BIRTH STORY

May 28, 2012

Giving birth was so much harder, more painful, and more challenging than I had anticipated.

I’m grateful for the presence of my husband Ryan – he was my anchor once I was in active labour; my mother, Fay – she provided countless moments of strength and comfort; my father, Glenn, who was with us for a while but later slept in a hotel room while I laboured; my doula, Piper, and my midwife, Kristen, who were both AMAZING!! I chose not to have a birth photographer because I knew that it would make me more self-conscious.

My parents were staying with us. They were sleeping in the guest bedroom (which has now become the baby’s room). The previous day, we’d visited Coney Island. My mother and I had ice cream and my father had a Nathan’s Hot Dog.

I stopped by the CrossFit gym on the way home to say hi. I had a premonition this would be my last time visiting before the babe arrived. I don’t remember what we did that night. We might have watched a movie…?

At 3:30 am in the morning, I woke with what felt similar to the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d been feeling in previous weeks – except that this one hurt in a different place: lower. I went to pee and saw bloody show! I raised my hands and cheered quietly to myself, “Bloody show!” I knew this was it. I went back to bed and waited. Yup! There came another one!

It shocked me that they felt different than the Braxton Hicks. To be honest, it also scared me. The Braxton Hicks had been so bearable that I’d gotten a little cocky about how well I’d handle labour. After three or four of these contractions, I got out my iPhone and started timing them using an app that I’d downloaded. They were 7 minutes apart and at least 60 seconds long. I muscled through them by myself until about 5:45 am, when I sent an email to my midwife and doula to let them know that I was in early labour.

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6 WEEKS PP

May 28, 2012

My birth story (or rather, the story of my daughter’s birth) is almost ready. It’s not a work of art, but the point is for it to accurately reflect my physical and emotional experience. It should be posted with in the week or so.

ME

I’m still feeling that “horse-kick-in-the-crotch.” I feel like my abs are still working their way back into position. I haven’t been doing much ab-work. My midwife suggested that I do cat-cows, but I haven’t done them many times. Running is still a little loosey-goosey. But each day that I wake up after a workout (even as short as they are), I do feel better. Tighter, even.

THE BABE

She is growing and maturing by leaps and bounds! She’s making sustained eye contact and laughed her first laugh this week! And she is sleeping from about midnight until 10 am with only two awakenings for nursing. She’s been doing that for about one week now. So amazing that she actually goes back to sleep at night after she’s nursed! And she’s put herself to sleep several times this week. I’m so proud. She’s not wonderful at taking nice long naps during the day yet, so I don’t get daytime naps either; but I’m not complaining too much since she’s started sleeping at night!

She did develop cradle cap this week, but it looks like it’s resolving quickly. I put some coconut oil on her leg to test to see if there would be a reaction. So far nothing. If there’s still nothing tomorrow, I’m going to try to relieve the cradle cap with coconut oil. Everyone says to use olive oil and that’s all well and good, but I like coconut oil better, if she can tolerate it.

Her baby acne has all but cleared up. Yay!

A few other mothers held her this week and commented on how strong she is. Again, me = proud momma. 😉

WORKOUTS

Tuesday, May 22
0.75 mile walk with baby in ERGO

Wednesday, May 23
21 KB swings 15#
10 R-arm barbell snatches 25#
10 L-arm barbell snatches 25#
15 KB swings 15#
20 good mornings 15#
9 KB swings 15#

Friday, May 25
30-40 minutes of easy basketball shooting

Sunday, May 27
Quick walk around the block, baby-wearing

I’m looking forward to starting back at CrossFit this week. I’ll start slow; I promise!


5 WEEKS PP

May 21, 2012

My first babe is 5 weeks old. So far, I think my postpartum experience has been typical.

ME

I did have baby blues (I’m over them now). The jury is still out on whether that was hormone related or sleep-deprivation-related or a combination. My vote is on combination. But I did experience blues. I mourned the end of my pregnancy. I mourned the “disconnection” of my baby from my body (even though we were breast-feeding!). As I said, I’ve come through it, but there were a few dark days and lots of tears. Thankfully, my husband took time off and my mother spent several weeks with us. Both were extremely helpful.

Other notes:

  • I bled for two weeks and had normal lochia for the three weeks after that.
  • My uterus took about two weeks to “disappear”.
  • I lost most of my baby weight in the first three weeks PP. But I still have “extra” weight that I put on “unnecessarily” to lose. But I’m EBF, so I’m not worrying about that right now.

I have been eating organ meats and have been mostly paleo postpartum; but I’m not “strict” paleo. I’m still eating “safe starches.”

My placenta is still in my freezer. I’m still considering having it made into pills.

THE BABE

She had her one month doctor’s appointment this week and is in great health! She’s in the 75th percentile for weight and is “off the curve” at greater than the 97th percentile for height! She’s already wearing 3 month-old sizes! She’s got some baby acne (due to Mommy’s estrogen) but the doc says that will go away soon (update: It’s already better).

She’s also started to sleep at night. Yay! She wakes up a couple times to nurse but she goes right back to sleep. ON. HER. OWN! She doesn’t sleep much during the day, and is still on a 2-hour nursing schedule, but I don’t have to go back to work (Ah! The joys of a freelancer!) so I’m not nervous about pumping or anything.

