When a woman finds out she's expecting, for the most part it's a very exciting and joyous time. If you are anything like me, you may have expectations of what pregnancy will be like. I had plenty of expectations. How I would eat, how I would dress, how I would record every single detail, labor, delivery. All of it. I had my ideas on how it would all play out. However, other than knowing that I somehow planned on "bouncing back" as fast as possible through breastfeeding and clean eating I didn't quite think through my recovery the way I should have. I think I just figured it would all just come together (I guess that's because it has always been easy for me to lose weight).While this may be true for some women, it wasn't for me. I had a hard time. A really hard time. I remember thinking that it was harder than delivery. And I went completely med free - ouch. I didn't even kind of bounce back the way I thought I would. And while I would sometimes throw myself a pity party because "other women have it sooo easy, they have good genes", what I really knew deep down was that I didn't plan that part well enough. I didn't work for it and because of that, I didn't earn anything.
As a little bit of background, I have some health issues that worsened after my son was born. This made nursing extremely difficult and because I was trying to force something that wasn't working, my body held on to my extra weight. And when I say extra weight, I mean I gained 20 pounds more than I should have. It was exactly 20 pounds that stuck around. That is - until I stopped nursing and my body started working again. I actually dropped 6 pounds the first week!
I could blame it all on my health issues but I also know that if I didn't have that extra weight on me, I wouldn't have had the added stress to diet etc. and just maybe, my milk production would have been a little more steady without this added stress. So this time around, I'm doing things differently. I know more than I did before and I'm using my experience to make wiser choices.
Exercise - This time around I am working out at the gym and even purchased a few sessions with a trainer. I do cardio and weights. I also do a little bit of Pilates on days I don't make it to the gym.
Cravings - everyone gets cravings. Pregnant or not. But for some reason we're taught not to deprive ourselves during pregnancy. I have my sweets, don't get me wrong. However, i'm putting my willpower to the test by fighting more of these cravings this time around. Starting... NOW! haha
Pushing- I wrote a birth plan, knew exactly what I wanted and stuck with it. The problem is, I didn't have the strength to push properly (probably because I had no muscle tone) and I just didn't learn enough on the different techniques. And there are different techniques. My cousin told me to look into a dvd called perfect pushing. I have and the reviews are amazing. Even helps with swelling. I was so swollen after having my son. I was quite a bit larger the few weeks following his birth than I was when I walked into the hospital to have him. Swelling and inflammation. Those were my enemies.
Clothes - girls, I had no clue what to wear out of the hospital and the days following. The day after cruze was born, I wore leggings that had a very restricting waist band. Tight leggings with a sore bottom just did not mix. I cried that entire day while running from hospital to hospital dealing with some complications that my son had.
Belly binding - I'm doing it this time. I wish I gave more thought to this before but I know better this time. I will be using a bellefit girdle after I have this baby. Look at the reviews. Pretty awesome.
Rest - I have a hard time laying down and letting people do things for me. But the thing is, my body was in no position to move around the way I was so soon after birth. I never let my body heal. Part of this was out of my control but part of it was just being dumb and stubborn. Aside from recovery, I also didn't rest during my pregnancy. I "felt bad" not being on top of everything all the time. Silly me. This time? I take naps. I
Leaving the house - This one is HUGE. My sons pediatrician scared me into staying home for the first three months and it made me go kinda crazy. I left the house here and there with Phillip but I should have done it more. Even if I still don't feel comfortable this time around bringing a newborn around too many people, I will make a greater effort to go to open spaces like restaurants with outdoor seating, outlet malls and maybe even enjoy a girls night with my favorite chicas a bit sooner. It's so important to just get out. The park is good too ;)
Exercise some more - I'm so serious about this. I just know the difference exercise and some muscle would have made. Plus, it just makes me feel better all the time. Emotionally, mentally, physically. All of it. I just feel so much better.
I also feel the need to add that, while I know there are several things I want to do differently, I still recognize the things I did right. I bonded with Cruze the way I wanted to. I stared at him all day every day. I took a million pictures a day. I picked a sleep method that worked well for our family and also made time for my husband. That guy is pretty awesome ;)
What about you? Is there anything you would change or know you plan to do to make things more "ideal"?