HOW I AM FEELING PHYSICALLY:
Things are still on the up and up. I’m basically back to doing everything I did before pregnancy and I have the green light from my doctor to begin doing physical exercise as long as nothing is hurting. And I have not been taking anything for pain because it’s been wonderful to not have any finally!
My incision area still bothers me from time to time when clothing rubs against it, but it’s been nice to have the tape finally removed after seeing my OB for our follow up this past week. The other night the band of my sweats crept up while I slept and the next morning I realized that it had stuck to my incision a bit and I had to gently pull it off. I’ve noticed that it left it red and swollen in that small area of the incision, but I am hoping that it’s temporary and will eventually go away. Since then, I have made extra sure to keep clothing away from it as much as possible.
I have noticed that I am having quite a bit of pain where my epidural was which is something I experienced after having Blair. With her it lasted for months so I am hoping that is not what I am in for this time, but we will see.
MY CURRENT WEIGHT:
My current weight is now 162 so I am up four pounds from last week which isn’t too surprising since, as I mentioned previously, I was giving myself two weeks to eat exactly how I wanted after dieting hard core for the gestational diabetes stuff. So it’s pretty obvious I definitely have been and it has been so great! However, with the green light from my OB to begin exercising and now back into eating right and on point, I am looking forward to working through a bit more weight loss, but more importantly, gaining some strength and muscle tone back.
HOW I AM FEELING MENTALLY:
This third week got even harder. With the change physically and me being able to do everything I used to, it also means I am feeling the pressure (from no one but myself) to be functioning completely normally. This means cooking, cleaning, homework and studying, errands, work, etc, etc, etc. And with a newborn who needs me constantly, I have found myself feeling frazzled most of the time which has left me in tears. I have had moments of feeling completely defeated and when the stress level gets too high, I find myself lashing out at Jarett and the kids. It’s not a constant thing and more anxiety based, but I do have moments where I feel like I cannot cope with the moment.
I spoke with my OB about this and he completely understood my feelings of not wanting to have to rely on something all the time. This is not to say that I think anti depressants are a negative thing. I am a huge believer that people should have access to medication to help them function and heal, but between having my low points only sporadically and wanting to work through any issues as naturally as possible, he and I decided for me to try Xanax first. Something that I can have available when the anxiety gets to be too much, but not something I need to take daily. However, if I find that I am needing it more often, then we will be discussing a daily medication to ensure that I am not slipping any lower during postpartum and so that I don’t have any repeats of what I went through last year.
HOW THE FAMILY IS ADJUSTING:
When people ask me how I am managing five kids now, I often reply with how lucky I am to have so much help in the home with older kids. It has been so nice. If I need to get to something or help one of the younger kids, I have two older children who are able and willing to hold Brooks for me, feed him and even change him. So if you are a first time mom or have two or three and feel guilty when you find yourself stressed with “only” that number of kids – don’t! Just know that the larger families have more helping hands and us larger family moms are not doing it alone. It’s almost harder to have just one baby because you are the one and only person to hold, feed, rock and comfort. It can be overwhelming for sure so never not allow yourself to have those quiet “pity parties”. Motherhood is hard whether you have one or eight!
As a reminder, we are formula feeding and using Enfamil. Brooks is now drinking between 4 fluid ounces every 4 hours or so.
The sleep department is still a bit rough especially with how full my husband’s schedule has gotten with his business. And, of course, his main work hours are at night (some nights he doesn’t get home until 3:00 AM the next morning) so most nights I am handling Brooks by myself. It hasn’t been too bad only because we go to bed a bit later – around 10:00 or 11:00 – and then he wakes up once around 4:00 or 5:00 AM to have a bottle and he then snoozes until about 7:00 or 8:00 AM. I have been trying to make sure and be up with the other kids and get them out the door for school so Jarett can sleep, but it’s not always easy depending on Brooks and if he is at the point of needing a bottle or needs to be held because he is fussing…. some mornings Jarett stays in bed, but has to handle Brooks so I can handle the others and some mornings Jarett sacrifices sleep and gets the kids ready and to school.
It’s definitely a balance and we try and make sure to fit in naps where we can so neither one of us starts to lose it or crashes.
Brooks doesn’t have another appointment with the pediatrician until his 2 month mark so for right now I don’t have updated numbers, but he is definitely bigger and looking so much older! I teared up the other day because his newborn onesies have become a bit snug which means time is flying by as it always does. He also is a lot more alert and stays awake longer between feedings – which is always a bitter sweet thing! It means I don’t get to as much things as I want to around the house or work wise, but it also means that we get to sit and stare at each other while I make goofy noises and sing to him.
ADVICE FOR FELLOW MOTHERS ABOUT TO EMBARK ON WEEK THREE:
Always remember, when you are feeling overwhelmed or a bit defeated, that you are only three weeks into this! It is normal to still be finding your footing and still not feeling like yourself. You are not alone and you have to remember that.
You’ll be wanting to do more and more as you heal physically, but remember to not overwhelm yourself. Take small steps towards normalcy and be patient with the process. Remember to make sure some of those small steps are getting out of the house with or without Baby. It’s amazing what a little bit of fresh air or a Target browsing trip can do for one’s spirits!
And as always, make sure you are soaking in each possible moment with your growing babe. It goes fast, I promise!