Sunday, October 6, 2013

2 Weeks Postpartum

I knew after having a baby I would be feeling a wide range of emotions between my hormones and exhaustion; I just didn't know they would be so strong. There are days (usually when I don't see Adam all day) where I just don't feel human-not being able to shower until noon or wear real clothes and I am running off of four hours of sleep and all I want to do is cry.

Luckily, I think I have passed the point now as we are starting to settle into some sort of routine. It also helps that we have FINALLY gotten the hang of breastfeeding (WOOHOO!) I had pretty much reached the point of just exclusively pumping until I realized she was going through a growth spurt and I could barely keep up with her demands. So, one night, after one of the most tiring days we have had together, I just decided to try again and we were successful-had no issues! She latched on right away and we have been pretty much smooth sailing ever since. Breastfeeding was something I really wanted to do because it is best for her and for me but I never realized it would be so difficult. Everyone told me the first two weeks are the hardest and then after that it is a breeze which is exactly what happened with us. We still give her a bottle every so often if Adam wants to feed her, we are out and about, if she still needs a little more after nursing but so far it the combination of bottle-feeding and breastfeeding hasn't confused her at all!

Some updates on me:
-Weight loss-19 pounds (3 more to go). I had to go to the doctor for something five days after delivery and I was already 14 pounds down. I think breastfeeding has a lot to do with my weight loss and I started to retain A LOT of water in the last month and now that a lot of my swelling has gone down I think that contributed to some of the weight loss too.
-This brings me to my next point/advice for pregnant women: Your swelling gets worse before it gets better. I remember several nurses commenting on how swollen my feet and ankles were and me making the comment "I know! I can't wait until I deliver so the swelling goes down!" Each of them would reply with something along the lines of "Oh, it will get worse before it gets better!" and they were right! But after about a week post-partum I was able to wear my wedding ring again (after about a month and a half of not being able to) and shortly after, wear my normal shoes again!
-I am still wearing maternity pants (blah) for two reasons: My c-section incision is still kind of sore so my regular jeans aren't the most comfortable. Also, even though my weight gain is pretty much gone, my stomach is still kind of stretched out so my jeans don't quite look right.

When I reflect on my pregnancy, I wanted to provide a list of things I couldn't live without and things that I thought were a waste of money:

  • I took Tums almost everyday before I went to bed for the last month and a half. I didn't have bad heartburn but really bad acid reflux-I had a burning sensation in my throat which made trying to sleep difficult. Tums were a lifesaver!
  • Heating Pad-Towards the end of my pregnancy I felt a lot of lower back pain. Come to find out, it is because of how she was positioned (which lent to my difficult labor) instead of being positioned face down, she was face up which means her back was resting my lower back. The only relief I could get from it was a heating pad both at home and at the hospital. 
  • Bananas-I ate a ton of bananas. I think this helped with not having as many leg cramps throughout the night. If I at a banana a day, I was in pretty good shape.
  • Cereal bars-In my first trimester and the end of my third trimester, I would wake up in the middle of the night hungry. It was much easier to keep a cereal bar in my night stand for me to eat real quick in bed then getting up to get something.
  • I don't think a pregnancy body pillow is necessary. It was just as easy to position a bunch of regular pillows. Plus I have more freedom to do what I want with them and the pregnancy pillows are HUGE and take up too much room!
  • Palmers cocoa butter for stretch marks-I have written about this before but if you are going to get stretch marks, you are going to get them. I could bathe in that stuff or apply 10 times a day and I still would have gotten them so I don't know if it was necessary!
Overall, I had a pretty low-maintence pregnancy so I didn't require a lot of "things" to make me comfortable.

Being a new mother is definitely an adjustment! I have never watched more TV, wore more sweatpants, and have been more tired. When I have the chance and I do venture beyond our apartment, I do make the effort to feel human (actually do my hair, makeup, and wear real clothes) because the last thing I want is to fall into a "slump." With all of the changes, it is hard for me to get too frustrated with my "new" life when I look at her and am still in disbelief that Adam and I created her because she is so remarkable!

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