Recently in postpartum Category

Nose to the grindstone

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My hiatus is over and I'm really going to focus on getting back into blogging. I've missed it. Expecially since blogging has become my only source of creative writing since my pregnancy started amidst the crazy turmoil of the holidays last year.

I've been exhausted and busy. Getting used to having two, getting River used to preschool, teaching preschool myself, having visitors, dealing with River teething and being sick, and getting over the worse hemorrhoid in existence. A hemorrhoid so bad I was weeping on the floor one night over the ass drama going on in my pants. It was mainly brought on by the fact that I gave birth and had not a hemorrhoid to be seen (so different from my last experience) but five weeks later I shit something that felt like a shard of glass and all hell broke loose betwixt my butt cheeks. How is that fair? I was eating beans like there was nothing better and having no poop issues and then BAM--I was barely able to walk or sit. I was weeping on the floor and making a doctor appointment to have some dude look at my asshole. Luckily, my war against my ass growth seems to have left me the victor without having to embarrass myself at the doctor's office. 

Jason told me I may be young, but I have the asshole of an eighty year old woman.

I'm not looking foward to what my asshole will be like when the rest of me catches up. It might be a relic. I might have to give it over to a museum or donate it to science.

I'm sorry. Did I just cause you to throw up? That was not my intention.

Anyway, here. Look at my cute baby.

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The postpartum gut

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Working out and eating smart have their benefits...that's for sure.

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4 weeks postpartum with River

homefromhospital.jpgHome from the hospital with Sage--the deflated balloon belly

fourweeks.jpgFour weeks after--the mama hips

fiveweeks.jpgFive weeks and change. I can button my pre-pregnancy jeans, already.

Yes, go ahead and hate me. Just remember, I looked like I was downing doughnuts and hostess cakes for my three meals a day back in 2008 while holding my precious auburn-haired son. It took me a good year to loose that baby weight. I got to be the fat bridesmaid with the bald patches at my brother's wedding that year.

With round two the weight is melting off of me. Though there is nothing to be done about the wrinkles of loose skin around my middle. Watch me not care. I could pinch that jiggly spare tire around my middle and give it a kiss if my face would reach that low. I feel great about me. I blame it on my activity level while pregnant and my change of diet which must have shrunk my stomach and changed my cravings. I say no to the brownies now. The Autumn of Ago would have been harfing down an entire tray.

I'd rather eat tomato, thanks.

One week later

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The hardest part of being a new mom for the second time has to be my inability to get things done. No surprise that I'm mildly neurotic. Rest? Rest? What is rest? I need to do laundry! It takes me hours to fold the clothes because I have a demanding two year old and a newborn. Plus being tired--oh, so tired. So when the baby blues hit Wednesday morning, what was I crying about? Not being able to clean because I was too tired and had to take it easy.

100_2710.JPGlaundry, the one thing that must get done

A nap cured that little funk. Now I make getting one a daily priority.

I had a really hard time slowing down the pace of my life with River and it isn't easy this time either. I just can't accomplish as much in one day--not yet. I have to slow things down, force myself to relax. It is challenging because two is more than one. As simple as that. Everything is going to be a bit harder for awhile as I learn to function with two children.

The second hardest part is River. He's only a bit jealous. Only acting out a tad. He's still potty trained--so far. Just a bit crazy, defiant, and prone to weeping. Though being back on a more normal schedule and with naps, he's much more cheerful (more like his old self) than he was when I first got home. I miss him being my focus, my only. I'm afraid I'm not doing enough with him, but honestly, he's learning to be very independent and spends large amounts of time looking through books and playing with his father's Nintendo DS. He lets me know when he wants me to play with him and I try my best to make that time for him.

Ah, and he loves the baby. He likes to help and talk about her. He doesn't mind her presence at all. But he doesn't like being told he has to wait to do things with us if we are otherwise busy with the baby. So we try to involve him by having him help or talking to him about what we are doing as much as possible. Overall, I'd say he's doing very well. I expect that might change when it's me with two kids next week! Daddy being around has been a big help. I think he should get paid to help me raise these children 24/7!

100_2601.JPGmeeting Sage for the first time after having a blue lollypop

Physically, I feel amazingly good. I was so sore with River that I had to sit on a ring. That is not the case here. I could sit in a normal chair right after giving birth. I could walk without pain. It's wonderful. I hardly feel like I even had a baby! The postpartum cramps are pretty brutal this time though. I've heard they get worse with each pregnancy. Basically, they are like more labor pains. I took a steady supply of motrin in the hospital. Not that it helped much. The pains have tapered off in the last couple days. Still, if I get the cramps at night--I CAN NOT SLEEP THROUGH THEM. Very annoying.

