Tag Archive | postpartum

Losing the Baby Weight

Some people are lucky and lose the weight they gained during pregnancy with ease, others really have to work at it, and some just don’t even care if it is there or not. At the beginning of my pregnancy with Andrew I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t care if I was a bit heavier. I was so lazy at the time I couldn’t imagine myself ever working out or dieting again. (Maybe that is because I was sleeping most of the first trimester.) When it came to the end of my pregnancy I had gained a total of 65 pounds. Needless to say, I wanted that weight gone.

I know that 65 pounds gained during a pregnancy isn’t “within normal range,” but my doctors never said I was gaining too much. Beyond that, even when I tried to eat healthy, I gained more than most women do during each week. I eventually just started eating what I wanted instead of stressing myself about what the scale said. I figured if it didn’t worry the doctors then it shouldn’t worry me. I know that part of that weight gain was from all the fluids. My fluid level was very close to being too much. Within a few days of Andrew being born I had lost 20 pounds.

I felt great losing so much so quickly, but I couldn’t seem to lose anymore after that. Because I never breastfed Andrew, I wasn’t able to lose anymore easily. I was soon facing the choice of either work out and diet, or buy a whole new wardrobe. Being the cheap person that I am, I went for the diet option.

I started counting carbs, and closely monitored what I ate. I lost another 15 pounds. Then I started to lose my drive for dieting and stayed at the same weight for a few months. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I decided to continue losing more. This time I cut out sodas, eat smaller portions, and force myself to eat fresh vegetables. ┬áSo far I am down another 5 pounds. That puts my total weight loss since Andrew was born at 40 pounds! I’m very happy happy with how far I’ve come, and now I have my sights set on getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. If I keep at it, I may be able to lose a little more than that.

Whether you have gained a lot or a little weight during your pregnancy, there is a good chance you will want to lose it just like I do. I’m no personal trainer or dietitian, but let me give you a few words of advice. Only lose the weight if you want to do it, this shouldn’t be something that you do to please other people. Be healthy about it. While losing a lot of weight very quickly seems appealing, the best way to do it is slowly because you are more likely to keep it off and you won’t be endangering your health. Finally don’t get discouraged. There will be times where you feel like you can’t lose anymore weight, or possibly even gain a few pounds, but just remember if you stay focused on your goal then one way or another it will happen!

The Scariest Moment I’ve had as a New Mother

Thankfully we haven’t had some terrible emergency involving Andrew since he was born, but there was a still a time when I was constantly terrified. Believe it or not the scariest moments of my life as a new mom was when I was released from the hospital after giving birth.

While I was still in the hospital there were several times I called the nurses in because I was freaking out about something. For example, Andrew was sneezing a lot and I was worried he was already getting sick. They assured me that he was fine and sneezing is just a way for babies to clear out their nasal passages. Then I was on the verge of a meltdown because Andrew wouldn’t stop crying and I had no idea why. After talking with a nurse for a while we decided giving him a pacifier was the best option, and of course it worked immediately.

Having a team of nurses able to help at any moment put my mind at ease. I had almost no experience with babies except for my niece, and I didn’t even get to see her that often when she was a baby. My nurses have not only been trained to handle so many different situations, they also had years of hands-on experience. They always seemed to know just what to say to keep me calm, and that is no easy feat.

I tried to ask any question I could think of during my hospital stay, but of course there was no way I would think of everything. I could feel my anxiety growing as it got closer and closer to my time to be released. By the time I was signing the discharge paperwork my hands were shaking. The one thought that kept running through my head as I walked to the car was, “Are you all seriously trusting me with this baby? I’m just winging it here.”

Despite the fact that I was surrounded by friends and family for another couple weeks that were very helpful with Andrew, I was still terrified. I had multiple meltdowns when it was just Andrew and me. The first sleepless night for Andrew had Anthony and me about to pull out our own hair. Andrew was crying for hours, and nothing we tried worked. I felt like a terrible mother and ended up crying right along with him. (It turned out that he just had a very bad case of gas that night.)

