I can’t believe that I’ve wrapped up three weeks of being Finn’s mom.
I can’t believe how much he seems to change every single day. He is teaching me so much already…especially around love, forgiveness, patience, surrender and relaxing into a new flow.
THE FOURTH TRIMESTER: WEEK THREE POSTPARTUM
Body changes: after the initial loss of all the swelling, puffiness and fluids, I’ve leveled out at 5 pounds over the weight I was when I got pregnant. That said, my body composition is very different! As I mentioned in last week’s update, I’ve lost a lot of my pre-pregnancy lean muscle mass but that’s something to work on at a later date when I feel ready. I’m not in any rush to change anything about my body right now and feel overall comfortable and happy in it.
Overall, although physical recovery from c-section surgery has been quite a challenge for me, I’ve been amazed by my body’s ability to do all the things it’s done after childbirth…from producing milk to feed the baby to my uterus shrinking back down to healing and much more. It’s truly a miracle.
Breastfeeding: we are doing it! I’m so proud of Finn and myself for hanging in there through three tough weeks and finding our way with breastfeeding. I recently had a guy in my life ask why in the world a woman would need to see a lactation consultant and say isn’t “breastfeeding natural…women have been doing it for thousands of years.” To his defense, he didn’t mean it in a bad way…he just truly didn’t understand. It is so crazy that something that does seem “natural” can be so foreign and hard.
At his two week weight check he had gained a whole pound over his birth weight so his pediatrician (and his mommy!) were super happy about that. Finn and I have really good days and some days are a struggle. Sometimes it can even vary from feeding to feeding! I’ve had to really relax around those challenging days and feedings and not get myself into a googling panic of “baby latching and unlatching and spitting up.” The next thing I know I’m going down the rabbit hole of gas and reflux and all sorts of other things. I have to remind myself that the pediatrician said gas is normal, pooping on your back is hard, spitting up is normal as long as he’s happy and he’s gaining weight.
I truly believe that when I get super stressed/anxious when we’re breastfeeding that “something might be wrong” Finn can feel it and it ends up perpetuating those feedings that are frustrating and worrisome. If I just give it some time, he almost always gets himself back on track in a feeding or two and is super relaxed and latching and eating well.
Sleep: sleep in week three was broken but normal for a newborn. There were quite a few evenings where it was really challenging to get him back down after his 10-11 p.m. feeding. We were up until almost 1 a.m. with him crying and unable to settle down but we’re figuring that out and it’s been better lately. Overall, I’m getting enough rest and not finding that I need to nap during the day. This is in large part to us being able to sleep until 9 a.m. most mornings! I just have to say that I don’t know how you mamas that have a newborn and other children to take care of do it!
- Night sweats. Still happening but they are finally starting to improve a little!
- Bleeding. It’s finally slowing down! I can sometimes go a day or two with very little bleeding and then I’ll have it pick up for a day or two but it’s nowhere near where it was those first 10 days or so.
- Pain relief. In week three I was back to taking Ibuprofen every day but half the dose I was taking when I came home from the hospital. I’ve been having a lot of incision and abdomen pain.
- C-section recovery: To continue on the pain relief bullet…week three postpartum brought ALL THE OUCH when it comes to my c-section. The pain at my incision in my abdomen started to intensify around day 18 postpartum and I’ve been taking Ibuprofen again every day since. I called the nurse at my practice on Friday and she said that as long as I’m not running a fever or experiencing swelling, drainage, things being hot to the touch, that I’m okay and it’s normal. I’ve just been so surprised by the pain because I assumed things would keep improving…not get worse after a few weeks! She told me to give it a solid six weeks before I’m feeling more normal. When I think about it, it makes sense. There are so many layers of things healing in my body…it’s not just the superficial incision. It’s been painful to get up and down, to go over speed bumps in the car and to have anything pressing into my stomach/incision…whether that’s a seatbelt or a waistband or even the Brest Friend pillow.
- Appetite: I’m eating three meals a day but the timing of them is crazy. Breakfast is usually sometime between 9:30-10:30 a.m. Lunch is anytime between 2-4 p.m. and dinner is between 8:30-9:30 p.m. It’s sometimes a challenge to get around to feeding myself when I have a little man who is very hungry, very often! 🙂 As far as my food choices, I’m 100% following the path of intuitive eating and eating whatever I feel like eating…whether that’s salad or frozen pizza.
- Headaches: These completely went away after two weeks postpartum. Just wanted to provide an update in case anyone else has experienced this.
- Upper back/neck pain: This is a constant (from all the sitting that I’m doing and breastfeeding). I’m starting to introduce some gentle stretches into my daily routine and I’ll see the chiropractor again early next week.
Emotional well-being: The biggest thing I’m dealing with on this front is loneliness. I always feel like I have to add the disclaimer that Finn is amazing and I love being his mom so, so much but the days can be long, sometimes boring and very lonely. It has been difficult to go from being busy and active to “one with the couch” as one of my Instagram followers so perfectly put it.
Part of me is trying really, really hard to slow down and soak up these slow and sweet days because I know that before long he won’t let me hold him like this. But part of me is also a little stir crazy. It’s weird because I don’t feel like I’m in a rush to get back to work or that I want my old life back…I very much love my life with Finn and want to spend as much time with him as possible. It’s so confusing!
I’ve been trying to get out of the house here and there but there are only so many things that I can come up with to do and it’s been really hot and humid out so that’s preventing us from doing as much outdoor stuff and walking as I’d like to do. Sometimes the days seem to stretch out so long in front of me and I wonder how we’re going to make it to the end of the day.
Finn took his first trip to Lululemon and the mall last Friday! I got a few things at Lulu and he got a few outfits at Baby Gap. Next week I have things on the agenda like chiropractor, a long overdue hair appointment, going to a carseat check and a follow-up appointment for Finn.
I’m very much looking forward to my mom arriving on Tuesday and I’ll be going back to Florida with her to take Finn to visit with my dad and my grandmother (she cannot travel here and it’s important for me that Finn meets her). I can’t wait to have my mom here hanging out with me and I think the change of scenery to spend some time at the beach with my family will be just what we need!
Workouts/activity: just walking and zero desire to do anything other than that. We’ve stretched some of our walks out to 45-60 minutes now so that is really nice. We usually do them late in the evenings once the sun has set a bit and it’s not so hot. It’s a great way to end the day. I can’t imagine doing anything more than walking and some gentle stretching right now given my c-section recovery but I will say that I miss running and can’t wait to get back to even an easy 3 miles here and there. (But will most definitely take my time with that.)
I finally got the BOB stroller assembled and air in the tires and we are loving it. It’s so easy to handle on walks!
New normal: the best way I can describe life with Finn is finding a new normal. There are incredibly beautiful and tender moments (snuggles, bathtime, book reading, sweet feedings) and very hard moments (crying and fussiness, feedings where he won’t stay latched, the inability to get things done when he’s awake, feeling lonely) but we are finding our way together. I can’t imagine my life without him and I can’t wait to see all the ways he continues to grow and change.
And his sisters are also settling into life with their new baby brother! They are doing great!
Any suggestions for getting out of the house with a baby? What did you do?
Those who had c-sections…did you find that your soreness/pain ebbed and flowed? How many weeks did it take to feel “more like your normal self?”
Favorite babywearing wrap/device? And any babywearing resources to share?