Apr 132016
 

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I’d have to say that one of the more difficult things with a newborn is figuring out a new normal– trying to figure out a schedule, trying to figure out HIS schedule, and figuring out what things you can just let go of.

Logan is a hungry boy and after a rough start with breast feeding and having to supplement with formula for a few days, I am happy to say we’re now feeding him entirely breast milk. I’m definitely making enough milk that I even have some that I’ve had to freeze (which will be great for later). Maybe it was those lactation cookies!

One thing though, with all of his eating and pumping on such a frequent basis, it’s been difficult to eat regular meals and cook. I am so grateful that a friend set up a Meal Train for us and that friends have brought us meals! It was a serious lifesaver. If you know anyone in your life that is having a baby or medical issues or just needs assistance, this is such a great idea!

One friend brought us burritos one night. Another brought meatloaf and some fancy bread from a local Portland bakery and then a week later she brought us homemade turkey chili with her amazing cornbread.

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Another friend made us chicken enchiladas and salad (after a week of eating junk food and convenience food, veggies were divine) and some treats.

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Another friend made mac n’ cheese and brought us salad and BBQ from Podnah’s!

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One friend came by to meet Logan and brought me macarons. 😀

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People have been so amazing. It was such a relief to have tasty food for dinner (and with leftovers) — especially after a really long day when I was super sleep deprived and just plain exhausted. And the leftovers were brilliant when Michael went back to work and I had to fend for myself for lunches. Simple things like finding time to make myself lunch has been a struggle on some days! Who knew??

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So trying to figure out eating has been a struggle. I’ve been able to get a shower every day and leave the house for a walk. I’ve even gone on a few solo walks with Logan and Bella:

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Bella has been great on our walks! She figured out the stroller pretty quickly and is even more well behaved now than she used to be on walks. The weather has been pretty nice (last week it was even in the high 70’s and 80’s!) and getting outside to walk has done wonders. I love being home with Logan but at the same time it’s kind of hard to be in the house all day. I’m so used to having a busy schedule, suddenly not having “stuff” to do is weird. So we go for walks (sometimes twice a day if the weather is nice) and he likes the walks, too. It’s good for all of us.

In some ways I’m starting to get the itch to work out again. I definitely can’t swim yet. I think it’s wise to wait for my 6 week check up with the doctor before doing that. But I’m thinking I might be up to trying the elliptical at the gym soon. That’s pretty easy and low impact and I can’t imagine it would do any “damage” if I take it easy. The rest of it — weight lifting, running, etc, can also wait until I get cleared by the doctor. My doctor agreed. She said it was ok to try doing the elliptical and yoga again but not to do too much too soon.

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Also, our new couch arrived! I am so glad we got the couch and that it came at the perfect time because we spend a lot of time lounging on the couch with the baby, cuddling and nursing and just hanging out. The couch is great. We broke it in with all of us laying on the couch snuggling and watched Jurassic Park. 😉

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Right now my days and nights kind of look like this:

 

1:00am – I wake up automatically pretty much like clockwork and Logan starts making noises that he’s hungry. I feed him, change his diaper, snuggle and burp him and then put him back to bed while I pump. Then go back to sleep somewhere around 2am (and some nights Logan decides he doesn’t want to go back to sleep).

4:30am – Logan gets fussy and wants his diaper changed and is hungry. Michael usually gets up and takes care of this one.

6:00am – Michael gets up with the baby while I try and get a little more sleep. He showers and gets ready for work and then puts Logan back in the bassinet next to me.

7:00am -I usually start waking up around this time anyways. It’s time to pump again. Feed the baby.

8:00am – I try and eat breakfast. Some days Michael has time to make me breakfast before he leaves for work, which is really helpful.

9:00am – Baby and I both try and take a little nap. It depends on the day if this happens!

10:00am – He’s up and ready to play! Well, maybe not play so much as cuddle and look around at everything. I shower and do some chores. It seems like there is always laundry to do. And time to feed him and pump again (noticing a theme?).

11:00am – Logan, Bella and I go for a walk in the neighborhood.

12:00pm – Lunch time for both of us (usually him first so he goes to sleep and I can eat!).

1:00pm – More naps! I’m getting between 20-60 minutes of sleep at a time during the day, it just depends on how long he sleeps.

2:00pm – Logan, Bella and I go for another walk (weather permitting). Feed the baby and pump when we get back.

5:00pm – Michael gets home from work, takes the baby so I can either take another nap or do something for myself. I feed Logan and pump and then we start the evening routine. Dinner, more chores, watch some TV shows, etc.

8:00pm – The evening routine of feeding Logan and pumping and getting everything ready for that 1am feeding that is totally brutal. It’s the hardest part of the day–getting up at that ungodly hour!

9:30pm – Lately been trying to be in bed and asleep before 10 since I have to get up at 1am. Logan is pretty good about sleep for a few hours at this time and it’s made a huge difference!

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We saw the ENT specialist this week and he clipped Logan’s tongue tie. I’m already seeing a HUGE difference with feeding and I am optimistic that this will make things so much better. For one, I will be able to leave the house for longer periods of time if I’m not chained to the pump like I currently am. I am looking forward to just being able to feed him out and about. I’m already making plans with some friends and thinking of outings to get us out of the house and off the couch.

