Maine Escape 2015

Jul 30th 2015 03:03:42 pm

mainehike

Earlier this month, Travis, Kenneth, and I took our first ever trip to Maine to visit with family and friends. We stayed in the tiny island town of Stonington, Maine, as guests of our awesome friends, the Billings. The lobster fishing town has about 1,000 residents, a beautiful view of the sea, and a cute main street.

mainhouse

maine1

This was our first road trip with Kenneth and he did quite well on the drives. We stopped in Boston on our way up and back from Maine and got to check out a few sights, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Blackbird Doughnuts, and Fenway Stadium.

mainemountain

maine2

This was my very first time in Maine and I was blown away by the beauty of the stone and sea and sky. Even though I wouldn’t describe myself as an ocean person (I was born in the landlocked midwest!) I really enjoyed being on the water and seeing all of the sea life, like seals, jellyfish, lobsters, and seagulls.

mainlighthouse

mainebuoys

We had a great week of kayaking (my first time — I loved it!), boating to a small, uninhabited island to hike and picnic, visiting Cadillac Mountain and Bar Harbor, shopping in town in Stonington, and my favorite: eating the local lobster and clams.

mainekayak

mainelobsterdinner

mainelobster

Ken achieved a lot of milestones on this, his first road trip: he sat in a restaurant high chair for the first time, he rode in a grocery store cart for the first time, he road in his first boat and touched the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, and he attended his third baseball game at Fenway Stadium.

mainkenocean

bostonfenway

Traveling with a baby is more difficult than not — I was quite sleep deprived all week from sharing a bed with Ken and waking to feed him more often than usual — but it is still a lot of fun and worth the effort. I think Ken enjoyed spending time with family and friends. We plan to keep dragging him along on many more adventures!

See all of my photos from the trip in my #MaineEscape2015 Flickr album.

No Comments » Categories: Baby, Family, Friends, Kenneth, Travel

Kenneth at six months…

Jul 15th 2015 03:36:04 pm

Kenneth at 6 months

Kenneth is six months old! This feels like such an epic milestone. Like, we should have a 1/2 birthday party to celebrate. Happy 1/2 year of life, Baby Boy!!

6months2

Ken has been simply amazing over the last month. He has mastered so many new skills: rolling over all the time, sitting up unsupported, standing on his own while holding onto something, getting into the crawling position, using a high chair, riding in the big jog stroller, and most amazingly, sleeping in his crib every night. I know that I am biased, but I’m impressed. He most definitely inherited Travis’ hard working and chill demeanor.

That being said, he is also a six-month-old baby, a rolly-polly wiggle worm who loves to move, kick, squeal, and grab anything within reach and put it in his mouth. Taking his portrait this month was a challenge. He was quite upset with me for not just letting him chew on his sticker the whole time. The word I would currently use to describe him is determined. I think he gets that from me.

6months3

He is definitely expressing himself more strongly these days. This is what happens when he doesn’t get his way with the sticker…

6monthscry

Fun Facts about Kenneth:

  • At his 6-month doctor visit today, he weighed 18 lbs and 12 ozs and he was 28 inches tall. He is still above the 90th percentile for height, but his weight, although growing steadily, is around the 70th percentile. The pediatrician said his stats were “perfect” so I will try not to worry that he weighs three pounds less than his dad at the same age.
  • He is eating all sorts of solid food now. He loves chomping on bananas and plums, and eating bits of avocado and bread. We’ve also been giving him a few ounces of these organic baby foods each day. He seems to love it all!
  • No teeth yet, but he has grown a whole lot of white-blonde hair!
  • He is REALLY into toys these days. Especially new ones. He studies them intently and loves any type of moving parts that he can fiddle with.
  • He seems to respond to his name, but he has so many different ones — Kenneth, Ken, Kenny, KennyG, SpecialK, BabyJ, Gunner, G4, hashtag — that it must be confusing!
  • He is very interested in Crusher and always reaches for him when he is near. Crusher seems to be more open to interacting with him, too. I hope they become good friends.
  • Just within the last few weeks, he has started trying to crawl. He can get up on all fours and rock forward and back, but he can’t actually go anywhere, yet. He wears himself out trying, though!
  • He is still sleeping in his crib most of the time, but he has also gotten back in the habit of waking up to eat AT LEAST once in the night. I hope we can start helping him to sleep through the night asap.
  • Kenneth has been on a train trip to Philadelphia, a plane trip to Kansas, and this month he took his first road trip to Maine. He was, once again, an excellent travel baby, but ten days away from home started to get tough by the end of the trip. There were some tears on the car ride home, but we made it.

6monthsgrid

Mama thoughts:

Ken is such a good baby. Smart, and fun, and sweet. I really have no complaints about him. (Well, except for when he pinches me or pulls my hair, but we are working on that.) But being a mom is tough. Especially when I am trying my best to be a “work-at-home-mom” and keep Swap-bot running to some degree.

I have always known that taking care of children is hard work, but I regret that I also secretly questioned work-at-home-moms who hired nannies so that they could take a nap, go to an exercise class, or, your know, work. I thought for sure I could handle it all on my own, but having zero family help or child care options is becoming untenable. Sure, I can throw in a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, or read a few emails while Ken plays, but working on complicated design projects or composing email responses and blog posts is much more difficult to do with one hand and half of your brain. Nap time is key, but it is never guaranteed. So… I have started looking into child care options. I am not sure how it will play out, but I daydream about having a few extra hours of work time per week.

What else do I daydream about? The end of breastfeeding. I know some will say I’ll miss it when it is over, but I’m not convinced. Thankfully, my infections have been eradicated and it is not currently painful, but I still haven’t come around to enjoying it. It has NOT helped me lose weight. (I swear that is a lie used to trick women into doing it.) It hinders my fitness aspirations. (Running with jugs of milk attached to your torso is not fun or easy.) And it is getting harder and harder to convince myself that “breast is best” when there are plenty of excellent humans in the world who did just fine with formula. Anyway, protesting and complaining is a waste of time when deep down I know that I am too stubborn to stop anywhere short of my one-year goal, but still! Breastfeeding. Ugh.

Anyhoo, I’ll try to end on a positive note… I hope I am a good mom, because Kenneth deserves the best. His smiles and giggles are the most wonderful things in the world. I pray for endless patience and tons of fun and educational play time ideas. I hope he can feel my love.

momandken

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

4 Comments » Categories: Baby, Kenneth

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.)

stronger

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.

25weeks3

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.

25weeks2

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.

25weeks4

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.)

25weekbody

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.

ken5months2

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

ken5monthsmontage

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!

keninsta5months

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.

————

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…

ken4months2

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.

ken4months

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.

kenyankees

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:

kenblueeyes

kenbandw

kenplaytime

kenbib

kentummytime

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.

5 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…

park

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.

16weekspostpartum2

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!

————

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.

ken3months3

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.

kennyc

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.

DSC_0796-ANIMATION

DSC_0902-ANIMATION

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.

3 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!

kenfeet

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.

month2kengroup

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!

month2kenandcrusher

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…

mamaupdate

10 Comments » Categories: Baby, Family, Kenneth

my post pregnancy body

Mar 6th 2015 11:17:27 am

postpregnancybody2

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

Next »

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.

Enjoy!





categories

archive

search


subscribe via email


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


subscribe via RSS

Overland Park v0.01 | Wordpress