So on April 11 of 2016 I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I'd like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here. Back in July I posted my first update at a quarter of the way through the year and in October I posted my progress at the halfway point. Now here we are closing in on the last 3 months before 32.
So you delivered a baby. While this means you have a beautiful little person to love and care for, it also means your body went through an ordeal. Whether you delivered vaginal or c section, with or without drugs, it takes time for your body to recover. Your post baby body may not be what you expected.
While I am a big proponent of working out throughout pregnancy, I am also a proponent of giving your body time to recover following delivery. Your body completed no small task, so it needs time to restore itself.
In the days following delivery, your mind many swing back and forth between two opposing thoughts. I know mine did. On the one hand, you can't believe that a few days ago your belly was big enough to carry this baby on the inside. On the other hand, you feel like it's taking forever for your stomach to go down. Between lack of sleep, adapting to caring for a new baby, and unhappiness about your body, your time post delivery can be rough. So what are you to do?
First, give yourself a break. While you should definitely be caring for your post baby body, this doesn't mean jumping back into workouts and dieting. It does mean taking it easy, getting sleep when you can, and allowing your body to heal. The only real exercise I would advocate during the first few weeks post delivery are kegels and walking, once you feel up to it.
Even those of us who worked out daily during pregnancy need time for our muscles to recover. In the days following delivery, I was shocked at how heavy my 3 year old seemed when I picked him up. My ab and back muscles were worn out. Even my arm muscles had strained as I pulled my legs back for delivery. Just now at 1.5 weeks post delivery is picking him up starting to feel easier again.
Here are my stats regarding my pregnant and post pregnant body. By then end of my pregnancy I weighed in at 155 lbs. My pre-pregnancy weight was 120 lbs, giving me a 35 lbs weight gain. This is me on Sunday, May 15, 2016, three days after I delivered.
Yup, still looks like there's a baby in there. In fact, Tyler informed me that now we have 2 Hailey's, one on the outside and one still in my belly.... Way to boost my self esteem Tyler, lol. Straightening this out may take some time...
Since delivery, I haven't done much as far as exercise goes. I've walked around a bit and done kegels, when I remember. As far as abs go, I bought a belly bandit, but I've only used it twice so far. I don't know if it has helped my abs, but I do appreciate the back support it provides. As far as stretch marks go, yes, I collected some of those. Here's a close up of the belly.
I have been testing out the It Works Stretch Mark Cream. I don't know if it actually works yet, but it does feel great going on.
So here is the belly progress about a week after the first picture and 10 days total postpartum.
Wanna see that in a side by side? Here you go:
I am currently at 136 lbs which is about 19 lbs less than my pregnancy weight and 16 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. So progress is being made even without exercise. Of course, a lot of that was baby, placenta, fluids, etc..
At this point the only thing is I'm really doing is eating relatively healthy. You know whole grains, fruits and veggies. But I have allowed myself treats as well. My body did a lot of work and my taste buds are reaping the rewards. Soon it will be back to a slightly more strict regimen.
One thing I will note, is I am also exclusively breastfeeding. This does help the uterus contract faster and this in turn reduces belly size. I definitely support it as a way to speed up your body's return to its pre-baby shape. Plus it's a super cost effective way to feed your baby. It's also a lot of work, so there are pluses and minuses. For us, the convenience and health benefits for both mom and baby make this the right choice for our family. I breastfed T for a full year, and I intend to do the same with Hailey.
So that's where I am at right now. Once I start working out again, I will report what I am doing as well as my progress.
In the meantime, tune in Friday for a Memorial Day craft project and next Tuesday when we discuss diastasis recti.
For those of you following along, on Friday, April 1, 2016 I reached 35 weeks of pregnancy. I am super excited to be heading towards the home stretch! We have been continuing to take our weekly belly pictures and Tyler continues to make an appearance in them. You can see all the pictures from each week on my Instagram page.
Here are the pictures from the last few weeks:
All in all, I have been feeling really good. I continue to work out 5-6 days a week including light cardio and weights. I try to eat healthy with a few splurges here and there. Hailey has been pretty active in there but not nearly as violent as Tyler was. With Tyler I felt a lot more sharp kicks and jabs. With Hailey it feels more like shes just rolling around in there. Although I feel 100 times bigger that I was with Tyler, size wise we are right on track.
As far as weight gain at our last appointment we had gained a little over 30 lbs over the course of the pregnancy. I expect that we will be slightly over the desired 25-15 lbs weight gain that is recommended, but I'm pretty comfortable with that. Once we have recovered from delivery, I will be tracking my weight loss progress here on the blog as I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape. I plan to include everything from diet to exercise as I work off the baby weight.
If you are following on Facebook or Instagram, you know that this past weekend was our maternity photo shoot with my super talented sister in law, Katie. Not only does she take fabulous photos, but she is great with kids, even when they are being recalcitrant...
Here are just a handful of the amazing pictures:
You would never know that Tyler was refusing to take pictures, hiding his face, and just wanted to run around. Katie was so kind and patient and worked both with and around him to get some pretty amazing shots. Definitely go check out more of her work at Katie Joy Photography.
On a separate note, the more I look at my maternity pictures, the more I think it looks like I just put a basketball under my dress... I guess that's a good thing; only one area to work on post baby. Everyone keeps telling me I don't look pregnant from behind. I guess that's why.
