Saturday, January 24, 2015

Getting back to pre-baby shape

The struggle is real, my friends. 

I'm not sure what I expected to happen after giving birth. I have heard both sides of the story: women who lose all their baby weight PLUS more after birth; then there are those who struggle with the remaining 20 lbs. I happened to fall somewhere in the middle. 

I gained a total of 35 lbs in pregnancy - 5 of those pounds were gained in the two weeks that I went overdue - so I was in the upper end of my recommended range. I blame it on all the stress eating, never knowing when labor might approach. I honestly didn't care at all, I knew I would have plenty of time to get rid of it eventually, so I happily indulged. 

Two weeks after giving birth, I braved it and hopped on the scale. Much to my surprise, I had lost 20 lbs. By one month postpartum, I had lost an additional 5 lbs. So I was left with 10 more until I was back to pre-pregnancy weight. I figured no problem, I'm breastfeeding exclusively, this will be easy. 

Uhm, nope. Those 10 extra pounds are still alive and well on my body.  They're like that unwanted guest that just doesn't get the hint to leave at the end of the night. 

Losing weight while breastfeeding can be a tricky thing. Breastfeeding requires one to consume about 500 additional calories a day just to sustain milk supply, so cutting calories to lose weight can be risky. Some women find that if they don't consume enough calories, they retain weight, as the body's way of making sure there is always reserve for the baby's needs. I've also read that some women hold those last few pounds until they wean their baby from nursing. I honestly have not even attempted dieting of any sort and don't plan on it. I make sure I'm eating a healthy diet rich in protein, vegetables, fruits, and good carbs. I figure the weight will come off when it's ready to. In the meantime, I have slowly gotten back into working out as my form of me-time - for not only my physical well-being but my mental well-being. While my full-time job right now is taking care of my baby, it's just as important to take care of myself.

At 7 weeks postpartum, I had my final doctor's appointment and was given the okay to begin exercising again. At this point, I had already been walking pretty regularly, either on the treadmill or outside on days it was above 40 degrees. I felt great so I decided to slowly get back into running. Key word is SLOWLY. That first post-baby run was humbling, to say the least. I did not go above a 10 minute mile on the treadmill at 0% incline, and I was able to make it 1 mile before the pain set in, and I gave up. I took a day off and hopped back on, able to go 2 miles. By the 5th day, I was running 3 1/2 miles in under 35 minutes and feeling really good. Since then, I've been increasing my weekly mileage by a mile each week. I am really in-tune to my body and do not want to risk overdoing it, as I know I'm still recovering from my C-section. Some days, I make it 2 miles before I feel a cramp and have to stop to walk. I only run 3 days a week right now - I honestly don't have time unless Brent is home, and I'm incredibly thankful he takes over baby duties to make it possible for me to return to running. I have a few 5K's I'm aiming to participate in this spring, so it's my goal to continue improving my endurance, as long as I feel well enough to do so.

So on top of running 3x per week, I've been walking on the in between days with Wyatt. On the few days it has been somewhat warm out, I bundle him up, strap him into his stroller, and we hit the outdoors. On the other 99% of days when it's too cold out, I put him in my Moby wrap, and we hit the treadmill together for a 2-3 mile walk. I try to schedule it around his nap time. He typically falls asleep within 5 minutes of being in the wrap, and he'll nap through the whole walk. Let me tell you, carrying a 13 lb baby on your chest while walking 3 miles is just as much of a workout as running! 

Last week, I joined a group called Stroller Strides (FIT4MOM) in the neighboring town. I thought it would be a great way to get more active, get us out of the house through the horrible winter season, and get to know other mom's in the area. For the winter, it's held indoors at a huge activity center on the turf, and when the weather gets warmer, the meetups are at a park outdoors. I half expected the workout to consist of pushing our strollers in circles around the arena while gossiping with the other moms...boy was I wrong. I showed up with my minimalist snap and go stroller, thinking it would be easy peasy. Then I see all these hardcore moms with their double jogging strollers housing their toddler and infant, running laps around me and kicking ass. After the hour-long class, I was shaking all over. This was a legit full-body workout. I am TOTALLY hooked and plan on going all 4 days of the week that they meetup. Wyatt was a champ - this kid LOVES to be in his stroller! - and the ladies are awesome. I'll keep you updated my progress as I continue. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wyatt: Two Months

This little munchkin is now two months old, I can hardly believe it! He might look just like his daddy, but he has his mommy's personality - the stubbornness and all.

In the second month, we hit the dreaded 6 week growth spurt, which also coincided with the second Wonder Weeks leap and Christmas, unfortunately. This week consisted of nursing nonstop, refusing to nap during the day, and overall increased fussiness beyond the witching hour at 6pm. This one lasted a full week, but once we made it through, things got SO much easier. He began sleeping "through the night" consistently. We established a pretty solid nighttime ritual (still working on our daytimes...) that seems to work great for us. At 8:30pm, I nurse him on one side while we're downstairs watching TV before bed. At 9pm, we head upstairs to our bedroom; Wyatt gets a diaper change, swaddled in his velcro SwaddleMe fleece, the white noise machine goes on, and I nurse him on the other side until he's drowsy then place him in his Rock 'n Play next to the bed to sleep for the night. He's usually asleep by 9:30pm, and he will sleep until 4:30/5am for a quick diaper change and nurse; then he goes back to sleep until 8/8:30ish, and at that point, we're up for the day. Very occasionally, he will wake up at 2am for a quick diaper change and 20 minute nurse, then he'll go right back to sleep. Brent has willingly taken over all the middle of the night diaper changes, which makes things pretty easy for me, not even having to get out of bed.

