My Foreign Postpartum Body

When you become pregnant, you know that over the course of 40 or so weeks you will be growing a beautiful baby inside of you and therefore your body will be making the necessary changes to do so. This, of course, means growing a baby belly. The first few months are strange, when you can’t really tell the difference between a baby belly and looking like you just finished Thanksgiving dinner.  This can be challenging, especially if you haven’t told the world you are expecting yet.

18 Weeks

But then it happens. You go from looking bloated to having a bump that slowly continues to grow and grow. Although every woman’s shape and bump size is different, it is inevitable that it will grow and this is something that you eventually wrap your head around and many woman grow to really enjoy. It helps that inside that growing belly is a developing baby that you can feel moving inside of you and then the extra weight and growing belly all seem worth it.

39 Weeks 3 Days (the day I went into labor)

Then, just when you have come to love/like/get used to your new pregnant body it happens, you give birth and all of a sudden you aren’t pregnant anymore. For me, this was a startling experience. I went from spending each day enjoying my bump and feeling my baby move around inside of me to suddenly having my baby on the outside. I really wasn’t prepared for how this would make me feel, frankly I didn’t even think about how I would react but I surely didn’t think I would feel like a guest in my own body.

I still had the belly and the strangest part no baby moving around inside. It felt incredibly weird. It is a huge adjustment to make and all of a sudden this body that I felt so connected to during my entire pregnancy felt incredibly foreign.

As I said above, even though when I was pregnant I didn’t know how my pregnant body would look, I knew that my body would be changing and growing just like every other pregnant woman. As for my postpartum body I had no idea what it would look like, how quickly I would recover (I have another post regarding this) and how I would feel about it. Over the past two months it has really been a challenging journey to reconnect and feel comfortable with my new body; a journey that I am still on.

7 Weeks Postpartum

I am slowly beginning to learn to like my postpartum body.  A body that was strong enough to birth my beautiful baby.

Q: Have you ever had to deal with a sudden change in your body?
New moms: How did you adjust to your postpartum body?

Postpartum Update: 8 Weeks

Wow how has it already been nearly a month since my last postpartum update? August was as super busy month for us between traveling to Rhode Island for a week, recovering from traveling to Rhode Island and working on getting my health coaching back up and running (I took a break for maternity leave). That being said I think I will continue to do monthly updates with tibits here and there as they come up.

So lets look at how things are going:

How I Am Healing: I would say I am about 98% there! I ended up having my 6 week appointment at 7 weeks due to our getaway to Rhode Island.  I am still having a little bleeding once in awhile so my midwife had me take a pregnancy test to see if I still had any of the pregnancy hormone left  but I didn’t so she said it is probably just due to breastfeeding.  Apparently someone continue to bleed very small amounts, intermittently while breastfeeding and I’m one of them.  Since my midwife is not concerned I’m not to worried about it either. I am feeling good physically over all and I’m cleared to get back to running.

Activity: I have been keeping up on my walking and this week I started back running! I even did a little bit of yoga as well.  I actually signed up for my first postpartum 5k just for fun.  I have no intentions of PRing, heck I’ll be happy to finish but I am really excited to get out and run it.  Neil has signed up as well and plans to run at my pace with me <– that is love.  I am planning to start postpartum yoga soon and in a few weeks Edie and I will start baby yoga (I’ll discuss this more on Naturally Family).  You can follow my workouts on DailyMile.

Weight: I haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks and I don’t plan on weighing myself until my 3 month update.  I am feeling good and I bought myself some new clothes because I know my pre-baby clothes won’t be fitting for awhile and that’s okay.

Breastfeeding: Things are still going well.  We have our ups and downs almost daily but Edie loves to eat and seems to be satisfied.  When I say ups and downs I am referring to the bouts of crying at the boob that happens at least one session per day due to Edie’s gass-iness. It is heart breaking but we are learning together how to make things better this includes not eating black beans, reducing the amount of gluten I eat, giving Edie infant gas drops, burping in-between sides (often more than once per session), holding her up after a feeding and lastly patting her back during feedings. I know that seems like a lengthy list but I/We don’t have to do that every time mostly we do just do one or two things and it helps.

If you haven’t stop over to our family blog, Naturally Family, then head over now and Meet The Family.  What’s been posted lately: Neil the sexy babywearing dad of Ergobaby, our first awkward family photo and Neil’s recap of the first few days of vacation to Rhode Island.
 
