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Body, Mind and Life after baby – 1 month

Posted Jul 29 2012 7:20pm

It has been one month and four days since Brayden was born.  Leading up to his birth, I knew my life was going to change completely once he was here.  And if I hadn’t have realized it on my own, people all around me (coworkers, friends, family…) told me on a daily basis that:

Your life is never going to be the same.

The way people give you that warning, in the low, ominous voice, it sounds like you are being condemned to some sort of life sentence.  And maybe in a way you are.  Or at least an 18-year sentence ;)

They are right though.  It is clear that our life never will be the same.  There is not a single second of my day when I’m not hyperconscious of where this little guy is and exactly what he is doing.

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What, Mom?  I’m just chillin’ on my Boppy.

Going out is always an ordeal.  Getting me ready, getting baby ready, getting purse and diaper bag ready.  Putting baby in car seat, realizing diaper is now dirty.  Changing baby again.  Putting baby back in car seat.  Loading stroller into trunk and car seat into car…  You get the picture.  Going anywhere – even the grocery store – feels like an Olympic event.

But he loves going out.  This was on our way to the grocery store this morning.

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I wish I was that psyched to go grocery shopping.

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So yeah, life has done a complete 180.  As of right now, it is impossible for me to think about going back to work and leaving this little guy with a nanny or at daycare.  We still haven’t figure out the childcare situation for when I do return, and it is on the top of my to-do list once all the family leaves in less than a week.  But I can feel myself starting to panic when i think about it.

Physically and mentally, this new life is pretty exhausting. 

Physically, it is a lot of work carrying around an 11-pound baby all the time!  My arms, legs and back are sore.  I also know that both physically and mentally I am not firing on all cylinders, as I average about 5-6 hours of sleep per night.  Before getting pregnant, I was very careful to get 8 hours of sleep a night and pretty much thought I needed that to survive.  But I’m still alive, just a little bit physically and mentally slower :)   I

Mentally, I feel like my brain is always on.  I am constantly trying to think ahead about what I need to do when in order to get him ready on time when we need to be somewhere.  I’m constantly watching him, listening for him, trying to learn his cries, sounds movements and body language.  I don’t get an opportunity to zone out or focus on other things right now.  Even when he is sleeping and I get a few minutes break to cook a meal, do a load of laundry or sweep the floor, my mind is always on him.

And then there is body.

During my pregnancy, I gained about 33 pounds.  One thing that I am really proud of myself for was for exercising throughout my entire pregnancy.  Although my running stopped during the sixth month when I hurt my back , I continued with the elliptical, the bike, swimming, stepmill and walking until the very end.  In fact, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical the day that my water broke (I’m REALLY glad it didn’t break while I was at the gym!!)

As of today, a little over one month post-delivery, I have lost 23 of the the 33 pounds.  Here is a comparison, using my 37 week pic rather than my last one, 38 weeks, because I happened to be wearing the exact same tank top today :)

IMG_5356a   IMG_6523a

I have not been trying to lose the weight at all.  I have focused on getting some activity each day, which up until now has been walking since that was all I was permitted to do.  My eating has been pretty good – my meals are really healthy and I am careful to get lots of fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats so that Brayden is properly nourished.  My snacking leaves a lot to be desired, but for now I’m ok with that.  I feel like I am constantly hungry – the combination of having a whole lot more space in my body (since there is no longer a baby squishing my stomach!), breastfeeding (which requires an extra 300-500 calories a day) and physical/mental alertness (waking up throughout the night) leaves me constantly reaching for snacks.  And since I often have a baby in my arms, those snacks tend to be quick, easy, ready-to-eat items (read:  chips, bars, etc.)  Now that I’m not eating dairy, some of my healthier options are gone (greek yogurt, etc) but I still have plenty to choose from.

I’m not fretting or in a rush to lose those last 10 pounds.  I’m more concerned about being healthy and happy right now and I do believe that as I slowly incorporate more exercise into my routine and (hopefully) start choosing healthier snacks and turning less to sugar-filled desserts (oops) the weight will come off. 

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Yes Mommy, please hold my binky in my mouth.  (He likes the binky but hasn’t yet got the hang of holding it in his mouth on his own yet, it always falls out.)

In addition, at the time I got pregnant I was about 5-10 pounds over my “normal” weight because of the hormones and treatments I went through in order to become pregnant.  So I have a ways to go to get back to my initial starting point.  I feel, though, that I might not get there now.  Where I am, or maybe a few pounds lighter, might be my new “normal”.

The only thing that is a little frustrating to me is the fact that all of my pre-pregnancy clothes don’t fit.  I’m still wearing maternity clothes most of the time.  This doesn’t make me sad because of my size, but rather because I have closets and drawers full of clothes that I love that I am unable to wear.  I am waiting to see what my body does for a few more weeks before buying new clothes.  I don’t want to wear maternity clothes for the next year, but I also don’t want to spend a ton of money on a new wardrobe when my body isn’t done adjusting and finding it’s new normal.  So for now, I’m just making do with what I have.  Luckily, I don’t have to go to work or anywhere that I need to dress up so this works.

So the bottom line is I’m still getting the hang of this new life (and body).  And I likely will be trying to get the hang of it for a long time… maybe forever!  But for now I’m just hanging on and enjoying the ride :)

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