Weeks 8-9 Postpartum Journal
Physically Im feeling…
I’ve had a lot more energy these last 2 weeks! I’m still having some cramping and tail bone pain. My back was starting to feel better at the beginning of the week but by the weekend I was having a sharp pain that started in my tail bone and wrapped around my lower back to my pelvic bone. It’s wild how not only does your body go through so many changes in pregnancy and birth but then it is also met with the physical strains of carrying the baby gear - car seat, stroller etc, and baby while breastfeeding etc. I can see how many women end up having injuries or alignment issues that never fully heal after they have children because unless you really make it a priority there are so many aspects of Motherhood that can be physically taxing. I made it a priority to get to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist these past 2 weeks which is helping.
Emotionally I’m feeling…
Overall I’ve been feeling great this week. I’ve had a couple moments of feeling overwhelmed when I was home alone for 15 hours or so and Harry did not want to be anywhere but my arms. I would love for NOTHING more than to hold him every second of every day but unfortunately girls gotta pee, pump, eat, and let the dog out (among other things!)
My heart feels like it keeps expanding with each new day that I wake up to see my son’s bright eyes looking at me with wonder, contemplation, innocence and love. I've also been opening up more with my support system about my anxious moments. Talking about them with my husband, mom, family doctor, and girlfriends feels so good, and it makes me feel immediately less anxious. Anxiety is something I have experienced before becoming pregnant and I know that postpartum anxiety is a perinatal mood disorder that often can go undetected (maybe because it’s less obvious than PPD) so I think I am being extra aware to check in and make sure my anxious moments don’t develop into something more serious. I’ve always been an open book when I experience anxiety but when I first felt it in Motherhood there was a part of me that felt ashamed to bring it up to anyone out of fear of being judged for not just feeling pure elation every moment because of this beautiful blessing of a baby. I’m really happy that my perspective has shifted to realize its just another color in the large spectrum of colors of motherhood. We are not our thoughts or emotions, and sometimes it helps to take a step back and just observe them without judgment.
Most challenging moment
I notice that I really lose energy later in the day, the exhaustion from sleep deprivation catches up with me and I feel physically spent and more emotional. We had 2 nights where he was up all night after his vaccinations which was really challenging.
Today my mom came with me to a bunch of appointments, physio, the doctors, a lab appointment. She waited in car with Harry and I left her with pumped milk for him. It felt great to take care of a bunch of my health appointments but it was also a lot - Covid adds another level of stress to each appointment, and it’s hard to leave Harry for half the day (probably more for me than for him). When we got home we were both exhausted and all he wanted to do was nurse all afternoon into the evening, eventually I got a break by putting him in the Solly wrap while I ate dinner. I absolutely love nursing him it can just make it difficult to get anything done and I was trying to pack for our little staycation tomorrow. I notice that anytime after Harry has been away from me he tends to want to clusterfeed I think out of comfort which is so sweet.
I'm feeling grateful for...
The women in my life... I went on 2 walks with girlfriends from high school. One of them has a baby girl who is a month older than Harry so it was so nice to feel like we are going through such similar experiences. We made a little pact to meet every week with our babes.
I had a zoom with my girlfriends in Toronto and their 2 baby's. We've been chatting about every 2-3 weeks and I'm so grateful for these dates. One of them has a 6 months old so she is coming out of the other side of the sleep deprivation and has a different perspective than the two of us that are in the thick of the postpartum period, yet it is also fresh enough for her to still remember the subtle nuanced phases and emotions that can come and go. We really trust each other which allows us to be totally honest and unfiltered about what we're going through; nothing is off the table. It's a really beautiful thing to be able to say anything. They too had experienced scary thoughts and we talked about our dynamics with our partners and of course our babies.
