Post-Baby, Mind & Body

Lots of new-mom bloggers seem to do one of these posts, regardless of the scope of their blog. Given the fact that I spend a lot of time here on my own blog talking about fitness, body image, my past disordered eating recovery … it seems only appropriate to do a quick post about my post-baby mind and body after delivery.

Ben was two weeks yesterday and I got the green light to drive, so I figured this was a good time to share where I’m at, mentally and physically.

All in all, I feel pretty darn good.Mind

It’s so funny to me how, this second time around, I’m so much less stressed about motherhood. Of course, I’m a sleep-deprived milk-machine which is stressful, for sure … but in terms of meeting Ben’s needs, both Luis and I have taken a more laid-back approach.

It’s not that we’d let him cry for hours or go without eating or sit in a dirty diaper … of course not! But rather than booking it out of the shower because I heard a whimper (like I would do with Maya early on) or race into the nursery because he ohmygosh stirred (yup, done that, too!) … this go around, we let him be, and then tend to him as soon as humanly possible.

We learned this with Maya … but it took a couple weeks to get there … to the point where we learned we can meet all her needs but it doesn’t always have to be in.this.second. We had to learn to trust that she will be fine, and that we were doing OK.

This time, we’re a couple steps ahead. We know as long as he is clothed, fed, snuggled and safe … he’s happy! And if he needs to wait a minute longer than he might have liked to get some milk … well, he will be OK. The milk will be there. I will be there. This sense of calm helps enormously, especially when now we have two children demanding our attention.

I will say, I find I have far less patience for Maya’s sassiness lately … and I feel really bad about that; it’s something I hope to work on. The past six months or so, we’ve been experiencing a groundswell of age-appropriate defiance and “do everything MYSELF” ‘tude … (heaven help us if we try to help her with anything …).

It’s really become a challenge, and I need to try to keep in check 1) she is adjusting to being a big sister and 2) she is almost 3. This is just how almost 3-year olds are. They test, they challenge, they push buttons. They act out. They have tantrums when they don’t get their way. They negotiate.

But underneath her czarina exterior, she is still a little person who desperately wants to please her mommy and daddy. When she knows she’s disappointed one of us, her lower lip quivers and her eyes well up … and suddenly she isn’t 3-going-on 13 but rather just a little girl, one who is exerting her independence. And so nowadays, when she sweetly asks for a hug or a kiss, I will pretty much drop everything and melt just like I did when she was a baby, erasing all the gunk she has put me through that day.

Body

Of course, unlike the celebs you see in magazines, I am nowhere near ready to put on non-maternity jeans yet — even if I could fit into them, my incision is still tender and will be for a couple more weeks — but I am able to wear my pre-pregnancy tops again. And, since fall is my favorite season, I’m welcoming my old [upper-body]wardrobe with open arms (and excited to get my fall/winter shopping on!).

I gained a total of 34 pounds during my pregnancy and, exactly two weeks later, I am down 24. Interestingly, with Maya I only gained 25 … but was left with the same 10 pounds two weeks later. “10” seems to be the magic “leftover” number for me two weeks post-partum. But I’m not worried. Between breastfeeding, family walks and eating a well-balanced diet (well … somewhat ;)), it will come off. And at the six-week mark, I can start adding back Zumba and Body Pump if/when time allows.

I’m honestly not too concerned about the “leftover” weight. I’m still journaling at MyFitnessPal, as I have been for the past year or so and eating often and as I did during my pregnancy — mostly because in order to produce milk, you can’t be cutting calories; it can wreak havoc on your milk supply.

As with Maya, I managed to escape stretch marks on my stomach and hips, and I’ve been pleased at how quickly my stomach flattened out again, as it did with Maya. Of course, having had a C-section, there’s a little pucker of skin/”pooch” that needs a couple more months to get back to normal … but on the whole, aside from said pooch and subsequent rounded belly, I don’t look in the mirror with disdain for my figure. Instead, I see my scar and pooch as badges of honor. Motherhood.

Perfection doesn’t exist and though it’s taken me a long time to see that, I wouldn’t trade my life, my body, or anything else … for what I have. I feel truly grateful for it all: the good (my family and friends), the bad (nursing struggles) and the ugly (sleep-deprivation).

And when I look at this little guy … on the outside now … it blows my mind that I grew him, inside of me.

It’s nothing short of a miracle.

Two weeks outta my belly and into this wonderful world!
Two weeks outta my belly and into this wonderful world!
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