Working Mom

Oops, I haven’t blogged in 7 months!  Well, I’m here now and a lot has changed.

Becoming a mom is completely life-changing (obviously)!  My son is seriously my everything.  He is the coolest, sweetest, funniest person I know.  It has literally taken me 9 months to even start to dabble in my old interests.  It’s truly like falling in love – all I could think about the past 9 months was him!

After 3 months of maternity leave, I went back to work in mid-August.  One week after I started back to work, I put in my notice that I was leaving.  Yep, I resigned from my job after just one week of being back.

Most people thought I was leaving to stay home with my baby.  Nope, I got a new job.

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made the switch – I must have been delirious from lack of sleep and shifting hormones.  For some reason, when I was pregnant, I was REALLY ready to start a new position.  I felt like I had given my all to my last position (I had been with that company for 10 years!).  I applied for this job one week before my son was born.  I knew I was really well-qualified and the position sounded really interesting.  I interviewed for the position 4 weeks postpartum.  Wouldn’t you know it but it was my BEST interview that I have ever done.  I think it’s because I wasn’t nervous at all because I was more concerned with my newborn at home.

They offered me the job while I was still on maternity leave and I negotiated a start date far in the future so I could get back in the groove of going to work and taking my son to daycare.

I started my new job on the day my son turned 4 months old.  It was tough.  Tougher than I expected.  Now, 6 months back to work, and I still don’t feel like I have this working mom thing down.  The weeks fly by and I feel like I didn’t accomplish much outside of work!

I have made a pact with myself though: time with my son is about him and nothing else.  So far, it’s working well.  I feel completely engaged and happy with every moment I get to see him during the day.  One of my best friends made a good point that not seeing him all day makes every moment with him that much more special because I know how precious it is.  Every ride around the house on his ride-n-play puppy is so exciting because I’m only doing it a few times a day – not all day every day.  So that is one positive I’m seeing with this working mom thing – making every moment count.

Luckily, I’ve learned new skills and met a group of great new friends/co-workers at my new job, which has made the transition to working mom/new job a little easier.  I am enjoying the work and doing something new.

Anyways, I haven’t written anything in so long but I keep telling myself that I just need to sit down and get back in the groove.  So here I am!  This post may be a little rusty but at least it’s something!

Body After Baby: 2 Months

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Last week, my baby boy turned 2 months old.  How?! That also means I’m 2 months postpartum.  I’ve been slowly easing back into a fitness routine, which is really exciting for me.  It makes me feel like my old self and gives me ‘me’ time.

On the weight loss front, I’m only 2-3 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight.  I’m sooo happy about that.  Honestly, I feel like I’m pretty much back to pre-pregnancy weight because those 2-3 pounds are probably in my boobs.  Not even joking.  Breastfeeding is doing crazy things to them.  Ha.

I’d still like to lose 15-20 pounds, as crazy as that sounds.  I’m about 20 pounds above my wedding weight, which just sounds crazy to me.  I was in such awesome shape for the wedding.  I know maintaining that is pretty unreasonable, but I’d like to get closer to that.  So I think I’ll aim to lose 15 pounds and go from there.  I think it should be pretty easy since I’m eating a pretty balanced diet and working out 2-4 times per week right now.  Plus, the breastfeeding.  Did I mention how awesome breastfeeding is?  And apparently, the major weight loss/calorie burn from breastfeeding doesn’t even occur until 3-6 months postpartum!  It’s seriously a gift I think.  A gift for all the woes of pregnancy and the sleepless nights of raising a newborn.  It’s like, “You can’t sleep or take a shower right now, but feel free to eat as much as you like and you’ll still lose weight.”  Amazing.

Another AMAZING thing is that I did not get stretch marks during pregnancy.  I was soooo worried about that.  I will have to write a post about how I prevented them (could also be luck…I don’t think it’s genetics because I did get some in high school from growing) because I was pretty religious about a few things to prevent them.  I can definitely tell I have gained a little more fat in my midsection, which I’m not surprised about since I did carry a 10+ pound baby and all.  :)  But it’s not much and I think strength training, eating right and time will help that go away.  Hopefully I can rock a 2-piece in confidence when I take my little man to the pool next summer. :)

As far as workouts, I’ve been focusing on lifting and trying to get back into running.  I think lifting weights is the number one thing that prevented me from gaining a ton of weight in pregnancy, I think it helped me stay active throughout pregnancy, I think it helped me during the pushing stage of labor, and I think it’s the reason I lost weight and my body looks somewhat back to it’s normal form fairly quickly.  Lifting weights is just the best and I’m so excited to hit it hard now that I’m not pregnant anymore.  I sure wish I could afford a CrossFit membership but I’m too cheap for all that. :)

I went on my first walk about 1 week postpartum.  About 15 minutes.  It didn’t feel great, that’s for sure.  I slowly increased from there to 20-30 minute walks a few times a week.  I did not feel normal for a long time.  I definitely felt pain/uncomfortableness during walks until 4-5 weeks postpartum.  I just now am starting to feel like there is less pain.  However, I still feel cramping-like achey-ness when I run which my doc said is normal.  She just kept saying everything gets better with time and I believe that.  A lot of my friends said I’d feel normal around 4 weeks postpartum, but, for me, I felt a lot more normal physically around 8 weeks postpartum.  And I’m still not pre-pregnancy normal, but I’m sure I’ll get there some day.