Also, it is bizarre to be breastfeeding a newborn again. My boobs make insane amounts of milk. I soak my nursing pads, I choke my daughter with milk, it runs all over her face as she struggles to re-latch herself. Thankfully, my milk started coming in next day so Sage was satisfied and sleeping well. Soon, I know, they will stop overproducing. Until then, rock hard boobies. At least my husband and daughter are happy with the change of cup size happening over here.

100_2688.JPG5 day postpartum belly

100_2691.JPGnot bad!

Sage is so different from River. Keep your fingers crossed for me. She is sleeping 3-4 hours stretches in her bassinet at night. River would not, could not, refused to sleep alone (heh, still does past 2:00AM in the morning). Sage seems to need that quite time. Once 7:00 rolls around she is fussy until I put her to bed.

100_2703.JPGI spend a long time looking at her face as she nurses or sleeps in my arms. She is changing so much already. I can't believe a week has passed. As tired as I often feel, it's been wonderful.

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Pregnancy leftovers

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It's been narly two years since I have been pregnant. I have to admit, pregnancy seems like some sort of terminal sickness nightmare.  I did not enjoy being pregnant. In fact, I'd like to never be pregnant again. The problem is, I would like one more child. Biological children being cheaper and all, we'll be going that route. I can't afford to adopt one. Unfortunate, isn't it? 

Since another child is in the long term plans, I do think about it. I think about it and wince. Time has not faded my memories of how annoying pregnancy was. The only thing time has done is erase the screaming statement I proclaimed after giving birth-- "I will never do this again!" 

Why pregnancy sucks: 

insatiable, debilitating hunger
a bladder incapable of holding urine for more than 15 minutes at a time
sentitivity to smells, nausea, the taste of pennies in my mouth, vomit, vomit, and vomit
extreme, if I do not sleep now I will puke all over myself, fatigue
weird pregnancy food cravings
bloating, gas, farts that last a whole ten minutes without cease, constipation/trying to force poo pass a living person squishing all my organs (not cool)
Heartburn, leg cramps, swollen feet, retaining water
Itchy stretch marks on my ass and hips and thighs
sore hips, sore back, sore ribs
trouble breathing, trouble eating--because someone is once again squishing organs!
The awkwardness of having a huge belly in the way--can not tie my shoes!
Hemorrhoids!--number one on the list, for sure.
Feeling a certain someone flipping in my womb and once again--squishing organs!
Labor and all the gooey, painful drama that goes along with it

Nearly two years later, pregnancy has left visible signs of its passing upon my person. Before you tell me to stop stop complaining and eating whole trays of brownies, I will state this--I weigh just as much as I did before I was pregnant. I'm not talking about pregnancy weight. I'm talking about:

stretch marks--and I don't even mind those. My belly was pretty much unscathed by them and anyway, they silver over time.
loose skin-- There is a distinct line where my belly grew and where it didn't. Tight skin, loose skin. I didn't really expect that would ever fully go away after how huge I was. We all sag eventually regardless. 
hip/back discomfort-- It is a lot harder to get comfortable at night. I feel like my hips are shaped differently. I've never gotten back my ability to sleep on my stomach. This used to be my favorite way to sleep. Now my spine feels more flexible. If I lay on my stomach it seems as if my lower back is hyper extended and begins to ache. 
boobs-- let's just say going from an A cup to a C cup and then back again has left the girls a bit deflated. That's not even going into the details of what pregnancy does to a woman's nipples whether or nor she breastfeeds. Still, they have and continue to serve the cause very well. I love you boobies! 

Was it all worth it? 

A thousand times over, of course.

And that's a whole lota puke. 

Just had a baby and need some reasurrance? I'd check out this site.
I have been feeding River solids when I feel like it and he seems curious about what I am eating. He didn't show much of a fancy for bananas, avacados, or infant cereal. I tried banana with infant cereal and that kinda got some "eating" going on. In the past two weeks he's become very physically active. He rolls over all over the place, pulls himself up, balences on his hands and toes, tries to scoot on his belly, etc. Likewise he has become freakishly fasinated by my eating. So now I feed him when I eat and he looks interested, unless I'm too busy to be able to sit him down and shovel food in his mouth. Sometimes I feed him once a day, sometimes twice. Sometimes he gets a lot and sometimes he spits it all out or refuses more after a spoonful or two. I'm really laidback about it. I know he's getting what he needs from my milk and he's knows better than I do when he's hungry. I also found the doorway food. The food with appeal to my picky baby: sweet potatos. They taste good to me too and have a nice strong flavor. Actually, both my grandmother and I really love sweet potatos. It's a family thing. I had frozen some mashed s.p. but didn't have time to thaw it when he showed signs of hunger. So I used "Earth's Best Organic Baby Food" which has no perservitives, additives or added sweeteners. I tried it. It's pretty good and doesn't have the fibers that homemade baby food has.