She is a prolific pooper. 😉

WORKOUTS?

Wednesday, May 16
3×250″ sprints
80 kb swings 15#

Monday, May 21
100 kb swings 15#

Somewhere in there I went for a few walks too.

Next week, I’m looking forward to starting back at the CrossFit gym too. We’ll see how that goes!


4 WEEKS PP

May 14, 2012

Can you believe that it’s been four weeks already? They say that once you’re a parent, the days are slow but the years are fast. So true.

Olivia Grace at 3.5 weeks!

I’ve been feeling so much better this week thanks to my wonderful amazing mother who, since last Monday, has taken the “night shift!!” Last Monday I tried hand expressing some milk and feeding it too Olivia via a bottle. She took to it like a champ! So then I tried the pump for the first time. Worked great! So for most of the week I pumped extra milk for my mother to do the feedings at night! And all this week, I’ve been getting sleep! What a mother’s day gift!! It’s been awesome. Momma goes home today. And tonight I will be back on 24/7 duty. 😉

Another reason I tried the pump is because my one nipple still had a crack that hasn’t healed. Using the pump on that boob for a few days for the nighttime milk, and feeding the babe with the other boob all day, helped that crack heal! Yay!

Speaking of sleep, Olivia is still flying way under the radar, averaging only about 11 hours per day. We did begin to notice a pattern emerging. She’s awake from midnight until about 2 am. Then she’ll sleep pretty well from 2 am until 6 am. Nurse. Then she’ll sleep from 6:30 am until about 9:30 or 10 am. The she kinda follows a three-hour eat, wake, sleep routine until 8 pm when she likes to cluster feed until midnight. And repeat. I’m hoping that her melatonin comes in soon so that she can figure out when nighttime is! Perhaps we can shift this whole routine to sleep from 10 to 6? Rather than 2 to 10? She’s still only 4 weeks old… I guess we’ve got a few weeks yet for that.

As for me, getting sleep has helped both my emotions and my body. I’m feeling less empty. I’m feeling so much stronger in fact that I’ve asked my midwife how she felt about me exercising again. She asked what kind of exercise I was thinking about. I said, sprints and kettle bells. She gave me the green light! Yay! I haven’t started yet. This past week I’ve still just walked. I even walked 1.5 miles on Friday while carrying the babe in the Ergo. I felt extra tired after we got home but glad I did it. Slowly. We’ll see how I handle the sprints and kettle bells this coming week. I’m still getting a little lightheaded a few times a day, and walking up the stairs to our apartment leaves me feeling breathless, but less so than before. I’m still shedding lochia; but it stopped being bloody. So that’s nice.

I’m way more thirsty than normal. Than ever. And it’s been a challenge to stay hydrated! I’m drinking twice as much as I drank during the pregnancy and still I am thirsty! Gotta start to use a bigger bottle!

For the most part I’m eating primal. Yesterday, Mothers’ Day, I threw it all out the window and ate a cinnamon bun, an English muffin (under the hollandaise sauce, poached egg, and smoked salmon), and a homemade apple tart. Got a headache. So this week I’ll be back to only cheating with rice and organic corn. I do find that I need my easy carb sources, just like in pregnancy.

UPDATE: Ryan, my dear husband, took Olivia for a while when he got home and I was able to get outside for my first attempt at “sprints.” Yay! Well, let me tell you, it was harder than I thought it would be. I still feel loosey-goosey. My ligaments around my hips feel like they’ve still got some tightening to do and my abs feel like they’re still figuring out that I’m not pregnant anymore. But other than than, four sprints, the length of a New York city block, were fine. I didn’t run super fast, but I ran. The tiredness that I feel is reasonable. Doesn’t seem to be too bad. When I came inside, I did 100 kettle bell swings (4×25). That felt totally fine. Nothing seemed physically out of place. And it seemed like an appropriate amount of effort. So there you go, my first workout!


3 WEEKS PP

May 7, 2012

So I’m three weeks in and let me tell you: it’s been challenging. Lack of sleep for anyone is difficult. Lack of sleep for someone who knows knows knows how important sleep is is not only difficult, it’s demoralizing. Add to that the milk and the tears and the hormones… I was quite the mess this Saturday past. So, my mother has decided to return for another visit and help us out. Praise. The. Lord. She arrives tonight!

Other than severe lack of sleep, I’m doing much better. I have a little concern that I stretched that little cartilage in my pelvic bone a little too much so my midwife has suggested that I lay off the squats until further notice – not that I was doing any anyway. I have been going for a few walks. That’s been both morale-boasting and tiring but good. Otherwise, I have not begun exercise. My belly has continued to shrink while my breast feeding boobs have continued to grow!

The babe is doing well. She’s getting heavier every day. Her one month doc
visit is coming up soon and I expect her to blow their socks off! 😉

She needs to sleep more. Most babes get 14-18 hours. Our little girl is averaging 11. That’s why my mother’s return is so welcome (aside from the fact that we love her and like hanging out with her!). I’m looking forward to a few more naps!

Ryan went back to work this week. The lack of sleep has been extra hard on him.

That’s all I got! Love from the newborn trenches!!