Monday, December 5, 2016

Week of Nov 28 - Dec 4


Monday: Bike trainer 15 min (est 3 miles)

Tuesday: Rest day

WednesdayYoga video (10 min)

Thursday: Bike trainer 10 min (est 2 miles) + 3 Day Rotation weights (20 min)

Friday: Swim 600 yards

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: Unplanned rest day

Total swimming: 600 yards
Total biking: 5 miles
Average daily steps: 9,586

It feels good to be back up to a normal consistency (more days than not), even if it's still pretty short and low intensity workouts. But it also felt fantastic at the beginning of the week to sit down and plan out my week. Particularly when I'm training for something specific, but often even if I'm not, I take time on Sunday to look at the calendar, see what days I won't have time to exercise, think about what types of workouts I want to fit in, etc., and write that all out in brief in this post. This week is the first time I've done that since the baby!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Postpartum: Month 1

We're now almost to two months as I finally finish this (umm, tomorrow, in fact), but that's kind of the theme of parenting so far, it seems. Best to have merely ideas of what to do for the day than actual goals or plans. 

I do intend to post the birth story eventually, but it ended up being a complicated birth and somewhat traumatic (but thanks to modern medicine I survived, with a healthy baby and intact uterus, so all is good now!), so it's taking a while for me to want to sit down and do that writing (though I think it will actually be helpful to do so, both the processing and to identify gaps in my memory for Abe or our doula to fill).


A bit fussy in the first few days (particularly at night - though by default our hospital does rooming-in, the nurses will also take the baby for a bit to give you a break, which Abe took advantage of especially since due to complications (I wasn't even out of bed unassisted until the second morning) I wasn't much help except for trying to nurse.) But overall, he's really an exceptionally easy (relatively speaking) baby. Crying at this stage mosty meant he's hungry or was dealing with digesting one way or the other. Otherwise he's pretty happy!

Born at 8 lb 6 oz, he lost a full 10% (my milk came in on the later side of normal - day 5 - 6, I think), then was back up to 9 lb 2 oz by his ped appointment at 2.5 weeks! His next appointment isn't until two months, but at the end of month one we estimated on our analog scale - about 10 pounds. 

Nursing was reasonably easy - my milk coming in was slightly painful and obnoxious for about a day, but not nearly as bad as I thought it'd be. We had a period where I had some soreness, but then I realized I'd gotten lazy about making sure he was latching on properly, and just being diligent about that fixed it. He ate about every 90 minutes at first, then fairly soon stretched that out to two hours - and then continued eating every two hours on average around the clock, for quite a while.

By the end of the month, he was starting to wake up and be alert (during the day, and usually at least one stretch at night - but fortunately for me usually during the time Abe would take over and do a feeding) instead of just being a sleepy potato. His first holiday was Halloween - we took him to a pumpkin patch, and my mom made a little lion hat to go with a lion-themed sleeper we had, so Abe and I dressed up as a wardrobe and the white witch. 

Physical Health & Recovery

The first two weeks I was utterly exhausted. My discharge instructions were to do pretty much nothing but sit on the couch and nurse for two weeks (to recover from blood loss) - and it really wasn't until near the end of the second week that I felt like doing much more than that. 

One of the days during this time period we were out for a doctor appointment, then decided to run some errands so we were out of the house for over 4 hours. When we got back in, I sat down on the couch - and all of a sudden starting shaking. Though I'd never had any blood sugar issues before (going 5-ish hours without eating because I was out and busy wouldn't be a problem at all, though I'd be hungry when I got home), apparently I do while recovering and nursing! We called my MIL (a retired doctor) to come over, and she quickly realized it was a blood sugar crash, and got me eating appropriate amounts of sugar and protein to resolve it. She and Abe then didn't want me home alone with the baby (and especially carrying him up the stairs) for a few days to make sure nothing else happened that would leave me unable to safely care for him, but fortunately the incident wasn't repeated (and I've been careful to eat more frequently since then!)

By the end of the month I was actually feeling reasonably good and felt mostly recovered (spoiler: I wasn't. Just still had hormones propping me up). I went for a run at the 4-week mark (spoiler: that was a bad idea). 