I am certaintly, slowly reverting back to my post pregnant hormones. First it was the reammergence of canker sores once a month, add break-outs once a month, then bitchiness, then my sex drive, and this past week it was retaining water/being bloated. I'm thinking...maybe next month I will get my period back? Not that I want it back or anything, but I'd rather not bleed out all over the place while out in public. I have become horrible at remembering to bring along some pads, just in case. Well....there is always a baby's diaper....

It just goes to show that women shouldn't be so hard on themselves and it takes, at least, a good nine months to be what you were before scraficing your body and soul to motherhood.
forget I have boobs sometimes and when I see photos that include my chest, it somehow looks horribly wrong. You can see I've lost a good deal of weight, that I still have a paunch and am still all together rounder looking about the face and arms, and I sloach again. Quit going to Yoga because it conflicts with your son's bed time and you regain your horrible posture. I do still do Yoga at home...guess I need to do it a bit more! SD5312411.jpg

What I wish I had known

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This is the list of things I wrote out to my husband's co-worker after going to her baby shower today! Anything other mommies would add?

About Boobs:

1. nursing pads, the good kinds with plastic backs. (they have cheaper (still nice) version of the L-something kind at walmart) When your milk comes in it generally takes a few days to get to "full capacity" and when you do you'll be leaking all over the place and will soak pads. I ended up keeping a burp cloth at hand because sometimes my milk would come out so fast it would choke up River and he'd unlatch causing milk to run down my chest and soak my bra and clothes. (It stains white, yellow) I'd press the cloth there before re-latching him. It was easier to wash some cloths then go through a lot of nursing pads. I even squirted milk into his face once. (it was hilarious. He sputtered.)

2. Your milk coming in IS uncomfortable. I won't say painful, because after labor your pain tolerance will be very high for awhile and something that you might have once considered painful, is totally bearable. It won't hurt long. Hot water or compresses help with the soreness. But the best remedy is a nursing baby. It feels so nice to have your boobs drained!

3. Keep water by you AT ALL TIMES. You will become horribly thirsty soon after Anders starts nursing. I had NO IDEA this would happen. I kept a jug of water with me at all times. Basset will give you a giant water bottle thingy and it's great for this. You NEED to drink a lot to make milk. It's easy to dehydrate.

4. Breastfeeding can be a challenge for some women, it wasn't for me, but it can be. I have to say that around the 3 or 4 month mark your boobs will stop going crazy and will become adjusted to making milk. I never become engorged anymore and I hardly ever leak. I love breastfeeding River. I can't describe the love I feel holding my little man, knowing I am his source of comfort and nutrition. I hope you enjoy it also. It's best for you and your little man too. (doesn't hurt that it helps you loose the baby weight fast!)

5. Know how to recognize a clogged duct and how to self treat it (just in case) so you don't get Mastitis (a breast infection) Very NOT FUN.

About labor and the after effects:

1. First, it really is true that all labors are different and like pregnancy, you really can't prepare for it. You don't get it until you are doing it. So don't stress it. Take it as it comes. Do what feels right for you. You'll do wonderfully, because you are made to do it!

2. You're going to bleed a lot afterwards, so don't be alarmed. Ask for as many ice packs as possible from the nurses because they only give them to you for the first 24 hours. Oooo and they feel sooo good. So go through them like they are a great box of chocolates.

3. Invest in wingless pads. I was a wing girl, until wearing wings 3 weeks in a row gave me DIAPER RASH. No wings! DO NOT USE WINGS. Also, air it out once a day. Lay on a towel, spread um and let the air help you heal.

4. For me, I bled 4/5 weeks and didn't feel completely healed down there until 5 months pp. Not bad pain, just discomfort during certain activities. Make sure Will understands that eventually it will go away! I had no idea it could take so long!

5. The boppy is also nice to SIT ON!

6. Use that bottom balm I had Jason give you. It feels so good. Also, hot hot baths help with swelling down there. I practically lived in the bathtub the first two weeks.

