Sunday, December 14, 2014

postpartum update: four months {31 Days of Postpartum Health & Healing}

I thought it would be a good idea to include a "postpartum update" as part of the 31 Days of Postpartum Health and Healing series because the way I feel even one-two months later is so different! I go back and read these posts and recognize (even though I knew then) that I was struggling but fortunately and thankfully, the difference when Dylan hit three months was almost like night and day.

I don't know if it is because we all just got acclimated to each other, or the removal of most all dairy that makes her happier, or that it just was the end of the "fourth trimester," but when she hit three months she became smiley, content, and our little social butterfly who loves to see everyone and be wherever the party is happening. She LOVES to be held, and doesn't last too long when she is left on her blanket or in her bouncy, and I've adjusted to that, too. She's my precious little sunshine who is a joy and light in our family!

Rarely do I feel the sheer anxiety and overwhelm that plagued those first twelve weeks of her life, and I'm feeling overall more balanced. I'm tired, to be sure (she's still up every 2-3 hours at night, ugh!) but I also have more energy and find that I'm naturally becoming a more productive person when I get those fits and bursts of inspiration, because now I see a 15 minute window of opportunity and try to get as much done as possible. I've also left her with family more than I ever left the twins in the first 18 months of their lives! The joy of only having one baby, I guess, but I've really enjoyed having the peace of mind that I can leave her safely with Andy or my parents and she'll take a bottle of expressed milk and be {mostly} happy.

Physically, I know my body will never be the same and I have been content with my body even more than I ever have before. Weird, and surprising, and for sure I lament the sagging that is happening, but it's nothing that preoccupies me or is a big issue. For that, I'm very thankful. I'm within something of my pre-birth weight, but I don't have a scale so I'm just going by which clothes I'm squeezing into.

A few interesting observations that show the true symbiosis of the mother and baby relationship is that when I don't get enough calories or water, Dylan gets constipated. If she has gone for longer than 48 hours without pooping, I know that I haven't been eating enough and if I eat a big, complete meal, she'll poop a few hours later! I am only down to a little bit of cheese every now and then, butter on my bread, and a bit of heavy cream in my coffee. I know that seems still like a lot of dairy but it's down from what it was and she is happier. I had a peppermint bark mocha treat the other evening and she was up so much that night.

The big girls have done so phenomenally with this new member of our family. They L-O-V-E her. Ruthie strokes her head and says, "oh, hi sweetheart! My little sweetie!" and Afton is full of kisses and hugs for her. Only when she's upset and crying loudly - mainly in the car - do they say, "We don't like this baby!" It's funny that whenever they're unhappy with her, she becomes "this baby" instead of Dylan. I couldn't be more pleased with their relationship and while I know it will go through challenges later on - just wait until she starts grabbing their toys! - I revel in it right now.

Challenges at this point? Sleeping. Oh, this girl does NOT love to sleep. And I love to sleep, we all are sleepers in this family. I'm awaiting the day when this improves. And honestly, I struggle to eat enough. The big girls have such big appetites that they usually end up eating my food, or it goes cold on the counter because of some activity, or I just forget...so by the time it's 1pm I'm starving and have eaten half an egg and cold toast. My saving grace has been decaf coffee blended with coconut oil and this tasteless protein powder. I'm also taking b12 spray and some homeopathic cell salts. Maybe I'll do a post soon on those.

My best piece of advice for surviving the postpartum period still stands: Rest, rest rest! Care for yourself and get the help you need. The more you properly recover in the early days, the better and swifter your overall recovery will be. It is 100% true. Also, EAT. And hydrate! And enjoy. When it doesn't feel like things will ever get better, please know from one fresh out of the postpartum period, it does. When you wake up one morning and realize you haven't cried in a few days, you'll know you're on your way. It may be three months in, it may be six or nine or thirteen. I don't think I left the house with the twins by myself for the first six months! Every woman, mother, and baby is different. Grace for yourself and for the journey, my friends!


2 comments:

  1. So glad to hear this! You are a strong and amazing mama, inspired by your energy and positive attitude. Even in the tough times.


    So interesting that you can see such a close relationship between what you eat and how Dylan feels! I am so used to only having myself to be accountable to, that must be interesting. (And I have a hard time remembering/cooking/eating enough, too, with no kids... understandable! I have made 3 slow cooker stews in the past week, though, lifesaver!)

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  2. Thank you Suzannah! :) It definitely is a strange life transition having someone(s) depend on you 100%...And the crock pot is one of the best inventions!

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