My 2 Month Postpartum Body

Not the post I imagined I would write 
and most certainly not as proud as I am right now! 

Going into pregnancy I dreamed of getting my body back months after delivery. Never did I think I would be as happy as I am now with my progress! Those who have been reading along with my blog know that I had a difficult pregnancy. I was on a moderated bed rest most of the pregnancy and developed a painful hernia half way through that caused me major pain through the end. 
Starting out this pregnancy I was heavier than usual from the 5 rounds of IVF.  The drugs, hormones and emotional eating left me 5 pounds heavier each round.  I struggled to get it all off.

I knew I was not going to be able to do this myself!  Even with a gym membership I needed something more to hold me accountable. I thought about Shakeology seeing girls I know on Facebook shedding unwanted weight looking great. Their posts seems so motivating!  I had tried the shakes before and knew I liked the taste. I would get a coach and extra nutrients in the shake that other shakes didn't offer. Well after reaching out to two separate coaches I knew personally, neither of them reached out to me on their own after my initial inquiry. I guess i was expecting some encouragement of some sort. Disappointed I did research on my own on how I could get the same nutrition for less money.  Easily I found that with a daily vitamin, probiotic and healthy food choices I would save hundreds of dollars a year!  
I decided on Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey in Chocolate. It has a great taste and is rated very high in quality and nutrition. See: 

My body Post Baby

My Workouts:

I joined an athlete performance training company and I workout with the adult group. NSPT North Shore Performance Training. I knew that no average gym would help me, as I said before I needed to be held accountable. I needed to be pushed by someone. This was and is a perfect fit for me. Each class is an hour long. There are 3 classes a day to pick from and one on  Saturday - None on Sunday. 

 "Train like the pros and achieve personal fitness goals at North Shore Performance Training, the premier performance training gym in the area.  ...NSPT offers complete functional training workouts and strength and conditioning programs. Better your mobility, speed and quickness, strength and/or power systems, shoulder function and overall core strength with each workout."

I was sold! 

Right when I decided to join at 6 weeks postpartum, I had the opportunity to join a challenge NSPT was hosting. THE BIGGEST WINNER! Yes a take from The Biggest Loser. I would get 6 weeks with a great Nutritionist Jules Hindman See her site HERE
Well, I am currently on week 3 and have lost 8 pounds!  I am just 2 pounds shy of my pre pregnant weight!  Granted I was heavier than I like when I got pregnant but I feel great!  I feel strong and proud :)

Surprisingly people in my life, with the exception of my husband and my mother, are not as happy for me as I am. This has not been a topic in which my friends or family enjoy talking about.  Especially stretch marks - see here. It feels to me that people think that I am bragging or throwing something in their face.  NOT THE CASE AT ALL!  My initial excitement and want for sharing is at an end.  I hope people reading this do not feel anything negative. 

My Body Postpartum

Things I am currently doing

  1. Fitbit: I wear my fitbit 24 - 7
  2. MYFITNESSPAL App: it is connected to my fitbit that I am absolutely obsessed with! I track everything I eat.  EVERYTHING! 
  3. Water: I drink a ton of water, more water than I though was humanly possible. 8-10 glasses a day minimal.  I shoot for 96 Ounces or more.
  4. Sugar: Minimal sugar and refined Carbs 
  5. Breakfast: I eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking. Normally hard boiled eggs or steel cut oatmeal.
  6. Nothing in my coffee: This was hard at first but I now don't mind.
  7. Protein Powder: Each day I typically have a protein shake. If not I will put 1/2 a scoop in my morning oatmeal
  8. Snacks I like: Greek Yogurt, kind bars, almonds and hard boiled eggs. 
  9. Staying away from: Cereal, breads, drinks other than water and pasta. 
  10. I avoid eating out: Hard to track calories and lets face it, eating out is on average 1200 calories per meal (at dinner) 
I will check back when my challenge is over and let you all know how it goes!

My Personal Tips for an Easier Labour

This is all my personal opinion. 
I did extensive research trying to discover the secret to an easier or faster labor, delivery and recovery. I was willing to do just about anything to help my body along for labor.  

I dreamed of a natural, drug free birth, and although I knew I would be open to intervention and changes in plan I did truly want to, at the least, try. To my surprise I had an extremely hard time finding support. I actually found none. Only in hiring a doula did I find the support I desired, maybe too much as she didn't digest my openness to the needed change in any plans. (another story)

One of my biggest concerns was the length of labour.  It was going to hurt ...bad!  What could I do to help my body? Well I did tons of research and found great information.  I tried a lot and would love to share!