7. I didn't use most of the things I hauled to the hospital. Less is probably easiest.

8. Don't listen to the nurses at Basset. You're going to call and they are going to give you a hard time about coming in. It's your labor. I say better to be safe, go in, and get checked than wait it out at home. They were dismissive of me on the phone and soon after my water broke. Then I was in agony and when I got there they acted like I was being a big whiner and didn't believe that my water broke. When the midwife finally checked me I was 6, almost 7 cm and 15 minutes later I was 10cm and pushing on my own. I gave birth in the EXAM ROOM with my DIRTY UNDERWEAR (with a pad in it!) on the floor with my clothes and shoes and the camera in the car. It was so rushed! I should have been there way earlier!


In general:

I think it was hard to adjust to the pace of baby world. I was way too hard on myself. It's probably why I got a breast infection. Clogged ducts are generally caused by stress and pushing yourself too hard. You don't have to do anything but rest and take care of Anders for the first...two months! Don't force yourself to clean. Don't feel like you have to do anything unless you want to. And please, ask for help because it is so easy to become depressed and feel trapped by being a mom. Especially when you are very tired and very used to being busy. I worked up to two days before I had River!

30 minutes to be baby free and nap will feel like hours and will refresh you. If you feel like throwing Anders out the window sometimes, it's okay (I've been there with River). Call someone to help. I am completely willing, because I was just where you are now and wow was it ever wonderful but it was a challenge. Enjoy it though. Enjoy the little fingers and toes, the tiny cries and the way your baby roots when he's hungry. They grow so fast and are so wonderful!


The good:

Just so you know, I STILL have not gotten my period back. (another benefit of breastfeeding!)

In the mirror

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I woke up and looking in the mirror this morning and finally caught a glimpse of "Autumn before baby happened". The weight seems to just be melting off me, but since I returned the scale I didn't like and have yet to find one I do, I can't back up my observations with fact. All I know is that aside for a little mound of loose flesh around my belly button and a bit of meat over my hips, I look just as thin as I did before I had River. It must be some illusion, because that isn't possible. Maybe I'm just getting used to what motherhood has done to my body. Which is lovely since it's not a bad thing!

My new favorite thing to do is randomly stand in front of the mirror with River in my arms. His whole body stiffens and his leg stick straight down. His eyes get wide and his lips purse and he sorta trembles. Then he begins hooting and "barking" at his reflection. All I can think of is a beta fish.

11 weeks pp

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You know what I am doing right now while my son hoots and babbles to get my attention?

WEARING PRE-PREGNANCY JEANS!

I have a rather hodge-poge collection of jeans that range from size 2 - size 5. I fit in all the size 5 jeans! Buttoned even! Granted my loose belly skin rolls out and above the waistline, but I don't expect to loose that jiggle gut for quite awhile. I was freak'in huge with baby after all. I'd settle for wearing size 5 jeans at 11 weeks post-partum, thanks.

I now weigh less than Jason- by an entire pound! I bought a scale, but it sucks. We're returning it and getting another. I loose about 1 pound per week. Since the winter weather keeps me from really doing much exercise, once spring comes I think I will be down to my target weight: 120 lbs. In high school/most of college I was 110 lbs. I don't expect to ever see that again without more work than I want to put in to getting fit and thin. I'm cool with 120 lbs.

I have 18 lbs to go to meet my target weight. Not bad, I think. As long as the number keeps going down, I'm satisified.

River now weighs 12 lbs. He's still about average for a baby his age. He fits in some, but not all 3 month clothing. He is very vocal and pretty much won't shut up. He likes to amuse himself making weird noises to get me to look over at him.

Mastitis

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Thankfully I am feeling so much better. The nurse from the clinic called me yesterday to see how I was doing and encouraged me to go to the ER if my symptoms worsened. She also told me to drug myself up. After the tylenol/advil combo wore off this time I no longer had a fever and I still don't. I got decent sleep last night too. My breast is still sore, but less so then it was. I am extremely happy! Today I am forcing myself to do little to nothing. I think my big exercise will be going to get the mail.

I was trying to figure out how this happened. Usually it is caused by a plugged duct. I assume that would hurt. I wasn't hurting till I woke up with the chills. It also can develop when a baby goes from eating a lot to less. River was actually doing this. I was told his vaccinations would not effect his eating, but maybe they did. My breasts were constantly feeling too full and i got concerned and spoke to the leader of my local la leche league about it. now river is back to eating more.

too hard to type holding baby damnit.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the postpartum category.

motherhood tips is the previous category.

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