! *best. *allow.

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10 Robyn @ Robyn's Livin' Life September 25, 2015 at 8:02 am

I have a friend who just had a baby and she walked most everyday until she could run- she felt that she could push herself more comfortably that way and it was a fun activity for her and the baby to get outside. She gradually got back into running.

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11 Katie D. September 25, 2015 at 8:13 am

I have struggled to get back into fitness. I’ve managed a few consistent months of at home workouts, but nothing near the consistency or intensity that I was doing pre-pregnancy (or even during my pregnancy). My daughter is 15 months and I feel like I’m at zero, which is depressing.

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12 Jamie September 25, 2015 at 8:33 am

First time mom. Great pregnancy and unplanned C-section.
Great transition! Don’t let people scare you. I walked in the park with the baby at around 4 weeks. I ran at 6 weeks at a track with my baby and husband. We took turns running a lap while the other pushed the stroller. Then, I hit a trail solo. At 8 weeks, I went back to CF. Best decision I ever made. I had ZERO problems with my C-section. It will feel numb ( the scar) and I didn’t do toes to bar until like 10 weeks post baby. I can do more at CF than I did before the baby, including more toes to bar. I remember just feeling a bit uncoordinated. But that’s about all. I ran until 30 weeks pregnant. It took a while to feel gracefully while running, if that is even a thing.

My advice in the hospital following a C-section. The best thing to do is WALK!! Once they get you up, walk the halls. You have a lot of gas build up from the surgery. So walking helped and I never sat down unless I was really tired. Getting up and down hurt more. So I stood and walk and it helped get the pressure out. Take the medicine in the hospital. Stay on top of it. I was able to stay on top of the pain in the hospital and when I went home, I didn’t need anything at all.

I think you will find your motivation will be different. So be prepared for the mental challenge.

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13 Madeline September 25, 2015 at 9:07 am

Breastfeeding, running, and working full time can be a lot, but it is TOTALLY possible. My daughter is almost a year old and we’ve successfully navigated those murky waters so far and I’m training for a fall marathon. There is a great Facebook group “Running pregnant/while nursing – moms run this town” that has been really helpful!

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14 Jill September 25, 2015 at 9:17 am

I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy (I felt amazing after the first trimester, and for once I loved having a belly and showing it off!), but now that my kiddo is almost 3, I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. I got into triathlons about 6 months after I gave birth, and haven’t looked back. I know you must feel all kinds of pressure (self-imposed or otherwise!) to do the whole “get your pre-baby body back” thing, because you’ve got a big readership and so many healthy-living bloggers are having babies or have had them in the last little bit, but just keep in mind that you are doing your own thing, and need to do what’s best for you. It’s hard to predict how you’ll feel after you have the baby, and there are so many variables (sleep, feeding, etc.) that can make getting back into a routine a bit tricky. You’ll do just fine. Try not to compare yourself to others, even though it can be tough. I found that going for walks every day (after the first few weeks, when I was too tired for it and was recovering from my c-section) was a great way to get out of the house and get some exercise, and even though it was mid-winter, the bundled up baby loved it 🙂
You’re gonna do great!

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15 Hannah September 25, 2015 at 10:18 am

I read your last post and this one and wish I could convey to you how much parenthood changes your goals and outlook on everything. I have 3 kids under the age of 4 and my life is a million miles away from my old life. I care about what I look like but I don’t have time to obsess about it like I did pre kids. I’m also blown away by my body – it’s far from perfect – but it grew 3 humans and nursed each one for a year. I don’t let how i look interfere with having fun with them. I’m not swim suit ready but I still put my suit on and have a blast with them because they don’t care.

It’s really weird having a first baby. Your whole life changes but stays the same. Relationships with people change. It was by far, my hardest baby because of all the changes. New babies are really, really hard. I would suggest not focusing on getting back to the old you but accepting and being grateful for the new you. I used to run a lot but now, I LOVE walking and hiking. My priorities shifted and I choose to spend time with my kids over going to a gym. Reading blogs and magazines about post baby bods and what folks do to get back in shape sometimes overwhelms and guilts me (if she can do it, why can’t i?!). BUT – my life, expectations, and reality is different and I really AM OK with it.

In conclusion, don’t be hard on yourself, do what you can, babies are hard, find the new you. Good luck with your birth. I hope it’s amazing!

