doctor

Itchy

Last week we ended up back at the vet! Just to recap, in the last month we’ve been to the vet like 4 times. The first time was Fat Kitty (he was throwing up but he’s ok), next it was Bella with a split nail (which ended up being two visits) and that brings us to last week.

I got home from work last Wednesday and Michael had had a rough day with Logan, who was fussy, but thankfully the little guy was asleep. We sat down to eat dinner together and try to relax. My right eye was feeling kind of itchy for some reason but I didn’t know why. I started eating.

Then Michael said, “Does Bella look weird?”

I looked over and saw Bella and then kind of freaked out. She was covered in hives! And her face was swelling. I called the vet and said we were coming in. My eye was itching even more and I went in the bathroom and looked and it was starting to swell a bit. I rushed Bella to the vet.

We got there and there was a line to check in but they rushed Bella back immediately and I had to wait to check in, then wait to hear from the vet. It was kind of a long wait but someone finally came out to talk to me. They gave Bella an injection of steroids and Benadryl. Then we were able to go home.

The vet didn’t know what happened. My first thought was that she got stung by a bee or wasp. But that doesn’t explain why my eye had some kind of allergic reaction. The vet said maybe Bella rolled in a weed in the yard that she was allergic to. The whole thing was odd–both of us having some kind of reaction.

While we were at the vet I asked Michael to wash everything–her blankets, the couch covers on the couch, whatever Bella could have laid on and gotten the “stuff” on–whatever it was. I took a Benadryl that night and my eye got better. Bella was on Benadryl three times a day for the next 4 days until her lumpy hives went away.

I’m really glad she’s doing better but damn it was scary!! Especially seeing her face and eyes swell. 🙁 This is not Bella, obviously, but this is what her body kind of looked like:

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I still don’t know what happened or what she got in to. I’m leaning more towards she got into something in the yard and I petted her, then rubbed my eye and had some kind of reaction as well. Ugh! I just wish I knew what it was.

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In other news…Logan keeps getting a little heat rash. It’s weird because it hasn’t been all that hot yet here in Portland and we have air conditioning. When we go for walks it’s usually early in the morning before it gets too warm. I do my best not to over dress him and when his heat rash kind of flares up I will sometimes just leave him in a diaper to see if that helps.

We went to Urgent Care when it first happened because I think he was only like 6 or 7 weeks old and hadn’t had his vaccination yet and I was kind of freaked out by the rash on his chest. For peace of mind we went in and had it looked at. The doctor suggested treating it with coconut oil on the skin whenever it flares up, which we’ve been doing and that seems to help. It’s just weird that it happens semi-frequently when it’s not that hot and he’s not over-dressed.

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So moms out there, I am crowd-sourcing ideas! If you had this happen with your babes, clue me in. I really hate it when my poor baby gets this–even though he doesn’t seem too bothered by it (and doesn’t seem to feel itchy, but maybe he just doesn’t know how to itch yet??).

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Anyways. I’ve half written about a dozen blog posts but whenever I sit down to write them either Logan gets fussy and needs me, something else happens, or my brain is just fried and I stare at the words like it’s a foreign language and then close the laptop. 😉 Working on it! Also working on the weight loss. More on that soon! Now excuse me, I have a dozen loads of laundry to do (that’s kind of my new hobby these days!).

 

A Different Body

I knew that things would be different after.

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1 Week Postpartum

Having lost 110 pounds — nearly 10 years ago — I had some loose skin on my stomach. It wasn’t too bad. I think a combination of being 25 years old when I started to lose the weight and the fact that it took me a year and a half to lose the weight made the skin “bounce back” a little easier. But I still had a little bit. It was something I was self-conscious about. Even at my skinniest (143 pounds) I never felt truly comfortable about my stomach. I wore a bikini in Hawaii and it was both scary and liberating but I was never 100% confident when I wore it. It was just the way it was.

Something happened when I got pregnant. I was no longer self-conscious about my stomach. As it grew I also grew to love it. It was something special and wonderful. Even during that in-between stage where I just looked kinda chubby and not quite pregnant yet, I still loved it.

