It has been one month since I’ve given birth to my sweet little Owen. I have been writing notes to add to my blog but had not posted, as I have been taking a little ‘babymoon’ to enjoy my new addition, and get to know him, him personality, and adjust to life as a family of four.
The birth went really well even though the experience of having a planned c-section seems very methodical and systematic.
Everything on the day of the birth everything was very calm and relaxed. The complete opposite to my first birth experience. The staff at the hospital were extremely friendly and explained everything that they were about to do which I appreciated greatly. Apart of me was very nervous (in a negative way) and hesitant, as this process is out of my control, and that in and of itself scared me. It was interesting seeing my blood pressure on the monitor in the operating room (as they take pressure checks every minute during the process). I am normally 110/70 but in that moment was 145/95. I was surprised at how high it was and I was reassured that the situation I was in was ‘not normal’ and considering the circumstances this was to be expected. After having my epidural Owen was out pretty quickly. I heard his cry, and my first though was, “Oh, he has a good cry”. It is a subtile cry, almost warm and welcoming. I was able to have him on my chest for about 20-25 minutes before they took him away to give him a vitamin K shot, and antibiotic for his eyes.
I was wheeled into recovery and I waited there until the epidural wore off, which was probably around two hours. Owen was back in my arms probably 20 minutes later after coming out of surgery.
The process was easy. I wasn’t exhausted afterwards and Owen came out perfect. I could not ask for a better experience of birthing my son.
Over the next 24 hours, I was checked on every three hours. There was temperature checks, blood-pressure checks, and since people were in and out of my room constantly, I had no sleep for the next 24 hours. Having this new baby in my room, also puts you on edge until you get to know them. You are trying to figure out their personality, there noises. Are these noises he is making normal? Are they still breathing? Plus everyone comes in to check on you so frequently that when you start to dose off, or finish feeding the baby — someone else comes in.
The New Normal
Owen was born on a Thursday and by Friday at suppertime I was ready to go home. I was requested to go home because I wasn’t sleeping, hence I was not recovering as best I could under the circumstance. I did not end up getting clearance, as it was at the end of the day so I ended up staying one more night. That night the woman next to me ended up giving birth so the party was rocking in her room until about 2 AM. Again no sleep. I kept thinking my options in this situation, and really I just had to suck it up. I almost wanted to call myself a cab, and bolt out of there. Lack of sleep can make you think if crazy things.
My son, Zachary, has adjusted and welcomed the new addition. He ‘was not sure’ (in his words), of Owen, but ‘after seeing him, he is pretty cute’. Zach wants to hold Owen, and is careful of his head, he entertains him when he cries, although sometimes tries to ‘shhh’ him, and will now allow me to take his picture without making a face, so that we can add the photos to the family album (in which is loves looking at pictures, so I need to be able to take his picture in order to be able to do that). I am so relieved that they are bonded, and that Zach is not jealous of Owen. I was slightly concerned, but I have no worries that they will have a great relationship moving forward.
By Saturday, I was discharged from the hospital. Two days earlier than what they recommended for a C-section. They wanted me to stay for 4 days but everything was going so well, that they okay’ed my release. The hospital staff did their jobs fabulously and thoroughly, but I just wanted to be in my own space. Whether I breast-feed at the hospital or breast-feed at home what’s for sure is that I will get more sleep at home.
The first afternoon night home I didn’t do too much just feeding the baby and getting some nutrition in my body. I was recommended not to lift anything heavier than the baby for 8 weeks. I knew in my mind 8 weeks was too long to ‘not do very much’, and would just listen to my own body. As that meant, the baby plus the carrier would be ‘not recommended’. There was no way I could do that as that would mean being stuck in the house for 2 months.
The first couple of days at home, my main exercise was climbing the stairs of my house, which at times was hard. (we have a lot of stairs in our home). Then after 2 days, I decided to walk over to the neighbours house which was not far but by the time I got home it was enough, it was clear to me that the effort was enough, bordering on too much.