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16 Rachel September 25, 2015 at 7:42 pm

I have to second what Hannah says. I am 3 months postpartum with my first and haven’t really found my new normal yet. I had an unplanned c-section and it was about a week before I could walk at a normal pace and 4 or 5 weeks before my abdomen felt normal. My ideas about how I would exercise went out the window when faced with the reality of a newborn. A lot will depend on your baby and how you feel. I manage a walk most days, but during her week long growth spurts I am pretty much pinned to the couch. There were many days when I was so tired all I could manage was breastfeeding, changing diapers and binge watching Mad Men. During the worst of the sleep deprivation and fussiness I relied on sugar more than I should have to make it through the day. Initially I thought I would be able to run at night after my husband got home from work, but my daughter generally cluster feeds in the evening and won’t take a bottle, so my mobility is limited. Now I’m at a point where I could put her in gym daycare and get a workout in, but I’m going back to work in a month, and I would rather spend the time with her while I can. My priorities changed the minute she was born.

I also have given up the idea of “getting my body back.” My body will never be the same, but that’s ok! I’m not the same person anymore, and I’m not living the same life. I’ve lost all but 5 pounds of the weight I gained during pregnancy, but things just aren’t the same shape. I had a lot of swelling during pregnancy and I was overjoyed to see my face and feet return to their normal size about a week after I gave birth, but my hips are wider and so is my rib cage, so some of my old wardrobe is just not going to work. I’ve found it easier to eat healthy again in the past few weeks, and once I’m back at work I plan to hit the gym during my lunch break. I think that I can be healthy and happy with my appearance without trying to get something back that is gone.

Best wishes for your birth and your newborn family. The newborn stage is hard work, but through connecting with my daughter and watching her grow, I’ve experienced joy and wonder like nothing I have ever known. Everything in my life is different – it’s better.

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17 Grace September 28, 2015 at 11:40 am

I totally agree – once you have your baby, the idea of wasting any time worrying about getting your body back becomes, frankly, ludicrous. Every aspect of your life: your identity,your work and all of your relationships will change, and your world will revolve around your daughter as you learn to become a parent. Not to mention the fact that for a lot of (if not most) women, your body’s shape will permanently change after pregnancy and childbirth, so even if you lose all the pregnancy weight you may need a new wardrobe anyhow. My feet changed a whole shoe size during pregnancy (and didn’t shrink back), and I had to get all new shoes! But worrying about silly things like “body after baby” just won’t be a priority in your life. At least it wasn’t for me! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy exercise and still run, do triathlons, etc. now (my daughter is four years old). But it’s a fun little hobby and way to staying healthy, nothing that I think too much about between my family, work, and friends.

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18 Julie September 28, 2015 at 2:36 pm

My little guy is 10 months, and I think I have spent too much time worrying about getting back into shape. I am still about 10 lbs above pre-pregnancy weight (which I was barely okay with to begin with) and work out 5 times a week (full-time job, commute, poor sleeper, etc.). At this point, I am so burnt out and thinking I should just focus on surviving and, yes, exercise, but mostly so I’m still healthy (I had GD) and can keep up with my son. It’s a struggle everyday, but it’s nice to hear that other moms have had this priority shift and that it’s likely temporary and very much OK.
Julie recently posted..YMCA Stair Climb 2015

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19 Kelly September 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

I am right there with you! I miss running SO MUCH and keep revising the list of 2016 races I’m hoping to run. I also really miss my old clothes. Fall isn’t quite the same when your favorite boots don’t zip up over your calves anymore. Growing babies is hard work though! We need to be kind to ourselves and to our bodies. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I felt “normal” again after my first pregnancy, Hoping the same this time around and for you!
Kelly recently posted..Countdown to Baby #2

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20 Melissa September 25, 2015 at 4:05 pm

I bounced back pretty quickly after I had my daughter – by about 4 months postpartum I was back in my regular clothes. I didn’t do anything special, just tried to eat right and exercise. I NEEDED the exercise otherwise I would have gone crazy. You’ll be just fine!
Melissa recently posted..My Favorite Yoga Poses

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21 Lauren September 25, 2015 at 6:17 pm

I remember feeling the exact same way at the end of my pregnancy! I’ve thought that about all your recent posts. That was my biggest struggle while pregnant is that I missed that “strong” feeling I use to have. Especially when just getting up from a sitting position became difficult. :). I started walking within days of giving birth. I continued to pick up the pace as the weeks went on in hopes it would help me when I was able to start running. I started running after my 6 week check up when my doc gave me the all clear. I was pleasantly surprised how much the walking had helped, it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. I had a lot of extra weight still on so I had a lot more aches and pains. I managed to get in shape for half when my son was about 9 months. The hardest part was the first 6 months when you can’t take her with you in a stroller. Coordinating someone to watch the baby while you run can be hard. You’ll get there in what time is right for you and your body. I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey and can’t wait to see that precious baby girl!