What I'm Missing
For this second part of the post I decided to create a list of the things I can't wait for when Hailey is born. I finally feel comfortable allowing myself to dream about these things since delivery day is coming soon. Meeting and loving on Hailey is a given, so I have not included that on my list. Here is everything else that I can't wait to do/have.
- Wine: I'm not even a huge drinker, but every once in a while a nice glass of wine can really save the day. It has been a long while since I got to enjoy that.
- Lying on my front: As a front sleeper, I really miss this one. I hate the pressure that side sleeping puts on my hips. I can't wait to be able to knock out lying on my belly.
- Sushi: I truly miss this part of my diet. Sushi is my favorite way to consume fish. It's also one of my favorite meals to order in. I can't wait til that's back on the menu.
- A good deli sandwich: I grew up in the Bronx, NY. I know what a good Italian deli sandwich tastes like. I miss it more than I care to admit.
- Comfortably having Tyler sit on my lap: Tyler regularly wants to sit on my lap, but with this basketball sized belly it has become increasingly difficult. It now involves a lot of sliding and squirming to reach a comfortable position. I can't wait til that is no longer an issue.
- Comfortably sitting in general: We are getting to the point where sitting means discomfort no matter how you sit. You have to stand up to feel like you have room to breathe. I'm over that.
Other than that, I have really enjoyed my pregnancy. I haven't really had any issues. Little to no swelling, little to no heartburn, and minimal aches and pains. Actually, the biggest pain is rolling from side to side in bed. I get a pain in my pelvis that is pretty awakening, making it more difficult to get back to sleep. Other than that, I have been very fortunate. This coming Sunday is our baby shower/my birthday party. I turn 31 on Monday the 11th. I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family.
This Friday's post will include some really useful time management tips for Spring cleaning.
See you then
Pregnancy Progress and Humor
I don't know about you, but this year seems to be the year of pregnancies for practically everyone I have ever gone to school with. Clearly, I am not an exception to this. At 24 weeks, I am well past the halfway point. I have been very lucky in that both of my pregnancies have gone pretty smoothly. Other than a few days of upset stomach/nausea in the first trimester, I haven't really been sick at all. I was exhausted 1st trimester, but that's about it as far as symptoms.
This trimester has been going very well. I'm showing a lot more than I did with T, but I'm still all belly. In fact, people are often surprised when I tell them I'm having a girl. At least those people that believe in old wives' tales. Ever since Christmas week, I have been back to working out 5-6 times a week. Although it is sometimes hard to get up and workout, and it is easy to think I have any awesome excuse why I shouldn't have to, I also know I have any awesome reason to workout. A healthy mommy and baby!! I also feel 100 times better on the days I do workout so that is also motivating.
Tyler loves telling people where the baby is and he will sometimes talk to and kiss the baby. However, I don't think he has fully grasped what is going on and he just likes to follow daddy's example. Both of my boys have felt the baby kick. Well, sort of. I put Tyler's hand on my belly one day while we were watching Sesame Street together. Baby Hailey gave 2 really good kicks so I look to Tyler for a reaction. However, he was so distracted by watching Mr. Hooper surf (it was a very old episode) that he had no reaction at all. At this point, the kicks are often sporadic and it's hard to get Tyler to keep his hand there waiting for a kick, especially since he doesn't know what he's waiting for. But, I hope to get a reaction out of him soon.
What Tyler really does love is taking the belly pictures every week. As soon as he sees me write the number of weeks on the paper he is ready with his shirt up for a picture. Below are some of our more recent progress pics. After delivery, I will definitely do a post with every pic from when we first found out til the end so you can all see the progress.
Luckily, I still have my energy up since this is the first week of the spring semester of grad school. Even though my professors have been forewarned about my pregnancy and due date, and they have promised that accommodations can be made, I can't help but be a little worried about the end of the semester. This is especially true if this little girl decides to come early. But we can only take it day by day. So to relieve some stress, I have a few more pregnancy poems for your enjoyment!
I have a foe who is always with me, always on the attack. They’re quick and smart and stealthy, never to be seen when I look back. I cannot seem to loose them, wherever I may go. When I try to fool them, they always seem to know. They kick and punch and jab me every time I take a ride The funny thing about it is it's coming from inside The creature that’s inside me, will never let me rest Despite all that I do for it (I really try my best) I feel you punch my kidneys, I feel you jab my spleen I have to be quite honest, I think it's very mean When I try to go to bed and get a little sleep I sense you calmly lying there lurking in the deep As soon as I lie down at night it’s like an alarm just rung You don’t want mommy to relax, you go and kick my lung I love you little peanut but you need to understand I need to go to sleep sometimes, it's something I demand So please get off the defense and lower down your guard Let’s call a truce, at least at night, so sleeping is not so hard
My Newest Love
I have fallen in love for the third time The excitement of it makes me rhyme They come with me when I go to the gym They make my bottom feel so slim They come with me when I go to work They never make me look like a jerk These leggings are my new best friend My time with them should never end They look like tights when under skirts They’re also great under long shirts They never bother my growing bump Nor fall down when I move or jump If possible they're all I'd ever wear Without a worry or a care I wear leggings nearly everyday And that's the way it's going to stay Until this little babe is born It's the only bottom that will be worn