Hello from babyland! Many of you asked me to write about postpartum recovery so that’s what we’re talking about today.
As far as immediate post-labor recovery goes, I’d say it wasn’t bad at all — though I also admit that my pain tolerance level probably increased by 1000% after experiencing an unmedicated birth. Ha! I was pretty sore for a couple of days but was able to walk, laugh, sit up, etc. easily during our two-day hospital stay. Postpartum cramps died down after five days or so and I think I went for my first post-baby stroller walk about a week after baby A was born.
Since then, I’ve been walking most days when the weather permits… did you hear that Nashville randomly got SNOW this week?! I headed out for a solo walk in the one-day winter wonderland.
The big recovery news: I saw the doctor on Monday and she gave me the all-clear to resume exercise again! You can bet I threw on my sneakers later that day (thanks to my mother-in-law for babysitting!) and got out there for a run. It was a drizzly grey day but I didn’t care.
Of course I was happy to run again, but to be honest I hadn’t missed it that much over the past five weeks — a million times less than I did during my eight-week running hiatus in the second trimester. I’d barely thought about my Garmin and basically blissed out in my pajamas for the past 35 days. Not only did juggling a newborn leave me with no time or energy to run, but this baby also brought another level of happiness and a whole new perspective with her. Things like exercise, work, eating, showering, sleeping all seem so insignificant now
So, clearly, I’m pretty much all recovered and good to go! Which was definitely good news, but not nearly as big of news as I would have expected of my pre-mom self. The neighbors even put out some street furniture to celebrate.
For my first post-baby run I had no goals other than to enjoy the solo time and chug along at a comfortable pace. I felt a little off balance — I guess I was used to running with the bump? — and flat-footed, but other than that everything was good. I’m surprised my pace didn’t suffer more after five weeks of zero exercise. This whole pregnancy and postpartum experience has taught me that taking days (or MONTHS) off of exercise won’t make you suddenly slow down by five minutes per mile or gain a million pounds. Your body knows what it’s doing, and running will always be there when you’re ready to get back in the swing of things.
Though — of course! — I’m still a bit sore today :). Hoping to squeeze in a few more miles this week when I can, and looking forward to something of a regular running/exercise routine in the coming months when baby A has a more predictable sleeping and eating schedule.
So that’s pretty much the physical recovery story. As far as mental recovery goes, I can’t say I’ve transitioned as smoothly back to my “old self” — but I’m also pretty sure that would be impossible to do. Being a mom has been far more emotionally overwhelming than I expected. I’m constantly hit with waves of love, joy, and laughter (did anyone tell you that babies are hilarious?) accompanied by frequent splashes of total frustration and fear. Repeat every minute for 24 hours and that’s basically my average day as a new mom!
Luckily I have lots of Kleenex, diapers, and family members here to keep things together and help me stay sane. Anthony’s parents arrived from Australia last week and have been helping out a ton with the baby and around the house.
They even helped us put together a dinner party for our friends Tracee and Tony the other night!
My mother-in-law made a baked pasta dish packed with eggplant, peas, hardboiled eggs, and lotsa cheese!
Paired with salad, more cheese, and a few sips of wine
Cheers to some more frequent posts to come! Now that I’m back on the run I’m hoping to slowly return to my usual blogging ways :). Talk soon!