post pregnancy body update – 25 weeks out

Jul 1st 2015 12:00:14 pm

25weeks1

What to say? I still go through a lot of ups and downs when it comes to my body. Some days I feel like I am getting back to normal and feeling pretty good… other days, I still feel destroyed, sore, fat, and tired.

On good days (like after going to an inspiring SoulCycle class) I feel invincible. Ready to tackle the challenge of a less-than-perfect, aging, post-baby body with a positive attitude and lots of determination. I am doing this! Go me! On bad days, I get really overwhelmed by all of the pain and discomfort and I miss my old self.

Two quotes keep bouncing around in my head:

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”

Certainly, I am not in old age (and I know everyone older than 34 wants to shout: “You aint seen nothing yet!”) but knowing that it takes courage to live fully and happily as you age, gives me courage. Nothing and no one is perfect… but I can make the decision to be happy, grateful, and at peace with who I am and what my body can do. It is just going to keep getting more challenging, right? I like to believe I am more than strong enough to face the challenge! And the challenge will make me stronger. (I just have to keep that thought in the forefront of my mind, and let it drown out the fat, fat, fat, weak, weak, weak thoughts.)

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With all that being said… my update…

Weight Loss:

I think I’ve lost about five more pounds since my last body post. (So, 26 of the total 30 pregnancy pounds are gone.) Five pounds in the nine weeks since my last update is not exactly the weight loss pace I dream about, but I am getting really close to my pre-baby weight and I fit in most of my normal clothes at this point. (I actually weigh less than I did when Travis and I returned from Europe last May – that should get me pumped, right?! I still feel discouraged.)

Any weight loss is great (and needed) but I am feeling quite frustrated because Travis and I did 23 days of the no sugar, no grain, no dairy Whole30 program during June and it didn’t seem to do anything beneficial for me. It was quite intense to only eat fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, and nuts for more than three weeks and I thought for sure that I was going to lose quite a few pounds. Sadly, I only messed up my digestion and was in a bad mood for a month. Boo. I am back to eating normally and hope that I can continue to trim and tone up.

I’d love to lose 15 more pounds and be at my dream goal weight by October.

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Running:

Starting at the end of May, I began doing a few run/walk workouts. I started very slowly, walking for four minutes and running for one, then 3/1, then 3/2, and now I am doing 1/1 run/walk about two days a week. I did one good, long workout of 3.5 miles, but otherwise my progress is very slow going. My pelvic floor is definitely still not at 100% and it causes some discomfort. It takes me a day or two to recover from each run, with my back and hips still getting sore. But I am getting stronger. It is just taking a lot longer than I would like.

My goal is to run the Brooklyn Rock N Roll Half Marathon in October, and possibly, maybe, perhaps run the NYC Marathon in November… but we’ll see.

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Other fitness

In addition to 2-3 days of running and an occasional SoulCycle class, I am trying to fit in my physical therapy exercises and walking on most days. I have reduced my visits to Renew Physical Therapy to twice a month. I have also been a bit more relaxed about my PT exercises. I feel like they have certainly helped, but REST has also been a major healer. So, I am listening to my body and trying to give myself a break.

This is a topic for a whole other blog post, but caring for a baby 24/7 is HARD, you guys! ha. Am I the first person to ever come to this realization? Kenneth is always on my mind, and even when I am away from him, I always feel distracted and low-level worried. I don’t think I have actually gone into a deep sleep since long before he was born. I certainly haven’t slept for more than four hours straight. It is catching up with me. My immune system is not as strong as I always assumed it was. And I can’t recover as quickly as I used to. Not good. And I don’t feel like there is much of a solution. But I will try to get more sleep. I promise.

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Breastfeeding:

Oof. It had gotten so much better and easier, but just last week I was hit with clogged ducts and now mastitis. It is so painful. I spent most of last weekend sick in bed and in pain. Now I am on an antibiotic prescription, but this whole ordeal makes me reconsider continuing to breastfeed. It is not my favorite thing and after the pain of thrush and mastitis, I just don’t think I can face the possibility of another infection. I don’t know where to start with weaning, but the thought of less pain, smaller breasts, and convenient bottle feeding sounds really nice at this point…

And without further ado, my progress pics…

Which I feel are necessary even if totally embarrassing. You can always beat yourself up in front of the mirror, no matter your progress, but photos don’t (always) lie. And I think I do notice an improvement since my last set. Hooray! (Hint: new Top Speed Crops from Lululemon have been a big confidence booster.)

