Post partum recovery: 15 weeks later

My post partum body is slowly getting back to normal (?). I question this as I don’t even know what normal is anymore after fertility treatments, laparoscopy surgery and deliverying a 9lb baby. 

My back is FUCKED from breastfeeding/carrying baby/sleeping. I never had lower back issues until I got pregnant. Some days it causes me just as much grief as my upper back/shoulders. I try to get to the chiro and go for a massage once or twice a month if possible. Mommy Baby yoga has been helping everything stretch and fall back into place though. I’m also hoping to begin my at home yoga practise again too.

Two weeks ago, I went to a physio appointment to get my pelvic floor checked. As you may recall, I went regularly during pregnancy as my constant puking led to constant peeing. In the third trimester, we had things working well and I was no long peeing myself each time I heaved. In retrospect, I think we may have overtightened my muscles down there as Wyatt’s head wouldn’t come out during delivery.

Now, I’ve got quite a bit of tension in my perineum and my scar tissue from my episiotomy/tear is hard and tight. My super awesome physiotherapist moved to another city just before I had Wyatt. Her replacement is a nice gal, but she is much more docile. I’m more of a “let’s cut to the chase and get this over with” kind of patient. After a very quick check, she suggested I try some self-massage at home. Now, let me just say pelvic floor massage is ANYTHING but sexual or comfortable. On top of that, when the hell is a new Mom supposed to find time to engage in an intimate procedure such as massaging her vaginal walls while focusing on breathing and releasing her pelvic floor tension? Well… I guess if I wasn’t blogging right now I could be doing it! haha 

I tried the other night in the bath, but 5 minutes later, Mike was standing outside the bathroom door with a fussy baby. :|

I wasn’t surprised when my pelvic floor was tight. I’ve noticed lots of tension in my neck/jaw lately and they say the two are connected. I’m hoping now that Wyatt is bigger, I can find some more comfortable nursing positions and use my yoga/stretching to keep my neck/shoulders/back in alignment.

The most noticeable changes in my body have been wider hips, a more jiggly belly, my tiger stripes and dry hair. The hair has thrown me. I use to have more oily hair, but now it’s like I could go a week without a wash. I also had the most perfect skin when I was pregnant, but I’ve had a few hormonal breakouts over the past month. My acupuncturist says this is all normal and it’s almost like my body is detoxing. I guess my “food bags” (that one was for you Sharla! haha) are also saggier, but it’s hard to compare when they are filled with milk.

I don’t mind my post partum body though. I kinda like the softness and subtleness of it all. I’m happy to be a Mom even with all the aches and pains…. except for maybe the hemmorhoids. They could F-off any time now.

I’m still maintaining my post partum weight of about 10-15 lbs down from where I was pre-pregnancy. My weight is seriously the last thing on my mind these days. I’d rather eat when I’m hungry and ensure I have enough nourishment for myself and my baby. He doesn’t care if my ass jiggles and I sometimes think he prefers my pudginess as it gives him a warm, soft place to snuggle into. <3

 

 

 

From Corporate life to motherhood

I just logged into my work account to catch up on Corporate news. I wanted to see if anyone else has come or gone since Christmas. There wasn’t anything too exiting in my inbox, but I know I’m not being cc’d on much activity related to regular operations or projects.

Right now, I’m going to take a few minutes to myself online while Wyatt naps in his carrier. It’s funny how much life changes once you have a little one.

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My highlight of the day was finding a nursing room at one of our local malls. It’s an older, dingy mall. I don’t go there often at all, but I wanted to find a Valentine’s day gift for my husband. As we were shopping, Wyatt pooped. It’s a given that anytime you venture to a major shopping centre your kid will decide it’s time to shit himself. I changed him in a family washroom, but discovered a door labelled “Nursing”. I opened it and sure enough there was a sink, a counter and two rocking chairs. We went in, sat down and Wyatt had his lunch. It wasn’t the nicest room, but it was clean. I don’t have an issues feeding in public anymore.  In fact, I’ll whip it out just about anywhere now, but concept of the nursing room was nice – a small, quaint space for you to connect with your baby away from the busyness of the mall. I’ve decided to check and see if our other malls have anything similar.

The second highlight of my day was receiving FLUFF mail! I have totally become one of those Moms who gets a kick out of purchasing diapers, baby-wearing supplies or kids clothes online.  My most recent purchases arrived today which included a rainbow cloth diaper and an “Eat Local” onesie purchased on Zulily.

