The Post-Postpartum Post

At just over six weeks since I gave birth to the new love of my life, Calvin, I am exiting the conservatively-metered post-partum period. I had my 6-week checkup at my midwife’s office yesterday and everything checks out. So now I am cut loose, released to wander the labyrinthine wastes of parenthood with nary a hand to hold save that of my spawn.

Let’s write some junk in this blog, shall we?

Bean Counting

Weight at conception: 135 pounds
Weight directly after birthing: 135 pounds (yeah.)
Weight today: 140 pounds (more muscle, same amount of fat)
Human beans birthed: 1.

Stretch marks: None! Well, maybe a few tiny ones around my belly button. But seriously, I lucked out.

I have a much more obvious “mommy mark” on my chest, though: a quarter-sized burst of varicose veins that looks like a light bruise. Maybe it’ll make a good background for a tattoo someday.

Horrific Itching: GONE. There were a few random nights in the first 14 days after the birth where I was getting those wild spastic itch feelings again, and I worried my little head over what it meant — was I cursed with The Unexplainable Itch forever? But it went away.

So. It wasn’t stress, it wasn’t cholestasis, it wasn’t dry skin (I’m moisturizing LESS now), and it wasn’t dermatitis. It was probably progesterone. But who knows. Can’t re-run that experiment.

New fun: Night Sweats. I have never sweat so much in my entire life. I’m guessing the sudden drops in progesterone are to blame, since this is also a symptom of menopause. However, I haven’t totally soaked the sheets in over 2 weeks now, so I think the worst is over.

Breastfeeding… deserves a post all its own. In fact, several. I was thinking of naming the first one, “Breastfeeding: the World’s Most Perfect Torture”. (Before you worry: yes I am still breastfeeding exclusively, and yes it has gotten better.)

Body: not too shabby. I felt pretty well “put back together” after about 2 weeks.

On the 4th day I went out for a modest walk, just a coffee run to Philz, and I remember tweeting that I was “luxuriating in the need to take it slow”. My pelvic floor was not particularly happy with all of that movement (I felt a swelling ache about 3/4s of the way through the walk), but the rest of my body was lapping it up. I just had to keep my glutes and abs engaged to hold everything together.

I had NO vaginal tears from birth (I will hereby swear by perineal stretching); just a bruise and a couple of scratches that healed up in about 7 days. Made bathroom visits an eye-opening experience, but I was high on adrenaline and didn’t feel like sleeping anyway.

Since late 5th week, I’ve been doing a sequence of strict, regimented floor exercises based on Pilates and yoga to train my torso to some semblance of pre-pregnancy condition. My goal is to fit into my pre-pregnancy gi.

It’s all straight from this book by Helene Byrne (Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best). I haven’t been able to string together the 45 minutes it takes to get through this routine all at once, so I keep the book open to the last exercise I get through, and when the baby’s having one of those rare not-hungry-not-wet-not-cranky moments (he so rarely naps), I lie down next to the book and see how far I can get.

Alright, that’s enough rambling.

I’m still working on my Birth Story, so look for that soon. Yes, even more gory, gooey details to stuff in your eyeholes!

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