I had lots of much needed self care this week!! I signed up for a group called ‘Life After Birth’ on zoom which is like a ‘Mummy and Me’ with a little more focus on the transition into Motherhood. It's facilitated by a therapist I met at WMN Space in Los Angeles - Molly Normand. I've really been missing my community of women in LA and I'm so happy I can connect with other moms over zoom.
I had my first physio session. We focused on tailbone, back, and neck pain from breastfeeding and pelvic floor. For the back work my physiotherapist asked me to take off my shirt and when I looked in the mirror I realized I forgot to wear my breast pads so I had a good laugh explaining that hopefully I wouldn't leak on her table - fortunately I did not and she is pregnant so she totally got it haha.
I got a massage with an RMT and asked her to go super gentle. I hadn’t had a massage in sooo long, what a treat.
On the weekend my husband, Harry, and I had a staycation. It was the perfect little test run of a family trip! We just ordered in delicious food, had some wine, watched movies, and soaked in the big soaker tub. After we had Harry our relationship underwent such a transformation and this time together felt like such an important weekend for us to meet each other again in our new roles as parents but also as partners, it allowed us to re-connect in a really special way. It felt like an opportunity for the three of us to have fun being out in the world as a family of three.
Spinach cheddar omelette, chicken salad with tomato avocado cucumber parm acv olive oil dressing, polenta, chicken with corn on the cob and sweet potato, chicken burger and fries, chocolate milkshake, lactation cookies, carrot ginger soup, muesli, green smoothie, sushi, white wine, macaroni and cheese, green smoothie, kombucha, berry spinach smoothie with flax and hemp seed, salmon burger, coconut cookies, lasagne, poached egg potato hash with greens, bran muffins, mothers milk tea, magnesium calm drink. 'Milk makers' and boons lactation cookies, chicken with tomato avocado feta salad, artichoke tacos, a burger.
Harry has been smiling non-stop this week and making so many new sounds. He loves to be on his change table to look at his contrast cards on the wall, and he dances kicking his feet while he lies down. He is still in his second leap and according to the Wonderweeks App these very first chats are called "protoconversations". This leap is all about him noticing patterns; seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling them and perceiving them within his body and in his surroundings. He will also start to discover his hands and he is suckling on his hands more. He is also clinging onto us more with his hands which feels so sweet! Like a little koala bear, especially when he nurses.
Harry got his vaccinations at his 8 week dr.'s appointment. He did so well, and stopped crying very quickly after, I couldn't watch, my husband booked work off to be there and he looked while I hid behind him haha.
I’ve been loving photographing him. We did a little easter shoot with all his bunny stuffy's around him and he fell asleep while I was taking his photos it was so cute, I just let him nap on the bed surrounded by his bunny’s it was adorable!
Harry’s tummy has been upset this week with gas. It’s so hard to see your baby in pain and not be able to relieve it. I find it hard not to blame myself and wonder if its something in my diet but my doctor says it’s unlikely and that the symptoms to a dairy intolerance would be much worse for baby if that were the case. I got some baby probiotic drops so we will see if that helps him and I am continuing with the bicycle legs, baby massage, and long warm baths which all seem to ease the discomfort.
He has been sitting upright more and he is almost able to hold his head upright (but its still bobbing around a bit hehe). He likes sitting and looking out at the world. He has been holding onto his rattle and using his hands so much more.
His eyelashes are getting darker and longer! They are so beautiful and full I think I have about 100 photos on my phone of just his lashes haha.
I’ve gotten into a routine of dimming the lights and singing lullaby’s or reading a couple stories to Harry before he falls asleep and I just love this special calm quiet time with him, I find the singing really helps lull him to sleep.
In speaking with my girlfriends about the different anxieties, worries, and emotions I've been experiencing with the sleep deprivation I feel so much less alone in it. It's so nice to realize how many other women have gone through similar thought processes, or are currently going through the same motions. When I went into labour I thought about all the other women in labour at the exact same time and lately when Im up at night nursing him I think about all the other mama's who are also up feeding or soothing their babies in the night.