Saturday, August 24, 2013

One Month Postpartum

One Month Postpartum


                         


                           


One Month Postpartum

I cannot believe my little boy is already one month old. Caring for a child sure does make time go by in the blink of an eye.  I'm saving little Cashy's first month post for another day since there is so much I want to remember and share.  This post is just a little update ill be posting monthly as I begin my postpartum journey and getting back into shape. 

I want to start by saying I never felt out of shape. I really did what I could to stay active in some way mostly every day of the week, at least 5 days a week getting a real work out.  I think thats something I should pat myself on the back for because its hard work when you are exhausted and caring 20+ lbs on your front side.  Im happy with myself for taking care of my son while he was growing inside of me and also for taking care of myself, i helped myself in so many ways by staying healthy. I steered clear of numerous complications during pregnancy (ex diabetes, high blood pressure, swelling, etc), as well as during labor (i had endurance and strength.. and thank God for that because I labored for 4-5 days with no sleep!), i felt good and confident, i had endorphines and worked off stress and all those crazy pregnancy hormones that can get the best of you.  I made sure I ate well, drank enough water, and always aimed to sleep 8 hours. In short, I kept my body healthy, my mind healthy, and my baby healthy by sticking to a work out routine and a healthy balanced diet.. this helps a ton with a postpartum body.  

This first month has been a crazy process of learning to become a parent for the first time, sharing new duties with my spouse, dealing with sleep deprivation, painful breasts and learning how to manage all the stressors that can come along with breast feeding (timing going places, stressing when the baby wont eat or latch, being careful about not eating something that will irritate the baby, etc etc etc), my hormones changing after labor, my body transforming, coping with watching this little boy grow every single day right before my eyes when im no where near ready for it!, being stuck in the house because my body needed to heal and i needed a ton of rest those first few weeks, trying my best to make sure he doesnt get sick before getting his shots at 8 weeks, figuring out how we want to raise our child together, having guests come over and non stop people wanting to see the baby (so blessed and so grateful for friends and family but the first few weeks are rough because you are exhausted and also on a strict feeding schedule that you are not yet comfortable with,as well as trying to bond and learn how to be a new family), analyzing the babies every cry, coo, shreek, squeal, and grunt..lemme tell ya, its a little scaring becoming a new parent and not knowing whats normal and what is something to be watchful over.  This is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to all the "newness" and all the changes that come with a beautiful new little one.  Its a lot to adapt to, but its worth every moment.

Okay, so now to the postpartum tummy. I didnt have expectations for what my belly would look like after labor or in the months near to labor.. i just trusted that whatever it looked like I would be perfectly okay with because I now have the greatest gift in the world resting in my arms.  I was pleasantly surprised that week by week my uterus shrank all on its own, no wraps, no belly bandit, no nothin. I just believed my body would do what it needed to in the safest way possible, the natural way, the way God created all womens bodies to know how to respond all on their own to labor.  And that has given me results i can be happy with and feel good about.  My body brings me joy after seeing what it is capable of. I never have appreciated it more than i do now. I grew a human being.... i am his life line still through breast feeding.. I think that is the most miraculous thing.  We are truly gifted to be able to create life, and we should thank our bodies for all the hard work they do.  We need to celebrate our body as women, and keep it healthy and appreciate all that it does for us and our children.  

So far i have just been doing walks 5 days a week for an hour.  I do flat surface, nothing difficult, walking at a slow pace with Cashy in the stroller. His Dr. recommended he get indirect sunlight so this helps us both get vitamin D as well as some fresh air.






I of course am looking forward to the day (at 6 weeks postpartum) that my Dr checks me and gives me the Ok to work out again. I love being active,.. i love the feeling, i love sweating, i love the challenge and working hard, i love how it makes me feel (endorphins) and physically, i love having muscle and being able to be strong, i love that it keeps my insides healthy and my heart happy and beating.  Its a huge stress reliever, it helps me clear my head and is a coping mechanism for me for sure for anxiety and all the worry that floods my mind time to time.  

So heres my plan:

Just go with the flow. 

