Sunday, October 26, 2014

5 Months Postpartum

I haven't written much of a formal update about how I'm doing postpartum lately, and I've gotten lots of positive feedback on previous postpartum posts, so here's a little update:

I finally feel normal. I definitely don't cry very much at all (back to my cold, heartless self :-), and I am even a little less crazy about being unwilling to leave Marshall with other people. I've been so thankful to have my parents and Terry's parents around and willing to baby-sit. I know I can trust them, and it's been really good for me to get out on my own or with Terry. I do think that staying home full time with Marshall has made me much slower to get comfortable with leaving him, so that's something I want to work on. Marshall actually had a TOTAL meltdown with my parents the other week when I left him with them to pick up Terry, and I did okay! I was grateful they called to ask me for suggestions, because I'm the type who would rather know about it (and help) than find out about it later and stress out about what I could have done to help. Of course, my parents managed to calm him down just fine. Babies get to have crazy mood swings like the rest of us.

I am, however, having a tough time with the fact that we'll be moving Marshall to his crib this week. It's time (he's way too big for his co-sleeper), but it'll be hard on me. I'm also dreading the late-night feedings, because our room is as far as possible from his (yes, we live in an apartment, but I wish our rooms were right next to each other). Now instead of being cozy in my bed and helping him back to sleep at an arm's distance, I'll have to either walk back and forth as needed or hang out in/near his room until he falls asleep. I also think I worry about normal stuff, like What if the monitor stops working and I don't hear him crying? What if I never sleep again out of worry? What if a spider/raccoon/bear gets into his room? Typical mom stuff, I'm sure.

I'm still recovering from the C-section. Joining the ICAN Facebook group has been a huge help because I see so many women who went through something similar to what I experienced. And I'm feeling a lot better overall about the fact that I needed the surgery.

I feel like exercise is heading in a great direction. I'm jogging somewhat regularly (once a week or so), walking a lot and for longer distances, and even finally adding some consistent strength training back into the mix. I'm challenging myself to get at least 30 minutes of walking each day, plus strength at least 2-3 times per week. I feel really good and much more normal as I get more and more exercise.

I realize this is a photo of Terry and not me. You get the idea.

Postpartum Weight Loss and Body
I haven't mentioned much about weight loss for a few reasons. First of all, I don't weigh myself regularly and only did so during pregnancy to make sure I was gaining weight appropriately. Secondly, postpartum weight loss was super quick after Marshall arrived, mostly because of breastfeeding (and, obviously, not having a baby in my belly anymore). So I don't feel like I did much to "earn" my weight loss and therefore didn't have much to say on the topic.

Yesterday, at the doctor, I learned that I'm now back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which is great, but I still don't feel (or look) the way I did pre-pregnancy. And that's okay, because I'm not the same as I was back then. Now I'm nourishing a (rapidly growing) baby boy and trying to find time to exercise regularly. I am not nearly as toned as I would like to be (hence weighing less but not feeling particularly spectacular), but there's time for that later. My priorities have shifted, so I'll get back to a new level of fitness in good time.

My hips expanded! I know that's supposed to happen and it's normal, but I just really noticed it in the last few weeks. Most of my clothes still fit me, but they fit a little differently.

My hair is falling out. I had heard of postpartum hair loss, but it's insane. I have a visible bald spot growing near my left temple, which looks awesome, and there's hair EVERYWHERE. I feel like I need to vacuum every day.

My scar still tingles a little, and my stomach is sore in some places, but it's getting better. As I get stronger, I notice that my stomach feels less sore, so that motivates me to keep it up!

Other Changes
I'm starting to feel more of a desire to go back to work. I absolutely love staying home with Marshall, but I think since I know I'll go back to work sooner or later, I am anxious about staying away too long and feeling like I can't get back into the swing of things when I do want to go back.

I'm finally getting into a routine of putting a little time into myself in the mornings. I try to wash my face, brush my teeth, put my contacts in before we leave the bedroom to play (Marshall usually hangs out on the bed with a toy during these five minutes). Otherwise it just won't happen. And I even wear makeup most days (brow liner, eyeshadow, mascara, and sometimes a little blush). My hair is almost always in a ponytail because I usually shower late at night and skip the blow drying, but at least I take regular showers now. That's a step in the right direction!

Leaving the house has gotten much easier. I used to dread going out and put it off almost the whole day because it was such a hassle to get out (packing up, making sure Marshall was clean and fed and dry, then usually having to start all over on the way out the door because Marshall would spit up). Also the car seat was too heavy. Now, though, I just strap Marshall into the Ergo and head out. He still spits up half the time we're leaving, but I'm calmer and faster about cleaning up.

Everything Else
For a long time, I felt like I really missed Terry. We were around each other a lot, but we didn't have a lot of time to just hang out, relax, chat about things we used to. I found myself talking about Marshall 95% of the time we were alone, and I missed our old conversations about more varied topics. But I feel like that's getting better now, too. We make it a point (most nights) to sit at the dining room table with the TV off for dinner, and we have really great conversations. We also are getting more dates in, thanks to grandparents, which is good for me and for us as a couple. But also, I think our relationship is naturally getting back to normal because we're getting more sleep, we're getting the hang of this parenting thing, and we're getting more exercise and healthy meals. It's all connected!

I love writing these posts and reflecting on how I'm doing in recovery. Pregnancy is such a hot topic, but I really don't read much about postpartum (parenthood, yes, but not the emotional and physical changes that come with it). It's nice to have a conversation about it. I would love to hear your experience, advice, thoughts, questions, comments. Please don't hesitate to contact me!

Other postpartum posts: three weeksseven weeks, twelve weeks. Plus, breastfeeding at 15 weeks.


  1. Oh I dreaded moving the boys into their cribs, but once it was done it was good. Also hair loss - even that extreme is normal, but it totally sucks. I carried a lint roller everywhere with me. Handfuls would just fall out. You look awesome. I hope you find a way to get a bit more date time with your hubs. We ended up doing couch date nights! Cheap and scheduled!

    1. Everyone says once they're in their own rooms it's better, so I hope I'll feel the same way! Oh, the lint roller is a good idea! And I love the couch date night thing. A little less stressful (and less expensive) than going out!

  2. Oh I can relate to so many points in this post. It took me a LONG time to feel comfortable leaving my daughter (who is now 16 months). I also feel much better when people ask for advice about her because I like knowing what's going on!

    I'm a stay at home mom and haven't gotten the "itch" to go back to work yet, but I know lots of moms who have been really happy finding a balance between being home and working. Would part-time be an option to ease back into it?

    And congrats on getting make-up on most days - I'm still not there yet haha!

    1. I love the idea of part time, but since I'll be looking for a brand new job I'm not sure if it's an option. We'll see!