Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Party of Five

Well we are two weeks into being a family of five.

I couldn’t write at first because I was either too enthralled by our new little one, or my hands were too full to type, or I was going through that scary, dark, postpartum-emotional-tunnel.

Fingers crossed I think I’ve come out of the hard baby blues now.
They were scarier this time than the other times because of how hard this pregnancy was. And the fact that I’m still physically recovering -- which scares my emotions… “Will I ever be normal me again?”

I did another accidental hippie thing -- I had my placenta encapsulated. I thought about it before but actually went for it this time because my midwife does it (aka it was easy for me) and because I was such a mess this time -- I figured I could use all the help I could get to recover. I do think it helps with the baby blues. But I also think it is helping me make TONS of milk (which sounds good, but I’m kinda over filled, so I’ve been trying not to take too much of it for that reason.)

The first week was physically challenging. I’ve really atrophied these past 10 months,  just laying around super sick. I have basically no muscle tone (in the literal usage sense of the muscles-- not like: I look flabby -- which I do, but that’s not what I mean.)  My hips still were aching ever bit as bad as they had been while pregnant (which was really bad -- much worse than I’d ever felt in any life scenario prior.) My back was really sore from both pregnancy and how I pushed. My boobs got enormous again this time (they didn’t after my second baby.) So they hurt and were hard to deal with -- I had no bras that were really working (I’ve been a slightly different size each pregnancy -- so I was just making due with stuff that was either too tight and hurt, or too lose, and therefore, hurt because it wasn’t holding up these six pound bowling balls.) Add in a sore crotch and...week one: the night time nursing sessions were emotionally daunting. It was so physically challenging moving to get ready to nurse --- it was enough to send my emotions into despair.

Not to mention I was still nauseous for about 3 days after giving birth. I was imagining it would be a light switch, night and day difference, the minute the baby came out. So when it wasn't it was hard to not worry I was stuck in a ruined place.
That nausea has gone away now. (Thank goodness!)
But I still am not friends with food.
You know when you puke a certain food and you just really don’t wanna eat it again for ages…it’s like that, but every food.
Food just generally doesn’t sound good.
The main thing  that’s been appealing these last two weeks is banana bread. I’ve made three loaves of that so far. And I’ve eaten cans of soup. Or fried chicken, that worked.
But the healthy-not-fried-chicken I ate last night, that gave me a good old fashioned stomach ache like pregnancy.
My brain desperately wants to move onto healthy normal food life, but my body is still like, “If it’s not junk, I’m not digesting it.”
I’m just gonna have to give it time I think.

I normally don’t have stomach aches anymore. My hips are better. My back is usually better. My crotch is getting a lot better. So I need to be happy about that. And then be patient for the rest.

Even still eating weirdly, I’ve lost 16 pounds now. So that’s an emotional boost. (As long as I don’t start counting how many pounds I have left.)

I gained 41 pounds this time. Which considering how crazy bad I ate (literally a milk shake every single night because it helped me not feel sick for 20 mins), and how little I moved (lived on the couch, could not do exercise because it made me sicker every time), I’m gonna say 41 pounds isn’t too shabby. (It’s the same amount I gained with my first pregnancy. I just started out a different weight this time than that time.) I keep trying to tell myself it’s not a big deal, and I’ll be able to lose it. And try not to freak out that I can only eat fried foods still, and that I can’t really go on walks or do anything yet because it’s only two weeks since I gave birth and got stitches.
I think it’s harder this time to keep things in perspective because I’m so ready to do things again. The other two times I was still doing stuff the whole pregnancy, so the waiting and recovering thing wasn’t so big a deal, since it was a break from doing. I’ve not be doing for like a year already -- I want to do.

