How it’s going: Postpartum

Body

  • I gained 25 pounds during my pregnancy.  I wasn’t too concerned about losing it because I planned to breastfeed, and everyone insisted I was “all baby.”  But I was also almost 36, so I wasn’t expecting the weight to drop immediately.  A few days after we got home from the hospital, I was ten pounds over my pre-IVF weight.  A week later, it was five pounds.  I stayed there for a while, and then, one day, I was at my pre-IVF weight.  Cue fist pump.  As of today, I’m five pounds under my pre-IVF weight, which is where I’ve been most of my adult life.  So I’m happy with that.
  • Having said that, my new body is soft.  My belly is poochy.  My back aches almost every day.  I haven’t worked out, and I need to.  Little miss isn’t getting any lighter.
  • At about three months postpartum, my hair started falling out.  All during my pregnancy, it was beautiful and thicker than it’s ever been.  When it started falling out, it came in clumps.  Huge handfuls coming out in the shower, choking the drain.  Long, loose strands all over the house, in my daughter’s hands, in her mouth.  Even in her diaper (although I assume they didn’t get there the long way).  So I cut it all off.  It’s still falling out, but in more mangable-sized clumps.
  • My breasts are huge.  And heavy.  They sag like they’ve never done before.  But I’m happy with them because they’re feeding and comforting my daughter.
  • Last week, I finally had the repeat colposcopy that was supposed to happen at 10 weeks postpartum.  The doctor, whom I had never met, assured me “it’s not cancer,” and informed me I’d need to come back for another check in April.

Mind

  • At about 13 weeks postpartum, one of the doctors at the breastfeeding clinic asked if I was depressed.  To which I responded by bursting into tears.  He sited the move, our lack of support, and my chronic pain from the open wounds on my nipples as risk factors and proceeded to ask me a list of questions.  Which apparently I answered appropriately because all he could do was refer me to our local community clinic, where he admitted it could take a while for anyone to see me.  A couple of weeks later, the pain gone, the LC asked me about the doctor’s note in my file, and I told her I was feeling much better.  Overall, I do feel well, happy, content with things as they are.
  • But there is some stress.  The stress of baby girl not sleeping, the stress of Hubby adjusting to his new job, the stress of living in a new city.  It’s a lot sometimes, and sometimes I lose it, but it usually looks like me snapping at my poor husband (see below).

Heart

  • Hubby and I attempted sex for the first time at 14 weeks postpartum.  It did not go well.  I have pain at the site of the episiotomy scar.  We’ve only tried again once since then, with no improvement.
  • I don’t feel particularly sexy.  We bicker.  A lot.  Usually over small stuff that seems big (to me) at the time.  So despite Hubby’s best efforts and his assurances that he’s as attracted to me as ever, I’m not feeling the connection like I used to.  I hope with more sleep and more of a routine, I’ll get it back.
  • Seeing Hubby as a dad, though, still melts my heart.  He’s so sweet and affectionate with baby girl.  And it helps that he does what he can to help me, including getting up with her on weekend mornings so I can get a little more sleep.

Soul

  • I wouldn’t say that I’m lonely most days, but baby girl and I do spend quite a bit of time alone.  Part of that is due to being stuck in the house so I can ensure she gets naps as often as she needs them.  Part of it is that we just don’t know anyone here.
  • Over the summer, I went to a couple of playgroup meetings, but I didn’t really hit it off with anyone in particular.  Then the 4-month sleep regression descended, and I decided naps took priority over friends.
  • This week, I started the first of two mama-baby classes through a local community program.  There was another mom there with a little girl the same age as mine, and we talked for a few minutes after the class.  I hope it’s the start of something–an outlet, a play-date, a first-time mama connection.
  • I keep hoping baby girl is going to start taking longer naps so I have some time for myself during the day.  Time to write a little or start the baby book I have every intention of completing.  Lately I have tried to make more of an effort to blog somewhat regularly, but that doesn’t always go as planned, either.  (This post has been in the works for about a week now, and it’s all bullet points.)  I know it’s important to keep a sense of myself outside of my role as mommy, and I need to do better about making sure I get that me-time.  A soul-fed mama is a happy mama.
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5 thoughts on “How it’s going: Postpartum

  1. Thanks for writing this check-in. I feel like there’s so much that happens postpartum, and people expect things to be “back to normal” a few weeks after giving birth. Everything changes though, and some changes stick around longer than expected. I’m glad you’re getting out to mama baby groups, because that helped me so much.

  2. The hair – it’s everywhere for me too! I laughed out loud when you mentioned it getting in the diaper the long way. And way to go that you’re past your pre IVF weight… I have about 8 lbs to go to be at my pre-IUI weight as well. I just want you to know that i think you’re doing an amazing job adjusting to life in a new city with a new baby.

  3. I can relate to so much of this. It continues to get better as you adjust more and you get into more of a routine with naps and everything. Except for the soft, squishy body – that part still hasn’t gotten better since I can’t manage to motivate myself to exercise.
    Hope you have some luck meeting other moms in your mama/baby classes.

  4. Pingback: How it’s going: Postpartum, Part 2–Wasting Away | Something Out of Nothing

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