Mental Health

For the first 2 to 3 weeks, definitely had some of the baby blues. Lots of little things set me off, and I was just purely exhausted. One night I had accumulated so much fatigue that I unintentionally started sleeping through the baby's wake-ups, so Abe got up with him a couple times to feed him (I started pumping early on, and we did syringe feeding when I wasn't nursing, until we wanted to introduce a bottle). When I finally woke up enough to realize what I had happened I started bawling while I effusively started to apologize to him (it really wasn't a big deal for him to get up with the baby for me to get a bit more rest).

That generally weepiness and sensitivity improved by around week 2 to 3, and I generally felt like I was getting a handle on things (spoiler: I wasn't. Also just hormones, I think.), but when I did get upset I got really upset and crying tons without being able to easily pull myself together. Thoughts about the birth and some other insecurities set me off when they crossed my mind.


Just daily walks starting at about two weeks. One attempt at running at four weeks, which turned out to be a poor choice.

When I first weighed myself post-hospital, I think at about a week postpartum, I was up 15 pounds from prepregnancy, so I'd lost 25 of the 40 I gained via the baby, etc. I maintained that for the rest of the month. At the end of the month, chest, waist, and hips were all up 2 to 4 inches from prepregnancy.

General Thoughts

Assuming I'd have an uncomplicated delivery, I also assumed I should be able to bounce back pretty quickly. I'm in good shape and healthy, and birth is a natural process, so why wouldn't I? Instead, I felt traumatized by the delivery and like I was recovering from an exhausting illness once I got home. I didn't expect to feel so "sick" in the sense of being helpless and fatigued. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Weeks of Oct 31 - Nov 6, 7 - 13, 14 - 20, 21 - 27

Oct 31 - Nov 6

Monday: Run 1 mile (15:30 pace)

Wednesday: Yoga video (25 min)

Average daily steps: 6,942

November 7 - 13

Dealing with medical crap.

Average daily steps: 6,743

November 14 - 20

Friday: Bike trainer 10 min (est 2 miles) + abs (5 min)

Sunday: Yoga video (10 min)

Average daily steps: 6,518

November 21 - 27

Monday: Bike trainer 15 min (est 3 miles) + abs (5 min)

WednesdayYoga video (10 min)

Saturday: Bike trainer 15 min (est 3 miles)

SundayYoga video (10 min)

Average daily steps: 9,936

Though my workouts are still short and low-impact, it feels good to see this past week with something happening more days than not! Exercise really has become basically my primary hobby, so it was hard to not be able to participate in it for much longer than I anticipated. But I know long-term recovery from the birth, as well as saving energy for baby care, is more important (even though that's hard to swallow some moments!), and I'll gradually get back to where I was. 

I realized my step count was being inflated because my fitbit was recognizing me sitting and bouncing the baby on the exercise ball as steps! So the numbers above are reduced by 10% from what the fitbit says to try to estimate back into something more likely to be accurate. (But I am doing quite a bit of walking, even on days I don't leave the house - walking around while wearing the baby is also a useful soothing method, and there are more little things around that need to be put away, more laundry to go up and down the basement steps to do, etc.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Five: Parenting in the Smartphone Era

Linking up today with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for many things. For my healthy baby. Modern medicine so I survived delivering that baby. A husband who's an involved and nurturing father. And for becoming a parent in the era of smartphones. 

(I promise not all my posts going forward will be in some way related to parenting! It's just what takes up most of my life at the moment, without work or running happening.)

There are non-parenting reasons I'm so glad I live when I do with such technology - for example, I would be forever lost in the Portland metro area without google maps. But there have been some particular advantages to having one around as a new parent. I make sure I have my phone with me at all times (and not just because I'm addicted to social media).

1. Apps - for tracking baby data and reading about development. For the latter, I'm still deciding on my favorite out of a few I've downloaded (Ovia, BabyCenter, Wonder Weeks), but I realized with a similar pregnancy app that it was kind of helpful to break down such an overwhelming topic such as pregnancy or parenting/baby development in to small chunks, delivered timely via an app, rather than try to retain information from books read long ago. 

