Friday, July 30, 2010

The Wonderful Things Pregnancy and a C-Section Do for the Body

So, I've been spending the last 5-ish weeks going a little crazy thinking about how to get myself back into shape. I haven't been able to do much of anything, physically, since my c-section- they even restricted me from driving for 6 whole weeks! And, as annoying as it has been, I must say, that on days that I've done more than I know I should, I always feel like poop after. But, I'm at the end of the 5 week, so I thought I was pretty much good to go. I started walking Owen in his stroller yesterday- we went once around our apartment complex in the morning, and then once around in the evening, with Craig. I felt really good...

Then this morning, Owen and I went again- and tonight, boy I am feeling it! My stomach and leg muscles are screaming in protest, but all I can think is "I've got to get out there again!"

This baby weight is not fun...I think, if I'm remembering correctly, I gained 40 lbs during this pregnancy (funny how this is suddenly and the second week after Owen was born, I went to the doc and found out I lost 20 lbs of that weight (all I can say is "wow"?! He only weighed a little less than 9 of that- so the rest was water and other fun stuff. ha!) so, I have another 20 to go, before I hit pre-preggo weight. Which, I'm not too worried about getting there- it's just how long will it take?! I'm most frustrated because I have nothing to wear!

My maternity clothes are huge on me, but my regular clothes are too tight. Of course, guess where I seem to have gained the most weight (that I didn't notice while I was pregnant, it really just seemed like it was all belly. See:

Now, though, I'm realizing that my already enormous butt is even more enormous, and so are my thighs. Right where we want it, right ladies?! haha. Also, ALSO, I don't have a single stretch mark on my belly (and I do thank you, God, for that) but, I did get them on my boobs (thank you, engorgement) and the sides (the sides!) of my derriere! HA! So, I guess my boobs just couldn't handle the sudden change in size (on one hand, I was thinking, "finally, what I've always wanted!" haha)...but what I don't understand is my rear!?! It already had a life of it's own, was not lacking for room for future growth (lol) so why stretch marks there?! Right where a bikini won't cover up. Are you kidding me?! :-) Just keeping it real.
Anyway, I made a joke about this before, but I do have to let everyone know that Owen had a poopy diaper today, and it actually is a celebration for us! He literally goes about 2 days between poops and it starts to worry us, and he gets so fussy. His pediatrician said this is normal, but my God, the smell is horrible! I actually heard that some breastfed babies go a whole week without pooping! Ay yi yi. :)

...Lastly, I am supposed to go to dinner tonight with a couple of friends, but I am getting cold feet. I haven't left Owen for more than a 40 minute trip to the store (one time!) since he made his debut. It's not that I worry his Daddy can't handle it on his own, because he can. He's an amazing's just that I don't think I can handle being away from him this soon! As stir-crazy as I am, and as much as I've been wanting to get out, I think I'm going to have to pass! I just hope no one gets too upset with me.

Speaking of friends (I swear, I'm almost finished) I have had a couple of friends who are really awesome. I hope they know who they are, because I try to let them know, often, how much I love them and appreciate them. But, something that has been bothering me, is the absence of two of my (formerly) closest friends...I would've hoped that these two people would have been more present in my life during my pregnancy and in Owen's life since he's arrived- but all I've heard from both is a quick "congrats" or "aww, cute pic" in the form of a facebook notification. That truly bums me out. However, I digress, because I do know who I can count on, and I do have some truly great friends who I appreciate and adore so much!

Well, enough for now- off to homework and making a decision about dinner out or not!

♥ Belle ♥

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mommy Guilt

...The two loves of my life...

Okay, so the reason I wanted to start a new online journal/blog/whatever they are calling it these days, is because I've just become a mommy for the first time. I'm so excited and happy and I love my little boy more than I could ever imagine. However, there are also a lot of feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc. that have nothing to do with the arrival of this amazing little person, and everything to do with "how the heck do I get my body back to normal?!" and "if boobs are meant for breastfeeding, why the heck isn't it working out?" Which, of course, in my mind, is then followed by "what then, is wrong with me?" or "what am I doing wrong?"

The logical answer? Nothing, of course.

BUT, that would be the rational thing to think- and way too easy for a worrier and easily guilt-tripped person like myself. Right? Right.

So, those are the two thoughts that I am most struggling with right now. Yes, I admit, one is entirely vain (but seriously, how do you get yourself back to normal after someone cut open your stomach muscles and left all that extra baby weight?! I mean, couldn't they  have just given me lipo since they were already in there?!) and the other is something I'll probably never have a real answer to.  

