Sunday, September 13, 2015

Postpartum Reflections...

Our squish is here.And I've been doing a lot of this...
The first 5 days I stayed upstairs in bed, sweet Hubby Joy brought me all my food and got me any thing I needed. I nursed, napped, nursed, changed diapers, nursed, and rested. I allowed myself one trip downstairs a day after the first 5 days and this enabled me to get my own food once a day and or just hang out with the kids downstairs a little.

I ate breakfast on the front porch which felt really good. It's been too hot and muggy for the baby so I haven't gotten to do it since.

I love his curly ears.
I think the greatest challenge for me postpartum is knowing where to set the bar in relation to what my body needs, not just now but in the long term. As some one with adrenal and autoimmune challenges it is a fine line to walk. Generally I feel great, my health challenges have drastically healed and improved thanks to dietary changes and T-TAPP.  But the unfortunate thing is that my body does take a little longer to bounce back from things, particularly birth. And I feel so great, I often miss signs that I've over done it and then crash hard. And "over done it" is so frustrating, what exactly did I do that was so taxing? Often it was just a combination of a little too much activity and a few stressful situations (kids fighting, baby crying and not calming, raising my fight or flight reflexes), mix it in with postpartum hormones and a bad night of sleep: CRASH.

What does a crash look like? Complete and utter exhaustion mixed in with achey body and a shorter fuse. It's frustrating, but I've learned and I am learning how important it is for me to rest during times of transition and stress. Not only for me but for my whole family, that I focus on resting when I need it...And giving and being present as much as I can. Babies are precious, and they don't happen too many times in your life time...They are a gift.

This recovery has been a lot harder in some ways than it was last time. I will share the full birth story in another post soon, but suffice it to say it was a long hard labor. From the time my water was broken (more on that too) until birth it was 14 hours of HARD contractions. It was probably my hardest labor physically, though mentally and emotionally it was great. It just kept on keeping on like a freight train, no questions that this baby was on his way and my body meant business. Which in of itself, given his position, so empowering! That said, if it weren't for medical interventions I think it would have been a pretty traumatic birth.

As it was the birth was fantastic and I can look back at it with a mix of gratitude and relief that it all went the way that it did. It was deeply redeeming in many ways. I bled a lot, tore a little, and had a (give or take a smidge) 9lbs baby with a 14inch head come out asynclintic (cocked ear first). I felt pretty beat up the first several days.

I am 10 days out and feeling almost normal, but if I'm on my feet too much or do too much bending or twisting I feel like my pelvic area has been beaten badly. And unfortunately,  "too much" doesn't really hit until I've sat down and rested and then tried to get back up.

 It's harder to stay down this time, I am! I am sucking the marrow out of this babymoon. I can't say how thankful I am to Hubby Joy for all he's done to make this possible. He has been an absolute gem. But it feels so good right now not to be pregnant. I also love this time of year, I want to be at parks with the kids, taking nature walks and watching them play. Walking with Hubby Joy and enjoying the late-summer weather.

But I'm home mostly, nursing more than I ever remember nursing before (though I know it's not true, I just forgot) and snuggling and sad that these early days will fly so fast...What do I want to remember about them?  Stress over a messy house? All the places we went and things we did and how much I hurt afterwards?

Or the smell of his head. The softness of his cheeks. The way his squishy little body felt sleeping against mine. The way I know his face so well from hours of staring at it. That I drank him in and we had every thing together for his first week or two.
I am so grateful for this babymoon we've enjoyed and for new ways of learning balance and seeing how my body has healed in the last 4 years.
That said, having 3 other kids there are things that must march on...We start school tomorrow, and while I still plan to rest heavily the first month, life can't stop for that entire time. So I've been pondering what are some ways I can continue to focus on rest and self-care as I move out of our babymoon and into the rest of the 4th Trimester.

1. Shower every morning... As soon as I can. I feel so much more human when I am clean, especially after a night of nursing and leaking and diaper leaks.

2. Make my bed every day... I've never been one to make my bed, not since I was a kid. But it really does feel good to know that it is waiting there for me to rest on with out getting the sheets crumby (because I am always eating).

3. Treat Myself... Nothing crazy, but finding little ways to pamper myself. I did this a lot the last month of pregnancy...painting my myself a foot soak...Eating a special snack. It's going to be hard to get out alone with this little one, he has been taking a really hard core nap from 8-11ish every morning, but pretty much from that point on he is in arms non-stop. I know it'll change and he won't be so intense forever. But I do have a feeling getting out of the house for more than an hour at a time is going to be tricky. I need to find ways to treat myself at home.

4. Get Outside Daily...This has been tricky because the past week has been nasty muggy. But as Autumn and Winter roll around I plan to take advantage of the fact that Hubby Joy is here during the day and sneak out for a brief walk during morning nap- even on the most bitter cold days.

5. Read More Books...While there will be plenty moments of nursing on the go, there are even more of us snuggled up and what other opportunity am I going to have to read once he gets mobile? I've really been enjoying my kindle paperwhite e-reader, it has a small back light so I can read at night...That has been wonderful.

Well a certain little guy is squirming and I think he just filled his diaper...Time to go!

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