2 Months Postpartum: The Body
It’s been 2 months since my little guy was born. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday he was born.. but at the same time I can’t even remember life without him. Does that even make sense? 🤷🏼♀️
There is so much that goes into the postpartum period of having a baby. Not only adjusting to the baby, but the mental and physical side of things for YOU, the mama. Everyone provides so much support right after the baby, but when that first month is over and everyone goes back to work, and their own lives it can be HARD. You’re at home with a crying baby and it can get overwhelming especially if its your first baby. The 24/7 care can be exhausting. Combine that with hormones, breastfeeding, as well as with the physical changes that pregnancy and postpartum brings its no wonder there are so many women with the baby blues or even PPD. So little attention is brought to a woman’s mental state after pregnancy.
As you know, I write about everything…baby, mom stuff, recipes, fashion…it has super therapeutic in a way for me with this third baby. Having a baby can be isolating but this has given me an outlet when I might be otherwise cut off a little bit from society and my “regular” life.
But my favorite posts by far have tp be these body/fitness updates because even though I get frustrated on the DAILY- weighing myself, seeing an unflattering angle in the mirror, trying pre pregnancy jeans on.. the list goes on LOL... (I’m just being real with you during this postpartum phase) when I look back on my previous monthly posts, I can see that I’ve made progress. And I know there are SO MANY other women who feel the same way. And if I can see positivity & progress in my own journey, so can you.
Sometimes progress is hard to see when you’re grafting day and in and day out and things aren’t happening as fast as what you’d like. I encourage you to take progress photos and look at all of this from a “big picture” standpoint. How far you have come, rather than how far you have to go.
I know I feel inspired when I see other women work hard for things they want and I hope in a small way I can do the same for you. I’m not where I want to be yet (not even close), but I’m loving sharing the journey in depth with all of you.
I've been a mother for almost 5 years. To some of you, I'm still a rookie. And let me tell you, a lot of the time I sure do feel like a rookie. I think in our own way we are all newbies trying to find our way not only for our children, but for our new life as parents, caregivers. Because just when you think you've figured it out, they go and change on you again :)
I can't tell you how many times over the last 4 1/2 years I've come across messages of "love your ____(insert either body, scars, battle wounds, mom pooch, tiger stripes, curves, stretch marks" etc. ) in social media, magazines, tv. It’s everywhere. Don't get me wrong. I love messages of positivity to uplift women whether you're a mom, a teen, or a twenty something post college graduate. But I guess a part of me has fought this message internally. And its always made me feel weird and to be honest, like an outsider when it comes to this topic. I don’t know if this message is realistic, for me anyway.
I don't love my postpartum curves. I don't love my stretch marks. I don't love my loose skin. I don't love my c- section scars. What I do love? MY SONS. My beautiful three boys. (they of course were worth every ounce of pain, sacrifice, skin sagginess, scars, and stretch marks FYI !)
If you asked me if I could have heathy children and do without the loose skin & stretch marks I wouldn't think twice. Absolutely I would take that. And I bet I'm not the only one who would -whether people want to admit it or not. Those battle scars…They’re just human.. and part of the process for some of us.
What I do is thank my pre-pregnancy body for being STRONG, fit and healthy enough to carry my babies…not my stretch marks or loose skin.
And my postpartum body? I might not love every part of it. BUT I RESPECT the HELL out it. My curves, stretch marks, loose skin and scars.
In my opinion, the most important way (and most realistic way) you can love your body is by respecting & appreciating it throughout all the crazy seasons of life us women go through.
Now…on to Month 2!
This was the best recovery by far from all of my C sections. I think because my incisions opened (superficial layer, not infected or anything) the last 2 times I was really careful. In addition, I had a lot of help at night with my husband bringing baby to me in the middle of the night to nurse (not getting up out of a chair holding baby) which was #husbandgoals. Lastly, the horrible weather we had the first 4 weeks postpartum actually went in my favor because I didn’t go for walks or leave the house. Haha.
I have no issues with my incision and hopefully every day the scar will fade. Although having the scar doesn’t really phase me, to be honest. I think out of all things “postpartum” that is the thing I least care about.
I’m getting 3-4 strength training workouts in during the week and trying to get 2-3 days of cardio in. I’m careful with my cardio; I want to be sure my body is able to handle the impact. Because of this, I’m really focusing on weights and getting stronger right now. During pregnancy I lost so much muscle- and gained a lot of extra fat so I’ve got to ease my way into it. In addition, I have about 2 cm of separation still between my abs-which I am doing DR exercises to improve.
I’ve gone on 3-4 runs and my times have already started to lower. I’m soooo far off where I used to be but I’m trying to focus on what I CAN do and not what I used to be able to do. I know I’ve done this twice before; and I can do it again if I want it bad enough.
To be honest, my nutrition has been better this postpartum period than it was with the other two. I’m eating less cereal/empty carbs at night and if I need a snack at night I choose Greek yogurt. During the day I’m pretty structured and disciplined. Breakfast is usually eggs with turkey bacon, eggs on its own, or chicken sausage always paired with oatmeal. Lunch is usually chicken or salmon with salad, and you have all seen my dinners throughout the week in my Monday meal plan.
Of course, I have “splurge” meals (like pizza last week saturday, for example) and I usually have a treat or two after going to the grocery shopping (I blame the “hungry me” for buying my fave love crunch granola haha)
For those that have breastfed, you know the struggle is real with nursing hunger…or HANGER. Ha. I literally CANNOT go to bed without eating something because I’ll wake in the night hungry.
I definitely don’t portion out my meals too much, I would say breakfast and lunch I know pretty much the macros I’m eating but dinner and before bed all bets are off. For me, maintaining my supply is most important and if it takes me 3 months longer to achieve what I want, then so be it.
Weight/ body image
My clothes are definitely fitting better but I would say 70% of my closet doesn’t fit, or it doesn’t fit comfortably/ the way I want it to. Which is super frustrating, but it is what it is. I’ve accepted it, respect it and I’m going to keep showing up like a bad penny at the gym getting after it.
I’ve also bought 2 new pairs of jeans because I’m not putting some ridiculous pressure on how fast “i bounce back”. Some of my pants are going to take about 6 MONTHS to fit back into, and thats just reality. You don’t get a medal, a trophy or anything special for fitting into your jeans quicker! I’ll get there and I know from my other two babies it takes time. A lot of time. Like over a year. And it takes sweat. Discipline. And of all things, consistency.
Weight wise the scale hasn’t budged in about 4 weeks. It has. not. budged. a. single. pound.
4 weeks of being intentional about walking (the first 2 weeks. Working out the last 2 weeks, 5 days a week.
4 weeks of intentional, healthy eating.
So, basically, I’m still 15-ish lbs above pre-pregnancy weight.
Frustration is an understatement.
I found with my other two babies I was able to lose a majority of the weight (over a 12 month period-let’s be clear!!) but I coulden’t get as lean/lose the last 3-4 lbs until I stopped nursing. Whether that was hormones, or my hunger, I’m not sure. We will see this time around! Everyone’s body is different and reacts a different way to nursing.
So, if you’re in the same season as me (this awkward postpartum phase), know that taking small victories like FEELING good, fitting into pants better, having more energy, being able to lift a heavier weight, or running faster/longer means far more than the scale anyway.
And as those small victories keep piling up ….you’ll see movement in the scale. Because that’s really how it works.
End of Story.