Two weeks since I birthed my son. In many ways that feels like a dream, another lifetime, and a distant memory already. But then again the days just seem to fly by before I have time to do much at all besides nurse Truman, change his diaper, and stare at him in admiration. They weren't lying when they said being a new mommy is a full time job! :)
I'm trying with all of my might to be present in the moment, enjoying every second I have on my maternity leave. I know these will be the days I look back on and smile, remembering how special it was to spend them with my man. No matter how exhausted I am, or how frustrated and self-doubting I start to get, this is absolutely worth it. It's the hardest and most important job I've ever had and I can't help but get a little emotional when I think of being Truman's mommy.
I think that a lot of my anxiety is diminishing with the passing of time because I don't feel the need to constantly check to see if he's breathing anymore and I feel a little more at ease when he makes a peep during his sleep. A large part of this change in my mindset has to do with Nate---he is so amazing with Truman, you guys. He doesn't get easily rattled and always seems to know what to do when he cries. I absolutely loved having him home with us over the weekend and hope that I can continue to feel at ease without him here during the week.
But I will say that on Sunday night, we had our first 'rough' night as a little family. Truman has been so great to us with his sleeping patterns since day one that we've definitely gotten a little bit spoiled. Usually he will fall right to sleep after I nurse him with only a little bit of comforting needed by me. Well on Sunday night, he just could not get comfortable and was up most of the night grunting, wiggling around, and looking generally unhappy. He didn't scream and cry, so it could have been much much worse, but it was still really hard on me to see my guy so tired and yet unable to fall asleep. My gut told me that he was trying to work out some gas and although I tried to burp him I was largely unsuccessful---which in turn, made me feel like a failure mom. Being sleep deprived does crazy things to your mind and when you mix in a few raging hormones postpartum you definitely have a recipe for a breakdown. We somehow got through the night and Truman and I ended up staying in bed until 12:30 that afternoon just to recover from the lack of sleep (of course, we didn't sleep longer than a 2 hour stretch that whole time but it was still nice to regain some rest after such a night).
The next day I googled 'burping a baby' to death and feel a little more confident with my burping skills--when I get him to urp a big one I practically want to give him a fist pound I'm so relieved. Truman has definitely been more awake in the past week which is awesome because we get to interact much more. He's still mostly content when he's awake just staring around at the lights and looking cute. But I'm pretty sure he's awake so much that he gets a little overtired at times so we're working on ways to get him to calm down and go to sleep. Again, obviously I knew these times were coming with a newborn but I'm hoping he gets back to his typical 'calming myself' routine soon! :) I didn't have to pull out the mommy tricks before, or investigate which techniques soothe my baby at certain times---but let the games begin.
As far as my recovery goes, my bleeding is SO might lighter now and I'm definitely a lot more comfortable after another week under my belt. In fact, I've been getting out for walks with the nicer weather and was even able to make it three blocks without feeling too awful, and without my flow increasing too much. My goal is to get outside for a walk at least once a day--either with the stroller or Baby Bjorn--to juggle both Henry and Truman while getting fresh air. That in combination with my goal to take at least one nap per day really helps my energy level and sanity:) I am pretty sure I'm healing well down there and my increased activity feels good instead of totally sucking it out of me. I even got brave enough to start doing Kegels again and my bathroom routine is becoming second nature instead of a jarring experience altogether. I'm down to just the squirt bottle and a light pad. See ya, other recovery paraphernalia!
My boobs are still crazy big and the funny thing is that my right one is significantly larger than my left for some reason. Maybe it just makes more milk or something but I'm really hoping that I'm not permanently lopsided for life. Nate says he can't notice a difference but I definitely can because old rightie is practically hanging to my belly button while leftie is nice and high (slight exaggeration but you get the idea). Overall, breastfeeding is still going well and little man is filling his diaper accordingly so I'm assuming he's getting enough from the old milkers still. He's eating really frequently and tends to stay latched for longer now which I'm sure is a good sign, too. But boy, oh boy--I can see why new moms feel like human pacifiers sometimes. When he nurses for 45 minutes and every 1.5 hours I basically have him attached to my boob at all times. I know it won't be like this forever and honestly, I don't mind it much during the day. I would be just fine if he'd let it go for 3 hours at night, though. He used to do that last week but now? Not so much.
I want to start pumping a bit on the side to increase my supply, start storing milk for Nate and my in-laws to give bottles, and start storing up for when I return to work. For some reason pumping just freaks me out and I've tried a few times with only DROPS for results. I have a hard time figuring out when to pump because I don't want to take away from Truman but after a feeding he really sucks me dry and I have no luck (hence the drops I get after he feeds). I think if he only takes one side I'll be fine pumping the other side but for now he's all over both of the girls most of the time. I've also heard you are supposed to start pumping after the first morning feeding but I tend to count down the seconds when I can jump in the shower after that feeding and down my cup of coffee before he needs to feed again. Ah, the joys of breastfeeding....such a crazy and amazing process. Any tips for pumping while breastfeeding welcome!
Then there is my stomach, and guess what? My ab muscles are making a comeback no matter how puny of an effort! I noticed the other day when I laughed that my tummy actually firmed up a bit instead of just jiggling around in defiance. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from having rock hard abs but at least there is SOME sort of progress going on and it's less mushy to touch. Let's look, shall we?
I can really only tell a difference at the top of my stomach near my rib cage--that's definitely smaller, but my lower abs aren't that different just yet. But I think I'm getting my chin and cheeks back...score for me for shedding the double chin look!
I think I will hold off on taking another photo until 6 weeks postpartum to see if there is any real difference. For now I think I'm still just shedding water weight and not true fat but I'll take whatever I can get at this point. I mean, heck, I'm able to wear my real wedding rings again and not my bigger fake set so we are getting somewhere! I weighed myself and am down another 5 pounds, which makes my total weight loss 26 pounds from my 43 I gained during pregnancy. That means I only have 17 pounds to go, people. I'm so glad I don't have 30+ of true fatty tissue hanging around because 17 seems a lot more doable. Can't wait until I can actually start running again....in fact, I'm pretty sure both Nate and I are going to sign up for a half marathon on Halloween weekend. Eek! Cannot wait.
As a final random note, does anyone know if one of the side-effects of postpartum hormones is insane night sweats? Because holy hell I am drenched when I wake up in the middle of the night then I get really cold as the sweat dries. Then again, Nate is also complaining of night sweats lately so maybe we just turned up our heat too high to keep Truman warm. Before he arrived we kept the place at a chilly 62 degrees so we knew we'd have to suck it up and crank the heat for baby boy....perhaps we overdid it at 65 degrees:) You wonder why we always have a hat and swaddle blanket on the boy? Because his parents are too cheap to have the duplex properly heated, of course.
So overall, I'm doing well 2 weeks postpartum-both mentally and physically. I'm definitely more tired than I've ever been in my whole life but it's really not that bad. It's amazing how little sleep your body needs when there's a little baby in your life.