People say don’t rush back into activity too soon after giving birth, give your body time to heal. I am not sure how anyone could rush back after that ordeal. I couldn’t of been more exhausted and the thought of going out and doing activity to make myself more exhausted… not a chance.
After 24 hrs of labor, no food for 28 hrs, I was starved and exhausted by the time I was cut open and our little peanut was born. Healthy baby being my only priority! I think our Dr always knew I would have a C section so after the 24 hr inducement process with a progression of 1 cm dilation, 20% membrane left, and her sitting at -3, he said we can do all this again and you will likely have a C section or you can have your little prize within the hour. After being starved to death and getting no sleep the night before because of it, apparently you can’t eat before the C section for safety reasons, I was running on 4 tiny apple juice boxes for last 28 hrs before the birth. I thought please let’s get this done…I felt like I was being tortured.
I can chat all day on my thoughts/experiences on how to take care of yourself nutritionally/sleep/balance of life but in this motherhood arena – I could not be more intimidated.
I am in awe of people like my brother and sister in law- Dave and Lyette Reback – http://therebacks.com — who have done this 16 times! Ok, they have definitely taken it to the extreme, but honestly, any mother out there, whether it be one or sixteen, hat’s off, you are a champ.
As an athlete we always had a certain level of control – over our bodies – and of course, you had to roll with it when you received curve balls… so there’s a bit of training there, but in early stages of motherhood … you are so sleep deprived – coming from the hospital / in pain from whichever way you gave birth and shoved straight into more sleep deprivation with getting the little one on a good eating/sleeping routine. You are trying to set their little metabolism and let them know there’s always food here for you and so in the long run everyone has a routine they can thrive on. But man, having never been a raver or night owl, that was the most challenging 6 weeks of my life.
The cliché it takes a village to raise a child … well I couldn’t agree more.
Those first 6 weeks are sleep deprivation like no other. And my friend Gina Pecaro Salloum said it the best … “it’s like having a bender but with no friends and no alcohol”. Those nights (and days) of sleep deprivation, hormone release (night sweats), quietness, loneliness, and the pressure of trying to find the right schedule were overwhelming.
Fortunately, I was blessed enough to have a village and I tapped into it. Difficult at first, as I am not very good at asking for help, and you feel like this is “your job” so don’t bother others with it, but once I hit rock bottom at around the 2nd week I cracked and I reached out.
It started with both sets of parents watching the little one so I could go from 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours of sleep in one block of sleep in the night… to my sister Krissy coming over at 11pm to just make me laugh on the rock bottom night, my brother and sister-in-law, Dave & Lyette, on call texting responses to my every question, no matter the hour, and GB in the 2- 6 weeks (he was sick for the first 10 days ;)) to grab Sydney, change her and plant her on me for feeds in the middle of night, and maybe half asleep 😉 but being beside me during those quiet & dark night feeds, then taking her after to settle her, while I go straight to sleep.
The things I’ve learned in the first 8 weeks of Motherhood
- Find the right routine for you … there’s no “right” way of doing things – there is sacrifices no matter the choice .
- If family is not an option for support, please find someone … a doula, night nurse, or friend … WHEN not IF you need a break always ask for help!! You are not alone!!
- There is no perfection in this game … you have to roll with it.
- A baby’s cry is simply communicating – usually food, wet or dirty diaper or maybe over tired or over stimulated.
- Don’t dismiss common sense – don’t overdo the research – so many opinions – can be a brain overload.
- Add – deep breathing, stay calm and relaxed.
- Breastfeeding may cause constipation – again thank you Regular Girl – for getting me through.
- Blocked milk ducts are super painful – putting hot pack on before feeding is the only way to relieve.