Friday, April 18, 2014
I honestly don't think I've been away from my blog for this long before. There's no way to do an update and no reason to.
Life is amazing. I love my daughter, I love my husby, I love my job, I love my activist work, I love my home.
My body....... not so much.
I returned to good habits several times. I'd get into a habit of exercising at least 10 min. a day for a week... and then something crappy would happen. First, Jo got really sick, so all my energy went into looking after her and helping her sleep. Then, I got what Jo had and it turned into a major sinus infection that lasted two weeks. That was in January. In February, I got back into the habit for a week, and then Miles and I got food poisoning; a week later, we went to visit Miles' family. So I fell out of the habit again. I got back into the habit a couple weeks later, really focusing on my abs because I was getting a backache. Week and a half later, I herniated a disc in my back.
That was a month ago. I'm only now able to walk and sit pain-free. I was going to do physical therapy, but I guess my insurance company said no because my doctor's office never called me with a referral.
It's been really hard.
Whenever someone says "breastfeeding is great, and you lose the weight faster," I want to hurt them slowly. Breastfeeding was the worst (while some women talk about pumping 12 oz. at a time, I was lucky to get 5.), and I was one of those anomalies who doesn't lose any weight from nursing. Nope, it just made me hungry and thirsty and in a lot of pain. So I finally stopped in late February, at which point my period came back and I did start to lose a little of the baby weight. But then the slipped disc happened, and I am back where I started.
Literally. I'm 15lbs shy of my highest ever weight (207), and 5 lbs higher than I was when I joined Spark People back in 2008. (Or was it 9? Whatever).
It's depressing, yeah. More depressing is how weak my core is, and how walking at 3mph is as tiring as running 5.5mph used to be. Because that's what happens when you can't exercise for so long.
I know that my body can and will bounce back, eventually. "Bounce" is probably the wrong word -- "inch its way back" is probably more appropriate. Because this is going to take a long time. Miles works at 2:30am (until May 12) so I am alone with Jo every morning, so exercise is hard to fit in. But I can do my best to eat better. I'm already working on being MINDFUL of when and what I eat, and knowing when I'm really hungry vs. bored. I'm ready to recommit to walking regularly, working my way up to aerobics and running, and doing lots of planks (because I'm afraid to do any other ab work cuz of my back) to help my core.
The #1 thing I know that will work, but I can't get myself to commit to, is Paleo. I KNOW I function better on a Paleo diet. I KNOW this. I know a Whole 30 would be an amazing jump-start for me and would boost my confidence while jump-starting this change. But the fact is, I don't have TIME to cook and eat Paleo all the time. I'm still really struggling to find time to cook a proper meal after work -- I rely on the crock pot, frozen staples like tortellini, and quick fixes like tacos. A Whole 30/ Paleo diet takes a LOT of energy and time to do right.
So I have to figure out the diet thing. I'll get there eventually. To start, I just need to make some time to track what I eat. That's the beginning.
Just ten minutes a day. That's all it takes to start a habit.
I can do that, right?
(Oh, and I know you really want to see this -- my lil' sweetie! She's 6 1/2 month now and the. best. She is literally the best and I love her more than anything)
^ Her daycare had a little "picnic" for the little babies!
^ Tummy time is no longer a problem. Jo LOVES rolling around and she's already trying to crawl.
^ Her new fave toy -- a Jumparoo! It was her 1/2 birthday gift.
Isn't she just gorgeous?
Thursday, November 28, 2013
How can I not be grateful for such adorable people??
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Six weeks ago, my baby finally decided it was time to join the outside world, and my life has (duh) been turned upside down. If ANYONE reading this is a single parent, let me take this moment to say that you are officially one strong, kick-ass person -- because I cannot imagine doing this alone. And the thing is... I've had it relatively easy!
The homebirth went really well. My midwife and I did end up deciding to use some natural induction methods -- herbs for two days and then, unfortunately, a dose of castor oil. Let me tell you... if I'm offered a choice between castor oil or pitocin next time, I will take the pitocin. That's how awful the castor oil made me feel. But it also did the trick! I was having some mild contractions (7 minutes apart, very easy to handle) the morning I took the castor oil. After the castor oil, my body quickly ramped into high gear with contractions 2 minutes apart and a minute long -- for FIVE HOURS. Normally, contractions like that mean that it's transition time and you're about to push. Not me. I labored like that from 2 cm to 5 cm, which took 5 hours. But then I guess my body and the baby decided that enough was enough, because an hour and a half later I was at 10cm, my water broke in the most dramatic way possible (my midwife had been, at that moment, looking for more herbs to help speed labor because she thought it was taking a while. Nope), and I was ready to push! Now, I have to say this: I thought the contractions were bad before pushing, but HOLY SHIIIIT. Pushing my baby out basically required me to ignore my will to live. But I did do it, and you know what?