Interested in sponsoring on Naturally Family? Check out the details here.
You can also check us out on  Facebook and Twitter.

 

Life As A Mom With A 5 Week Old

For my own entertainment I decided to take a record of all the things I did as a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom in a 24 hour period.  I also used this as an opportunity to write a post for Naturally Family from Edie’s perspective. I had no idea until I got started how many things I try and cram into one day now.  Long gone are the lazy days I am constantly trying to fit in time for housework, preparing meals, blogging and freelance work while first and foremost taking care of Edie’s needs.

So here is a day starting at 7pm on Sunday and going until 7pm on Monday.

  • 7:00p Nurse Edie and then let Neil take over with burping and putting her to bed.
  • 7:30-9:15p Neil and I watched an episode of Suits while I pumped and enjoyed a second piece of chocolate before heading off  to bed. I was exhausted so when I went to bed I left myself really fall asleep while Neil listened in on the monitor since he had to be up late for work.

  • 11:28p Since I passed out cold and Neil woke me up to nurse Edie and then Neil graciously took over and burped and bounced her so that I could get a little more sleep since he was already up anyways. 
  • 3:25a Edie woke me up ready for another nursing session and so we nursed.
  • 4:00a After a big burp and a fart Edie fell back asleep and so did I.
  • 6:30a Edie and I got up, well Edie woke me up, and we headed to the nursery for a diaper change and hen I put Edie in her crib to hang out while I made and photographed Neil’s lunch.

  • 7:15a Edie was getting a little bored in her crib so I moved her to the living room and placed her in the swing.
  • 7:35a I made myself a bowl of cheezy polenta and then moved Edie to the bouncy chair to hang out while I ate breakfast.
  • 8:00a After finishing my breakfast Edie and I had another nursing session and I checked in on blogs while I nursed.
  • 8:25a I put Edie on our bed while Neil and I got ready for the day.
  • 8:30a I changed Edie’s diaper and got her in her car seat and we headed out to stop at the bank and then drop Neil off at work.
  • 9:10a Finally drop Neil off at work and head to the market (for my first shopping adventure alone withe E) but *of course* as soon as we pull out of his work parking lot the “feed me siren” goes off and stays on until we arrive at the market.
  • 9:25a I nurse E in the front seat of the car while checking my e-mail on my phone.
  • 9:45a E is full so I put her back in her car seat, get out the stroller and we finally get into the market to pick up a few items.
  • 10:15a We head home and E falls asleep in the car
  • 10:40a Arrive home and I change E’s  diaper and then put her down for a nap while I put grocery away, eat, write blog post, start working on recipe
  • 12:15p E is up and ready to eat and then have her diaper change which is what Neil and I like to call a “poopsplosion” which results in an outfit change for E.
  • 12:55p E and I snuggle on the couch and she eventually falls asleep on me.  I take a little time to enjoy her on me but then move her to the Boppy so I can get some work done and pump again.

  • 1:50p E is up and in need of a diaper change (or two) and a nursing session.  I nurse her while checking and following up on e-mails.
  • 2:30p I strap E into her swing and I get in a quick workout from my FitPregnancy magazine.

  • 3:00p E and I hang out on her  quilt and “read” her Look, Look book for awhile.

  • 3:15p It’s time for E to have a diaper change and for her to nurse once again.  I nurse her and then start to think about what I need to do for my recipe for dinner.
  • 3:50p I strap E into the swing once again so I can work on my new (2nd time around) recipe for dinner. E naps while I cook.
  • 5:05p E wakes up and it’s time for a diaper change and a nursing session; I follow up on some e-mails while nursing.
  • 5:40p E starts fussing right on cue (around 6pm is when she starts fussing most every night) and I bounce her and calm her down enough so that I can put her in her swing while Neil and I eat dinner.

  • 5:50p Neil cuddles with E and then bounces her and tries to get her to go to bed while I answer e-mails
  • 6:40p I attempt to nurse but E isn’t having it so we swaddle her and Neil goes back to bouncing and I go back to my e-mails.
  • 7:00p Neil attempts to get Edie down but no luck so we take turns bouncing and soothing her and she eventually goes down around 10ish. Then I wake up and repeat.

Head over to Naturally Family and read A Day In The Life of a 5 Month Old

Postpartum Update: 1 Month

We made it one whole month with lots of ups and very few downs as new parents.  It is amazing to me how fast this past month went and I love watching Edie grow and become more interactive but part of me wants time to slow down just a little bit. Today on Naturally Family you can read Edie’s one month update.

