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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Me, Myself and I: 1 Week Postpartum

 Just a few days before Izzy's arrival.

In yesterday's letter to I I touched on how she is doing, but how is the lady who pushed her hefty hiney into the world? To answer that, for being just eight days out from the big event, I think I am doing pretty well. While I only tore some surface tid bits (use your imagination) I didn't have any stitches at all and for that I am thankful. That entire area is still a bit tender but getting better every day and I don't anticipate the discomfort lasting all that long. I'm eager to get out and walking, but will ease into that slowly and give my body the time it needs even if it's hard to hold off. 

Otherwise, the first three or four days post-birth my entire body felt like I had been to a devil of a personal trainer who was out to make every muscle scream. My entire upper body was so sore that I could barely lift my heavy mason jar water jug with one hand and my legs were feeling awfully noodley. Thankfully that has all passed and although standing from certain positions can still be a bit tricky due to the aforementioned tender bits, my body has bounced back with relative ease. One area you can imagine hasn't quite bounced back is the belly, but I am actually really surprised by it. I have heard so much talk of having a jelly belly or still looking pretty pregnant post-birth, but I don't think mine is all that bad. Definitely looser and certainly more scar-covered (stretch-mark city) but I think with healthy eating, lots of water, and exercise when I am able I will be able to shape up that area too. Plus, I was working on getting in better shape prior to becoming pregnant so I'll be anxious to get back to that and to making myself even stronger and more physically fit than before. After giving birth to my girl I feel like I can handle so many physical challenges that I would let get me down before. I know I will not give up so easily in the future when it comes to challenging my body and my mind and I am thankful that labor and birth were such powerful things for me and were healing and restorative in so many ways that I needed.  

Other physical things to note: The boobs are large and in charge and making milk like champs. My skin is so much clearer now and that is a blessing all it's own. I had horrible skin while pregnant, so it's amazing to see it clear up so quickly now that she's here. 

But now, on to the emotions. Whoooa buddy am I an ever emotional lady. My blood is of a variety that already lends itself to being super emotional, just ask my brother who has been known to cry at a Hallmark comercial or two in his time, but boy oh boy are the emotions on overdrive now. From being overly tired, hormonally rollercoastering, and handling all of the challenges that come with being a new mom, E going back to work, taking care of a baby and four critters, and just trying to figure it all out, well, there are some tears that come with all of that. Most of the time all is well and I chug along through the day like a champ, changing diapers, slinging milk, and soaking up every inch of my little love, but when E walks in the door and the night starts setting in it gets a bit trickier. By then my energy stores have dwindled, my belly is most likely growling and I am just so glad to see my husband that it all comes flowing out. I don't feel depressed, just exhausted and teary and I know this is normal and should also balance out like everything else. 

All in all I feel like I'm doing pretty well for where we are at and have to remind myself it has only been a week. I am trying to focus on the little victories and to remember that this time will pass so quickly and soon be a distant memory. I try to remind myself to hold my girl close, enjoy these precious moments, and let the not-so-pleasant ones roll away. Just today I successfully drove our girl to her doctor's appointment all on my own and we made it safe and sound and without much stress along the way. That small step is the first of many that will get us out and about exploring the world together, helping me to find my new normal.

Happy to be a mama and emotional as can be.

Sara

22 comments:

  1. This post was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing! Talk about emotional- you got me all choked up and I barely know you! xoxo

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  2. I'm emotional just reading this!! Those first few weeks are such a blur: no sleep, constant nursing, it's an endless cycle! It's worth noting that skin to skin contact with your baby releases endorphins and serves as the best anti-depressant. Cry when you need to cry, hand the baby off when you need a break (and don't you dare feel guilty about it), nap when she naps, and accept the help that is offered to you. You look so beautiful in that photo, I've always told you that you are a natural. Enjoy these days and soak it all in, even the hard parts. You've got this mama!!

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  3. This reminded me of so many memories of my first few weeks with a newborn. I love her head full of hair!

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  4. I remember being so emotional when your nephew was born. Having a little someone who depends on you every single moment is really overwhelming. It gets less overwhelming and turns into pure fun when they get a little bigger. I'm 5 years in and I am still amazed at how completely wonderful he is.

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  5. man...i've always been an emotional gal, but i HATE the first six months after giving birth. i feel crazy, and completely bipolar. after having kids, i have definitely become more emotional than i was pre-children, but at least the craziness subsides after a while. :)


    my doctor also referred to little tears as 'skid marks,' which kind of creeped me out a bit.


    i love that picture of you and izzy. so cute!

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  6. She is just beautiful and it sounds like you're doing great. It takes a long time for your body to really recover, so take it easy!

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  7. Oh yes, I remember those days. Hang in there, it does get better.

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  8. Sara - that photo of you and Izzy is BEAUTIFUL. You look so amazingly happy.