I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'm not saying I'm ready for another kid. But if/when that time comes, I am absolutely doing another homebirth. It was such a positive, empowering, terrifying-but-sooooo-worthwhile experience, and I can't begin to describe how glad I am to have made that choice.
Josephine Linda was born at 9:54 pm on October 3rd, weighing 7lbs, 7oz and measuring 20 1/2 inches. She was also born perfect.
I recovered from the labor really well, too, although the first two weeks were incredibly difficult for me. Physically, I was doing great -- I chalk that up to my uncomplicated labor, staying active and well-nourished all during the pregnancy, and having a lot of help from my hubby and mom-in-law. But emotionally, I was a mess. The post-partum depression was overwhelming. I cried every single day (some days, up to 4 or 5 times) for 10 days straight, skipped a day, then cried another 5 days in a row. I thought I'd never be happy or well-rested again.
But you know... it all seemed to click into place after that. I figured out how to get stuff done around the house with Jo around; I get out of the house for a walk or me-time or errand almost every day (basically, unless the weather sucks); I have friends over and my family has visited. I'm figuring out what being a mom looks like for me. And I like it!! Jo is starting to smile, enjoy cuddles, and hit some milestones like following objects with her gaze. She's a great sleeper, usually. She sleeps for 3-5 hours at a time, which is AWESOME. I actually average 7 hours+ per night. She's pretty advanced on that front.
It's SO COOL to watch this little girl grow before my eyes! I cannot believe how much I love her.
My baby is the best baby ever. Sorry not sorry! And even if you don't believe me, you have to agree: she is super cute and beautiful (and seriously, THE BEST BABY).
I can't believe I MADE this!
Miles and Jo, Day 1:
Tickle time, 1 Week Old:
Getting dressed for our first shopping trip, 2 weeks old (and stricken with Baby Acne):
Happy Halloween -- 4 Weeks old:
Taking a scrapbook-worthy 1 Month "Birthday" Picture:
And just this morning, after 4 hours of fussing and keeping me awake (from 3 to 7). She's lucky she's so dang cute!
Friday, August 23, 2013
This may very well be my last blog entry for a while. Granted, I'm not a very consistent blogger at all any more, but this time I'll have an excuse!! With just 4 weeks and 5 days until my due date, I think it's safe to say that I'm about to not have any free time.
Being pregnant is no longer "the bomb" as I said three months ago. Oh sure, I love knowing that I have a freakin' baby inside me because that's hella cool... but I'm also looking forward to being able to get out of chairs without grunting, sleeping on my back again (actually, make that sleeping through the night again), going for more than 2 hours without peeing, not needing antacids 4+ days per week, being able to go for a walk without sciatic nerve pain, and not lugging around 35 extra pounds of belly.
You know what makes this super crazy though?
I have been having an incredibly easy, healthy pregnancy. At 8 months pregnant, I can safely say that I fully understand and appreciate the power of fitness and nutrition. This pregnancy has been so straightforward because I have been taking care of myself -- exercising, eating lots of nutritious food, keeping my stress levels normal, and taking pro-active steps to ensure the pregnancy goes well. I honestly can't imagine how women who never learned to eat right, don't exercise, and receive impersonal medical care actually manage to get through pregnancy and birth without being in total misery. Carrying this belly around and growing a whole human is tiring enough as it is... I'm so glad I laid the foundation for a healthy experience years ago.
With about a month to go, Miles and I are really trying to make the most of our last days together as just a couple. We've been socializing more, spending a lot of quality time together, taking little day trips, etc. My birthday is next weekend, so we're spending a few days at a B&B in Gatlinburg (in the Smokies) to celebrate and unwind. I know that once Josephine arrives, we're going to be shut-ins for a while -- so we're not only trying to get our thrills now, but we're also trying to reinforce how much we love to be together in our home. It seems like the best way to prepare for such a major shift.
In terms of the practical things we need, we're really all set for the baby. We got several good baby reference books, my homebirth kit is ready to go, the nursery is complete, the clothes are washed and organized. All that's left to do is get the cloth diapers and a hamper, and do one last gigantic Costco run (we want to stock up our chest freezer with no-tought-required meals).
We're as close to ready as I think we can get... which means that I'm going crazy!!! I switch between "Hurry up and get here already!" and "Please, by all means, take your time!" on a daily basis. I want to be excited that I'm so close to being full term, and yet prepare myself for the very likely possibility that I Jo will be "overdue." I'm intimidated by the idea of facing labor pains, but thrilled by the opportunity to birth my daughter while surrounded by loved ones and supportive professionals, without unnecessary interventions, in a comfortable home setting. I'm often frustrated by my size (and the baby's size!), but I love feeling my baby move around and get the hiccups. I just can't believe how soon she's going to be here -- and yet, I can't believe how much longer I have to wait!!
