So, I’m a whole month postpartum! Ring the bell, yo! I’ll be documenting all about postpartum here, through the fourth trimester, possibly the fifth, sixth, and seventh lol….if it’s still interesting 🙂
First things first, because I like to talk about food….because I love eating…..
Did any of you get postpartum cravings? Like OMG. I suspect it’s because eating during pregnancy isn’t fun for me since nothing tastes amazing. So maybe food just tastes extra amazing after pregnancy because I’ve missed it for so long. Or, maybe because pushing out a human is hard effing work. Who knows!
But. I. Love. Food. And. Everything. Tastes. SOOOOOO. Good.
I am OBSESSED with fruit right now. And salads (which were pretty gross during pregnancy). And, the oddest thing of all….grape nuts cereal. I seriously don’t know where that came from, because I don’t eat that normally EVER. But now? OBSESSED. With fresh cut strawberries and bananas sliced over the top, in milk. So freaking weird. OH, and Qdoba burrito bowls. And oatmeal! And MEALS! Omg, I just freaking love eating right now, lol. I freaking love carbs right now, and they love me back, so I am rolling with it!
Sleep, to be honest (and I’m knocking on wood)…..hasn’t been horrendous. Or maybe I’m just jazzed to drink real coffee again instead of decaf, so I can’t even tell. But somehow throughout most nights, we are ending up with a decent amount of sleep, although of course it’s broken up with feedings. SO…..I cannot complain there. And I know I just jinxed myself saying that and it will all change here shortly, lol.
Physical health, has been…..different. Interesting.
Perhaps it is second pregnancy related, or the fact that I’m four years older than I was with our first birth, but I can TELL. I would say after weeks 30 and beyond in pregnancy, my body was TIRED. My core was tired, and my pelvic floor. When everyone tells you that second pregnancies feel way different than the first….well, in my case, they weren’t lying.
Weeks 1 and 2 postpartum, I would say I was sore, and my body was tired, but that was to be expected. Week 3 was a little of the same. Week 4 I felt GOOD, and pushed the envelope with activity – not exercise….more like, venturing out of the house more with both kids, that sort of thing. The only exercise I’ve attempted was a walk around our block at 3 weeks postpartum and that was a bit much.
Also in week 4, I had my first pelvic floor physical therapy visit. SUPER INTERESTING stuff. Probably the least sexy topic of all time, but one that is VERY IMPORTANT, so I’m going to write alllll the stuff about it. Since I hadn’t had my last postpartum exam with the birth center yet, this first PT appointment was focused on EXTERNAL pelvic floor health and biofeedback. Basically, the therapist attached some electrode type things to my hip, my knee, and…..drumroll please….jjjuuusssstttt outside my rectum. The point here was to have me engage my pelvic floor, and core, and the electrodes sent back feedback to tell us some things. Well, I had a LOT of trouble not letting my pelvic floor contract ALL.THE.TIME. And I could not engage my TA (transverse abdominals) for the life of me. My pelvic floor wanted to contract and do allll the work that the rest of my core wasn’t really doing. Literally, I’m the walking definition of a “tight ass”, lol! I could literally “grab the bean”….I just had some trouble either trying not to murder the bean OR trying to set that little bean back down. HA! Seriously, tight ass! My therapist gave me a friendly reminder that I’m very early postpartum yet, and to take it easy, sit a LOT to take pressure of pelvic floor and just to let my body rest, and sent me home with two exercises to do – one working on pelvic floor engagement at a MODERATE level and not murdering it, and then a core activation exercise. Oh, and she got me super familiar with how to sit on the toilet (hint…place your feet on a stool, so your knees are higher than your hips, and lean forward so forearms rest on thighs….helps relax your pelvic floor and not put so damn much pressure on it)…..
……….and all of this was very timely.
Because not long after that appointment, I had my very first symptoms of prolapse. Seriously, you guys, I’m writing this out for public consumption because this stuff is NOT TALKED ABOUT, but it’s actually pretty damn common. Prolapse, if you aren’t aware of it, is basically the dropping down of internal organs – maybe bladder, maybe uterus, maybe rectum….because pelvic floor is weak and maybe not quite doing it’s job….OR a host of other reasons. Welp, I had/have bladder prolapse symptoms. It’s not necessarily confirmed as prolapse yet, only symptoms. BUT, enough for me to have a mental freak out about standing up and having something fall out from down there, and never being able to lift weights again, OR coach strength training, OR live without feeling like something was going to fall out. Kinda major anxiety stuff.
