What a difference a week makes. Seriously. I felt so good about myself physically, I felt good about Baby Girl (although she’s still a rockstar, I’m just tired), and I had energy and patience to keep up with my boys.
Gah, hormones are a tricky, little widget, aren’t they? So deceiving. All the positive feelings I had about my body image have disappeared. All the energy I had has burned off. I feel like your typical “new mom.”
This week I’ve been praying for patience and strength to deal with my rowdy boys and balance everything that comes with being a mother of three. I don’t think we’ve had a “normal” schedule since Baby Girl’s been born. (But honestly, with kids, what is normal?)
Recovery: Still feeling good, no pain or soreness. I am a bit tired, but c’mon, that’s a given. And since Baby Girl lets me sleep more than your average newborn, I have nothing to complain about.
Baby Girl: Still great, still sleeping a lot, but has a few more moments of wakefulness. She had started to get herself in a bit of a rhythm, but that quickly ended. Life with a newborn is never predictable! (Even when we think it is.)
Workouts: Nothing has changed since last week. Still doing my gentle core exercises. I have checked for diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and I’m pretty good there. Have about a finger width separation everywhere except around my belly button. There is about a 2 finger gap. You can check for yourself here, but only a doctor can diagnose diastasis recti. I’ve still been walking, and I’ve added a bit of very gentle yoga (like 10 minutes a couple times a week).
Nutrition: Still the same. The one area I need to focus more on is WATER. Immediately after baby, I’m always extremely thirsty and it’s easy for me to drink vats of water. This is so important for breastfeeding! Eventually my thirst tapers off, but I still need water! Especially as I’ve begun the night sweats. (Which I’m happy about; gotta get rid of that extra fluid somehow!) But sweating that much and while trying to make milk requires a lot of water. So my focus this coming week? Hydration!!
Weight loss: I’ve lost a couple pounds since coming home from the hospital, but that’s probably just the fluid loss. No real weight loss here yet. And that’s ok. It is always a hard pill to swallow when you expect the pounds to start melting off after baby, but that’s just not gonna happen without some hard work and mindful eating.
The biggest challenge for me now is to hold onto that relaxed feeling I had a week ago. I need to let my body take over and remember the amazing thing I just accomplished. Body image after baby is such a struggle for so many of us! Our bodies have gone through such a HUGE change and we don’t really recognize ourselves. Everything’s out of place, we have bags under our eyes, we’re carrying around extra poundage in weird spots, we sweat, our hair falls out, our skin does strange things, the list goes on! (And that’s not even some of the grosser aspects!)
The good news is, time will pass and you will get back to normal. The bad news is, it seems to take forever. I have to tell myself what I tell my boys: Practice patience. Focus this time on snuggling your newborn before he/she grows up and doesn’t want to snuggle anymore. Try to enjoy the sweet moments that will be gone before you know it. Try and see yourself through your husband’s, kids’ or family’s eyes: with love, appreciation, and admiration. Your husband thinks you’re beautiful, even with the smushy skin or stretch marks. Your children think you’re beautiful, even with your big thighs or hair loss. Those who love you, love you no matter what and think you’re incredible. Focus on that. Not on what the mean little voice in your head is saying. At least that’s what I’m trying to do.
And every once in a while, put on some mascara and a pair of pants that aren’t leggings or jammy pants (even if they’re a pair of maternity jeans) to remind yourself that you are a beautiful woman. Even when covered in baby spit up.