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Read my previous post-baby body posts: Update 1 | Update 2 | Update 3

5 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Health, Pregnancy

Kenneth at five months…

Jun 8th 2015 03:23:40 pm

ken5months

So much fun! That is how I would describe Kenneth at five months old. He loves playing with toys (especially new ones!) and moving all around. He loves for us to read him books, looking astounded at each new colorful page. (He even seems to be attempting to turn the pages himself, but maybe I’m reading too much into his grabbing reflex.) He likes his dad and me to sing him to sleep, that or talk to each other about something very boring. He doesn’t have any teeth yet, but he definitely wants to put everything in his mouth to chew on. And he drools. A lot. Sometimes he is very serious, observing the world around him intently. But overall he is just a sweet, easy-going, happy baby.

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I know that I can’t really be objective, but to me he is absolutely perfect. I love him so much.

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Some Fun Facts…

  • Kenneth weighs 17.5 lbs and is somewhere over 27 inches tall. He went into the doctor’s for an extra 5-month weight check last week since his weight hadn’t been increasing as quickly as his height. The doctors were pleased with his gain and didn’t even check his height… so I guess that means all is good.
  • Kenneth’s two passions lately seem to be blowing spit bubbles and doing backbends out of mom or dad’s arms. Both of which I don’t love. But I try to support him in his interests…
  • In addition to the backbends, Kenneth is much more rolly-polly and movement-focused lately. He loves to try to sit, and stand, and roll, and even attempt to crawl. He sort of throws himself out of our arms in an attempt to get places, which makes him somewhat difficult to wrangle. He is a boy who loves to move!!
  • He can sit unassisted for a few seconds at a time… and he is very proud of himself when he does!
  • He giggles when I kiss his neck and pretend to munch on his fingers or toes, and he LOVES “flying” around as Super Baby with his dad.
  • We started feeding Kenneth a bit of solid (ish) food just after his four month birthday on the advice of his pediatrician. So far he has had rice cereal, mashed bananas, a little steamed and mashed carrot, sweet potatoes, and a little avocado.
  • Ken went on his first plan ride to Kansas City on May 22nd to visit his grandparents and aunts and uncles. He was an awesome travel baby, sleeping for the majority of the flights and barely fussing. The entire trip went well. Ken went to his first Royals game on the 23rd, spent a lot of quality time with his grandparents and great Grammy, and got to meet most of his aunts and uncles for the first time.
  • Nearly all of Ken’s brownish-red baby hair has fallen out and fine, white-blonde hair is taking its place. He looks like such a different baby than he did at one month!

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I read somewhere that the only thing more profound than the love you have for your child is your fear of losing them. That thought has stuck with me. I am a defiantly optimistic person and try hard not to dwell on fear and worry, but Kenneth is so precious to me that it is scary. I just hope and pray that I can give him the love and support he needs to have an incredible, rewarding, happy, long life.

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Also, check out Kenneth at one month, Kenneth at two months, Kenneth at three months, and Kenneth at four months.

3 Comments » Categories: Baby, Family, Kenneth

Kenneth at four months…

May 14th 2015 08:54:09 am

Time is going more and more quickly and I’m starting to panic about not keeping a diligent record of all the cute things Ken has been doing. Turns out that blogging takes a lot of time, computer time that I don’t really have these days…

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Last week Kenneth turned fourth months old, and he just keeps getting more and more fun. He is more like a little person and less like a hungry little crying creature. He has likes and dislikes, and he loves interacting with his mom and dad.

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Things I don’t want to forget:

  • At his four month doctor check up he weighed 16 lbs and was 27 inches tall. His height is off the charts (greater than the 98th percentile), but his weight is a little low (75th percentile). The doctor suggested we start him on a little solid food to supplement. I am very grateful that breast feeding has gotten less painful and I am proud of myself for breastfeeding him exclusively for these last four months, but I welcome any relief in the feeding department.
  • He is so cheery (and wiggly) when he wakes up in the morning. All smiles and giggles.
  • When Travis and I read and sing to him in our bed while getting him ready for sleep, he reaches his arms out to either side to make sure he is touching us both.
  • The way he strokes my hand while he is eating.
  • How excited he gets when I lean in to give him kisses on his face. He looks at me with such adoration. It is such a sweet feeling.
  • He is working on rolling, but hasn’t quite made the back-to-front roll totally by himself yet. He rolls side to side often to grab toys and he is able to wiggle himself all over the floor by throwing his legs in the air repeatedly.
  • He loves trying to sit and stand with assistance ALL THE TIME… which can get tiring for mom and dad.
  • He visited the Brooklyn Museum for the first time this month, and got his very own passport!
  • He had his tongue tie treated with a laser on April 17th. He recovered quickly and seems to enjoy his new tongue mobility.
  • He went to his first baseball game on May 8th at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were playing the Orioles, and he slept through most of it despite the noise.

