Monday, July 15, 2013

Postpartum: 11 Weeks

The postpartum recovery period is one of the fastest changing times I have ever experienced.  The first month to six weeks was really hard on me, but after that things seemed to change at lightening speed.  The moment I was cleared to start exercising... I went for a run! It was a slow one, but I am already making a lot of progress!

In hindsight, I wish I had done things a little bit different.  If I were to do it all again, I would stay in bed and lay low for at least the first two weeks.  I didn't see how momentary that time frame was.  At the beginning of being home after baby, each day felt long and the time period seemed unending.  I felt like I would never heal or be normal... It's only 11 weeks later, and I can tell you the time flies rest in the beginning so everything isn't so hard later!!!

How things are at 11Weeks Postpartum:
1. Night Sweats 
These things have come and gone and come back again with a vengeance. Early on I would wake up a have to change shirts... Then sometime in the middle that stopped. Suddenly, week 10 or so BAM sweaty Betty all over again.  Hormonal craziness!! 
2. Bleeding
Once this stopped I haven't had a return. Thank goodness! I'm still breastfeeding, so I haven't experienced the postpartum period... But I dread that.
3. Thirst 
I am still one of the thirstiest humans I know. I carry around my water cup wherever I go. It's probably a pain for those around me because I constantly want something to drink. I am pretty sure this is because of the breastfeeding. I drink a lot of Gatorade too, and it really seems to be the most helpful! 
4. Hormones
These guys are still on their own planet sometimes! BUT I haven't randomly burst into tears in weeks. Hooray for small victories. I would like to get my own skin back, but otherwise the hormones have balanced out a ton! 
I struggled a lot initially with my feelings. Everything was very overwhelming and seemed impossible. Sunshine and exercise have made a world of difference.
5. The Bod
My body has changed. Whether these changes are forever remains to be seen. The last minute, red, angry stretch marks that appeared all over have softened. The lines on my legs are almost not noticeable. The tummy has a few, but they have already gone from red-purple to more of a silvery-purple. The ones on my chest are by far the worst and until I'm done breastfeeding I don't think that those will get too much better. 

I'm not even out of the fourth trimester and already I feel like I've made giant strides. The Internet assures me that breastfeeding moms who continue to breastfeed have an increase in weight loss between 3-6 months postpartum. They say this is because of a shift in lactation hormones.... I guess we shall see! 

Thanks for all your love and support through this very hard journey! Here are some very vulnerable pictures documenting the progress I'm making. 

Here's what a week and a half of exercise can do for a body. 

The next two pictures are 8.5 weeks PP versus 3 weeks PP. Biggest changes I see are in the face and arms. 

At 8.5 Weeks PP: I am down 35 pounds... 20 left to go. (I think I would be happy with another 10 while breastfeeding.) 
At 11 Weeks PP:  I am down 37 pounds.  Things are leveling out, but it's still about a pound a week.  Just trying to stay steady with it.

I am currently running 3-4 times a week.  It seems like I have a case of diastasis recti (a gap in the ab muscles).  I have been researching exercises to help heal this gap, but I think it's going to be what takes the longest time to get back to the before.

I started out running 12 minute miles and could only hang for about 2 miles.  I am consistently running a sub 10 minute mile for about 3 now, and I have gotten 2 long runs of 6 miles in.  It's a long process, but I cannot even explain how wonderful exercise makes me feel. 

This is where I started from in the early weeks of my postpartum recovery. The Top 5 Things I Wish I'd Known about Postpartum Recovery: 18 daysPostpartum

 The day before baby was born 39 weeks

Posts in the Postpartum Series:
11 Weeks
Reality: Breastfeeding is Hard
Top 5 Things I Wish I'd Known about Postpartum Recovery: 18 daysPostpartum

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