It's been one month since Noah was born! Time sure does fly! I have really been enjoying being a mom of two. My maternity leave has been wonderful and I look forward to the remaining weeks of it. I never thought I could be a stay at home mom, but during this maternity leave I see how enjoyable it could be and I wish I was able to pursue that as a career.
This post is very personal to me. I'm not sure how many people actually read this blog and I try not to be consumed by numbers. This post is for me. It's a place to document my thoughts about this first month post-partum.
Over these weeks, I have noticed some things that just aren't quite the same as far as body image and body functions go. I can't attribute the changes in my body to the epidural, but I do wonder if that had something to do with the new things in experiencing.
Since Noah's birth, I have a sharp nerve pain in my left hip. This is especially evident if I sit on the floor to play with Michael. I have a very hard time getting up again. If I'm holding Noah and sitting on the floor, I have to have someone take Noah from me and hold him, or I have to put him in his swing which sits low to the ground, so that I can use both hands to push myself up off of the floor.
This may be TMI, but I've also had trouble making it to the bathroom on time to relieve myself. This happens mainly in the middle of the night when I'm nursing Noah and realize that I really need to use the bathroom, and have to sit there and keep nursing while I wait. I haven't had an accident on myself, but I've come close and that's totally abnormal.
So, those are things I semi-attribute to the epidural. Do I regret getting an epidural? No. Not in the least. I understood that there are risks associated with getting a shot in my spine. And now I might be living with the effects of that, and that's ok. I'll either get better, or I'll adjust. There's no use being upset over what it different-- I'm just putting pieces together and thinking that it might be due to the epidural. If I were to get pregnant again, I think I'd still get an epidural. If I didn't choose to get one, it would be because I have confidence in myself to do a natural birth-- it wouldn't be because I was afraid of the side effects.
This time, the Post-Partum hormones have been so much less than with my first experience Post-Partum. The first two weeks after Michaels birth were so so difficult for me. I experienced baby blues, and realize now that they didn't dissipate until Michael was about five and a half months old. It was at that time that I realized that I needed to relinquish control-- I couldn't handle everything alone and I shouldn't try to do so. Since that realization, my life has been way way better! Post-partum hormones this time around have been so minimal that figuratively, I'd need binoculars to really see them. This time, the things I've struggled with the most include the inability to sleep through the night, my tummy, and breastfeeding. Let's take each thing individually.
First of all, the inability to sleep through the night has surely taken its toll. Although during the last few weeks of pregnancy, I would get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, it didn't require heavy thought. Get up, go to the bathroom, wash hands, get back in bed, sleep. However, now when I get up in the middle of the night, it's to feed my son. Get up, go to the baby, pick up the baby, go to the chair, sit down, make sure the baby latches on properly, switch sides when appropriate, change baby's diaper, swaddle baby, lay baby back in crib, go to bathroom, wash hands, get back in bed, try to sleep because the countdown is on and I've got less than 3 hours til I'll be up again doing the same routine. Its rough. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE breastfeeding my son and being his source of nutrients. It's just a lot of work, and I eagerly anticipate his ability to sleep through the night.
Secondly, this time I have been more consumed with my tummy jiggle. Immediately after giving birth, a woman still looks five to six months pregnant. That astounded me after Michael's birth and I wasn't prepared. This time, I was totally prepared for that. It didn't even phase me. My tummy regained it's shape pretty quickly during my maternity leave with Michael. The pounds kept coming off after I returned to work and pumped. This time, I feel like I haven't quite bounced back like I thought I would. I try to remind myself that I still have time, and that it's ok. It's a process to get back into shape, I know. I have to be more disciplined to do a good job at it. Eating half a dozen cookies for morning snack is not the way to do so-- and yes, I really did that today.
Thirdly, I've struggled a bit with breastfeeding this time. My mom has been super supportive and has encouraged me and given positive feedback regarding the amount that I've already pumped and stored this time. I've been nervous about making enough milk. I've made a batch of lactation cookies, two batches of lactation honey oat balls, I drink cups of milk with original ovaltine, I've taken fenugreek tablets and eaten oatmeal for breakfast almost daily. I think my supply is good. I try to manually pump a little each day to start building up a good supply for my return to work in a few weeks. I'll pump at work three times a day. I'm excited to provide nutrition for my littlest Petersen. I just need to remind myself that I'm doing a good job, and not to overthink it.
If you've made it to this point, I'd like to extend my thanks for taking time to read some of my recent thoughts. And now, I've got to go check on a little toddler who has woken up quite happy from his much needed morning nap that he put himself down for, believe it or not. Check back in a few days for a post about Noah at one month old!
Much love, Reba