I dont want to set the bar too high. I have no idea what it will be like working out again for my body or more importantly for this NEW mama.  I dont have the slightest idea what its like to have a child and try to make my own schedule at the same time. These past few weeks we've basically been on his schedule, thats just how it goest the first month or so.  So I dont have a plan but i do have some ideas: 
I think i will do walks with him 4-5 times a week (not giving myself a time frame but probably somewhere in between 30 min to 1 hour depending on if i make it to the gym that day or if i have things on our agenda that day).  
I would like to aim for getting into the gym 3 times a week (if i can do more, great!).  Id like to do at least 2 days of weights, and cardio on the precore all 3 of those days to shed the last 2 lbs of baby weight and firm up.
I can always do at home mommy work outs the other 2 days of the week after our walks. I can do lunges, squats, push ups, sit ups, get dvds, lift the baber, etc.  

So all in all id aim for 5 days of being active. 3 in the gym.. 2 at home. Plus walks to get fresh air and sunshine with my little boy.  

This idea may not work, but its just an idea not a plan.  So no expectations, just aiming for what i think i may be able to do. 

Questions:

I offered to answer any questions that you guys had on instagram (my insta is: tessaarmstrong8) regarding postpartum. Here are my responses... feel free to comment below with more questions if you have any: (i am posting verbatim the questions that were asked)

1) first person asked "what did you do to get your stomach so tight in the first place?:  I responded already to this so im just going to copy and paste my answer and then add to it:   my mom has really crazy abs STILL even in her fifties and has had 5 kids & doesn't do much in the way of ab work outs so I'm guessing a lot of my tummy comes from her (genetics) but I also do cardio and weights and sometimes (pre pregnancy) I'd do abs for Iike 3 mins twice a week in a 24 hour fitness class. But it's never been my focus.. I have other areas I have to work harder at emoji.   I would recommend doing different ab work outs to work different muscles, planks, crunches, bicycles, mountain climbers, etc.  Maybe if i create an at home mommy ab work out ill post on it.
2)What did your stomach feel like right after you gave birth?:It feels soft.  If you push on it it feels like theres not much in your stomach.. meaning, you cant feel your abs or organs because theres so much room that your uterus is still taking up that it just feels really empty.  This lasts a couple weeks, around 3 weeks i could start to feel a little more hardness and feel my muscles as my uterus went down (it will go down on its own through breast feeding and over time..they say it is the size of a watermelon at birth and goes back to prepregnancy size which is the size of a pear.. that can take a few months).  Now at a month postpartum it just feels like i dont work out. My stomach use to be hard when i touched it but not it feels soft like i never work my core. Im sure its because I have extra cushion on it still as well as skin that needs to go back to normal (because your skin stretches so much around your belly to accommodate the baby)
3) What did you do about people visiting after you came home?Good question! We had a lot of people visit us at the hospital.. sort of funny, but we had quite a few visitors who didnt even tell us they were coming and just showed up..it was sweat and we werent bothered by it.  When we got home i felt beat up.. i had gone through 4 days of back labor with no sleep and then another 24 hours of active labor and delivering him, and then nearly 4 days in the hospital with an infant and no sleep. I needed rest to say the least.  We went and stayed at my parents house because our home was being extinguished due to our kitten getting fleas (indoor cat, not sure how she got them).  So we brought our new little one to a clean home.  My parents were so great about giving us space, we stayed there for 3 weeks while waiting for our own home to be ready.  We had so many friends and family asking to come visit but i was on a strict feeding schedule literally almost every hour feeding him, and was sleeping most of the day to catch up, so I sort of asked people if they could give us time to rest and bond and that they could come see him when we were ready. Everyone was so understanding,especially those that have gone through this experience before.  The only visitors we had while home were our immediate families.  Then once we got home to our place at 3 weeks we had our best friends come visit.  But hes only a month old so he hasnt had too many people.. we are trying our best to avoid him getting sick (as infants have really low immune systems and need to wait to go into public until they get their shots). 
4) Do you think our parents should come home with us to help?Thats up to you! Its personal preference. Id prefer not and to just call them when you have questions or need the help or need food etc.  This way  you and your hubby can bond and learn to be a family of 3. THis is such a special time and we wanted to have private special moments with just the 3 of us. We also were learning to parent and didnt want 100 opinions on how to do things, we wanted to figure things out on our own and ask questions when we had them.  You'll find that alot of people have their way of doing things, but every child is different, and every parent can choose their style of parenting.  It really depends on your parents, if they are smothering .. steer clear.  If they will give you space and not want to be around the baby 24/7 then go for it and take the help.  You will also have your hubby there to help and go run to the store etc, so you may or may not need the helping hand.  



Have a great week!!

2 comments:

  1. It's enjoyable to learn more and more from your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I love your blog! Thank you so much for sharing because it truly has helped me now as a new mom. God bless!

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