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My husband heckles me about budget. I’ve been doing my own selling on our local classifieds to fund my online purchases. We just sold our swing as it was just sitting unused in my office and we are using our borrowed Mamaroo more. I hope to update you all on what baby items actually worked for us soon!

The third highlight of my day was buying new laundry detergent to wash our cloth diapers. We didn’t need a new brand or anything. We just ran out and our local store is also out of that brand, so we are trying a different one. I used to hate laundry, but I don’t mind it anymore. This may sound crazy, but it gives me a purpose – something to accomplish besides feeding and changing a baby all day long.

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I love my time with my son, but there’s no doubt that it has been a transition to go from a super busy working woman to a Mom who’s on maternity leave. Honestly though, I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. <3

 

Taking some time for me

After my meltdown last weekend, I actually had a good week. I decided to just go with the flow and not have any big expectations of myself. I focused on smaller tasks rather than taking on anything huge (meaning: laundry was an accomplishment). Wyatt and I even managed to sneak in a few walks in our neighbourhood since we had some way above seasonally average days (+3 degrees Celsius ).

Things are better with Mike. I keep focusing on how communication is key even more so now that we have a child. I have to laugh at today though. Mike was solo parenting for 3 hours this morning and 1 hour this afternoon. When I returned home between outings, he told me, “You better be nice to me. I changed like 35+ diapers and played with him constantly between naps. He did sleep for most of the time you were gone though“.

Right… You mean you did exactly what I do every day of the week… except you probably had it easier because it sounds like Wyat napped like a champ today. :)

I am enjoying my moments of Mommy freedom. Since the first night I left him with Mike and a bottle, I’ve escaped a few more times to get my hair cut/coloured, attend a fertility yoga class, participate in a Chakradance session, get a massage, and go to our local infertility support group meet up. Even if it’s just an hour or two every couple of days, its allowing me to feel more grounded and return to myself.

I don’t regret waiting til 3 months to offer a bottle. We still have a strong breastfeeding connection, but I do appreciate the fact that he will take it if I’m gone. I also learned that I am a supreme pumper. Each time I’ve pumped, I’ve been able to get between 5-7oz. I split it into 1-2oz bottles/bags. Wyatt won’t take much from a bottle right now. The most he’s drank in one sitting is 2 oz. We’ve had to toss some milk due to this, so I’m really trying to freeze as much as I can and only leave 1-2 oz fresh in the fridge. Mike can thaw more if he needs it.

What breast milk freezer bags do you prefer? I’ve been using the Medela ones, but I’m almost out. I’m open to trying a different brand if anyone has a recommendation.

I’m only comfortable with Mike or myself feeding Wyatt right now. I really want Mike to be able to develop that bottle bond with him before we introduce anyone else to the mix. I have left Wyatt with a close friend and my mother-in-law for about 1-2 hours at a time. My mother-in-law seems more comfortable with him as he gets bigger. I’m still processing some of my own emotions about my relationship with her. Small doses are better for me for now.

Overall, I’m glad I decided to try the bottle as I do think it was time for some “me” time. I always stress the importance of self care during fertility treatments, but I think it’s just as important once you become a Mommy. Healthy, happy Mommy = healthy, happy baby :)

It seems every time I get caught up reading the blogs, you all go crazy and write like 1 post a day for 3 days straight. I am looking forward to catching up during Wyatt’s nap time over the next few days.

Nursery update: gallery wall is finished

I finally finished the gallery wall in Wyatt’s nursery.  As typical Mom life would go, the process of selecting, printing, assembling and hanging these two last frames was an all day affair.

We ended up removing the large yellow star as it kept falling down = MAJOR HAZARD.

My Mom finished the cross-stitch birth announcement that she made for us. I sized it wrong, so we bought a new frame for it and placed it where the large yellow star had been.

I filled the green frame with one of Wyatt’s newborn photos that features him wearing a knitted Toronto Blue Jay’s hat.

I found a print on Etsy from FluffBabyStuff to fill the placeholder cross-stitch frame. I purchased the digital files and printed it off on our home printer. I wanted something that was a tribute to Wyatt and his Angel sister as I carry them both within my heart. <3 It reads, “I will carry you always“.

I may put another frame above the mirror if I find another photo that works well.

