Post-partum body: losing the baby weight

Well, the time has come. I had my post-partum check up today. Which means it is officially time to stop slacking, and get back to my healthy habits.
Honestly, I needed these 8 weeks to figure out life with a baby. Heck, I am still figuring it out, but…now it’s time to start feeling better about my body.

20120702-192827.jpg
8 weeks post-partum.
My plan is simple: start with cleaning up the ol’diet. I am not going to count calories. Just focus on protein, healthy fat, reducing carbs, and greatly, greatly reducing sugar. My sugar consumption has gotten a liiiitle out of control. If I wasn’t breastfeeding I would probably be gaining weight.
As for exercise, I am hoping to get in something each day, eventually working up to training with my kettle ell again.
Anderson isn’t going to day care, so any fitness will be fit into his routine. Ha! There is no discernible day routine yet! I am going to take my measurements and update on my progress monthly.

Post-partum Body

On sunday I will be six weeks post-partum, and next week I will be cleared for exercise. At least, I assume I will be.

In the past five weeks and 3 days I have lost around 30 pounds. I have 16 more to lose to reach the weight I would like to be at by the end if the calendar year.
Thus far, I have not dieted or been watching what I eat. The first weeks at home with a newborn are tiring and nutrition was placed on the back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I Haver been eating total crap, but I have been eating what is convenient, easy to prep, and can be eaten with one hand if necessary.
And, not to be a total cop out, but my dad died ya know? I have been at my parents house for the last week, adhere is no shortage of treats and good food brought by well wishers.
But…my grace period is over on Sunday. I am planning on getting back into the swing if things with diet and exercise. I am hesitant to say, Anderson is starting to have a pattern to his day…which will make exercise and food prep easier.
I have been documenting my post partum body though. Interested to see how it changes when I cut the crap.

1 week post partim( and still very sore)

20120613-101327.jpg
Two weeks:

20120613-101407.jpg
Three weeks:

20120613-101436.jpg
Four weeks:

20120613-101513.jpg
Five weeks:

20120613-101545.jpg

3 weeks with baby

After a bath, with Grammy

I can’t believe that my baby is 3 weeks old today! I know that as the weeks progress, 3 weeks will seem so little, but right now, it feels like time is flying, and he is already so different than the day we brought him home.

Since bringing him home, he does two main things: eat and sleep. As the weeks progress he has more and more alert time, and I am starting to see a pattern emerge in his sleeping/waking/eating habits, not much of a pattern mind you, but more than the first couple of days.

After my c-section, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. No judgements on what other mothers do, for their babies, but it was really important to me that my son was breastfeed, and not formula fed. Again, if it had come, does come down to it, formula is fine, great even. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure my baby survives. BUT, breast feed, so far, has been going really well. As well as breast feeding goes for a new mom, and a 21 day old baby. The first 9 days were pretty rough. My nipples hurt, and I really had no idea what to expect.  Luckily, my midwife’s office, has an AWESOME lactation consultant on staff, and I made an appointment with her when Anderson was 9 days old. I had been feeling a tiny bit frustrated, mostly due to Anderson’s cluster feeding, and my lack of knowledge about if what I was doing was “right,” as in correct. She had me feed him in front of her, and she said that we were doing pretty well. She gave me a few pointers, that have made things better, and having the reassurance that we weren’t totally off base, was a great self confidence booster.  Now, at 21 days, I’m pretty confident in knowing if we have a good latch, and if he is eating, but feel like I’m on a new part of the breast feeding learning curve. I am feeding on demand,  and I feel like I can’t tell when he is eating because he is hungry, and when he is nursing for comfort. The internet  will tell you that babies don’t use mom as pacifiers, that if they are showing signs of wanting to nurse, that they are doing it either because they are hungry, or they know they need to increase your milk supply. Of course the internet will also give you the opposing position, and say that babies do use moms for pacification, and that you shouldn’t let your baby do that. You can find strong opinions on just about every aspect of child rearing, usually conflicting with eachother.