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Travis and I were and are so thrilled to be parents and we couldn’t have hoped for a better baby… But for a while it was was hard to admit that the pain and difficulty of the first few months was worth it. Motherhood is the most difficult challenge I’ve ever embarked on. But at the same time, Ken is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Maybe that sounds like something that parents HAVE to say, but it is actually exactly how I feel. My love for him just keeps growing. To me, he is perfect and precious. He is so amazing that it borders on magical. It boggles my mind to think of what a unique person he is — someone we never could have predicted before meeting him. It may sound cliche, but his smiles and little advancements really are immensely rewarding. Parenthood just keeps getting better and better.

A few more cute pics:

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Want more cute pics? I have almost 3,500 photos of Ken in his Flickr album.

Also, check out Ken at one month, Ken at two months, and Kenneth at three months.

4 Comments » Categories: Baby, Family, Kenneth

post pregnancy body update – 16 weeks out

May 1st 2015 12:14:52 pm

kenandme

In some ways there is a lot to report, but in others, I feel like a body update might be premature…

The good news is that breast feeding has gotten SO MUCH BETTER! We had Kenneth’s tongue and lip tie treated two weeks ago. That, in combination with a prescription medication to treat thrush, has resolved the breast feeding pain. Thank goodness. Amazingly, I am already starting to forget how much pain I was in. (“It wasn’t so bad.” ha!) Sticking with breast feeding for a year feels much more doable now. Plus, not having to deal with pain constantly has really made me more relaxed and more able to focus on other things, like falling even more in love with my sweet baby… and also my physical therapy and exercise.

Physical therapy is going quite well. My hips are getting stronger and I feel more comfortable while walking and doing daily activity. I am still going to a PT appointment in the city at Renew once a week where the therapist does some external and internal massage, assesses my progress and strength, and adjusts my daily exercise routine. I have been pretty diligent about sticking to my daily exercises. My only complaint is that my hip pain seems to have migrated into my lower back. But… it is probably mostly from using the baby carrier too much. Last Thursday I carried Ken around Manhattan in it for seven hours! That was a mistake. I know I push myself too hard, but that is basically the story of my life.

I am still not running. My doctor told me that I do NOT need to avoid high impact activity or running, but my physical therapist has recommended that I continue to hold off until I get a little stronger. My hope is to start the process of trying to run at the end of May. I have started to get my hopes up about training for the NYC Marathon this fall… but I still don’t know if it would be smart. We’ll see…

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My exercise routine these days mostly consists of my PT exercises (core, pelvic floor, and hips) and lots of walking. (Walking to the park often, as seen above, now that the weather is so much better.) I have also added in a few strength training video workouts (with lots of squats!) and on Tuesday I went to a SoulCycle class, which was great. I am hoping to continue taking a cycling class once or twice a week. I also want to get back to Baby & Me Yoga with Ken!

As for food, I have given up calorie counting. When I was dealing with so much pain, tracking every baby feeding, all my PT exercises, and all of the food I was eating got to be way too much to handle. In an uncharacteristically logical move of self acceptance, I decided that calorie counting was one thing I needed to drop. I am still trying to eat more healthy, whole foods and less sugary treats.

Because I am a crazy person who expects immediate, impressive results, I am not thrilled with my weight loss progress. I gained 30 lbs during pregnancy. So far, I’ve lost about 21 lbs. Over the last six weeks since my last update, I’ve lost about 5 lbs. I know that any loss is definitely better than nothing, but I am impatient and daunted by the fact that I still have so much to lose. I know that comparison is completely unproductive and immature, but it is still hard to ignore all the success stories online of women dropping their baby weight in record time. Ugh. I’d love to lose 15+ more lbs, but I will try my best to be patient about it. I may start up calorie counting again at some point, but for now I am trying to be more relaxed and see where it takes me.

These mirror pics are embarrassing and difficult to post (maybe I shouldn’t have shared them! gah! my mirror is filthy!) but hopefully they will be a way (other than weight) to track my progress. I also took my hip, waist, and bust measurements, but I am not brave enough to share them. My goal is to lose 2-3 inches in each area.

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These body posts feel quite self-centered and a little obsessive. But it also feels good to attempt to stay on course and be proactive about getting fit and healthy. It is helpful to write out my thoughts and track my progress. Body image issues have been one of my biggest, life-long, mental challenges and one of the things that scared me most about pregnancy… which I know may be quite vain and ridiculous, but it is the truth. I feel like I am making progress in accepting myself and valuing my body for its health and what it can accomplish… but I still struggle. (I want to do MORE! Get MORE accomplished! Lose MORE weight!) My hope is to stay motivated to continue to shape the body I want, while staying relaxed and patient with my progress. I’ll keep you updated!

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Catch up on my progress with my first post pregnancy body post and my 10 week body update.

3 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Health, Pregnancy

kenneth at three months…

Apr 9th 2015 08:05:51 pm

ken3months

Yesterday was Kenneth’s three month birthday! Wow. He is a growing boy! Ken and I are close and inseparable friends these days. He and I have been going on a lot more adventures this month, heading into Manhattan at least once a week and running errands all around Brooklyn. He is a fun baby who loves to interact, babble, and trade smiles. We spend a lot of time adoringly staring into each others eyes and grinning.