How I Am Healing: I would say I am about 90% there! So excited! I have my 6 week appointment in 2 weeks and hope that I am cleared to get back to regular activity. Once I am I hope to get back to yoga classes and running!

Activity: I have been getting out for a walk every morning with Edie and it feels great.  I love pushing her in the stroller because it really adds so resistance to my walk-it’s so much more challenging! You can follow my workouts on DailyMile.

Weight: Still no change but I am feeling good.  I have a few new pieces of clothing (although the bottoms are maternity) and I hope that in the next few weeks I can find a few more items that I feel comfortable in because I am so over t-shirts and workout pants.

Breastfeeding: Things have been going really well with breastfeeding.  We have had a few fussy moments with Edie when she has wanted to cluster feed and I haven’t had enough for her so she gets frustrated but otherwise things are going well. What’s new is that I decided about a week ago (and also per recommendation of the lactation consultant at our pediatricians office) that I would start pumping at least once per day to help my supply.  I have been pumping most days but I’m still not getting a ton which may be because Edie is nursing so frequently.  Yesterday I had a good window of time (she took a 3.5 hour nap) and was able to pump one ounce which the most I have been able to since I started.  I am hoping that I will be able to pump more over time because I would really like to pump enough to have Neil give Edie a bottle a few nights a week so I can have a little me time and he can have some bonding time with her after he gets out of work.

 

Postpartum Update: 3 Weeks

We are on our way to the four week and one month marks this coming week! I can’t believe how quickly time is passing! As a family we are still trying to figure things out but each day are learning.  We have been so lucky that Neil was able to take one week of paternity leave, one week of vacation and work from home the past two weeks; it has really helped the transition.  I am a little nervous for next week to come and be all by myself with Edie all day long but I know we’ll make it work.

Closest thing to a postpartum photo as we are going to get this week *exhausted*

How I Am Healing: I will be glad when this no longer has to be part of my postpartum update! I am doing really well though definitely feeling like I am making good progress. I am still a bit sore if I have been on my feet too much but it takes more to feel this way so I’d say that’s progress.

Activity: I have been much more active this past week going for longer walks – Edie and I did 2.5 miles the other day with her in the Boba for the first 1.5. I also have been doing a lot of plank, leg lifts and ab workouts this week. I am hoping to increase my walking distance/time and start doing some yoga at home this coming week.

Weight: No change. I did something I shouldn’t have too- I went through all the clothes I boxed up that didn’t fit me when I was pregnant.  Not to my surprise 98% of the items still don’t fit.  The frustrating part though is 90% of my maternity clothes are either winter or don’t fit and 95% of my non-maternity clothes don’t fit (I have a few pieces I didn’t box up that do fit).  I then went shopping to pick up a few summer items and well I ended up leaving the mall in tears. Now I know things are not going to change overnight but after a long day with Edie and being hot and over tired I really would have cried about anything.  Good news though I did go home and order a few new items online, unfortunately most of them are maternity but at least they will work for awhile and who doesn’t appreciate a pair of elastic waisted pants.

Breastfeeding: My favorite nursing bra–>Leading Lady Lace-Cup Wirefree Nursing Bra

Of all the nursing bras that I have this one fits the best, is the most comfortable and I absolutely love the lace on it.  This bra makes nursing bras looks sexy, which I think is important to remember- nursing bras don’t have to be ugly and frumpy!

 

 

If you haven’t stop over to our family blog, Naturally Family, then head over now and Meet The Family.  This week we have been Neil did a review of The Birthing Partner and we featured a number of posts in honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month–> FFF:Breastfeeding Fashion, Let’s Talk Nursing Bras and about our Breastfeeding Class & What I Have Learned So Far.
 
We have also been featuring a photo of the day for our 365 days of photo project that you can check out here.
Interested in sponsoring on Naturally Family? Check out the details here.
You can also check us out on  Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about finding just the right nursing bra fit, breastfeeding tips & advice from Leading Lady’s lactation consultant, a downloadable breastfeeding handbook and our nursing blog, visit LeadingLady.com

Disclaimer: LeadingLady.com provided me with their product at no cost. I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway

 

Postpartum Update: 2 Weeks

I promise I won’t start every postpartum post this way but give me a break this is all still new so let me just say it- I can’t believe that Edith is now 17 days old! Time is passing so quick and everyday she is getting growing and changing more and more.  Neil and I are getting more confident as parents and are getting used to (as much as one can) to the lack of sleep.

