Well, Baby Girl arrived about 10 days ago. (Two days before my due date; I love that she was early!) She has settled in quite nicely and her older brothers are doting on her. (They give Mom and Dad plenty of grief, but they love their little sister.)
I started this blog as a means of sharing my journey of running through pregnancy and after, and how it benefited me. Guess what? The payout was great.
Labor and Delivery: Seriously, probably the easiest I’ve had. I chalk it up to being physically prepared. I had planned to try and do this one unmedicated (like my second), but I chickened out and got the epidural. (I use the phrase “chickened out” not to slight anyone who has gotten pain relief; this was my personal reaction. I was afraid. I remembered the pain from my second, and he was a very fast and frightening delivery for me. That panic reared its ugly head at the crucial moment and I based my decision on that panic rather then my goals or personal feelings.) I regret this decision simply because of the effects it had on me, the baby, and the fact that it didn’t work on half of my body anyway. (So basically, a waste of time and money). I’m not encouraging you one way or the other; I don’t care what you decide to do. Just don’t let your decision be based on fear and panic. That being said, after about 5 minutes of pushing she arrived, and she’s beautiful and healthy. That’s all that matters anyway.
Recovery: So far, it’s been a breeze. Really. I think going into pregnancy at my fittest and trying to maintain that fitness throughout really benefited me. I had very little soreness, no stitches, and both my muscles and uterus seemed to bounce back quickly. All the work I put in on my core and pelvic floor really helped. After a couple of days, the back pain eased, and I can laugh and sneeze without any embarrassing accidents.
Baby Girl: She’s a dream! I don’t know if she’s just a good baby because she has to be with two loud and rowdy older brothers, or I’m just more relaxed this time around or what. But she’s a fantastic sleeper, pretty chill and content, and a super fast eater. (Making feedings quick and simple.) She already sleeps at night for 6 hour stretches and it’s wonderful. I hope she stays this way for a while, because it makes recovery that much easier when I’m able to get plenty of sleep.
Workouts: I’ve really been focused on trying to take it easy. That way when I start running again, I’ll have had plenty of time to let me body recover. I have been doing some very light and easy core exercises to help strengthen that smushy core. (Note: please don’t attempt anything without a doctor’s permission. She/he could probably give you some simple core exercises to perform after birth.) And of course, doing kegels. I’ve also walked a bit, just to get my body moving, and nothing too far or too fast. Since I committed to staying active throughout pregnancy, I can take it easy for a while and know that my body is healing and getting back to normal. I do plan to start running again once I feel up to it; starting slowly and easing back into it.
Nutrition: Focused on making milk. I have cut out sugar, gluten, and dairy, and I’m really focusing on getting plenty of fats and proteins. Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, ghee, eggs, organic beef and chicken plus plenty of fruits and veggies. Little has changed from my pregnancy diet except not as many treats. Not only do I want to give my body the best I can for recovery and healthy, but I’m feeding another human. She needs great nutrition too.
Weight loss: Honestly, I’m not in “weight loss mode” yet. I’m feeling pretty good about how I look. I don’t look like a super model or even at my pre-pregnancy body, but I’m ok with that. Just knowing that I did everything I could to keep my weight gain normal (which incidentally ending up being about 28 lbs) and my muscles strong allows me to relax about how I look. I will get my body back. Nursing doesn’t usually let me loose everything until I’ve weaned, and that’s hard for me to accept but it’s the priority. I’m hoping to be back by pre-pregnancy weight in a couple months, but I don’t feel any pressure, and I think that’s what we need to remember. Give your body a break! It just did this miraculous thing and it’s going to take time to get back to normal. Ignore those celebrities who lose baby weight in minutes, and remind yourself of the amazing thing you just did! Try and love your body for what it’s capable of, not what you dislike about it.
As I enter the “4th trimester,” I’m so happy I continued running and weight training throughout my pregnancy. It has made such a difference! Just putting in the time during those 9 months makes these next couple of months much more manageable and less daunting. I have been there at the end of pregnancy with about 30+ pounds left to lose. It’s doable, but it’s scary! Don’t let that stop you. Wherever you are in your pregnancy or postpartum body, just take care of it! The first step is always the hardest.
This is me at about one week post baby. As you can see, I still look pregnant. It takes about 4-6 weeks for your uterus to shrink back down to normal. The rest is just extra fat and loose muscles, and it’s up to me to train those muscles back into shape.
I think it’s important to remember that everyone’s weight loss/ post natal journey is going to be completely different. This is mine. I plan to share it every step of the way.