I have decided that if he is rooting around, and can’t be consoled by any means, than he is probably hungry and I feed him. Unfortunately, I think I sometimes don’t read his cues correctly. Last night he nursed for almost an hour (this was from 2:30 to 4:00 am by the way), I changed his diaper and he was fussy. I tried soothing him in my arms, but was so tired and frustrated (he had been fussy at the breast) that I didn’t really have the patience to try to soothe him with out offering him the chance to nurse. I did that, and he was not interested. I went into the bedroom, and told my husband to watch him, that I had to pee.  When I got back, my husband told me, to get in bed and go to sleep that he would soothe the baby and take him in the living room. And what do you know, he was able to soothe him to sleep, and he slept for almost two hours, till he woke up and was ready to nurse again. My point, I guess, is that I need to try other methods of soothing, and not always jump to nursing, i’m sure my nipples will thank me.

As for sleep, he isn’t sleeping through the night, and I don’t expect him to. I think mothers somtimes have too high of expectations for new borns. The past four nights he has been consistently up to nurse every hour and a half (although if you count from the start of a nursing session, to the start of the next, like some people do, then it’s more like every 2 to 2.25 hours). He is starting to have more of a pattern during the day, with a morningish “nap” and an afternoon “nap” although what times these occur are not consistent. Everything that i have read, says not to expect a baby under 4 weeks to have any sort of circadian rhthym, day and night are the same to them.

My recovery is going well. Two weeks ago I started taking short walks around the block, and this week was up to walking almost a mile. I have walked with Anderson in a moby wrap, an Ergo carrier, and his stroller. I am not quite confident or comfortable with the carriers yet, I feel like I either tie the moby too tight, or too lose, and with the Ergo I feel like his little face is smooshed into my chest. But, with both of these, and the stroller, he easily falls asleep as soon as I get him in the carrier and comfortable. I also have a sling, but it’s too small. I am sending it back this week, for a larger size. I’m looking forward to the new size arriving, so I can wear Anderson when we are out and about. Putting him in the sling is so much easier than the moby or the Ergo, at this point.  Ok, I got side tracked from my recovery….I don’t have daily pain any more at this point, and haven’t since week 1. I do have some pain when I sleep on my side for too long, or lift something too heavy. I’m trying not to get too anxious to get back into an exercise routine, so I can feel a little bit better about my body.

I have lost, with out trying, 30 pounds of the 42ish that I gained. I figure that 30 was the baby and fluids etc, from pregnancy, and the remaining 12ish are what I gained from not eating as strictly during pregnancy as I did, pre-pregnancy. Of course, like all moms, even though I have lost lots of weight, things are shaped differently, and my prepregnancy clothes, even my “fat’ clothes don’t fit yet. All in good time.

So, life with baby is good. His sweet little face makes every sleepless hour, and stretch mark worth it.

Pregnancy: heavy lifting

As I’ve talked about before, when I got pregnant I was doing the following as my exercise routine: walk dog 5-7 days a week, kettlebell training 2 days per week, yoga practice 2 days per week.

Post pregnancy the workout schedule has changed quite a bit, between my dog moving WITH my husband to Wyoming, and standard Yoga becoming uncomfortable and hard almost immediately.

Now, I exercise 3-4 times per week (less this past week though, as I’ve had a nasty cold that lingered FOREVER. But, I have always, always made kettlebell my priority. The class I take is taught bootcamp style, so it’s really a total body workout, cardio and strength all rolled into one.

I'm the one in the pink...obviously

People in my life, always seem surprised that I have continued with Kettlebell. I think it’s because every SINGLE piece of conventional literature says that women shouldn’t particpate in heavy lifting while pregnant. But, heavy lifting is all relative right? And don’t get me wrong, during my first trimester? My weights were lighter, and I never increased my weight or lifted the heavy heavy heavy stuff, even during my 2nd trimester.  So, I sometimes wonder, what does that conventional literature consider heavy? The heaviest weight I have used, while pregnant was a 24kg kettlebell to do deadlifts, which is only 52 pounds. When I think of heavy lifting, I think of 215 pound barbells.

But, I digress. My point is, I have continued with kettlebell and while I’ve made no great strides in the cut of my muscles (infact, my muscles all seem to be hiding under a new layer of fat, I am blaming this on the reintroduction to processed carbs during pregnancy), I still feel strong.  And that is important to me, because labor? Labor is the hardest workout of your life.

Living with the In-Laws: The Food Situation

Tonight for dinner I am making my self a steak, cooked in coconut oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. On the side I am having mashed sweet potatoes. Yum.

This will be the first time that I have cooked what I consider a “real” meal in a few months. Which, is honestly, quite strange for me, as cooking real meals was my norm prior to getting pregnant and living with my in-laws.