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Facts about Kenneth at three months…

  • I’m not exactly sure what his measurements are because we don’t go back to the doctor until next month, but he definitely weighs more than 14 pounds and is over 25 inches long. He is wearing some of his 6-month clothes already!
  • We are blessed in that he is a great sleeper at night. He sleeps in an initial eight-hour chunk, wakes for a feeding around 4 am, and then sleeps another three hours. We all feel pretty well rested.
  • He loves the mornings and is a cheerful little early bird.
  • He lights up when you smile or talk to him. He has been trying out all sorts of new sounds and loves conversing back and forth.
  • He is getting much stronger at tummy time, and even enjoys it. He is also working on arching his back and swinging his legs in preparation for rolling over. He loves trying to “stand” with assistance from mom or dad.
  • He loves his toy mirrors and holds intricate conversations with the baby he sees in them.
  • He still hasn’t quite figured out his thumb, but he loves sucking on his hands and fingers. He also loves clasping his hands together and admiring his feat of dexterity.
  • Sometimes his hair looks brown, sometimes red, but it seems to be growing in light blonde at the roots.
  • He has seen the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and last weekend he went on his first big train trip to Philadelphia. He did great riding in his stroller all over town and he loved the art museum and the Liberty Bell.

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Mama Update:

I want to show no weakness and tell you that everything is going well… and it certainly is in the sense that Ken is an awesome and healthy baby… BUT I am in pain. Unrelenting, endless pain and discomfort. All of the new baby things you worry about before the baby is born — sleepless nights, poop explosions, spit-up, their constant need for attention — all of those things are minuscule inconveniences when compared to being in pain all of the time. I feel like if I could just feel comfortable in my body again, I could really kick butt at this mom thing. This is how you’ll know things are serious: I really don’t even care about losing weight or ever running again, I just want to feel less pain. It sounds dramatic and I wish it wasn’t the truth, but it is.

Breastfeeding is still very painful. We are working on getting Ken’s severe tongue tie treated, which may end up being the solution, but the process has been frustrating. The pediatricians have been dismissive of tongue tie in general, but I finally insisted on a referral to a specialist. The specialist saw him and agreed that he should be treated, but now we are stuck in limbo waiting for insurance to approve the procedure. Which is ridiculous, because the “procedure” will literally take 30 seconds. But at this point I am worried that there may be more problems going on in addition to the tongue tie… my breasts are always tender and in pain, during and in between feedings. After reading what seems like every breastfeeding resource on the planet, I’ve started every possible homeopathic treatment for breast infections while I wait to see my doctor in two weeks.

Competing with breastfeeding for first place in the pain and discomfort category is my entire hip and pelvic region. Walking while wearing Ken in the baby carrier is hard on my body, which isn’t good because it is a necessity if I want to leave the house. The good news is that physical therapy does seem to be helping. It is slow going and I still need to avoid high impact activity, but I think I will eventually make some progress. And my therapist, Justine, at Renew is so professional, kind, and helpful. I am grateful to have access to the therapy… and that they let me bring Ken to my sessions.

Minus the pain, everything is going so well. Travis and Ken are wonderful. (Crusher is a bit of a stinker these days, but he is wonderful, too.) I just keep trying to stay strong and get through this tough time. I try to remind myself that in a year I will have gotten through all of this and I probably won’t even remember why it was so tough. And I can honestly say from the heart that it is worth it.

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Want more cute pics? I have almost 3,000 photos of Ken in his Flickr album.

Also, check out Ken at one month & Ken at two months.

2 Comments » Categories: Baby, Family, Kenneth

post pregnancy body update – 10 weeks out

Mar 19th 2015 06:21:10 pm

runfeet

So… this is a little hard to talk about, but I have been so honest on this blog up until this point. I don’t want to stop now and give the impression that everything is just going smoothly and easily…

You already know that I am working to lose weight and get fit after baby, and just last week I posted that things were going well… I got the Ok from my doctor to start exercising at six weeks postpartum and I was very excited to get started. I specifically asked my doctor about running and training for a half marathon in May. She said to go for it. I was thrilled to get back to working out! I did strength videos, walked, and tried to run three times. I felt like I was easing myself back into activity gently… but I guess I was wrong. Since starting back to exercise, I’ve experienced some major hip and pelvic weakness. It is preventing me from being as active as I want, but most of all it has scared me into taking a few steps back in this entire fitness process.

Gosh, I thought I was so enlightened and informed going into my pregnancy. I was aware of pelvic floor concerns and thought I was being proactive about strengthening my core and hips. I went to yoga. I did my kegels. I did squats. I sat on my exercise ball. I went to a pelvic floor workshop, for goodness sake! I guess I just assumed I was fit and that my body would stay strong for me, but thinking you are strong is not the same as being strong in the right ways.

