Reguardless of what it feels like, it has, infact, been four whopping months since I gave birth to my little peanut. Bailey's grown and changed everyday since she entered this world.
I've talked a lot about her changing and growing, but haven't much talked about any changes to ME since she was born. So, let's chat...
I was lucky. Really lucky. I felt PHYSICALLY back to normal mere minutes after giving birth. Sure, I was a little sore down there and had a hell of a hernia (fun), but I was up, walking, and even asking if I could go back to work (in hopes of saving my maternity leave for when Bailey was HOME, not in the NICU) shortly after having her. I didn't feel like I thought I'd feel after just giving birth, though I guess I have no idea why or what I thought I'd feel like. I think the hormones and endorphins really carried me through the first few days and by the time we left the NICU, while I was EXHAUSTED and STRESSED more than I realized in the moment, I felt physically fine.
Everyone told me to bring sweat pants to the hospital because I would still look pregnant and be bigger than my normal pants size. I don't say this to brag or because it's normal (it's NOT!), but I could fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans the day after I gave birth. Again, this is NOT normal. And, I should note that my jeans were WAY too big for me pre-pregnancy. I weighed myself about 4 days after having Bailey while I was home showering one morning and was SHOCKED to find I was 3 pounds UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight. SAY WHAT?!?!? Again, this is NOT normal. I KNOW that. I really have no idea how this happened so fast... but, I attribute it to not gaining too much during pregnancy, having Bailey so early (I very likely would have gained several more pounds if I had gone full term), staying active during pregnancy, and having a LOT of fluid which came out during labor. Ready for TMI? I had so much fluid gush out of me during labor I soaked the doctor and a nurse so had she had to change clothes. Oh, and the fluid got ALL OVER the Hubs and even the wall behind my head. That takes talent. Anyway, back to lose of weight post-baby. I also attribute it in large, LARGE part to immediate lack of sleep and post-partum stress.
Again, I think I was stressed WAY MORE than I thought while she was in the NICU and while I was eating during this time, it was minimal as I was just too busy and worried to even think about food. When I saw that I was under my pre-pregnancy weight, it was a wake up call. I needed to gain back those pounds. I knew to be successful in nursing, I needed to keep my strength and weight up to produce enough milk. I made a concious effort to eat (and drink more water!) more and to try to relax (though I failed miserably at that last part). I gained back the 3 pounds within a few weeks and continue to sit right around my pre-pregnancy weight +/- a few pounds.
I feel like I should also say that the weight is staying off now due to an amazing combination of breast feeding and working out. I've been working out at least a few times a week since I got the all clear at my 6-weeks post-partum appointment. Couple working out with the extra calorie buring of nursing and the weight is staying off. Which is good, since I am eating like a freaking machine. OMG. I am ALWAYS hungry. I've decided while marathon-training hunger trumped pregnancy hunger, nursing hungry far trumps all. Wowza.
Now, just because my WEIGHT is the same as it was, my body is most definitely not. My tummy looked like a water bed after giving birth. It was SO SQUISHY! Not that I ever had a toned, flat tummy-- but, this was a whole new thing. It's gotten a little less squishy, but is still much more than I can remember it being before. And, I have a POOCH. You know the one. Yep. Not sure when that'll go anywhere. The shape of my body is just different now too. I can't really explain it or tell you exactly what's different, but almost all my pre-pregnancy clothes fit differently now. I wish I had a gazillion dollars so I could go buy clothes that fit properly... but, I don't. So, I'm wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes that all just fit a bit off. Though, I did buy a new pair of jeans and a new pair of work pants on crazy sale one day while B and I were crusing around the mall killing time while I was on leave. Both are 2 sizes smaller than my pre-pregnancy size, but remember those were really big.
Again, I'd say I was lucky. I did not experience post-partum. However, let me tell you-- all those emotions and hormones they say run through you post-partum... they're real. Oh my goodness, they are real. I was all outta wack. I am just now starting to feel normal and like ME again. For the first several weeks, I was SO emotional. Yes, some of that was likely do to the extra NICU-stress, but I think more was due to just having a baby. I would get SO MAD at the Hubs for pretty much nothing. I would cry along with Bailey sometimes. I was just an emotional mess. But, I never felt overwhelmingly sad or depressed. Again, I was lucky. Having a baby does a job on your emotions and hormones. I tried to be gentle with myself and allow myself to cry when I felt like I needed to and not get too mad at myself when I snapped at the Hubs for no reason... though I always appologized to him. He was a tropper and never got too mad. :)
So, I suppose that's that. I'm still the same me I was before, but 100% different at the same time. Makes total sense, right??