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WARNING: Mommy stress

I’m having a rough 2 days.

Worry.

Anxiety.

Stress.

Arguments with my husband.

I’m feeling disconnected from myself.

I escaped 3x in the past week for some much needed Mommy time – without feeling guilty or worrying – as Wyatt was with my husband. One night was a girl’s night at a friends. I didn’t even have one drink, but probably should have! Another night, I got my hair cut and coloured as I hadn’t had a colour since the summer. And Saturday morning, I went to yoga class and had lunch with a friend.

Now as I write this, little man is crying for me. I snuck away from our bed to write on my laptop in the rocking chair in the nursery (because you know – the nursery is used for folding laundry since we cosleep – HA!).

I’m feeling torn between his new found independence and his dependence on me. It’s a weird place to be as a Mother. Some days your little one seems so gr….

Fast forward 6 hours…

And I’m back. It’s 4:30 a.m. I started this post at 10:30 pm.

As I was saying, some days your little one seems so grown up and other days they still want you, still need you.

With an increased sense of independence comes less tolerance. During the newborn phase, you could easily pack them up while they were sleeping and do what you needed to do. Wyatt is not much of a napper. I laugh at all of the suggested hours of sleep/day. I’m lucky if I get 1-2 hours from the time we wake until my husband gets home. Some days are better than others, but I just can’t depend on it.  We have established a definite afternoon nap though. Meltdown mode will begin by 3pm if he hasn’t had a nap.

Maybe that’s it? I’ve always said I’m not much of a routine person, but with baby dictating the schedule, I’ve got even less control over my life than ever before. Whenever I get stressed, it usually boils down to control.

My husband and I got in a HUGE fight on Sunday which led to me locking myself in the bathroom with the baby. I thought a nice relaxing bath might make me feel better, but then Wyatt decided to poop in the tub. Another moment of hilarity in which I was shown I have no control over mom life.

I’m still processing what it is that triggered me this weekend, but it’s a combo of the following:

  • Husband messing up the very organized storage room that I neatly put together prior to baby’s arrival
  • Husband misplacing the rain cover from our stroller which I wanted to use to get out of the house and block the wind from baby’s face
  • Feeling like NO ONE listens to me – and I mean TRULY listens to me
  • The distance between my Mom and I, along with her closer relationship to my sister these days
  • Attempting to plan a trip to visit my family knowing that a lot of what we have to do is unreasonable, but it is what it is (i.e. having to rent a car for a week because they refuse to drive from the cottage to the airport to get us)
  • Getting a slight taste of my own independence back only to realize its a facade. Mom’s don’t really have independence.
  • My vagina. My pelvic floor and scar tissue are tight and sore. And you know, I’ve got a ton of solo time to work on self massage as recommended by my new physiotherapist. 
  • Guilt over self care. I haven’t been to acupuncture, chiro or massage in a few weeks.
  • My back is sore.
  • Feeling like I’m missing an in-person support network.
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • The lack of intimacy in our marriage – and I don’t mean just sexual.
  • My constant nagging before my husband gets anything done
  • Too much time on my cell phone. Sometimes I find myself lost in the baby wearing groups, browsing cloth diaper B/S/T groups and browsing our local online classifieds. Productive? Hell no. Enriching my life? Definitely not.
  • Money – who really has money on maternity leave? I’m feeling grumpy as I know I need to curb my spending even more to ensure we don’t go into debt until I’m back at work.
  • Sleep training?!?!? Is this shit for real?
  • Lack of routine? Am I a weirdo for not sleep training my kid?
  • Relatives who ask ridiculous questions like, “Oh is he eating food yet?” He just turned 3 months. Fuck off! 
  • The fact that I’ve asked for a date night for 2 months now – a real date night – not an “I’m starving and don’t feel like cooking so let’s go out” night. My expectations are reasonable. I just want to do my hair, wear make up, put on some decent clothes, bring the baby with and enjoy a nice meal without our cell phones in our hands. BUT… my husband thinks it’s more important to plan wing nights with his boys :|
  • The neglected fur-babies. And the fact that Max just had 8 teeth extracted from his tiny, rotted chihuahua mouth last Tuesday. He’s just genetically got bad teeth. Our other chi has perfect teeth. 
  • That my son witnessed my husband and I yelling at each other. I always said I did not want him to grow up seeing his parents fight like I did, yet maybe it’s healthier to be honest about the frustration, rather than hide it and let it boil? Fuck me. Parenting decisions are tough. 
  • COMMUNICATION. Why do men SUCK at it?
  • Resistance. Why does my husband resist the things that would make our relationship so much easier? (Namely: communication and organization)

