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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wow, its good to be back, and its so good to see that some of my favorite friends are still active on the site, and of course I look forward to meeting new people as well.

Just 15 days ago, I gave birth to my daughter. I had her at home, with no drugs, and pretty much no assistance. (My husband was home with me, but his work was to pace around and call people on his cell phone to see if he could find anyone who could talk me into going to the hospital.) My mother-in-law and aunt-in-law showed up for the last 15 minutes, just in time to "catch" and help me with the clean up. The amazing thing was, once she was delivered, I had absolutely NO PAIN. I am not one of those super-women with a high tolerance for pain. In fact, I'm pretty much a wuss, and believe me the delivery itself was a noisy ordeal with a lot of complaining from me! So the fact that I didn't even need so much as a tylenol after childbirth was a shocker.

When she was 5 days old or so, I started walking to town - which is about 5k or 3 miles. (Kind of unintentionally... I was going to take public transportation, but they were all full that day.) I've now probably done that same 5k five more times. (Every couple days I get a hankering to go into town.) I feel fine with the walking, the only problem is carrying the baby gives me a terrible back ache. Anyway... my point is this: I have to keep reminding myself it has ONLY been 15 days since I delivered. Physically, I feel so good, that I keep forgetting my body endured some major trauma just two weeks ago. I need to remember to pace myself, and start slowly so that I don't set myself back at all.

That being said, I took time to write down my daily to-do list... and when I saw it all written out, I was completely and utterly overwhelmed. Its really no wonder that I've let everything related to health and wellness and self-care slide! I don't know how I was ever keeping up with everything before, let alone NOW with a newborn in tow! And now I want to carve out time for deliberate exercise, Sparkpeople and some TLC for self? Yikes! How exactly am I supposed to "pace myself" when there is so much that needs to be done? And everything on the list is pretty much non-negotiable... Animals must be fed and cared for. Children must be home schooled. House must be at least some-what clean. Garden must be cared for (its not just a hobby, that's a major source of our food!). Meals must be prepared... and prepared from scratch. (This is rural Kenya... no frozen microwave dinners here!) Dishes have to be washed. Laundry has to be washed. By hand. And I still have to keep up with my work on the computer. But I guess what I need to get through my head is that TAKING CARE OF MYSELF is also NON NEGOTIABLE. Its got to fit in there somewhere.

This picture is, of course, my Patricia, at one week. :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Life with a newborn is an adjustment, at best. Writing the To Do list is a great way to get a handle on things so that you can organize your time. Do you have a pack for the baby so that you can carry her "hands-free"? Tending animals and a garden add more physical activity that most of us in the U.S. get, not to mention doing laundry by hand! There is a lot of upper body work in that activity--I know! You can add strength exercises throughout your day while you do other things--like squats and various leg lifts while you fold clothes, and light weight lifting for your arms while doing other things.

    Living the rural life and walking to town when you can creates lots of opportunity for physical activity. Just come up with a workout plan and incorporate strength exercises with your daily routines and you'll be surprised how quickly you will build strength!
    1833 days ago
  • TML-2012
    Congratulations!!! Patricia is beautiful!!!
    1834 days ago
    Reading your blog about keeping up with all your daily chores like hand washing clothes, tending your food garden, children's school work, cooking and caring for a newborn sounds exhausting. I feel I don't have very much room for complaining. I do live in the U.S. where I am a stay-at-home mom to five kids for the past 2 1/2 years now. I just can't keep up with everything and everyone. I read your blog and feel there is hope...especially with all your challenges. You are an amazing woman with amazing family! I am excited to learn more from your blogs. You will find balance and peace. emoticon
    1834 days ago
    Your life sounds like it fills you with joy, even when it is overwhelming. Your daughter is beautiful! Good luck finding balance :)
    1834 days ago
    Your daughter is beautiful. Congratulations.

    I can't begin to relate to your life in Kenya and how you get so much done each day, but we're here to support you. Sound slike you have your hands full!
    1834 days ago
    Patricia is a beautiful baby! Congratulations again!

    It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, which makes it even more important, I think, to take at least 15-30 minutes a day to focus on you and have some "me" time.
    1834 days ago

    Such a beautiful baby! You say you weren't wonder-woman when you didn't take a pain pill after birth, but I think you are wonder-woman for getting all the things done that you do as a brand new mother! With all the activity - walking 5K to town, growing your own food, etc., it's no wonder you lost almost half your body weight! Take it slow, my dear. That beautiful baby girl and your darling boys and husband need you to be healthy!
    1835 days ago
    Hope, Patricia is beautiful! such huge eyes! And perfect little details. How do the boys like having a baby sister?
    You do have a full load around the house. I am sure that you will figure out a schedule for everything, and put yourself at the top of the list because if you don't take care of yourself, there is no way that you can properly take care of your family!

    1835 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/17/2013 10:50:44 PM
    Beautiful! Oh my! She has a lot of her mama in her, especially around her eyes. I'm looking forward to watching her grow. I love it that dad found his job on the phone trying to get you to change your mind. I got a glimmer of what dads go through when I did labor coaching. It's kind of a weird roll in terms of wanting to be able to DO something, but not being able to do a whole lot other than be a support.

    This balancing act is a hard one, especially with a new baby, oh yeah.... especially with having a toddler. emoticon

    I could never figure out if I should rush and round and get things done when the baby slept or take a nap so I could catch up on my sleep. The nap won!

    You both must be so happy. emoticon
    1835 days ago
    It is so hard to find that balance, and all too easy to let yourself slip on to the back burner.
    There are no easy answers, for sure, especially with the demands of your daily life.
    One good thing is it sounds like a lot of calories burned between the gardening and hand washing of clothes and everything else!
    You do need some "me " time and I also think it's really important for your daughter to see you taking time for yourself as well. BTW beautiful pic!

    1835 days ago
    Gorgeous baby! Congrats and take care of yourself too!
    1835 days ago
    You'll just have to work out a "me" time schedule where you take 20 minutes or 30 for yourself each day. Perhaps when Patricia is napping, or perhaps during PE time while home schooling. emoticon
    1835 days ago
    emoticon She's beautiful.

    I hope you find a way to take care of yourself. That was the piece I let slip when I had my son (many years ago) and it's the biggest thing I'd do differently if I had it to do again. Good luck.
    1835 days ago
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