Today I wanted to touch based on how I'm doing about 2 months into the 4th trimester mentally, physically and emotionally as well as how my breastfeeding journey is going.
Mentally I feel like I've got this! Up until this week, I've had JP at home with me during his paternity leave. Having him home helped me mentally because I had him here helping with everything. He is the true definition of a partner. He obviously can't breastfeed Brody, but he made up for that in diaper changes and getting up with him in the early hours so I could sleep. It also helped me mentally because I always had an adult to have conversation with! It sounds silly, but being around small children without regular adult conversation throughout the day can really get to you. Now that he's gone, I have plans to keep this up. My sister is due any day now and will have the next couple of months off. I plan to help her as much as possible plus I always have my mom and aunt close by whenever I need them!
Nutrition and Weight Loss
I feel great! I'm slowly losing the baby weight, but I've hit a plateau. I'm still down 20-22 lbs with a little less than 15 lbs until I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm perfectly okay with this since I'm breastfeeding and keeping this little boy fed and happy is one of the most important things in my life right now. I was indulging my sweet tooth quite a bit in the early weeks, but I've been making better choices since the beginning of the month. Don't get me wrong, I believe in balance! I love dessert and still have a little something every day, but I'm not snacking on cookies or having cake for breakfast anymore. Participating in Rachel Hollis' Last 90 Days challenge has helped me to curb my sweet tooth, drink more water and focus on myself.
As far as fitness goes, I'm back at it. I've started running and I've gotten up to 4 miles without stopping. That being said, I'm officially in half marathon training mode! I plan to ramp up my mileage every weekend by 1 mile, so that means I'm tackling 5 miles on Saturday! The cooler weather definitely helps with motivation. Aside from my weekend runs, I'm also trying to fit in 2 weekday runs or run/walks. I'm still aware that I'm not quite what I once was and giving myself grace. Some days will not be all out runs and I'm okay with that!
I'm also participating in a BeachBody boot camp to work on strength and agility while I train for my races. Since I'm not going back to work, I wanted something to help me with strength and cross training. I'll miss teaching my classes, but I know I'll get back to it one day. I'm definitely making sure not to overdo it and to keep my calories up for breastfeeding purposes. I've learned to listen to my body over the last couple of years and it's paying off!
While I struggled a little bit the first few weeks after Brody was born, it wasn't severe. More than anything it was postpartum hormones taking over my body and mind. I was very emotional about mine and Chloe's relationship and the thought of being a good enough mom for both of my babies. It had been Chloe and I against the world for so long, and just before Brody arrived we were struggling. She was incredibly emotional and always clinging to her daddy, telling me that she didn't love me anymore and just didn't want to have much to do with me. This continued until a few weeks after Brody was born. Now she's back to being my girl with a little deeper bond with her daddy. I'm okay with that! She's still a little fussy, but she is 3 after all. She's become the best helper and just loves her little brother. As for being a good enough mom for both of them, I like to think I'm doing good on that front. I love and adore these children more than I could ever imagine, and I'm starting to get the hang of dividing my time and focusing on the most important things.
These days I'm less emotional. I'm crying less and laughing more. My hormones have definitely leveled out and I'm feeling like myself again! I'm still trying to get the hang of getting places with two kids and shopping with two kids and getting two kids ready for the day, but the more I do it, the less stressful it will seem.
My breastfeeding journey with Brody has been a breeze! He is a very laid back baby and makes me look good at this whole mom-ing thing. From hour one he had an amazing latch and he loved the boob. That very first feed felt a little awkward for me. It was like I barely knew what I was doing even though I nursed Chloe for 18 months. I think the rush of adrenaline and all the post birth feel good hormones had me a little shaky and out of sorts. Thank goodness for my mom though! She pretty much got him latched and ready to go before we had thought to take our first family picture.
Look at that little guy going to town! Yay for colostrum! I mention that the first feed felt off and awkward just to let all the moms out there know that it's okay if it feels weird at first. Whether its your first baby or fifth, each baby is different and there is usually a gap in breastfeeding time. Don't feel bad if it feels off at first because you'll get the hang of it. In fact, by the time his next feeding rolled around, it was as if we had been doing it forever. I knew how to hold him, how to get comfortable and what to do! I'm glad for that because by then everyone had left the hospital since it was nearing midnight!
Our postpartum time in the hospital was a breeze and I didn't need any help for the lactation consultants on staff. Once we got home, we kept on going strong. My milk came in around day 3-4 and was painful, but manageable. One thing I did notice is that his upper lip was a little tight and didn't always flip out the way it should. It occasionally caused some tenderness on my nipple while he was nursing. It turns out he has a slight lip tie, but it isn't that bad and he still has some flexibility and movement. That being said, he doesn't need to have it reversed, but about every other feed, I have to flip his upper lip manually. Since we've been going at it for almost two months now, I can feel when his lip is tucked in.
We introduced the pacifier around 3 weeks to see if he liked it and to give my nipples a break. Good news, he loves it unlike his sister who used me for a paci! I also started pumping in the morning around 3 weeks. It's recommended to wait a few weeks before pumping so you don't mess with your supply regulation. Usually 6 weeks is what people are told, but since I have an over supply, my mom suggested I do it in the morning after his feed to relieve the pressure and to avoid clogged ducts. It's definitely helped immensely.
Speaking of pumping, let's talk pumps. I'm usually a really big fan of my Medela Hand Pump and the Haaka, but I was recently introduced to a pump that has been a game changer for me. Take a look at the Motif Duo Double Electric Pump.
Since it's football season, this is where I've used it the most! My mother-in-love is a saint and offers to watch my kiddos so that JP and I can go to the Aggie football games while we're in town. This pump allows me to pump easily while I'm at the game! It gets better. Since it's battery operated, I don't need a plug so I can pump in my seat. IN MY SEAT! I don't have to leave the game and hole up in the bathroom to pump when I'm away from my baby.
For this game, I just doubled up my shirts with a nursing cami underneath my tank top. It allowed full coverage without the need for a cover! Seriously a life saver since it was in the mid-90's even at 6:30pm. This pump has been a game changer for me and I highly recommend it for busy moms that probably don't have to pump that often! It would also be great for working moms to have as a second pump. Keep the bigger one at work and this one in the car. Just a thought!
Now that we're two months into this two kid thing, I'm starting to get the hang of it. That probably means that some big change is going to come and shake things up right? As for now, I'm just going to soak up these little ones as we enter the holiday season!
What were your biggest postpartum struggles?
Do you have a good breastpump or breastfeeding must have?