I’m sure our new “normal” will shift and change on a weekly, if not daily basis, but right now we’re making things work. Sort of! 🙂 And I’m looking forward to getting back to some light exercise!

 

Apr 062016
 

First, I am so glad I was able to work out for basically the entirety of my pregnancy. I’m pretty sure keeping that up helped me with the labor process and it most definitely helped with the recovery process.

Second, I wasn’t quite prepared for just how hard the postpartum stuff would be. Those first few days were really hard physically and emotionally. I blame most of it on lack of sleep. Every one said to sleep when the baby slept. Which I tried to do but still, was really only getting sleep in hour increments the first few days we were home.

Something I wasn’t expecting was how hard regulating my body temperature would be. I just cannot get it right! I’d be freezing, then have hot flashes, then be cold again. Apparently this is something that’s normal. The hormones and drop in estrogen can effect it and I definitely was feeling it. I’m hoping it isn’t something that sticks around for a long time.

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Breast Feeding

Nursing wasn’t going well because of the tongue-tie/latch issues and that was so hard emotionally and physically for me. I wanted nothing more than breast feeding to go well and when it wasn’t I felt awful. I felt like I was somehow failing and I was definitely being too hard on myself. My mom tried to help and she said it was okay, that this stuff sometimes happens and she had a similar issue with me. That didn’t necessarily make me feel better about it but it helped me realize that the priority was feeding Logan. It just took a few days for me to come to terms with that.

The lactation consultant we saw gave some advice and said we needed to supplement with formula for a little while because Logan had lost too much weight since his birth (11%, and anything over 10% was worrisome). My heart was broken for so many reasons. But once again, I reminded myself the priority was getting him enough food. We started supplementing, the consultant got me a super-duper hospital grade breast pump and I started pumping. Once that all happened things got a lot easier! Logan was eating and we were getting a routine and a schedule down. Within one day of doing this he’d already gained 5 ounces and was out of the “danger zone.”

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Once we figured this stuff out, it was much easier!

As for me, once we got this routine down and I was pumping a lot and getting more and more supply, and more sleep, I felt much better. I was recovering quickly and could move around easier. We tried to go for daily walks, weather permitting, and getting outside helped. Each time we went for a walk I could tell I was healing more.

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It is kind of weird to not have a workout schedule. Definitely a mind-shift. Right now I am focusing on healing and taking care of Logan.

Weight

My postpartum body was a little foreign to me. It was weird to no longer be pregnant. It was weird to think that this cute little creature was actually inside me. Then there was the weird realization that my body was in this in-between stage. No longer pregnant, but not back to my “old” self either. It kind of felt like my stomach had just deflated like a balloon!

I did get on the scale a week after he was born. Mostly I was just curious. I’d heard that you can lose something crazy like 20 pounds once you give birth and I was curious to see what it would say.

For the last two or so months of the pregnancy I stopped looking at the scale when I went to the doctor. I just didn’t want to know what my weight was and honestly, it helped me a lot mentally. It wasn’t the priority and I didn’t need the pressure or the “feelings” surrounding weight gain so I just lived in denial for a few months. It was the best decision for me. I still counted my calories, worked out, ate when I was hungry and did my best. It worked.

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When I checked in at the hospital I weighed 190 pounds. Icky number for me mentally. When I got pregnant I was 157 pounds. 7 pounds over my goal weight. So I had gained 33 pounds during the pregnancy. I was a-okay with that amount honestly! I was worried I was in the 40+ pounds territory so I was actually pretty happy to see that it had stayed in the 30’s–which was what my doctor had recommended for weight gain.

One week postpartum I had lost 18 pounds. Crazy. It’s so weird to see a “loss” like that. Eventually I will get on track and try to lose the weight but right now it’s not my priority. Eventually I will get back to some kind of exercise and I’ll try to lose those 22 pounds.

I’m not counting my calories right now, just eating regular meals and good food. I will start counting in a few weeks. Right now I am just trying to get a handle on being a mom, pumping, feeding Logan and getting rest. I will say this, though, I have had hunger like I’ve NEVER experienced. Definitely not while pregnant! It’s crazy how hungry I’ve been breastfeeding!

Emotions

Like I said, the first few days were rough. Sleep deprivation did a number on my hormones and I felt like a complete mess! I do not believe I am suffering from PPD, I don’t feel depressed or have any of the symptoms. It definitely feels like hormonal fluctuations. There have been tears, that came out of nowhere. But overall it’s manageable. As long as I get enough sleep. I’ve noticed that if I skip taking a nap or two during the day I feel the emotional stuff way more than when I routinely nap a few times. Knowing the triggers was huge and I tried to get more sleep to avoid this.

Logan and I went on our first solo outing this week and I saw my therapist. He did so great! I was a little nervous venturing outside–and driving!–without Michael but it was good, everything went smoothly (and he did so well I was even able to stop at Target on the way home for a few things, which definitely gave my confidence a boost). My therapist does not think I’m suffering from Baby Blues or PPD either. She said what I described was an obvious case of sleep deprivation and crying is my body’s way of saying “you need sleep!” That was reassuring to hear.

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Despite the bumps in the road and the obvious learning curve, things are going much better and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m so deliriously happy about this baby. Even when he’s having a fussy moment it’s hard not to stare down at him and just think he’s too adorable for words. 🙂