I wasn’t prepared for an infant to be the scariest thing I have ever had to face. I just thought about how cute babies are, all the diapers I would have to change, and how exciting it will be to watch my child grow. I knew there would be times when Andrew would cry for long periods of time, but I didn’t realize how much it would hurt me emotionally if I couldn’t soothe him right away.

Even though I knew not every child is the same, I didn’t realize a lot of my parenting would involve guessing. I have to guess why he’s crying. I have to guess how much formula he is hungry for and still able to keep down. I have to guess how to get him to go to sleep because he fights it constantly. Guessing means you don’t know something, and not knowing something when it comes to your child is terrifying.

Now that I am past being scared of my son, I figured it was time to tell people about it. If you are or have ever been scared of your newborn, just know that you aren’t alone. It’s okay to be afraid. What matters is that you are willing to face those fears for the sake of your child. It will be tough, but if you surround yourself with people who love and support you, it won’t be so bad.

An Apology to my Pre-pregnancy Clothes

shorts

Dear pre-pregnancy clothing,

I’m am very sorry for the abuse I have put you through. I used to wear you everyday. I was much smaller back then and we were all very comfortable. Then there was a span of a better part of a year where I stuffed you into storage containers and left you all alone on a nearly out of reach shelf in my closet. I replaced you because my growing baby and constant chocolate cravings didn’t allow any part of me to remain the same size.

While you were making your new home among the Christmas decorations, I thought of you often. I worried that an intruder might find you, start gnawing on you, and leave me to find you full of holes. I worried that I would never be able to fit into you again, and sadly for some of you that is the case. To those of you clothes I donated because you were already tight on me pre-pregnancy, please know that things are better this way for all involved.

Now my pregnancy weight is starting to melt away, and so I have dusted you off and put you back on hangers where you rightly belong. There is still more to my apology however. I may be able to wear you, but that doesn’t mean you were as comfortable as you used to be back before I was pregnant. My shape has gone through an extreme change, and I may never be exactly the way I used to be. I may be okay with that fact, but it is unfair of me to force you to be too.

To my shirts: You were the article of clothing I thought it would take me the longest to get back into, but I wasn’t counting on most of my weight gain going straight to my thighs. I started wearing the biggest of you first only a couple weeks postpartum. You were still tight on me, but you covered my belly so I wore you anyway. I may have pulled you shirts out of the closet too early, but I felt a sense of accomplishment that I could actually wear you again. You all made a great sacrifice, but you brought me joy and I thank you for that.

To my pants: Most of you I am still unable to wear. I did have to go buy pants quite a few sizes bigger so I have something to wear until we can all be together again. There are two pairs of you I can actually get on and button. I don’t wear you often though because I can barely breathe, and I fear that if I were to sit down that you would lose your button. I will keep you hung up in my closet though as a reminder of my weight loss goal. Please be patient with me.

To my socks: Although I didn’t replace or even put any of you in storage, you still deserve an apology. My feet grew during this pregnancy. The amount of swelling I had in my feet made it almost unbearable to stand. You did let me know towards the end of my pregnancy that you had had enough. Those indentations you left on my ankles hurt quite a bit. The swelling did go away soon after the baby was born, but my feet were still bigger. They may have only grown a half size, but that is a half size you all had to stretch out to accommodate for. Sadly, I cannot lose weight in my feet. You are forever stuck with the burden of my near Sasquatch sized feet. I do promise you that I will do my best to keep my feet smelling the best they can. It’s the least I can do.

Lastly, to my bras: You all had the worst problems to deal with. You all had to stay with me throughout all but the last month of the pregnancy. You all must love me very much because none of you decided to stab me with wires. For that, I repaid the favor by using nursing pads. You had enough problems to deal with. I can tell though that a few of you have suffered injuries and are nearing the end of your lives. I will mourn you when your gone, but for now lets enjoy what time we have left.

There is one more apology I must make to all my clothing. Should I ever become pregnant again, all of these problems will repeat themselves. I know this is tough for you, but trust me when I say that your sacrifices are well worth it. Because of your selflessness, I can bring a new life into this world. Thank you.

Sincerely,

A happy new mother