I am not a talented runner or athlete, but I always assumed that willpower was my biggest weakness. If I could just force myself to do more, to run longer, to push through discomfort, I would get better. Get skinnier. Running distance races was so fun, but I now think I ran too many prior to pregnancy. And I was so determined to stay active during pregnancy that I didn’t listen to my body. I think I ran too much and too late into my pregnancy. I pushed through discomfort — a smashed bladder, sore pelvic floor, modified gait. I wanted so much to be the modern, fit, pregnant lady! And when I tried running over the last few weeks, my gait was entirely wrong and I was in pain. I shouldn’t have pushed it.

The lesson I’ve learned through this experience is an easy thing to say, but a bit harder to really follow: You MUST listen to your body.

I always assumed I had a low tolerance for pain, and that I was a slow runner because I didn’t push myself hard enough. But after getting through labor and a vaginal childbirth drug free, I am revising my opinion of myself. I am strong and my body can do amazing things. Perhaps I actually have too high of a tolerance for discomfort…

Now, I am probably beating myself up too much over how much I’ve run recently and throughout my life. Distance running is hard on everyone’s pelvic floor, but it may or may not have contributed to the weakness I am experiencing now. (If you are a runner, I don’t mean to scare you. You may be able to handle running before, during, and after pregnancy without trouble.) Most likely, my current weakness is due in larger part to my birth experience. Ken was born in a compound presentation position with his hand up by his head. And I pushed for two hours and fifteen minutes. Those two factors put a lot of strain on my pelvic structures.

So… not much I can do about that now… where do I go from here?

  • I am taking a break from all high impact exercise (running, aerobics, etc) for at least another month.
  • I went to visit Renew Physical Therapy yesterday. My PT has put me on a daily program to help strengthen my entire hip, pelvis, and core region. I plan to be diligent with my PT exercises and go in for a visit once a week. It isn’t cheap, though! And it is only partially covered by insurance.
  • I’ve started this 12-week, online Mutu System. It is a postpartum exercise program that focuses on core strength.
  • I am walking outside every day.
  • I hope to fit in some swimming, cycling, and yoga as often as possible.
  • I am eating healthy, whole foods and keeping my daily calorie count under 2000.

Sadly, I can’t say that I have noticed much positive change in the last few weeks… I know it is still early, but I’ve only lost about 2 pounds since my initial post and I am not feeling much better about myself. Boo. It is hard not to mourn the loss of your old body. It sucks that it is going to take so much work (and money) to try to feel strong and confident again. But I am committed to doing the work. Because this is the scary part: If I can’t sufficiently strengthen my core and pelvic floor, I may never be able to run again. The prognosis will probably not be that dire. But I MUST get stronger before I attempt any long distance training and/or IF I want to tackle a second pregnancy and birth.

If I was only dealing with the vanity aspects of my postpartum body — extra weight, stretch marks, sagging, etc — that would be hard enough. But those things pale in comparison to a body that is not working correctly. It is scary to have health issues. And it feels unfair to have worked so hard to stay as healthy as possible, only to be punished for having a baby with a body that can’t do the things you want to do. But, life is unfair. Plus, I was also rewarded with a perfect, healthy baby boy. I’d take on any health challenge to ensure his continued health and happiness. So, I’ll do the work and hope for the best. And I’ll report back on my progress!

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If you want to learn more about strengthening your core before, during, and after pregnancy, this website has a lot of good info: Maternal Goddess

2 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Health, Pregnancy

Kenneth at two months…

Mar 10th 2015 03:22:44 pm

month2ken

On Sunday, Kenneth turned two months old. He seems so big and so old now! It has been fun to watch him awaken to the world and start interacting with us a bit more. What else has he been up to? Practicing his smiles, discovering toys, requesting kisses, and of course, sleeping quite a bit.

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Facts about Kenneth at two months:

  • At his two-month doctor appointment last week he weighed 12 lbs 10 ozs and was 24.25 inches long! Very tall (99th percentile!) and a bit skinny, but the doctor was pleased with his weight gain.
  • He has been sleeping longer at night, which is amazing. On Sunday night he slept for eight full hours straight! That was a big deal, but on most nights he gets in at least one 4-6 hour chunk. Not bad at all on his parents. We are feeling good!
  • He has started smiling a lot more and even initiates smile conversations. He giggles a bit, but we can’t wait for more!
  • He is not a big fan of sleeping in his crib and isn’t really on a strict nap schedule. But he does like looking at his play mirror in his crib.
  • He likes blowing drool bubbles. Bibs have become a necessity.
  • He loves getting kisses on his face and even “asks” for them by putting his mouth up in the air. Very cute.
  • He still likes being swaddled at night and loves riding in his baby carriers during the day.
  • He seems to have noticed Crusher and sometimes watches him walk around. Crusher has attempted to “play” with Ken by barking at him and teasing him, but Ken doesn’t seem to understand the game.
  • All four of us have really started to get to know one another and become a more cohesive family. It is a fun time!