I took the next 3-4 days off of doing too much. I had a few outings – to Walmart, the shoe store for my son, and even tried walking to the neighbours again. All small outings, but again, enough.
You could say my exercise regimen, after a C section, lasted somewhere in the range of 2 to 5 minutes, of slow, very slow, walking.
Housework of any kind, was a backburner issue. I could do laudry slowly and some dishes, but anything else I really could care less. The first baby you try to be supermom and keep all the balls in the air, but I have lived and learned you cannot do everything. I have a house cleaner that comes once a week to do floors, bathrooms, and mopping. Best money spend. I cannot do it all. I have only 2 children and some people have 3, 4, 5 kids and still do it all. I will be the first to tell you I cannot. And I make no apologies for it.
By the beginning of week 2, I was able to walk back over to the neighbours and back and not have pain by the end of the day
The rest of second week, I laid pretty low. I purposefully did very little in order to heal better.
By week 3, I felt much much better, stronger and in less pain less pain in the hips and ribs. I realize now with my first C-section, I was in such a daze after giving birth, that I don’t even remember the pain. Which can be a good thing. Plus I was 10 years younger, and age (regardless of fitness), plays a role in recovery. I tried a few ‘activities’ to see where I was at fitness/recovery wise. I walked to the mailbox and back, hit the gym 1x that week – probably 20 minutes workout, 2 sets only, light, and some light cardio. I almost broke a sweat, and walked at a park which was a 3.4km walk – however, it was slow, as anything too bouncy I could feel on my scar, and just did not feel to comfortable by the end of the day.
By the beginning of week 4, I tried to friend’s house and back, hit the gym 1x trying a few weighted sets, and some cardio (actually broke into a sweat, that felt amazing), and walked to the gym near my house and back. All great wins! My goal is to move some everyday. The length or intensity of movement just depends on how I was feeling yesterday, the quality and quantity of sleep, and if I am in pain or not.
I am not even close to a return to the old me. I know how to get my body back, yet I am giving myself upwards of a year of committed effort to get back into shape. Things will take their time since I am breastfeeding. I was 165lbs before I gave birth, and over the last 2-3 weeks lost 20-25lbs, and now I am hovering around 140lbs-145lbs. It has only been a month, and I need to remind myself frequently of that.
With Zach I was stuck around 140-150lbs for months, and lived in my maternity pants during that time. It really took me a good 15 months before I could be honest with myself and say, “I’m back”. I am giving myself a similar timeline, and hey, it could take longer as I am older this time around. Either way, I have no expectation of losing weight quickly or even have any kind of goal to do that.
Here is a progression of my belly over the last month. I find it very interesting how the body changes during pregnancy, or even just weight loss, and still am fascinated by it. Again, I have no goal of being one of those moms who has abs by the time their 6-8 week check up rolls around. I am interested in seeing how food, and training can change the body, and track my own changes, for interests sake, not out of vanity.
I have noticed the following on my physique since giving birth:
- I have back, and hip fat, and felt this coming on when I was pregnant.
- I don’t have the endurance, that I used to have. I get winded very easily.
- My posture needs readjusting as all that weight in the front of the body is no longer there.
- I will have to strengthen my core, as well as my pelvic floor, and focus on that once I return to training.
The New Addition
My son, Zachary was not a difficult baby by any means, but I was so concerned about all the other things that go into being a first time mom, as I had very little to no experience with babies. How to do certain things, such as, diaper changing, feeding, knowing what the baby wants, paired with a lack of sleep that you really have a tough time just enjoying the baby. You have moments, but it can be hard to be in the moment.
I am much more present with Owen, as all that other stuff, I know. I feel slightly guilty about this as I feel I did give as much to Zach as I could. I won’t spent a lot of time beating myself up about it as we do what we know how to do with the information and experience we have at that time. And when we know better we do better. I have learned and realized that second babies hold a much difference experience than first babies.
So for the next couple of months, I will be taking care of my newborn, breastfeeding, training when I can, eating well, and taking care of my online clients. It has been a wonderful journey, and I welcome the next couple of months, as I know that Owen will be changing a lot and growing like a weed.
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