I started getting back into running by doing run/walks.  I would run for 1-2 minutes and then walk for several minutes.  It really helped!  My endurance was totally fine because I stayed so active during pregnancy, I just had a lot of pain, so I took it really slow.  I finally went on a somewhat normal run this weekend.  I ran for 19 minutes at around a 10:30 pace.  It felt SO GOOD!!  Adam watched the baby while I got out and did my thing.  It was nice to listen to music, too, and just zone out.  I think doing those things that you love and you used to focus on before having a baby really make you a better parent.  You can give more energy and focus to your little one if you get a little me time every day, too.

Overall, I’m just so happy to be getting back to ‘normal’.  The added bonus is that I have my little guy in my life now and he just brings me so much happiness!  Everything is just about perfect, even if we don’t get that much sleep. :)

The Feeding Situation

 

 

Mommy Baby

I wanted to share some posts on various topics of parenthood because I have so many thoughts swirling in my head every day.  I am breastfeeding our little guy and so far it’s going really well!  I’ve had a couple of bumps in the road, but overall I’m really happy with breastfeeding so far.

It’s crazy to think that I’ve spent the majority of the past 4 weeks feeding this guy.  Breastfeeding is HARD.  But I am very lucky that it works SO well for us (knock on wood…so far) and it’s actually one of my favorite parts of being a mom so far.

I had my first shot at nursing him about 3 hours after he was born.  Definitely not ideal.  It did NOT go well.  By that time, it was midnight and the lactation consultants at the hospital had already left for the day and we were exhausted from no sleep/food (as I mentioned in the birth story).  So it was up to me and Adam to figure it out.  We spent like an hour trying to get him to latch on.  Adam jokingly says now that he held him in some awkward lunge position for like an hour straight to try to get him at the right angle.  Because we didn’t know what we were doing, we caused some injuries to me (owww) which isn’t uncommon, but I wasn’t prepared for how painful it was.  I was devastated at how horrible it went and thought breastfeeding wouldn’t work for us.  The nurses ended up supplementing with a bottle of formula that first night.  And I woke up the next day in a TON of pain.

Thankfully, the lactation consultants came to our rescue that day and we made GREAT strides in figuring it out.  Me and the little guy were learning together.  When it finally worked the first time, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my life.  I kept wondering if he was actually getting anything to eat (since your milk isn’t in until 2-4 days after birth and they’re eating small amounts of colostrum at first), but once I felt that Oxytocin hormone kick in (the love/bonding hormone that makes both of us super tired) I knew it was working.  He would get ‘milk drunk’ (so cute!) and I would feel SO tired.

After several meetings with the lactation consultants, I felt so much more prepared and more confident in breastfeeding.  I’m happy to say that I’ve exclusively breastfed him the entire 4 weeks, aside from the first night of formula feeding.  I don’t see anything wrong with formula feeding and I know some people aren’t able to breastfeed, it was just something I really really wanted to do.  I feel beyond blessed that it is working so far.

The pain from the damage we did the first night lasted about 2 weeks.  It got significantly better after about 4-5 days, but I still had some initial latch pain for a couple of weeks.  I know they say it’s not supposed to be painful, but every girl I’ve talked to said they had pain in the beginning.  I think it takes time for your lady parts to ‘toughen’ up.  But after that, the pain has pretty much been nonexistent.  I have also had a couple of clogged ducts, but focused on massage, heat, and lots of nursing on that side and they cleared pretty quickly, thankfully.

So, every 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 hours for the past 4 weeks, I’ve nursed my babe.  Feeding a baby (no matter which way you do it) is crazy time-consuming!  I feel chained to the glider or couch a lot.  I’ve been lucky to have Adam home for the first 4 weeks with me to grab me a water bottle (the thirst is crazy!) or a burp cloth.

I have found it so emotional to share the connection of breastfeeding with the baby.  It amazed me in those early weeks when he would open wide and latch on.  He figured out how to do that!  I know they have those instincts built in, but he definitely wasn’t opening wide like that from the very beginning.  So cute.  Now that he’s more alert and older, I love the eye contact we share when he’s eating during the day.  I’ve cried multiple times during nursing sessions.  It’s so sweet!

I’m really hoping that it continues to go so well.  I haven’t started pumping yet, but I know I’ll have to soon to get a supply built up for when I have to leave him for an evening (Nooo!) and of course when I go back to work (I can’t even think about that right now).  It’s just so convenient to whip out a ready-made ‘bottle’ for him anytime and not have to prepare it in advance or clean-up afterwards.  I’m lucky that we have a pumping room at work and when I work from home I’ll even be able to pump and work at the same time.

My goal is to make it a year breastfeeding him.  We’ll see if I make it!  Every day is a success in my book!  Even if I just make it a couple of months, I’ll be proud of myself.  It’s a lot of work – not only the time commitment, but also ‘giving up’ a little bit of your body.  But I know it’s so good for him and that’s all that matters.

Oh and the weight loss from breastfeeding is epic! : )  I’m constantly hungry but only 3-4 pounds above my pre-baby weight now!  What a nice treat after pregnancy and childbirth, huh? : )

How has it been 4 weeks since he’s been here?!  In some ways, the time has flown by, and in other ways, it’s seems like time has gone really slow.  Either way, I am madly in love with this guy and having so much fun being a parent with my best friend.  <3