May 19, 2017

Mind & Body 4 Months Postpartum

This is a vulnerable post. This is where I'm going to talk about what my postpartum journey has been like. It's raw, honest and real. Sometimes I don't think this part of pregnancy and motherhood is talked about enough. And with social media nowadays, it's mostly the pretty and curated that is shared. Not that I don't too share that, or enjoy seeing those photos in my feed, I just think it's important to recognize and appreciate all aspects of the postpartum process, not just the beautiful baby that is the result of one's pregnancy.
Mind and Body at 4 months postpartum
I don't often talk about my physical appearance. I've never publicly shown "before and after" photos. While I don't completely refrain from posting photos of myself, I don't like to draw attention to my body either. But I try to remember where I've come from and where my journey is taking me.

Pregnancy is hard on your body. You grow and change shape, all while nourishing a little human being inside of you for ten months. Just when you think your belly cannot possibly get any bigger, it does. Everything you do, including breathing, becomes uncomfortable and it's hard to imagine that you will ever feel "normal" again.

But then one day, that little baby finally decides to vacate it's premises and all of a sudden you're not pregnant anymore. It's a really surreal feeling to go from pregnant one minute, to not pregnant the next. Your breasts are larger than ever, and mostly likely becoming engorged. Your belly, while flatter than you're used to, still resembles something like a 6 month belly bump, except it's soft and lumpy, not nice and round. Your muscles are soft and you will experience uterine contractions that rival any menstrual cramp you've ever had. Going poop will be a terrifying experience for the first several days. And you will bleed enough over the next few weeks to make you think you are making up for ten months of no periods.

And if you've had a c-section, like I did, then you can add healing of your incision, numbness and pain to the list. And don't forget that you can't pick up anything over 15 pounds, or drive, for the next 6 weeks.
Mind and Body Post Partum
My recovery this time around was a completely different experience than my first c-section. My pain was better managed, my milk came in right away, and my bowels woke up much quicker. I was up walking with assistance less than 12 hours after my surgery. I felt 100x better than I did after my first delivery and I was home 3 days later. I haven't experienced any baby blues this time around and I have more energy and motivation as well. Mentally, I feel fantastic.

Around 7 weeks postpartum, I remember thinking that the incisional pain/tingling/numbness was never going to go away. I was still periodically getting weird twinges and was very aware of my incision. But then, just like that, I woke up one morning and all those weird physical feelings were gone. It was also around this time that I finally felt ready to embark on my postpartum fitness journey, and at 8 weeks postpartum, I was cleared to resume all regular activities and exercise. But being cleared and actually resuming an active lifestyle are two different things. I've dabbled in the odd workout, but I've been unable to stick to any sort of routine.
an honest reflection on the postpartum process
I'm not happy with what I see when I look in the mirror. I am beyond happy with what my body has provided me with - another child - and I marvel at the true miracle of childbirth and I will always be thankful and grateful for what my body has given me, but no, I'm not happy with the extra 25 pounds I'm carrying, I'm not happy that nothing in my closet fits, that maternity clothes are more comfortable than regular clothes, that my breasts are larger than they ever have been, and that I'm self-concisous of the extra rolls around my mid-section.

I truly believe you can love your body but also not like what you see. And I'm also realistic. I know I just had a baby. I know it took ten months to grow and nurture my daughter in utero. I know I'm beyond lucky that breastfeeding is easy for me. And I know that it takes kindness, patience and time to get my body back to a place I want it to be at. But it's also hard not to want it "right now!". And I'm also finding it hard to motivate myself to work on that better version of myself. Taking care of a toddler and a small baby is exhausting. I'm not in a place where I want to get up early to workout and I definitely don't want to in the evenings. And during the day, well, I'm just trying to keep everyone alive and fed.

