Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Seven Tips to Survive Postpartum Recovery

So you had your baby and they sent you home. Now what?! I had no idea what to expect when it came to postpartum recovery. Not a clue. I read a few blog posts on the subject and most of them just terrified me. I was home less than 48 hours after I went into labor and that's when the fun started. Here are my best postpartum recovery tips.
1. Sleep.
Are you laughing and shaking your head at me? I know but seriously. I took a nap the afternoon we got home from the hospital and it was the best nap of my life. I won't tell you to "sleep when the baby sleeps" because that's BS. I love when DLW offers to be on baby duty so I can take an uninterrupted nap in our bed. Sleep is important for your sanity and postpartum weight loss too.

2. Take a shower.
Every day. No excuses. If DLW isn't home, I put Collins' Rock n Play in the bathroom while I shower. She falls asleep to the sound of the exhaust fan and I get a few minutes to myself. Even if you put pajamas right back on, take a shower. You will feel 10 times better about yourself and your spouse will thank you. Postpartum B.O. is real and it stinks.
3. Get outside.
I started short walks with Collins when she was a week old. If you don't feel up for a walk, sit outside in a chair. The fresh air and sunshine will do you good.
4. Take the drugs.
I was apprehensive to take any kind of pain killers in recovery. I started with Motrin and thought that would be enough. Wrong. I took 800mg Motrin and Percocet while in the hospital and sent home with a prescription for both medications. You are not a bad mother for taking pain killers. In fact, you are probably a better mother because you are comfortable and capable of taking care of your baby. Pain medication made it possible for me to take care of myself and Collins while I healed.

5. Stock up on panty liners.
Like many blogs suggested, I bought a variety of maxi pads to use when I got home from the hospital. I don't know when the last time you wore a pad was but they haven't improved since I was in the 7th grade. The bulky pad on my stitches was super uncomfortable and I switched to panty liners by Day 4. I had to change liners every time I went to the bathroom but it was worth it to be more comfortable. I set up a little station in our Master bathroom so I didn't have to go too far when I needed supplies.
6. Eat what you want.
I had very little appetite after giving birth but needed the calories for breastfeeding. My postpartum diet was less than perfect and that's okay. If pizza is the only thing you want, eat pizza. You need to eat something and your appetite will eventually get back on track.

7. Don't worry about your weight.
I was so excited to step on the scale when I got home from the hospital only to be disappointed. How had I only lost 7lbs if that baby weighed almost 7lbs?! Your body just went through a traumatic experience and needs a couple days to figure out what the heck just happened. The weight will start coming off and you will start to see changes in your body soon.

Most importantly, ask for help!

Monday, October 20, 2014

DLW's is 28!

We celebrated DLW's 28th birthday on Friday but I like birthdays to last all weekend. Planning his birthday was harder this year with a new baby. We didn't go out to dinner or take a day trup but I did my best to make it special at home.
We started the weekend off right with Chick-fil-A breakfast Friday morning (after the gym of course).
We had Chipotle for lunch and hung out at home with the babe all afternoon.
I baked a lemon cake with buttercream frosting. I had never made a two layer cake before. It turned out slightly lopsided but delicious. p.s. these flowers from The Bouqs are gorgeous.
A few friends came over Friday night for pizza, cake, and beers.
You're never too old for pirate plates
DLW went hiking with a buddy Saturday while I stayed at home taking selfies with Collins.
We took a family walk later and it's really starting to feel like Fall Pre-Winter.
Sundays are lazy days for us. We spent most of the day on the couch watching football and napping.
 After seeing everyone's race pictures on Facebook & Instagram, I was super jealous and motivated. I got out for a 4 mile run and felt great!
  • Chick-fil-A breakfast: chicken minis or chicken biscuit?
  • What is your favorite flavor of birthday cake?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Is she sleeping through the night yet?!"

LOL, good joke.

The #1 question you get as a new parent is, "is he/she sleeping through the night?"

To which I respond with a very sarcastic laugh.
Would I love for Collins to sleep through the night? Of course. Do I mind getting up for 20 minutes to change & feed her? Not at all. Do the dogs still get us up in the middle of the night too? You bet.