How I am healing: I am still healing but feeling better everyday.  I had my two week postpartum appointment on Monday and my midwife checked and everything is healing really well.  My stomach muscles are growing stronger and my uterus is almost completely back where it’s supposed to be.

Activity: My activity level has increased over the past week and I am excited to say that I have gone on a number of walks around 20-25 minutes each.  I have been doing my kegels and working on my abs.  Today I did plank, girly pushups, crunches and leg lifts with Edie. I am looking forward to starting up postnatal yoga in a few weeks and increasing my walks.

Weight: This week there has been no weight change but I definitely feel like I have seen changes in my body shape especially around the middle. I am not overly concerned with losing the baby weight right now, it took me nine months to put it on and I can’t expect to loose all of it right now.

Breastfeeding: I was really worried that this was going to be an issue and that I would face latching issues or some other breastfeeding related issue but so far (knock on wood) things have been going really well. I mean it is a little challenging because sometimes you just don’t want to be stuck on the couch nursing for hours or having to wake up at night to nurse, but it’s totally worth it.  There is really nothing like breastfeeding and although frustrating and challenging at times it is so rewarding.  I think the most challenging part of breastfeeding is that Neil can’t. There are times when all Edie wants to do is nurse and otherwise she will fuss and Neil doesn’t have the goods to help the situation and for him it’s frustrating that he can’t help in that way.  Instead he fills my water bottle, brings me snacks if I need them and cooks dinner.

Eating my placenta: As I explained over on Naturally Family I had my placenta encapsulated and I have been taking my placenta pills daily since day 4.  Now I am not sure if they really work but I have been feeling great- no dips in my mood, my milk came in quickly and if nothing else I am getting a good daily dose of iron. I have about 10-15 days worth left and I plan on continuing to take them until they are all gone.  You might be wondering so was it worth the expense? I would have to say yes.  I mean I have no idea if they are really helping to prevent postpartum depression or if my milk came in quickly because of the pills and I guess I never will know but I’d rather believe that they are helping and if nothing else they are providing the placebo effect and a good amount of iron.

Now for the hot topic of debate today at our house

do you think Sam the Eagle (from the Muppets) and Edie could be related?

Have a question about my pregnancy, labor and birth, or something postpartum related? E-mail me and I will cover it next week in my postpartum update.

If you haven’t stop over to our family blog, Naturally Family, then head over now and Meet The Family.  This week we have been discussing our diapering plans, Neil reviewed The Other F-Word and our Doula Sarah wrote about her perspective on Edith’s birth. We have also been featuring a photo of the day for our 365 days of photo project that you can check out here. Interested in sponsoring on Naturally Family? Check out the details here.
You can also check us out on  Facebook and Twitter.

Postpartum Update: 1 week

I can’t believe that 10 days ago I gave birth to my beautiful little Edith. She is quickly getting bigger and more interactive everyday.  It still amazes me that she is really here and she is our little girl.  I often find myself just staring at her for hours, especially after she has just nursed and is passed out on my chest or lap.

How I am healing: I am healing slowly but surely.  Unfortunately I had a 2nd degree tear which required stitches and 2 skid marks from giving birth so my healing time is a little slow.  I find at times, especially if I am on my feet for too long that I tend to get really sore down there.

Activity: My activity level is pretty limited right now due to my healing. Last Saturday I thought I was super woman and decided to head out to the farmers market with Neil only to find that the walk from the car to the market (about 1/2 mile) I was super sore and spent my time sitting on a bench while Neil ran around and picked up veggies, bread and fresh squeezed juices.  I also ended up having my first public nursing session (thank goodness for Aden & Anais blankets). Otherwise my activity includes kegels and a few standing crunches per my midwives recommendations.

Weight: At 39 Weeks 4 Day I had gained 34lbs and since giving birth I have lost 16lbs.  At this point I am not focusing on my weight but rather on healing and spending time bonding with my baby.  Would I like to get back to my per-pregnancy weight? Of course I would but I am not dwelling on it and I’m not rushing myself to get back to physical activity until my body is good and ready.

Catching up? You can read about Edie’s Birth here–> Edith’s Birth Story Part One.. and Edith’s Birth Story Part Two… and Edith’s Birth Story Part Three… and Edith’s Birth  Story Part Four… Also you can head over the Naturally Family and read our Doula’s Story.