When Owen was born, I had just been through 30+ hours of labor, then a c-section. I honestly don't remember much during those first 2 days of labor and the ensuing hazy hours after, but I do remember attempting to breastfeed (mostly).

I knew, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, that I wanted to be able to provide this for my baby. Before he arrived, I always wondered how a shy person, such as myself, would deal with whipping out my boobs in the hospital for all the world to see, but also how I would deal with that on a more regular, day to day, basis once we left the hospital. That was my biggest worry. Otherwise, I never once thought I would have any trouble breastfeeding, and I knew that no matter what I would deal with the uncomfortableness of it and enjoy providing for my baby.
So, what's the big problem then, right? Well, I did get over the modesty, asap, and I was ready to start breatfeeding. (And, btw, you get over any shyness or modesty faster than you can blink, once you've passed through those labor and delivery doors!) So, the nurses helped, the lactation consultant helped, everyone freaking helped. They were all great and supportive. However, those first few days in the hospital, after 30 hours of labor, I guess I was out of it and my body had had enough. I don't remember having much energy, and despite the drugs they were giving me, my incision was making itself known. I could barely hold on to Owen, when he would struggle with learning how to latch. But, I persisted...we were in the hospital for seven days, and I continued to try every day, all day. 

On his second day, Owen was poked, proded, circumcised, given shots, and became jaundiced all in the same day. Then, he became really weak and didn't want to try to latch. So, he started losing weight and the jaundice got worse. After the first few days, when my guilt at not being able to give my little guy the sustinance he needed became out of control, a kind nurse finally convinced me that supplementing would not be the end of the world. Then, the lactation consultant said the same thing- she said the most important thing was to get Owen healthy and strong again, so we could go home. So, I relented (and was very relieved to have "professionals" telling me it was okay) and we supplemented. He recieved mostly breastmilk, but when he went to the nursery at night, the nurses gave him formula.

(On a side note, he went to the nursery, because he was under biliruben lights for his jaundice AND he had been spitting up to the point of milk coming out of his nose unexpectedly and suddenly- Craig and I were both so exhausted that we were terrified we wouldn't hear him choking and we wouldn't wake up fast enough.)

Anywho, SO, we get to go home, and I'm pumping like a mad man, (I had plenty to go around, that's for sure) and I'm trying to get Owen to latch...but we just couldn't get it to work. So, the week after we got home, I called to meet with the lactation consultant again. That's when Owen's vomitting got worse...much worse. Literally, every ounce of milk (and it was all breastmilk at this point- I stopped supplementing once we left the hopsital, and I just pumped, again, like a mad man) that went in, seemed to flood right back out, 30 minutes later. And it would choke him, pour out of his nose, he'd wake up screaming, panicked, and gasping for air. To make a long story (sorry) slightly less...long...after meeting with his pediatrician on numerous occassions, and numerous panicked late night phone calls, the decision was made to place Owen on formula for sensitive tummies. So, when Owen was 4 weeks old, I stopped pumping and trying to breastfeed.

Yet, I've been dealing with monstrous guilt at not having been able to make this work. And, I know it wasn't "me"...I still feel like "what if there is something else we could've tried?" (We did try adding cereal to the breastmilk, he still wasn't holding it down)...

It's hard not to feel inadaquate as a mommy, when everything you read and hear states that breastfed babies are healthier. It's even harder when there are so many people that I know that have been successful at it with their babies. On top of that, you add the extremely opinionated view points of some people, who unabashedly make mommies who don't breastfeed feel like the scum of the earth, and you've got a recipe for one supersized serving of G-U-I-L-T.

All I want is for Owen to grow up happy, healthy, and strong. I don't know if feeding him formula will cause him to have ear infections, allergies, or other problems, but I certainly hope not. All I know is, yes, he still struggles with keeping his food down, and he is taking medicine to help, but I am a less stressed person now that I'm not hooked up to a pump 24-7 AND he is gaining weight again. I know I'm doing what's best for my family, but that's the rational side.

Like I said, I'm a woman, a wife, and a mommy- therefore I'm irrational and I think many other mommies would agree- doesn't "guilt" sometimes feel like it should be your middle name?! In general, I've always felt like there was something I wasn't doing right, or well enough, for someone. It's just gotten even worse now that I know I have a little guy that depends on me, and that I would do, or give, anything for, to make happy and healthy. I guess it's just going to take time to realize that I am not super mom (and no one has asked me to be- that's in my head, I know), and nothing is ever "perfect"...oh, and you can't please everyone, so why try?

Whew, it feels good to get that out.

Until next time...

♥ Belle ♥