Hello hello! I’m excited to share my postpartum health journey on here because these are the kinds of posts I wish someone had written when I had Kaiden.
So here’s the lowdown…these posts will be very personal to my journey based on my experience(s) and recovery. That doesn’t mean you can’t borrow ideas or follow along, but please do keep this in mind. Also, please remember it took nine months to grow your baby. We just can’t expect things to go back to where they were a few weeks after birth. Everything takes time. Something I’m reminding myself of often.
I’m going to be sharing the physical, nutritional, mental, and social aspects of my journey on here because I don’t think you’re truly healthy unless all of these are taken into account. I also need some accountability in some of these areas, so this will be a great way to do that.
Ok so let’s get into it…
My experience and recovery
So for anyone who doesn’t know, this was a repeat c-section delivery for me. I had an emergency c-section with my firstborn, and my husband I decided another c-section would be the best route given my last delivery.
The delivery itself was fine. By the time I got home three days later, I was going up and down stairs and was also fairly mobile. I honestly thought I was in the clear in terms of the worst being over with.
Then, a week and day later, I found myself back in the hospital for postpartum hemorrhaging. This was way harder on me than my delivery itself for many reasons. I won’t go into the details, but I’m thankful for the way things played out. My recovery after this was a little longer and still ongoing in ways. But I’m getting there. I’m mobile and able to be active and keep up with Kaiden, so I’m thankful for that!
Key takeaway – everyone’s experience is different. Don’t compare and GO SLOW. A few days, weeks, or months of rest and recovery aren’t that big of a deal in the long run. Better safe than sorry.
My health journey plan
I’ve had six whole weeks to think about my health journey plan and what I want to do to get back into the swing of things.
This may be the most anti climatic thing to say, but my plan is to keep things simple and go back to the basics. I don’t believe in diets. I’ve tried a few and they never work for me. I don’t believe in deprivation. I don’t believe in cutting out entire food groups or ingredients. None of these methods work. And now that I have little eyes watching me all the time, I want to make sure I’m a good role model for them.
So that said, I plan to exercise 4-5 times a week – a mix of cardio, strength training, and yoga/stretching. In terms of my diet (what I eat, not a specific plan), I plan to focus on the things I need to add in versus remove. That seems like a more sustainable and fun idea versus removing the things I truly love and enjoy. My mental health plan is to keep going with therapy and continuing with 360 degree self-care, meaning not just the indulgent things but other deeper things like creating boundaries, etc. Socially, I need to be more mindful of my time on IG, but this is also about who and how we’re filling our time. Now that we’re in GA, I want to see my friends and family but need to ensure it’s filling my cup and not taking away from it.
So that’s the plan in a nutshell…
Week 1 – Physical health journey
I AM SO SORE! As I sit here and type this out, my legs are so freaking sore! I haven’t felt this way since I started at my gym in 2019!
This week, I got in three solid workouts (this week is Monday-Thursday for the purposes of this blog post). I did a low impact Peloton ride, a postpartum core workout, a full body strength workout, and another Peloton bike ride. I plan to do a Body Fit by Amy strength workout today.
Vishnu felt like I was pushing it a little bit this week, but I felt pretty good except for the soreness. But I figure that’s expected no matter when I start. In terms of the bike rides, I’m not striving for any particular numbers. I just want to get through the workout at my own pace. And with the strength ones, I thought I’d be able to pick right back up where I left off at 37 weeks, but no dice. I used mostly 8 and 10 pound weights for my strength workout on Tuesday, and it was still really hard for me. Baby steps!
Week 1 – Nutritional health journey
So I did great on Monday and Tuesday – lots of veggies were consumed, and I drank a ton of water. Then on Wednesday, I ate a ton of carbs (more than usual) and was ravenous most of the day.
Here’s the thing though – when you’re breastfeeding and/or pumping (I’m pumping), you burn through a lot of calories. For example, I pump 6 times a day and usually have an output of about 6-8 ounces each time. You burn an average of 20 calories for every ounce produced, so if you do the math, that’s roughly 720 calories a day. That’s a lot! And the way this whole thing works is that you have to eat to keep up your supply.
So while, I want to be more mindful in this area, I recognize I just need to listen to my body and let it do it’s thing on some days while still try to adhere to the let’s add in some good stuff plan.
That said, the one thing I need to be better about is meal/snack prepping. We have all the goods ready to go, but I just need to prep little baggies of nuts and chop up veggies the night before or make a batch of hard boiled eggs on Sunday. I know from experience that these small actions add up…just need to motivate myself to do it.
Week 1 – Mental health journey
I had a therapy appointment yesterday…a must in my mind! I love my therapist and really feel like she’s a good fit for me. She’s so empathetic yet knows the exact questions to ask to get me to see things different. Love our time together.
My mom’s also be over a ton to help out, which does wonders for my mental health. I’m so thankful they live close by, know how to handle Kaiden (a big part of the equation), and are able and free to help us. I honestly don’t think I’d be standing without her or Vishnu.
Speaking of Vishnu, we’re doing so much better communicating this time around. He’s also around more, which is just amazing on so many levels. Mostly because he gets to experience parenting in a more hands on way with both K and M. And he’s able to take a lot of things off my plate, which is always good for my mental health!
Other than that, I’m doing pretty good from this perspective, much better than I was with Kaiden. I think the weather also has something to do with it. Even though it’s starting to get chilly, the sunshine does wonders for your mind. The new variant does have my head spinning as does the most recent school shooting. But I’m trying to focus on the steps I can take versus everything that’s wrong with our country.
Week 1 – Social health journey
Let’s not talk about my IG usage. Just kidding…I said I wanted accountability, and the first step is transparency. I need to be more mindful of my usage. Period. I have no reason to be on as much as I am, and I have a few ideas I need to test out for how to stay off more than I am on that I will share next week after putting in place. More to come…stay tuned!
In terms of social relationships, I think I’m doing pretty good. We’ve obviously had to say no to a lot because of Mila and Covid and all the viruses that are spreading like wildfire right now. But I also realize there are different ways of keeping in touch and hanging out – Kaiden and I went out to lunch with a friend and her son, I talked to another friend on the phone for a bit and just caught up, another friend that I hadn’t seen in a while came over and hung out, and some other friends came over on a weekday morning so we could just talk and hang without kids interrupting every five seconds.
The one thing that does ease my mind is that everyone has been great about wearing masks when they come over. Not that I doubted our family/friends, but that does put my mind at ease a little. Also, our people have a lot of common sense and know to stay home if they’re sick or have been recently.
We have some more fun things coming up over the next few weeks, and yet again, I’m just so thankful to be able to experience the holidays with all of our loved ones this year!
That’s week one in a nutshell. These are all changes I want to keep up in the long term, so slow and steady is my motto!