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Mama Update:

You guys, things are getting SO MUCH BETTER. (I had real coffee for the first time today, which may be positively affecting my mood.)

Breastfeeding can still be uncomfortable and demanding, but Ken seems to be eating less frequently and my boobs are feeling much better. Feeding him feels more natural now, even if it is still time consuming. I am proud of myself for making it for more than eight weeks of exclusively breastfeeding. I plan to try to make it a year, but whatever happens, I am happy that I have stuck it out as long as I have.

Over the last two weeks I have started working out again. It feels great. I am out of shape and running is still nearly impossible with my wonky hips, but I really like my video workouts and can already notice strength improvements. And I have lost two pounds! Thank goodness for progress!

The weather is finally better this week and I have actually been getting stuff done. Ken and I have met up with a few friends for food, we’ve gone to mom & baby yoga, and we’ve even gone to the grocery store AND fixed dinner on the same day! I didn’t know if that last thing would ever be possible again. I feel confident taking Ken out and even feeding him in public.

Sunday was a down day after attempting to run and then attempting to buy new workout clothes. Neither attempt was very successful and I started feeling sorry for myself again… but I am having many more good days than down days lately and I feel like I am coming into my own in this new mommy life. Hooray!

And that is all I can post for now because Ken just started crying for his afternoon snack…

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10 Comments » Categories: Baby, Family, Kenneth

my post pregnancy body

Mar 6th 2015 11:17:27 am

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So… I had a baby. It has been eight weeks since Kenneth’s birth and I have started to try to “get my body back” in earnest now. I thought I should write an initial “before” post so that I (and you) can track my (hopeful) progress.

I feel like I was prepared for a change in my body and was ready to accept the downsides of growing a human inside my abdomen along with the awesome miracle of it. In my rational, positive brain I know that even though my body is not where I would like it to be, it isn’t so bad, and with hard work and patience I can definitely lose weight and get to a place where I feel good about myself again. BUT, in my tired, illogical, overwhelmed brain I am freaking out. I hate the way I look! My clothes don’t fit! Everything jiggles! Stretch marks! How will I ever lose all this weight?! Sometimes I feel utterly destroyed and really sad that I will never have my old self back.

The weight facts: I gained 30 lbs during my pregnancy. I was proud to have stayed within the 25-35 lb weight gain recommendation and I believe I ate extremely healthy. (Despite craving donuts constantly, I really only had like 4 of them all pregnancy. I swear!) Not a terrible weight gain, but after all of the fertility issues over the previous year and our trip to Europe, I started the pregnancy at a higher weight than I would have liked. I lost 14 lbs after the delivery and within the first week. I have NOT lost anything else since then! And at six weeks postpartum, despite exclusive breast feeding and constant hunger, I was on the precipice of starting to GAIN weight. Breast feeding has not meant easy weight loss for me.

I need to lose about 16 lbs to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. And I’d like to lose another 10-15 lbs to get to my dream weight. This seems daunting.

The exercise facts: I exercised throughout my pregnancy. I ran up until about 28 weeks. I went to pre-natal yoga 1-2 times a week, I did pilates, swimming, and I walked a lot. The last few weeks of pregnancy were tough, but I made sure to walk Crusher at least once a day. I think I did a good job staying active. Post-pregnancy is a different story. Leaving the hospital they tell you not to start exercising until you get your doctor’s ok at six weeks postpartum. I followed the rules because I didn’t want to hinder my body’s healing process or cause any additional problems for my pelvic floor. I was also worn out and focused on caring for my baby 24/7. So… I spent about six weeks sitting on the couch. In addition to just having a baby, I am downright out of shape. But, now I’ve gotten my doctor’s permission to start being active again! woohoo!

postpregnancybody1

The plan:

  • Workout Videos – Currently I am trying out this Moms Into Fitness 30-Day Postnatal Slimdown Challenge. It is free on YouTube and seems really smart about easing back into abdominal work.
  • Running & Walking – I know that I need to be patient and that recovery from pregnancy and birth is ongoing… but when it comes to running, I am so frustrated and disappointed. My hips are really messed up. They are weak, and loose, and wonky. After running a mile, I can barely walk. So… I am going to try my best to ease in slowly. In the meantime, I am trying to walk Crusher every day with Ken in the baby carrier.
  • Postnatal Baby & Me Yoga – I am trying to attend this class with Kenneth at Bend & Bloom once a week. It isn’t a strenuous workout, but it feels good to move and see other new moms. Plus, it is good to expose Ken to new things and baby friends!
  • Calorie Counting – Most lactation resources recommend avoiding extreme dieting while breastfeeding. They tell you to “eat to hunger and appetite,” which is what I have basically been doing since Ken was born, but if I truly ate to my appetite?? I’d be eating a dozen donuts a day washed down with eight cups of coffee and a chocolate bar. So… I need to watch what I eat. I am aiming for less than 2000 calories a day, with extra calorie allowances added depending on my activity level each day. Nothing drastic. I’m using the Lose It app to record my food and exercise. Travis and I have a goal of eating four dinner salads a week… so far, success!