But mostly I love the tracking app I ended up using, Baby Tracker (free, though with some available paid upgrades). Easy to use for inputting and reviewing. I only tracked his eating and pumping for about the first month, and diapers for about a week less than that, before getting into enough of a groove to be able to recall enough myself. But having that data to remember the details of the day and confirm when to expect the next feeding or diaper change was very helpful in the initial newborn haze. (I tracked sleep for a day or so, before realizing that for the first couple weeks, the gap between virtually all other activities is sleep, so it's easy enough to calculate!)

2. Social media. It may not be the only reason, but it is a reason! Though sometimes I just sit with a sleeping baby on my lap and enjoy the moment, plenty of other times I'm happy to have entertainment at hand while I'm stuck on the couch.

3. Baby entertainment. Not for the baby to use, of course, but as an aid for me. Useful for playing the Pandora lullaby station to soothe him, or googling nursery rhyme lyrics to recite for him.

4. White noise. For nighttime sleeping, we have a white noise machine, but for daytime naps we try to just let him sleep in the din of everyday life. Sometimes, though, we need to calm him down or help him to fall asleep, which is when my phone is handy no matter where we are in the house to play white noise as well. I found a few options in the Amazon prime library, and there are of course apps for it as well.

5. Light. Abe has an iphone with an actual flashlight feature (which I'll acknowledge might be one benefit of an iphone over an android); I realize I might be able to download one on mine, but I've actually discovered that merely increasing the screen brightness all the way (and also increasing the time before the screen turns off) provides just enough light to be able to nurse in the middle of the night (especially to see enough to help him latch on properly). Using only the minimum of light when he's awake during the night definitely seemed to help him sort out daytime versus nighttime and stretch out the nighttime sleep a bit. (And make it easier for me to fall back asleep once the baby does!)

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Survey

A bit of mindless fluff to fill out while the baby sleeps! Taken from Meg Go Run a couple weeks ago. 

Tattoos- None. Yet. I have an idea I've been refining for several years, but the main holdup is deciding for sure where I want it. I also might get something connected with the baby. 

Piercings- 3 in each earlobe, plus one cartilage piercing. The third on each earlobe closed up twice, so I've actually had my lobes pierced 5 times

Marriages- 1. Just under 2.5 years. 

Divorces- 0.

Pregnancies- 1.

Surgeries- Wisdom teeth, if that counts. And apparently I had a d&c after giving birth after I hemorrhaged, in case it was being caused by retained placenta. 

Been to jail- Nope. Never even been in a jail, I don't think. 

Shot a gun- No, although I'd like to. I have no interest in hunting or self-defense, I just somehow like the idea of target shooting. 

Quit a job- One that I actually quit, others I left due to school/moving situations. I had a job the summer before my junior year in high school which I intended to continue into the school year (at JoAnn Fabrics), but with other school activities it go to be too much. My only others jobs were the summer after high school, which I left since I moved for college, and my college work study job which I naturally left when graduating.

Flown on a plane- Many times! I really love flying - I love the concept that humanity finally achieved this thing that it dreamed of for so long. Some day I want to take a flying lesson, and perhaps work towards a pilot license. 

Hit a deer-  Nope. 

Gone zip lining- Twice! Once in Mexico, while there for a yoga retreat, and once in Alaska on our honeymoon.

Skipped school- No. Well, probably skipped a class or two senior year.

Watched someone give birth- No. Including myself - I had no interest in using a mirror or having it videotaped.

Watched someone die- No. 

Been in Canada- Several times. In middle school I was on the math team which went to a competition near the border, so we always went into Vancouver on the trip as well, plus a few times with family and at least once with friends in college.

Rode in an ambulance- Once. I had a seizure at work (most likely due to a medication I was taking).

Been downhill skiing- Once, in high school. I found it very anxiety-provoking, and by the end of the day when I was starting to get the hang of it, I'd make myself fall if I felt like I got going to fast (because I anticipated falling regardless, I wanted to at least be in control of the fall).

Rode on a motorcycle- Once, I think. It was more of a scooter type thing than a "real" motorcycle? 

Rode a horse- Not that I recall, although given where I grew up it's highly probable that I did at some point at a friend's house or party or field trip or something.

Stayed in a hospital- Only when being born and when giving birth.

