I'm 10 days postpartum and finally feeling like myself again. I've had a lot of readers and friends ask me how I'm doing and what my plans are post-baby. So, I figured I'd knock out both topics today.
Yesterday was the first day I was able to go without any pain relief. If you read my birth story you know I had a pretty long and painful labor thanks to baby being in a very bad position, and ended up with a second degree tear that goes 1" internally and 1" externally. Most days I feel like the recovery postpartum has been harder than the actual labor and delivery. During labor I had a lovely epidural to take the edge off! Postpartum I've been trying to take the smallest amount of pain relief possible since I'm breastfeeding and hate to think of residual amounts getting into his system.
Physically recovery entails not being able to sit, walk or bend over without fear that I'm going to rip open. Most of the time I feel okay, but occasionally I'll just be at a bad angle and feel a sharp pain or tug. Most of my bleeding stopped around 5 or 6 days postpartum, but as the swelling goes down and stitches get pulled tighter bleeding comes back at random times. Taking baths twice a day has helped significantly. Everyone swore that dermaplast (numbing spray) would be my BFF but honestly the New Mama Bottom Spray feels just as good and is made with all natural ingredients.
My uterus stopped contracting about the same time and my stomach feels pretty good now. The only other pain I have is in my breasts thanks to breastfeeding. I feel much better than I did just a few days ago and most pain now is just from engorgement and is temporary (going away as soon as baby feeds again.)
I went for my first walk yesterday. I kept it pretty slow and just did 30 minutes around the neighborhood. It felt so great to be out and getting fresh air! Very surreal to look down and not see my big ol' baby belly anymore.
Since I've been pretty inactive focusing more on resting and recovery I've tried to make better eating choices. I've never been a fan of 'dieting' and certainly don't plan to restrict calories now that I'm breastfeeding. I just eat when I'm hungry, until I'm full, and try to make healthy(ish) choices. My goal is for one salad a day, lots of nuts and nut butter for healthy fats and protein, and ridiculous amounts of water. I was so swollen when I got home from the hospital when I first weighed myself 3 days postpartum I had only lost 5 pounds! I was holding onto so much water from my hips down. I could literally feel the water sloshing around on my hips when I walked. I wish I would have taken photos of my feet. I didn't quite realize how bad it was until I saw how normal they looked yesterday.
At 9 days postpartum I had lost 20.5 of the 37 pounds I gained. I feel amazing! I've got a few tiny stretch marks ,and my stomach has a little bit to go before I lose the postpartum pooch, but overall if I didn't lose another ounce I'd be happy.
I took this photo at one week postpartum. The shirt is deceptive as I really did have a small belly still. I was feeling pretty damn good about myself until we took baby out for the first time (quick stop into publix after our pediatrician appointment Monday) and a cute little old lady in a wheelchair asked if I had "one and one on the way."
I could tell she was embarrassed, but I definitely didn't take it personally! My postpartum fitness plans are pretty basic for now. I'd like to just get back into a routine of working out. Even if it's just walking 30 minutes a day at least I'm putting my workout clothes on, and getting up and doing something active. Of course I still have goals of running more marathons, maybe even an ultra or getting into triathlons, but for now my goal is to find a balance between feeling like myself again and letting my body have adequate time recovering.
For years I've done a "fitness Friday" post and I'll continue to do that now along with tracking my postpartum progress. I haven't even taken measurements so I should probably do that. I don't want to get too hung up on numbers though. I really just miss my exercise 'highs' and having a fitness goal to work toward and keep me motivated.
How soon did you start exercising after pregnancy?
What is the hardest part about trying to workout with a new baby to take care of?