Looks are not important. Especially at this point in my life, no matter what I do, a super-model body is not in my future. If you think about all of the people in your life that you care about, what impact do their looks have on your love? Probably zero. So, I know that being a mom is my top, best priority and Ken will love me no matter my jean size or how many miles I can run… BUT I’d love to wear my old clothes again. And, I want to stay healthy and feel fit. So, I am going to work hard to get back in shape and stay within a healthy weight range. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

This cute face will help keep me motivated…

kennethcutie

Have you had success losing the “baby weight” recently? What are your tips?

2 Comments » Categories: Exercise, Health, Pregnancy

34 while 34

Feb 28th 2015 09:29:26 am

dayofbirth

This photo of baby me and my sweet parents was scanned from a Polaroid taken 34 years ago on the day of my birth.

2015 is a very exciting year! My wonderful baby boy was born on January 8th, and we have been entirely focused on caring for him ever since. Therefore, my 34th birthday passed by without too much fanfare. Travis made me french toast for breakfast, got me a delicious ice cream cake from Ample Hills, and he and Kenneth gave me a few fancy gifts. We spent the evening at home snuggled on the couch. Nice!

Due to very limited computer time these days, I am squeezing this list in at the very end of my birthday month…

What now seems like a very long time ago, I made a list of 30 things that I wanted to accomplish before turning 30. I didn’t get all of the items completed, so I converted it to a 30 WHILE 30 list, then a 31 while 31 list, etc. I carry the list over each year, crossing off the things I finish and adding new items to fill out the list to match my birthday number — this year, 34!

34 things to do while 34:

Eat at the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare.
Go to Canada. I’ve never been!
Visit Dollywood. Yes, I’m serious. I love Dolly Parton.
Go kayaking in the Hudson. (Or paddleboarding!)
Get super-comfortable using our DSLR camera.
Visit the Museum of the City of New York.
Visit the New York Transit Museum.
Eat the Moules Frites at Balthazar.
Create a new craft tutorial for Swap-bot.
Redesign the Swap-bot homepage.
Set up an online Swap-bot merch store.
Lose 15 30 pounds. (Isn’t this on everyone’s list?)
Make marinara sauce from scratch.
Visit the Bronx Zoo.
Make Crusher a super-cute Halloween costume.
Buy a brownstone! (A fantasy, but a girl can dream…)
Do all of my mending.
Make cupcakes with some sort of filling.
Reduce my internal negativity.
Call my brothers and sisters-in-law every week (or at least more frequently).
Read a novel. (Maybe this one?) Still not done! I’m not counting Game of Thrones or all the nonfiction birth and baby books I’ve been reading.
Promote peace.
Get a unicorn face painting!
Be noticeably sweeter to my husband.
Run a full marathon in 4:30.
Run a sub-2-hour half marathon. (This may be impossible.)
Run a trail marathon.
Make a quilt.
Try to live in the moment.
Travel outside of the country with Kenneth.
Attend the opening of the Basquiat exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in April.
Complete a triathlon.
Complete my 10th full marathon. Hopefully, the 2015 NYC Marathon in November.
Teach Kenneth some baby sign language.

————

Completed items:
This list could get really long!

Embark on a grand adventure! Done! Kenneth is here!!
Travel to Europe! A month traveling throughout Europe with my true love in April was the trip of a lifetime.
Bake a loaf of bread from scratch. I used this sourdough recipe and it was fantastic!
Stop biting my nails. For good. I believe I have accomplished this by keeping my nails polished.
Become an adult. Tough times make tough people… and I think I’m getting stronger.
Eat less candy. I’ve been having a good amount of success eating whole, real food, and a lot of it!
Start taking a weekly yoga class. Changing this to: Cross train once a week. No problem. I now cross train more than I run: swimming, spinning, yoga.
Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans! Had a great time with my brother Seth.
Learn to tell a really funny, family-friendly joke. Why did the fish get kicked out of school? ………because he was caught with sea WEED!
Figure out how to style my hair in loose waves/curls. I think this counts.
Visit The Cloisters. Went with mom & dad in June.
Run the San Diego Marathon. For the second time. Done!
Attend a taping of the Wendy Williams Show. Done and it was awesome.
Take an overnight trip with my husband that is not at a relative’s house.
Take my donation pile to the thrift store. Housing Works got a big pile!
Buy a really beautiful and practical dress. Thank you Rebecca Taylor!
Go to dinner at Al Di La.
Run the NYC marathon!
Watch every episode of Tosh.0.
Make blueberry pancakes.
Get the Florence + The Machine album on vinyl.
Watch Meet Me in St. Louis again.
Drive upstate to see the autumn foliage.
Visit all five boroughs in NYC (should happen during the marathon).
Get a new laptop. Love my Air!
Reduce the amount of time I spend on Facebook. Done, except for today.
Vote! Always.
Buy awesome, new, flattering jeans. These from J.Crew.
Force Travis to watch Star Trek: Generations with me. He loved it.