Our day times are definitely not as structured, but it's still early at this point. When we wake up for the day at 8am, Wyatt goes right into his swing while I make myself a breakfast smoothie (Greek yogurt, frozen bananas and berries, almond milk), and then I plop on the recliner for his morning nursing session. He still nurses every 2 hours pretty consistently through the day, but he has decreased his nursing time from 1 hour down to about 30-40 minutes each session, which has made a HUGE difference in our day - for the better! He usually naps about 30-45 minutes after each nursing session, then he awakes for a little play time. How do you play with a 2 month ask, you might ask? Well, we do a number of different activities: swing, bouncy chair, playmat, tummy time, and Wyatt's favorite: laying on the nursery floor staring into a mirror while his little light-up toy plays music. I read a lot of books to him now, although he's much more interested in watching my mouth move than he is the books. He used to fight nap time, but he's gotten much better about it recently. When all else fails, I wrap him in my Moby, and we head downstairs for a 2 mile walk on the treadmill. He falls asleep in minutes that way. I've also been able to start consistently cooking dinner again (yay for the small things!) while Wyatt hangs out in the swing or I wear him in my k'tan wrap. Baby wearing is a life-saver!

The only real unfortunate thing we encountered this month was discovering Wyatt has silent reflux. He became increasingly fussy while nursing, arching his back and coughing a lot. Then I started notice milk coming out his nose at times. Since birth, he never enjoyed laying flat on his back to sleep, which is why we bought the Rock 'n Play, since it was inclined. We took him to his pediatrician one day when he refused to nurse, and he diagnosed him with reflux. Wyatt's now on Zantac twice a day, and it's helped significantly. He's a much happier, comfortable baby now! We were told once he begins sitting up more, he should outgrow it, any time between 6-9 months.

Let me tell you, this kid LOOOOOVES his mommy, and I can't get enough of it. I smile, he smiles. I laugh, he laughs, He's definitely my little velcro baby at the moment. He doesn't love not being in my arms. I seriously can not get enough of this kid. I love my little meatball!

The chubster went through HUGE growth spurt this month and gained over 3 lbs since his last doctor visit and grew almost 2 inches! I felt like one morning, I went to pick him up, and he felt like he weighed twice as much as he did the day before - it was crazy! And his head size is in the 90th percentile...he gets that from his dad. He's now completely outgrown all his 3 month clothes and has moved into mostly 3-6 months and some 6 month clothing.

Two month stats:
Weight: 12 lbs 11.5 oz
Height: 23.5 inches
Head circumference: 41 cm

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wyatt: One Month

It's me, I'm back! And I'm sort of playing catch up, if you don't mind. We're into month three now, and I'm JUST finally getting to post about Wyatt's first month...such is life these days.

First off, I absolutely love being a mom. There have definitely been some times here and there where I have missed the freedom of the non-child life. Every day things I once took for granted are much harder to come by these days. Little things like stepping out to get the mail, making a quick run to the grocery store, and savoring a delicious meal are much more difficult now. The older he gets, the easier things are getting, and the more comfortable I am to take him out and about. I can't wait for spring time though, this winter season is for the birds!

Wyatt's first month was intense, to say the least. I feel like we were in a haze, it went by so fast! We spent the first week in the hospital, and all of Brent's paternity time was used up then, which kind of sucked, to be honest. We came home and began the Wyatt-and-mommy saga. This second week, he was still in that sleepy newborn stage, which I was thankful for since I was still recovering from my C-section surgery and not able to do a lot physically. Most of our days consisted of nursing, sleeping, and binge-watching shows on Netflix. 

Wyatt was born with a tongue-tie, which we opted to have surgically fixed for the sake of breastfeeding. We had that done when he was 10 days old. The procedure itself took all of 5 minutes, he barely cried, and off we continued on our breastfeeding journey. I lucked out - my milk came in on day 3 after birth, and with the help of a nipple shield, Wyatt was a quick-learner and loved nursing. Unfortunately, during week two, I got mastitis and had to go on antibiotics. I was able to continue nursing through it, and within 48 hours, my fever was gone, and I was back to normal.

The third week, if I can be totally honest, was by far the hardest and can only be equated to first-time-parent-hell. Wyatt "woke up" out of that sleepy, content newborn stage that week, he was going through a major growth spurt, and when he wasn't eating, he was crying. All that confidence we were gaining was thrown out the window this week, and I felt like I truly had no idea what I was doing. He began fussing constantly, was always hungry, and clung to my breasts around the clock. Wyatt's first big outing - Thanksgiving! - fell in the middle of that week, and unfortunately, it really didn't go so well. I spent 4 out of the 5 hours in my dad and stepmom's bedroom nursing him, and trying to console him from constant meltdowns. When we finally emerged from that awful third week, our happy little baby was back. These growth spurts, man, I'll tell ya - no fun for either party involved!

The final week of the first month came with a few surprises. Smiles! One morning when I woke up and looked in his Rock n Play, he looked up at me and smiled this big, open-mouth, tongue out smile! It melted my heart. I spent the rest of the day trying to get him to do it again, with no luck. Slowly, it became an every day thing, and by the end of the week, he was doing it all day. It made my world. He also started sleeping 4-5 hour stretches toward the end of one month, which is amazing. He would go down around 8pm and sleep until 12/1am then go down again until 5am and another snooze until 8am, then we'd be up for the day. He loves his sleep, this kid. And momma loves him for it!

One month stats:
Weight: 9 lbs 8 ounces
Height: 22 inches
Head circumference: 38.5 cm