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22 Eve September 25, 2015 at 6:44 pm

I had an unexpected c-section to deliver my baby, and my OB was very strict about not running for the full 6 weeks postpartum. However, that first day (at exactly 6 weeks!) back was awesome. It was HARD, but I was able to slowly jog a 5K. I ran through my 34th week, and it definitely took some time to get back into it, but it was the best thing ever. I’ll be running my first marathon ever at 11 months postpartum, and it’s been an amazing experience to train as a new mom. You’ll get back in shape, and you’ll love the time to yourself…and also the little person waiting for you at home when you return. Best of luck!

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23 Erin September 25, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Just wait it out and see how you feel. You’ll do great momma, just see how you feel when the time comes.

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24 Molly Rose September 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

I’m with ya girl on registering (or at least considering) ALL the races, haha! Finally bearable weather!

Regardless as to how you “come back” after pregnancy, I know you will go at it with a whole heart, and it will feel so good!! 🙂
Molly Rose recently posted..Boston Part II

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25 kristen September 26, 2015 at 11:28 am

Do not run in the first 15 weeks or so after giving birth. Your body is just not strong enough and is not ready even if you are a seasoned runner. Take it from me, I ran four weeks after I had my daughter and then had back problems because my core was weak, and other muscles had to overcompensate. Walking is so much better for you and it’s enjoyable for the baby too. If you want to try some strength training, Suzanne Bowen fitness is awesome! She has all kinds of streaming workouts and really focuses on prenatal, postnatal and feeling your best. There are a lot of options for barre classes. I wish someone would have told me after my first….second time around was so much easier because I focused d on light strength training and walking. Running is so hard on the worn out post natal body 🙁

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26 Emilee September 26, 2015 at 7:34 pm

I asked my sister to bring fresh cut fruits and veggies the week my girl was born! Best idea ever! I did a bunch of freezer meals but it was great to have fresh produce on hand and easy to grab! Good luck, it’s an awesome crazy ride!

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27 Jennifer September 26, 2015 at 9:27 pm

I am almost 9 months post partem and today I ran my first post baby 5k race while pushing my daughter in a jogging stroller. It has taken me a LONG time to get back into running, and I had a relatively easy pregnancy and delivery. Like a previous commenter stated, priorities changed for me. I wasn’t interested in taking a lot of time away from her to work out, especially when I started working again my time with her was limited and I just wanted to soak up all of my time with her. My body also just felt weird running, so i didn’t push it. It all sort of clicked very recently, we have a good schedule and I can run after putting her to bed, we run together on the weekend and my body is finally feeling back to normal. Please just be kind to yourself. Don’t rush your recovery and please enjoy every second with her, it really does fly by. Good luck!!

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28 Maria September 30, 2015 at 10:04 pm

I completely agree! My insides felt like jello and I also had an easy delivery and pregnancy. I remember my first run after I had my first daughter I was maybe 20 minutes in and I had to turn around because I missed her so much! LOL! Priorities change so much and those newborn stages are over in the blink of an eye!
Maria recently posted..A Recipe for Back Pain

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29 Mary September 27, 2015 at 3:30 am

This is my fear, that I will miss running too much. I want a family, but I don’t want to have to give up my hobby, for however long. Running is what makes me, ME and I’m not sure I’m quite ready to take a break just yet. 🙁
Mary recently posted..Feet up Saturday

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30 Meagan September 27, 2015 at 5:38 pm

You must be so excited to meet your little one! It’s almost here!
Meagan recently posted..Spencerville Family 5k Run/Walk Recap

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31 Maria September 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm

I cannot wait to run! I ran until about 27 weeks with this little bun. I’m 34 weeks now and I’m getting borderline depressed when I see everyone getting ready for their marathons. I’ve already started scoping out January races I can do. Sticking with 5k’s first. This is my second baby, so I know what to expect with fitness/body after baby. I can tell you this: I did get faster BUT it was progress getting there. I tried running 4 weeks postpartum. I got the ok from my doc since I was working out throughout my whole pregnancy. She said once the bleeding stopped and felt up for it I could try working out again. It felt very strange and actually didn’t feel “normal” until I was 6 weeks postpartum which is the recommended time that you wait. I try to tell myself that I won’t do anything but get in all the baby snuggles the first 6 weeks since this is our last, but I’m pretty restless…and I miss running.

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32 Breanne October 6, 2015 at 4:40 pm

I just recently stumbled on your blog via Instagram (congrats on your sweet girl, btw!), but I had to comment on this one and give you diaper dash hope. My little nephew started crawling the day before he turned 6 months and now at 6.5 months he’s a super crawling machine. It’s possible! 🙂
Breanne recently posted..Learning The Galloway Way

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