I just get so frustrated that it typically takes a break down from me before my husband WAKES UP. He is a great father. He loves playing with our son. I’m so happy with his relationship with Wyatt. But, being a great father and being a great husband are two different categories.  I didn’t expect our marriage to be the same post-baby, but I do feel like we are on different pages many days now.  My Mom always says that my expectations of my husband are too high, but I say fuck that. I believe that a relationship requires effort from both partners. Just because you have a dick doesn’t mean that you get an easy pass.

My best friend, who lives two provinces away, has been an amazing support the past few weeks. She shares in my frustration with man brain. It’s reassuring to know she’s only a phone call away. She makes me feel connected even if we can’t be together in person. I’m so grateful for her.

As for my husband, I hope he schedules his counselling appointment like he’s promised me. I know he doesn’t want to see me stressed and unhappy. He just needs a quick check in to get back on track.

As for me, I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m centred and balanced, I’m a better wife and a better Mom. I vow to take more deep breaths this week, put on some happy music and have a dance party with my little man. I know I need to refocus and find more time for self care – journalling, blogging, meditating, yoga, and walks outside. Even if the Canadian winter makes me want to hibernate, fresh air is good for the soul.

As for all my frustrations, I don’t need to figure them out. It’s ok to feel off balance every now and again. I just need to prioritize what really matters, let go of what I can’t control and move forward with my life.

/endrant

Time for me to crawl back into bed before my big man and my little man wake up. <3

 

Hello from the other side

Today I found out that a friend lost her twins. She was about 12 weeks along.

I was in my car when I read her email. My heart sunk and my eyes welled with tears.

The song “Hello” by Adele came on the radio and took on a whole new meaning to me.

“…When we were younger and free… I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet…”

Just last week, I was talking about cloth diapering with my friend. I bet cloth diapering is the last thing she wants to hear about now.

Transformed.

It’s the best word to describe life after loss.

You can’t erase it. It doesn’t go away.

And you are never the same.

As the song kept playing, it made me wonder if the lyrics were my current self – the mother to an Angel – speaking to the naive, hopeful and heart-ful me from before our loss.

“….I’m sorry for breaking your heart…”

Or maybe it was the opposite? Was my former self apologizing for something she had no control over?

Maybe it was my Angel? No, it couldn’t be. I put no responsibility onto that special little soul. She maintains her innocence.

“…They say that time’s supposed to heal ya… But I ain’t done much healing”

I came home and nursed my son. He smiled up at me.

Having him brings me immense joy, but he doesn’t erase the knowing.

Grief hurts.

The pieces of my broken heart are still fragile.

Please keep my friend in your hearts this week. <3

 

 

Lasting Hearts Card Drive

As you know, I’m a big fan of the “You are the Mother of All Mothers” book by Angela Miller. Today, a gal shared with me that there is a fundraiser taking place in the USA to get this book in OB/GYN offices. Women facing miscarriage will be given a copy along with cards from caring individuals who understand.

If you are interesting in creating a card to be given to these parents when they get a book, here is the info. It is simple:

  • You can send as many cards as you would like.
  • Please use a sentiment such as: thinking of you, in my prayers, in my thoughts, sending hugs, sorry for your loss.
  • For the inside of the card, you can either leave it blank or hand-write a simple message. Not much – just simple and kind. The message can be something listed above, along with your first name and hometown. (Such as: “Sending lots of prayers from Jennifer in Cincinnati.”)
  • Please send cards in unsealed envelopes to:
          Lasting Hearts Card Drive
          2892 N Bellflower Blvd Ste 216
          Long Beach Ca 90815
  • Include a post-it note on the card(s) with your name and email address so you can be eligible for a prize!
  • If you would like to include a donation via mail, you are welcome to but not required to.

Creating cards is something we can do easily and a great way to share kindness.

If you are looking for more details or way to donate, visit this website: http://www.jennifermcguireink.com/2016/01/lasting-hearts-card-drive-giveaway.html

Note: If anyone has any ideas on how we can set something up like this in Canada – let me know! I’d love to help get it going.