Between the baby and the dogs, I am awake between 2 and 4 times during the night. I'm trying to figure out if the dogs are waking the baby up or if the baby is waking up the dogs. I take baby duty while DLW handles the dogs. I have the luxury of sleeping in but poor DLW is up at 4:30 am most days. It's no surprise that we love naps.
4pm nap time at our house
This is what our sleep/nap routine looks like although I'm sure it will change tomorrow:

Her nighttime feedings are like clockwork:
1:30 am: Change, feed, back to sleep (20 minutes)
4:30 am: Change, feed, back to sleep (20 minutes). DLW gets up for PT.
7:30 am: Change, feed, and sometimes we go back to sleep until 8:30 or 9ish

She will almost always go back to sleep in her Rock n' Play. Her morning nap usually lasts until about noon and I actually get things done and go to the gym. Afternoons are hit or miss. She will often sleep in the early afternoon and just want to be held later in the day. She succumbs to the infamous "witching hour" anytime we sit down to eat dinner and while we watch TV at night. She will fuss a little and feed on and off until it's time for bed.

I am trying to pick up on her sleepy signs and put her to bed before she gets overtired (the worst). I would like to get into a solid bedtime routine and give her a bath every night but so far that has happened once. Our routine right now is that DLW changes her diaper and puts her in clean pajamas while I get myself ready for bed. Then I feed her while DLW brushes his teeth and then it's lights out for all of us around 9 or 9:30 pm.

I do my best to put her down in her Pack n' Play while she's still awake. I don't want her to get into the habit of being nursed or rocked to sleep. I want her to learn to self soothe because we have had zero luck with a pacifier. Last night she was just chatting away in the dark and eventually calmed herself down and dozed off.
Baby sleep is unpredictable and I am letting her run the show. If she wants to sleep all afternoon then she can sleep all afternoon. So far that has worked for us and she has had no problems sleeping at night after napping most of the day.

When nights get hard and she is fighting sleep, I just remind myself that she can't stay awake forever.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

6 Weeks Postpartum Progress

Collins is officially six weeks old which means I am officially six weeks postpartum. Six weeks is the magic number for when most people are "cleared" for exercise and other activities. However, there was no way I could wait until my postpartum appointment NEXT week to be "cleared" for exercise. I don't think "most people" were sprinting on the treadmill the day before they went into labor.

When it comes to exercise, I am a big fan of listening to your body and doing what you feel comfortable with. I felt comfortable jogging at three weeks postpartum and monitored my body from there. I started back at OrangeTheory at four weeks and have had no problems. I was fortunate to exercise until the end of my pregnancy and I believe that has made all the difference.

I shared my one week progress pictures with you and we discussed if postpartum progress pictures are inspirational or discouraging and the overwhelming response was inspirational, motivating, and encouraging. I cannot thank you enough for the encouraging comments and emails on that post.

Keep in mind that I am not sharing my progress pictures to hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel bad about themselves. However, I am darn proud of my hard work and I'm going to share it. I am just as shocked by my progress as you might be. Trust me.
Weight Loss: 28 lbs (I gained 25 while pregnant)

Observations: I have obviously seen BIG changes in my body. The most obvious change is in my midsection but the weight and extra water has fallen off all over my body. My butt shrunk (thank goodness) and my arms are noticeably thinner too. EVERYTHING is easier when I exercise and I experience none of the pains I had towards the end of my pregnancy. I feel more confident than ever and love my body. I mean, it made a human!

Exercise: I am not yet back into a solid exercise routine. I get to OrangeTheory twice a week and that's about it. I am hoping to start jogging once or twice a week and doing BodyPump at home. I admit that I've been using the "six week rule" as an excuse. I feel 100% back to my normal self and I really have no reason not to be doing something every day.

Food: I'm still eating like I'm pregnant. It helps that we eat all of our meals at home these days but I still help myself to Famous Amos cookies (I could live off them) and Halloween candy. I am hoping to clean up my eating in the coming weeks to make further progress.

Goals: I do have a goal weight in mind and I am close but giving myself plenty of time to get there. My goal weight is what I call my "happy weight" where I exercise most days, feel good about my body, and still enjoy a small treat every day. Even if I hit that weight, there is plenty of toning to be done. I love the look of muscles and want to work on definition. I would also like to fit into all of my pants; I feel like I have a muffin top in my jeans from all the loose skin around my tummy. I plan to start holding planks every day to tighten up my midsection.
I will be officially "cleared" after my postpartum appointment next week and I think my doctor will be proud of my progress (she is a runner and her husband is a personal trainer). It's no secret that I worked my tush off while I was pregnant and shouldn't be a surprise that I was itching to get back in the gym ASAP.

I could sit here and tell you "comparison is the thief of joy" and to not compare yourself to me but I won't. We compare ourselves to each other in all aspects of our lives. It is awful but it's the truth. Rather than be discouraged by others' progress, use it as inspiration to get moving and create the life you want. We all have different bodies and experiences but we can all make positive changes too. Thank you for your support and encouragement!
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