I did buy the MuTu System I mentioned a while ago. (Its a fitness program that helps you recover from pregnancy, especially core and pelvic floor issues.) They had an awesome sale right before Bronson was born and I snatched it up. I’ve yet to start it while I heal up. I think I could start the basics soon, but I wanted to let my stitches do their thing still.
But so far I really like the creator. She’s from England, and listening to her is like having a kind postpartum-encouraging Julie Andrews a la "The Sound of Music” consoling and guiding you. How can that be bad?
I braved testing for a diastasis recti a few days after giving birth (I was kinda terrified to see how bad it could be) but actually I barely have one. Just maybe a finger’s width, up higher than my belly button, down lower it closes. So that’s awesome. But then part of me like like “Wait do I really even need this program then?” But the fact that I’ve atrophied for 10 months says yes (It’s hard to just sit up in bed.) And the fact that sneezing makes me feel like I’m gonna explode my pelvic floor right out of me, says yes. I’d definitely like to give my body the chance to really be whole after being so not-whole for so long.
So I’ll probably post about that program a bit as I go, we’ll see.
(I can’t really start it until 6 weeks out. So don’t get too anxious yet.)

Baby Bronson has been a really great baby so far.
It’s like he searches your depths when he looks at you.
(although he kinda just looks crabby here)
He’s calm in-utero demeanor does seem to be staying true outside the womb. He’s very mellow. If you solve his problem (feed him, or change his diaper…) he’s totally content. He likes to sleep for really long chunks of time (newborn-ly-speaking) and then when he’s awake he likes to nurse most of that time. I was slightly worried he wouldn’t be gaining enough since he’s so good at sleeping, but we just weighed him in and he’s gaining like a champ. So all that nursing between sleeping is working great.
I’ve only had 2 different nights where I haven’t gotten good sleep. And I think both those times I think was because he’d had too busy of a day earlier and had gotten over stimulated. The other nights he’s needed to nurse, but goes right back to sleep. So I can’t complain about him at all.

The girls have taken to him great. They’ve really adjusted pretty seamlessly. (I mean, they have gotten very used to me being only vaguely available to them, so it’s not a huge surprise they are taking this in stride. Plus now there is an adorable baby around. Can’t really go wrong there.)

I’ve been blessed to have lots of help from either my mom or Blake in transitioning to three kids. So I didn’t have to face that on my own at all until yesterday, and only for part of the day. I was rather intimidated. But it went really well.
They hardest part for me is getting used to less quietness, more visual loudness (messiness), and getting back into that zero introvert time stage. (I had just started to enjoy some alone time for my introvert brain this past year. So it’s kinda hard to say goodbye to that. But at least this time I have kinda a sense for how long it will be till its back -- I know someday I will have it again.)

But Baby Bronson is a cutie pie.
 I’m love smelling his head. Sweet baby smell is so good. I wish I could put that in their baby books somehow.

One thing we’ve added to our parenting arsenal on Sunday was a "Rock and Play.”

 I’d seen a lot of mommy bloggers using them and I got to wondering if it could be any good. We have a bouncy inclined seat and a baby swing. I didn’t know if this was just “one more thing” and a waste of space. But our kids never liked that bouncy seat for even one minute. And so far the swing is mostly good, but not always a winner. So some friends lent us their Rock and Play until their baby comes along.  And let me tell you…this thing is a wonder. It doesn’t look like much. But they must have done some serious engineering on how to get the seat just right -- because Bronson LOVES to sleep in it. Before we got this thing I was holding him almost 24/7 because that’s how he’d sleep so well. But I have two other kids, and I need to eat or go to the bathroom sometimes, so setting him down sounded nice. This thing has really helped a lot. I’m super glad I looked into it, and super glad our friends lent it to us.

So that’s how things are going.
I’m not sure how often I’ll get around to blogging for a bit. Time will tell.

Thanks again to everyone for all your support, well wishes, and congratulations. (Sorry I didn’t really get a chance to respond to them -- hands have been full.) They really mean a lot to me. And have helped a lot as I have been in this weird-hard place.

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