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Now that Logan is here, my body is mine again. Sort of! Things sure have changed and in a lot of ways it feels like my body is that of a stranger’s instead. My stomach is kind of oddly deflated right now. It’s not really about loose skin as much as just being “deflated”. It’s a bit weird and it feels like it’s not my body.

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I’m definitely in-between in clothes. Nothing fits quite right. Part of that is the extra pounds and part of that is the deflated stomach issue. So maternity clothes are too big and baggy, my old clothes are too small, the clothes I wore in the early months of my pregnancy sort of fit but don’t look quite right either. Pre-pregnancy I was in a size medium for most shirts, now mediums don’t really fit but sometimes the large sized shirt is too big. I need a half size!

I recently decided to buy some new clothes. I just had to. Breastfeeding = I definitely needed new bras. I bought some new workout clothes that fit a little better. Had to buy a pair of jeans for work (pre-pregnancy I was a size 8, now I’m somewhere in between a 10 and 12 and of course neither size really fits well!). I bought a few pairs of capris, shorts and shirts. Some of them are in a size bigger than what I used to wear, some aren’t. I’m trying not to give the label too much mind, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit disappointing.

It’s just weird not feeling quite yourself. 🙁

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15 weeks post partum

Another issue I’ve discovered is that postpartum healing takes time. I knew it would. But to be honest I “bounced back” pretty quickly at first and perhaps went back to some activities to soon? Who knows, hindsight and all that…but I’ve stopped running temporarily. Partially due to the flare-up of my back issues. I am disappointed for sure. I thought I was “Back to Normal” (normal???) and so it is frustrating to see my limitations.

Talking to my doctor about some of the general issues I’ve had she explained that breastfeeding does a number on your body that you just don’t realize. The big one? The ligaments are still loose like when you were pregnant. I did not know this. It’s funny–there are a zillion books, websites, blogs, etc about pregnancy and all the shit your body goes through giving birth but rarely do they ever REALLY discuss the aftermath. I know in our childbirth class she whizzed through the postpartum part in 30 minutes and didn’t cover any of the issues I had after giving birth (perfect example: hot flashes? Who knew that was a thing?!?! Thank goodness for Google.).

My doctor said some of these issues I’ve been having won’t resolve until I stop breastfeeding (come on ligaments! Get back to normal!!). Again, I’m disappointed. I was really looking forward to getting back into running, running outside this summer, and running the two 5k’s I signed up for this fall. It was kind of crushing to realize that that might not happen and I just need to make peace with that and do what my body CAN do. I’m trying not to think about it, or put too much pressure on myself but it’s hard. I was so expecting this all to just happen naturally and I was healing really well and felt okay to get back into fitness.

In addition to my back flare-up I’ve noticed my IT band is inflamed. I haven’t had issues with my IT Band in years (thankfully my runner’s knee hasn’t returned–knock on wood). I am guessing this is related to breastfeeding and ligaments being looser.

So in a lot of ways I am feeling frustrated with my body.

I saw the physical therapist I was seeing last year for my back this week and she said that my back issue is entirely related to being pregnant. My core is gone. The repetitive issue of bending over to pick up the baby, not having core strength due to pregnancy just lead to a back strain. She thinks the IT band flare-up is also related to my core issues (and the breastfeeding thing) so basically it’s all just a “you had no core strength for almost a year injury”. She said that running probably didn’t help–because you DO use your core a lot for running. So I went back to running too soon and should have focused more on core strength in those early days of being back at the gym.

She also suggested I don’t do the ab machines at the gym (she said they are not good for the body), which I stopped doing once my back hurt. She gave me some PT exercises to strengthen my core and I’m hoping that I can try running again soon.

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My new goal is to focus on strengthening my core and doing some low-impact activities. We used to go hiking every 4th of July–we didn’t this year–but I’m hoping we can start that soon. It’s a good, low impact activity we can do together.

I knew things would change, but it’s hard when you feel like you are “normal” and yet…you aren’t back to your normal yet. I keep forgetting that for nearly a year I had limitations! So that’s what’s going on in my life right now…healing, strengthening and waiting!