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  9. Aww, Sara. I was an emotional wreck for the first week (hello, hormones!), and then slightly less of an emotional wreck for the second week. And then I started to feel a little more balanced. I also took some herbal supplements, and I really think they made a huge difference. If you're open to such things, I'd really recommend trying WishGarden's "Baby Blues" tincture. Rescue Remedy is wonderful, too.


    I'm so glad to hear your physical recovery is going well. You can take ALL the credit for that! Yay, health!

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  10. Definitely an endless cycle, but one I'm glad to be caught up in for the time being. I love skin to skin contact with my little love so will be sure to work even more of that into our days. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. These days are so full and busy, but I wouldn't give it up for anything.

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  11. Thank you! Her hair is so great and I wonder if she'll keep it or lose it as the weeks go by. I'm hoping for the keeping it, obviously. :)

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  12. And Ty is definitely full of fun and joy. That kid is amazing in so many different ways. So smart, funny, and so amazingly kind and loving. You all are wonderful parents to him.

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  13. Ha, oh man! I hope mine doesn't last for six months, well, at least not with the intensity of the first week, but I do know it will take some time for things to balance out.

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  14. She is beautiful, isn't she? :) I love that little booger more than I could have ever imagined. I will be sure to rest and give my body time even when it's hard to sit still. :)

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  15. Thank you for the encouragement. I know these days are fleeting so am trying to enjoy both the ups and downs as they come.

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  16. Thank you. I am pretty dang happy for sure. She is everything I always wanted and is just a wonderful addition to our lives.

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  17. I think I'm like you in that respect because the second week has started and I'm a lot more even keel. Still super tired and all, of course, but not feeling like I'm going to cry at the drop of a hat. That first week I cried just about every day and sometimes many times a day. Over how much I love her, over how much I love E and I and her together, over not knowing what to eat, just...everything. I do think it's been a good 48 hours or so though, so we'll see. :) I'm definitely open to herbal supplements and will keep them in mind. Right now I'm popping my placenta caps and I'm sure that is probably helping in some ways, but I will look into those you mentioned if I need a little something more in the future.

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  18. I have to admit I'm very jealous of you! I tore so badly pushing out my modestly sized baby (apparently it's related to the type of skin some people have and just 'one of those things', luckily its an area designed to heal quickly I guess!). It sounds like you're having a great recovery. It's so amazing how quickly our bodies bounce back, isn't it? Even with my intense labour and two days in hospital, I was pretty much back to normal a week later. I think being fit and healthy beforehand really helps, because labour takes soooo much out of you and then all the lack of sleep and making milk and crazy emotions makes it hard to recover. It's also so weird having a little flat jiggly belly after everything being so round and tight. I wore a support band for ages afterwards because it felt so strange with everything hanging out there haha.


    Your emotions will settle down eventually. I found that part really hard to deal with, I was so up and down in those first few weeks. It's such a huge time of change and the hormones are just all over the place. I would be laughing hysterically at something one minute and bawling the next. But it does settle and the best thing to do is just go with your emotions, get as much rest as possible, and let others help out where they can. I think having a baby just opens up your heart and makes you more emotional in general. I was never a very emotional person and now I cry over everything (like seeing a football team lose the grand final on tv... and I don't even like football, haha). I am so full of love that I think the easy-to-cry part is the other side.


    It sounds like you're doing great! Izzy is a doll and you have a wonderful husband and new dad to enjoy the ride with ♥

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  19. Well I'm glad to hear you had what sounds like a relatively quick recovery from your tearing. My midwife actually thought I was going to tear, but somehow Izzy made it out without such, who knows! My midwife was using plenty of olive oil and helping things along a bit too so maybe that did some to lessen my chances. It is crazy how quickly our bodies heal. I'm still having light bleeding and feeling sore here and there at times, but nothing like I would expect after such a huge physical event. But oh my, yes, so strange that suddenly this big round tight belly is gone. I look at pictures from before she was born and it's already so hard to believe my belly was ever so round. My midwife suggested a support band for when I start walking and exercising again, so I'm definitely looking into one as well. It sounds like it's worth checking out.


    But yes, oh my oh my the emotions. I think that's the craziest part to deal with as there is no simple fix or timeline. We know our bodies will heal and the physical is so much more concrete and visible, but the emotions are such a hard thing to figure out and there's no telling when they will settle or balance out again. Good thing is I know it will eventually and I can already feel it happening in different ways every day. Now rather than crying each and every day over so many random things, it has been less frequent and more just based on pure exhaustion I think.


    Thanks for all of the advice/support/love. It's so nice to have other mama's here to check in with and talk about these things with.

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  20. Another beautiful post by a beautiful person, inside and out! :)

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  21. You are so kind, thank you for the sweet words. :)

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