What's great about this is that I know it's all normal, and it's all healthy. And I'm healthy because five years ago, I decided that I was going to be healthy once and for all, and I stuck to that. And now it's not just for my sake. It's for hers, too.
I'll post again when it's time to lose the baby weight, y'all. But first, I have to finish making the baby.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged! Life has been pretty crazy lately, but in some great ways. I could list them all, but honestly... why bother? They're over, and things are settling down now.
On the 8th, I had an Ultrasound. Ultrasounds are not without risks, and they can make some people more anxious (and an ambiguous ultrasound is often used to justify more invasive tests), but I really wanted one. I needed to see that my baby has a brain, and a spinal cord, and functioning organs so that I could rest easy. And I figured, "Well, might as well find out the baby's sex, too!"
So we decided to have a gender reveal party! We had a voting board where folks could guess baby's gender, size, and whether s/he'd be early, on time, or late. The votes were HEAVILY in favor of Boy, 8-9lbs, and Late. We also set up a Dinosaur Decorating table where everyone painted a little wooden dino for the baby's mobile and played an Old Wive's Tale game for activities. We had fabulous food based on my cravings -- chips and salsa, salmon, and cheese for the savory side; cookies and milk, berries, and chocolate (in the form of question mark cupcakes) for the sweet. And for the actual reveal, we had a PINATA! I had given the gender, written by the Ultrasound tech in a sealed envelope, to my BFF, and she filled up a pinata with wrapped candy. So when the reveal happened, it was a surprise for Miles and me, too!
My friend shot a video of the reveal, but since it's just on his FB page I can't really share it -- sorry. But the big deal is that IT'S A GIRL!
Of course, most of you know that from reading my little Friend Feed updates.
I'm so excited to have a girl. I would have been thrilled with a little boy too, but I really do feel like I'm meant to have a daughter. Miles is really excited to have a daughter, too, and to raise her right. We're going to raise an awesome, empowered, bold little girl! Her name is Josephine, after Jo from Little Women, and I hope she gets a lot of the character's traits.
Having the name, seeing the Ultrasound pictures, and of course, feeling her move have all made this pregnancy so much more REAL. During the 1st trimester, I mostly felt icky and paranoid. Now, I know that things are going smoothly, I can feel her dance and kick and squirm, we've painted the room and started building the furniture... This is really happening!
Being pregnant really is wonderful. It's an awesome excuse to sit in funny positions and do yoga poses at work. I get to practice relaxation techniques every night. I cut my caffeine consumption down without a problem and I don't even remotely miss alcohol. I've never felt better about my body. Oh sure, I weigh 184lbs now -- about what I did when I joined SparkPeople in 2008 -- but I LOVE my belly! And these changes are FASCINATING! I mean, come on -- I have an extra human inside me! MIND-BLOWING FACT: I HAVE THE EGGS TAT WILL GROW INTO MY GRANDCHILDREN GROWING INSIDE OF ME RIGHT NOW. Biology is neat.
I'm trying to be as healthy as possible, but I will admit that I am a far cry from my Whole30 self. I don't really mind this, because with an expected intake of ~2400 calories per day and a total lack of calcium in prenatal vitamins, I really need the grains and dairy in my life. What I DON'T need is the daily dessert that I've been enjoying for quite some time. That said, it hasn't stopped me from getting all the right stuff! Miles and I have a CSA share that started 4 weeks ago, so every day I'm eating organic vegetables, especially dark leafy greens. I get LOTS of protein from a wide variety of sources (meat, low-mercury fish, dairy, nut butters). And of course, I'm exercising! The intensity is steadily dropping as the weeks go by, but I'm still averaging 35 minutes per day.
I'm also getting geared up for the birth. We're taking Bradley Method classes and I'm reading "Birthing from Within," which are both really confirming our choice to birth out of the hospital. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to make the birth a positive experience for me, Miles, and (of course!) our daughter.
But before that can happen, well, I have to keep expanding! Here are some pictures of the progress being made!
Here I am at 17 weeks, in mid-April.
This is at 21 1/2 weeks -- I'd really popped! And I've gotten even bigger in the past week and a half!
Here she is! This is actually one of the best Ultrasound pictures I've ever seen -- I can't believe how clearly I can see her lil' nose!
Stage 1 of the nursery is done -- painting. We're halfway through stage 2 -- assembling the furniture. How awesome is that crib?
So, there's my long-winded update. Being pregnant is the bomb.
...Remind me of that in 12 weeks when I feel like I'm going to explode, okay?
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