Donated blood- Yes, frequently about 3 - 5 years ago. Before that I was too afraid of needles, then I had some health issues that required fairly frequent blood draws and I got over it. Then I'd been slacking recently prior to getting pregnant. I'd really like to donate again, particularly now that I've received a blood transfusion and benefited from the system, but apparently I can't for 12 months after getting the transfusion. So next fall, I'll definitely prioritize it!

Rode in the back of a police car- I have a vague memory of doing so as a child after a car accident with my family.

Done charity work- As in, volunteering? Yep. I've always meant to get into some routine volunteer gig, and haven't, but I do at least a handful of one-off things each year.

Picked up a hitchhiker- Hell no.

Rode on a train- Yes, I love trains! Almost as much as flying. It seems like such an efficient transportation system. I've done Amtrak on a trip to the east coast, an overnight train in Russia, and of course the MAX locally.

Camped in a tent- No. I prefer walls and indoor plumbing, thank you very much. 

Danced in the rain- Not that I recall. Is this something that people frequently do? 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Five: When I Can't Run

Linking up today with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Since giving birth (7 weeks ago tomorrow), I've run once - 1 mile, very slowly. I felt recovered enough - in most aspects - that I thought it'd be worth putting the effort into it. I didn't run for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy, and waited 4 weeks - so much longer than I'd ever gone without a run since I started! I couldn't stand to wait any longer. And it really did feel great and gave me a mental boost. 

Until a couple days later, when I felt something strange in my crotch, which is not something great to feel after childbirth. It turns out I have a mild bladder prolapse. The run may or may not have directly caused or exacerbated it; there was a weak pelvic floor primed for something to probably happen (have already happened? I might just not have noticed it yet) regardless. But it most certainly didn't help.

And now that I know about it, I have to work on strengthening the pelvic muscles, and I certainly should not be doing anything high impact, like, say, running. It's hard to say when I'll be able to again. Hopefully it's weeks, but possibly months. 

In the meantime, it's definitely hard to prioritize some other kind of exercise amidst taking care of the baby - if I were able to run, I'd definitely want to fit that in! - biking or yoga just isn't the thing I truly want to do. But I need to, for my mental health and general health, and to be ready to jump back into running when I'm finally cleared to. 

Got on the bike for 10 minutes this morning!

So what am I able to do? Here's what I can do and want to try to make time and energy for.

1. Ab/core work. Not only something I can do, but something I really really should do! Both for generally rebuilding my core after stretching it out for pregnancy, but also for the pelvic floor issues - your core and abs support that, too. Obviously there are some limitations here to avoid damage to your ab muscles (I don't have any abnormal issues, but do have a typical degree of separation), but important to (safely) work on!

2. Yoga. More core work, plus relaxing. It's also relatively easy to find postpartum specific yoga videos and classes, so some reassurance that the movements are safe for my abs and supportive for the recovery I need.

3. Weight lifting. Though I'm getting some muscle use in by lifting a baby and car seat, plus doing lots of squats (how else do you pick things up while holding the baby), some full body strength workouts would also be beneficial. 

4. Biking. Perhaps the closest I can get to running in terms of cardio, plus it'd be a head 
start for triathlon training for whenever I can add running back. 

5. Walking. I did so much walking at the end of the pregnancy, it's hardly what I want to focus on now! But it is an easy way to at least get some activity in (well, somewhat less easy given that it's fall and that means lots of rain), breathe some fresh air, and can even be done with the baby (bonus - being the stroller or a carrier typically puts him to sleep). 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What Just Happened

We've been joking since I was pregnant - how could we choose to bring a child into a world where it's possible for someone like Trump to be a presidential nominee?

Now we actually have brought a child into a world where Trump was actually elected president. This is so far from the society that I thought I was in, where I thought it'd be challenging, but normal, to raise our son to be a feminist. I thought I'd have to figure out how to discuss with him the concept of consent, not explain the existence of a president who was elected despite being charged with child rape. 

It's not just about the children - even for our own sake, this is terrible. And realistically, our child is white, male, and culturally Christian, it's not like changes in our policies and laws will likely have a direct impact on him. But if we raise him right, he'll be deeply hurt by this. He'll be as saddened as we are that he'll grow up in a country where nearly half the voters think this is ok. This is beyond politics. This about humanity, or lack thereof.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...