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You can check out my past lists here:

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What is on your list? What should I add to mine?

2 Comments » Categories: Birthday, Projects

postpartum and newborn favorites

Feb 25th 2015 10:09:16 am

postpartumfaves

Kenneth is more than six weeks old at this point (wow!) which means the immediate postpartum period is over. I had worked extremely hard to prepare myself for parenthood, but being prepared doesn’t really decrease the amount of work it takes to sustain a newborn! Finding time for anything other than breastfeeding and baby rocking is tough… but I am getting into a groove and really starting to enjoy Ken’s emerging personality.

In addition to the obvious necessities (diapers, wipes, crib, baby clothes, etc) these items all helped the postpartum period go more smoothly:

  1. Eat Sleep app – While still in the hospital, the nurses tell you to log each feeding and diaper change. Keeping track helps you to determine if your baby is getting enough to eat and helps you to start learning his routines and demands. The nurses suggested a paper log, but an iPhone app is much more handy! I don’t know for sure if Eat Sleep is the very best one, but it is super easy to use and allows you to track feedings, diaper changes, and sleep. I don’t track Ken’s sleep, but it is great to have a record of when he last ate and got his diaper changed.
  2. iPhone6 – Speaking of iPhones, I don’t know how women survived the postpartum period prior to their existence!! Travis and I had splurged on the new iPhone6s with extra storage space before Kenneth’s birth because we figured we’d need the extra space to store tons of photos… but my phone has meant much more to me than just cute photos. It is amazing to have access to friends (via Facebook), family (via text), entertainment (via YouTube), distractions (via blog posts and Pinterest), and knowledge and support (via internet searches) all in the palm of my hand while breastfeeding or soothing my little symbiont.
  3. Miracle Blanket – Kenneth seems to like being swaddled at night. It prevents him from waving his arms uncontrollably and hitting himself in the face. We have used traditional swaddle blankets, but this Miracle Blanket is the best we’ve tried. It stays wrapped up nice and tight all night long. I can even breastfeed him while he is still wrapped up!
  4. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads – Breastfeeding is demanding, but it has gotten much better over the last few weeks. I wear these pads in my bra at all times to absorb leaks and to protect my sensitive nipples. I like that they come individually wrapped so you can pack them in a bag easily.
  5. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin – I put this medical grade lanolin on my nursing pads to help soothe my worn out nipples. It is safe for breastfeeding and doesn’t need to be cleaned off before feeding.
  6. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump – Breastfeeding is basically my full-time job at this point. I feed Ken every 1-4 hours (we are still working out our schedule) and if I want/need to be away from him for longer than that, I have to pump a bottle in advance. I actually have only done that a handful of times and I don’t use the pump very often, but it was nice to have on hand in the first few days after his birth to relieve engorgement and help establish my supply while Ken and I were first figuring out the whole nursing concept. (You should be able to get this pump for free via your health insurance when you are at 36 weeks.)
  7. ErgoBaby Carrier – A baby carrier is a necessity! Ken loves traveling in one and it helps him go to sleep. It also keeps him warm while outside in this frigid winter weather! We have used a Moby wrap, a BabyBjorn, and the ErgoBaby. All three work great, but the ErgoBaby is the most versatile and comfortable.
  8. Baby Nail Clippers – Baby nails are SO sharp! And they grow fast! I clip Ken’s nails while he dozes off after eating.
  9. An awesome husband/partner – A lot of the baby care falls on my shoulders, especially now that Travis is back at work, but I wouldn’t have survived these last six weeks without his support. Ken loves being held by his dad and Travis has spent many late nights walking him around the apartment to get him to sleep. He sings and reads to Ken at night, and brings me water when we are breastfeeding. Travis has also been doing all of the grocery shopping and much of the cooking. Plus, he brings me chocolate on particularly tough days! Two adults vs. one baby seems like the perfect ratio!

I recommend having all of these items on hand prior to baby’s arrival, if possible.

Have you recently brought home a newborn bundle? What do you recommend for the first few weeks?

No Comments » Categories: Baby, Pregnancy

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Hello.

I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.

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