When I got pregnant, and ended up with morning sickness that didn’t allow me to cook with out gagging, my husband cooked all our meals, and that was fine. Then, he moved and I moved in with my in-laws. Again, I love them dearly, but we eat totally differently. My father-in-law doesnt cook, and my mother-in-law doesnt like to. She cooks for him probably 3 or  4 nights a week. Dinner usually consists of some kind of protein (ground beef, chicken, pot roast) starch (potatoes, bread) and a veggie (either canned or iceberg lettuce salad). Of course, there is the occasional pasta based dish. On the nights that my mother-in-law cooked, I just ate what she cooked. Which resulted in two things: less veggies and more starches in my diet. On the nights that she didn’t cook, I would find things I could stomach making myself for dinner. Boxed soup, salads with sandwich meat, sandwiches and chips, etc.

At this house we have a WHOLE pantry of processed foods. Some of which, I think are helpful to have on hand: canned vegetables, canned tomatoes, unsweetened tomato sauce, broth, nuts, raisins. Some of which, are not helpful for me, when I am trying to eat as healthy as possible for baby; cereal, pop tarts, fiber one bars, chips, cookies, etc.  I do have one cabinet in the kitchen for my food, and I keep my pantry staples in there, and one draw in the fridge for my veggies/perishables. I don’t meant ot make this sound like I am not allowed the other food, my in-laws just promised to stay out of the ones that are “mine.”

So, what is my point? My point is that I am not surprised that I gained 10 pounds last month. Last week, I cleaned up my diet, focused on whole foods and healthy fats, and my in-laws scale read 5 pounds lighter than the doctors. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT dieting. I am NOT cutting calories, I am NOT trying to lose weight, I am just trying to eat as healthy as possible, and for me this includes some treats. I also realize that the two scales could have a weight discrepancy. But, I feel better, and that matters to me.

I also, do not think it’s my in-laws fault that I made poor eating choices. I made them. It’s harder, not being in my own space, where I can control everything in my environment, but I still have the capability to make the healthiest choice for me.

And, that steak and mashed sweet potatoes I had for dinner? A.MAZING. seriously, puts a sandwich to shame.

Pregnancy: Weight Gain on the Brain.

I have been weighing myself regularly for the past five years. I have never weighed myself daily, but usually on a weekly basis. It started in 2007, when I decided to finally get serious about getting healthy. For me, that meant losing weight. I lost about 30ish pound. Through-out that process I weighed myself once per week. During my weight maintenance I also weighed once a week.  Until 2007, I’d never been good about keeping track of my weight. I know what my heaviest weight was, because I remember the day those numbers showed up the scale. I can remember exactly where I was, and how I felt.  Consequently, I know what I weighed when I got pregnant. Two pounds up from my lightest weight since 2007, but still about 10 pounds lower than I had been the year before. I gained 10 pounds during maintenance of my weight loss, so I suppose that wasn’t maintenance?

Anyway, that is a long way of saying, I know what I weighed the week I concieved.

Prior to getting pregnant, weight gain was one of my biggest fears. I am, according to society, obese. I always worried about what an OB would say about my weight when I got pregnant, and what would happen when I did. Would my weight shoot up? Would I be one of those obese women who lose weight during pregnancy? Would I never be able to lose the baby weight? This last one was and still is my greatest fear.

I have gained weight, but I don’t know exactly how much. My husband took the scale with him to Wyoming. I know what my weight was at my first Dr.s appointment, on the Doctor’s scale. On that day, at nine weeks pregnant, I think I was up about 1 pound. The problem is, I can’t ever seem to remember what my weight was at my most recent Doctor’s appointment. I think my weight gain at my 20 week appointment was 12 pounds. Maybe it was 14.

I have an appointment in 30 minutes. I’ll update with my current relative weight gain later.

I have to admit, I’m getting more nervous. As my weight at the doctor’s office gets closer and closer to my “all time high” I find myself feeling like I should try to do things to gain less weight. NOTE- I am NOT dieting, I am NOT trying to lose weight. I know that right now, the most important thing is being healthy for my baby, and restricting in any unhealthy way is not the way to do it. I don’t believe in restriction anyway. It’s not how I lost weight. But, I find myself in a weird mental place. “What outfit should I wear today, so that I will weigh the least amount at the Doctors?” “Am I going to be able to go the bathroom before I get on the scale?”

Isn’t it interesting how the scale rules our lives and thoughts? Even at the time in our lives when weight gain is normal, expected, and desired?