This is the stuff that you DON’T learn in 9th grade health class when you talk about having sex and what can happen with a pregnancy (or after)….but probably NEEDS to be talked about with 9th graders, and, well, EVERYONE.
I took my PT’s advice and basically sat a TON for five days straight. And didn’t lift anything aside from baby. And really just took it easy. Which drove me even more insane because all my brain could think about was my stupid bladder falling out. I will be following up with an OB in the next few days, AND I’ve since followed back up with my PT. To be honest, after days of taking it easy, my symptoms are SO MUCH LESS. I’m not terrified my insides are going to fall out. I can also tell when I have been standing up or doing stuff for too long, and it’s time to sit down again. I’ve got a new set of exercises to work on, and I’m not going to lie, pelvic floor exercises, when you have a weak pelvic floor….are harder than effing burpees in my opinion. It’s INSANE. It’s so MENTAL. I can’t believe I have to concentrate SO MUCH on doing the exercises correctly. It is truly mind/muscle connection. Plus, did you know your pelvic floor has fast and slow twitch muscle fibers? So freaking weird! But interesting, not gonna lie! My PT basically isn’t concerned with a prolapse issue….I’m so new postpartum, PLUS I’m nursing so I have Relaxin like WOAH running through my body….that time, taking my exercises seriously, and REALLY listening to my body….I might be surprised at how differently I feel at weekly intervals.
In my Month Two post, I’ll update again on all this, and my visit with the OB. I’m establishing care with a new OB after my final visit at the birth center. The birth center does pregnancy care, and doesn’t take patients after that postpartum period is over. So off I go to find a good fit with a new doc 🙂
My mental game is actually alright. I feel like I *should be doing more* and all that shit, but to be honest, that prolapse scare cleared that up in a damn hurry. Do less NOW to do more LATER is A-OK with me. So I do feel like I’m in prison a bit, sitting a TON, but….that’s ok. I’m just going to get creative with WHERE I’m sitting I think. I can literally sit my ass off in the gym. I can sit my ass off outside while Emma plays. I’ll figure this out, and this too shall pass. The major mental roadblock was the anxiety about prolapse, but after learning a ton more about it, I’m actually not freaking so much anymore.
I probably have all the same feelings many postpartum mama’s have. I’m loving my baby, struggling with how to “do it all” with a new human, so I’m like “eff doing it all” and let’s chill for a bit. For a few fleeting seconds I had the *I should be this size* and *I should be doing this workout*….and….those were fleeting. They are gone now, and they should be. I’m like five weeks postpartum, I have LOADS of time between now and when I’m 100 years old to get back to my gym self 🙂 I would also saying feeling like a stellar mom with the baby and a crappy mom with Emma is the real deal. I’m sure figuring out balance between two kids will happen but for now….oof, this is also a mind game!
Thanks for listening! I do intend to post the good, bad, and ugly about all this stuff, and I hope the prolapse symptoms are as ugly as it gets, lol. I know it’s WAY TMI, but to be honest, this stuff is not talked about, and is fairly common I guess, soooooo…..I’m talking about it. I’ve heard from loads of you anyway about some of this stuff, so why not write my experiences publicly on my blog?
Alright, peace out, I’ll be back for my Fourth Trimester – Month Two…down the road 🙂
And PS – I cannot recommend being proactive and visiting with a pelvic floor PT enough. Seriously. If you are postpartum 4 weeks or 44 years, STILL not a bad idea. And if you are pregnant, not a bad idea either. FOR SURE if you have any of the typical symptoms – bladder leakage, workout pees (or coughing/sneezing pees), weird pain down there, feeling like something is falling out or a “full” feeling, weird back pain, etc. Yes, it might cost you a little $, especially if you don’t have a referral….buuutttt…..an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, in my opinion 🙂 And by the way, pelvic floor dysfunction isn’t just for ladies….dudes can have it too!
And PPS – Please sit a lot postpartum!