What worked for me:

Walking, walk walk walk: In my 3rd trimester I would walk 2-3 miles a day right up unit the end. Not only does this help your endurance but the swaying of your hips not only moves baby into place but down low into your cervix. This will help soften your cervix and ready your body.

Evening Primrose Oil:  I took 1 pill a day at week 30.  This is way earlier than recommended.  I upped my dose regularly and by week 38 I was taking 2 pills twice a day.

Mama organic tea: This is a great brand of teas and I started in the 3rd trimester

Dates:  I had a hard time eating these but had read in multiple places how Dates help Ripen the cervix preparing it for labor.  This would clearly speed the process along when the time came.  I ended up slicing them into steal cut oatmeal each morning.  They would taste more like raisins! 

Water Lots of Water:  Hydration should be no surprise.  

Laying on my left side only: The benefits of laying on your left side when pregnant is well known.   Supports organ function 

Birthing Ball: Bouncing on a birthing ball 

Education: I read many books.  The one I loved the most was  "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" I also recommend the movie "The Business of Being Born" in these and more I found understanding which put my mind to ease, I knew I could do this!  

Warm Epson Salt Baths: I forget where I read this but I took them all the time!  

Relaxation with music:  To relax in pregnancy I would listen to Hawaiian music so naturally when in labour when I needed to relax I listened to Hawaiian music.  It is like a lullaby! 

Realizing... I am scared straight.

It's wild!  I'm a mom.  Everything I ever wanted and she is an angel.  She sleeps, eats, poops and smiles ...then all over again.  I am getting good sleep at night and offered tons of babysitting.  Heck I'm already working.

I have dodged the baby blues (for now) 

So why do I feel so on edge.  Why do I feel unable to just relax? 

If you have followed my blog then you know of my IVF struggle.  See here for recap.  Then there was my struggles in pregnancy. Is that it? I was so guilt ridden from IVF that I never really let myself say outloud that my PREGNANCY WAS HARD!  Very hard on both me and my husband.   

It all started with our IVF surgeries. The typical recoveries into the 2 week wait before the big pregnancy test.  In this time my grandfather had suddenly gone down hill and was admitted to a hospice. Naturally I wanted to be there when he passed and I was. The next morning I had the worst flu of my life. 102 temperature and sick for 3 days I was certain that this round had failed. I am happy to report I was wrong!!!
Fast forward to week 14 pregnant. I had some major gushing bleeding episodes, once a week for about 5 weeks.  No conclusion for sure what it was but I was treated as if it was a placenta abruption.  I was put on pelvic rest until the 3rd trimester. No working out. No intercourse. 
As the weeks went on and my belly started to grow I started having bad ligament pains. They were so bad and were joined by a pelvic hernia at about 16 weeks. I didn't know what it was until almost the 3rd trimester. Funny I thought it was ligament pains as well.  
Last but not the least in the second trimester the Dr.'s saw some extra fluid around our baby's brain. All ended well but I was heavily monitored and sent to Boston Children's Hospital for a MRI and ultrasounds on top of the many ultrasounds leading up to it and after.

Through it all I was pregnant! That's what I told myself at least. I have no business complaining, I would think and tell myself.  So I didn't.  I had no place, no safe place to be scared, tired or uneasy. My tough times aka: IVF were over... Right?  I was suppose to glow and be the super grateful person everyone around me wanted to see.

I sit here typing with one hand and holding my baby in the other. You are not alone, I hope to tell you. Who ever you are at what ever point in your journey. This journey is never ending and the pains we felt/feel does carry on in a small way. Maybe to protect the future in a backwards way. Accepting my journey and moving on is my goal at hand now.

I don't miss being pregnant. I know this since people asking made me ponder on this. I wish I did but it's ok to be honest. Things still didn't go as planned, even after the positive test. I am no longer living in fear. I know this now. I was walking around scared straight all the time. I walk with enjoyment now! It was all worth it.

I follow so many blogs. Many have suffered great loss or are continuing their struggles with infertility. I'm not sure who follows me and who doesn't but my heart goes out to all of you as at times like this I think about the circle of infertility.

Thanks for reading :)

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