I also know that this is just the season of life for me right now. My baby won't always be as needy, my son will soon start pre-school, I will get more sleep at night, my breasts will change as the demand for my milk changes, and I will figure out a way, hopefully, to somewhat balance motherhood and the need for self-care. Because my babies are worth it. Because I'm worth it.
postpartum an honest discussion


*I took these pictures 2 months ago when I was 10 weeks post partum, but I'm pretty sure I look the same today.


May 16, 2017

Florida Family Vacation 2017

Ever since Jim's parents bought a retirement place down in Florida several years ago, we've maintained a pretty good track record of getting down there almost every year. With young kids, it's so nice to have a tropical place to go visit where your accommodations are taken care of and you're family is at. We had so much fun when we took Sully to Florida for the first time back in December of 2015, so I was really excited to get back there with him. As luck would have it, both Sully and I ended up getting really sick while we were there, which put a bit of a damper on doing all the things we had hoped to do. But with a baby in tow, our expectations were low to begin with, and we were just happy to be somewhere warm and with family.

It's hard to believe it's already been a month since we got back home! There was a lot of downtime while we were there, but I'm sharing my favourite photos from the trip which capture the fun we did have. Some of the highlights include: sunny days at the pool, playing shuffleboard, hitting up my favourite stores: Target and Trader Joe's, riding in the golf cart, watching the dolphins swim in the ocean and eating the most delicious ice cream at the Orange Grove. My camera roll has a lot of photos of Emmy sleeping and I joked earlier on Instagram that she slept through the entire trip! Such a good sleeper, that little girl of mine.

Florida Family Vacation 2017
Florida 2017
Florida Family Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Family Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Family Vacation
Florida 2017
Florida Family Vacation 2017
Florida Family Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Family Fun
Florida Family Fun 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Florida Vacation 2017
Best Ice Cream in Florida
Florida 2017
Florida Family Vacation 2017


And that's a wrap! I'm already dreaming about the day we can go back and do it all over again! :)



May 15, 2017

Emmeline: 4 Months

Emmy Four Months

My dearest, sweet Emmy...

Suddenly, you are no longer my squishy little newborn. Instead, you are bright-eyed baby, alert and anxious to see everything going on around you. You have lots to say and make the cutest sounds. You've found your laugh this past month and it's the best sound ever! Of course, your big brother is the best at getting you to laugh. You love to watch him and are happiest when he plays with you when you are on the ground. You rolled over once from tummy to back and once from back to tummy, but have yet to do it again, but you are soooo close!

You might not be a newborn anymore, but you're still my little peanut, tipping the scales at 10lbs 10oz and 23 inches long. You've grown out of all your newborn clothing, and are wearing 0-3m and 3m clothes, and still rocking size 1 diapers. You're still exclusively breast fed, but you've started taking a bottle of expressed milk when needed, yay!
Emmy 4 Months
Emmy Four Months
You still love to sleep, napping several times throughout the day, and are often out like a light as soon as we get in the car. The only time you really cry is when you are tired. You are usually ready for bed around 630/7, and then up to eat around 10/11 and then back to bed until sometime in the middle of the night, usually 3:30am. Luckily, you nurse and fall right back to sleep, so I don't mind one bit! I figure you need all the extra calories you can get. You're still sleeping in our bed in your Dockatot and I'm not sure I'll ever be ready not to have you so close by!

This month we also took you on your first plane ride! We travelled all the way to Florida to visit your Nanny and Papa and you slept the entire plane ride there and back! No joke. Each way is about 4.5 hours. Your brother has always been a good traveller too, so hopefully that continues. We didn't end up getting you into the pool like I thought we might, but you sure enjoyed being dressed in less clothes and feeling the warm air on your bare skin. Plus, those palm trees swaying in the wind sure kept you entertained!
Emmy 4 Months
Emmy 4 months
Emmy, sometimes I look at you and I can't believe it was a year ago already that I was finding out I was pregnant with you. And now, here you are, 4 months old and I can't imagine our lives without you! We love you so, so much, my sweet little girl.

xoxo
Mommy