Monday, June 22, 2015

The Recovery

If you have been keeping up at all, you've probably noticed that I have had one of thee fastest recoveries from childbirth ever! It has been amazing. I've kept that high from Finn's birth for weeks, and may even still feel that post baby glow. Of course the glow also comes along with plenty of emotions, tired eyes, & a fair amount of spit up stuck in my hair. But that is to be expected! I'm sure there is a small portion of my quick recovery that is due to this being my second baby. However, I mostly believe that it is because of my natural delivery. I was able to receive all those natural, feel good hormones for that emotional stability, & my lack of injury (no repairs) made the physical recovery a breeze! One of the most incredible things was that my milk came in only 19 hours after delivery! With Liam it took nearly 3 days, so you can imagine my surprise when my not-even-day-old baby was nursing and all of sudden milk starting pouring out. Such an amazing moment, especially since I knew what to expect this time! 

Since the delivery went so smoothly, an hour after Finn's birth I was literally asking when we could go home! While my discharge papers were ready to go quite quickly, we had to wait for Finn to pee & poop to make sure all the plumbing was working, and that took forever! Almost 24 hours actually. It was the most frustrating hospital stay ever since we were so anxious to get home to Liam. They poked & prodded Finn far more than we wanted in those extra hours, and it quickly began to feel unnecessary. Both Conor & I were pretty unhappy with our hospital stay towards those last few hours. We really started to challenge and turn down their "schedule" for another heel prick or pulse-ox check for Finn when there really was no real medical reason for concern. When If we have another, we will most likely have a home birth. I love the idea of laboring, birthing and, most importantly, recovering at home! 

I had a very long recovery with Liam that involved lots of assistance from others. Since we were somewhat prepared for that to be the case again, Conor was completely amazed at how quickly I felt just like my old self. He gave me the you're-crazy eyes for practically jumping out of bed and maybe pushing myself a bit more than I should have. He started taking pictures of me doing things that we never would have thought I'd be able to do right after birth. Here he was baffled to catch me crouching on the ground taking pictures of my boys together for the first time at the hospital! I think it took me 1-2 months to be able to move my body like this with Liam, but here I am just hours after birth...!

The quick recovery has especially been a blessing in regards to Liam. I loved that he could crawl right on top of me as soon as he got to the hospital. And I was practically back to all regular activities with him by two weeks after Finn was born. I was climbing up bouncy slides at 3 weeks PP & hiking by 4.5 weeks PP. And since Finn has been an easy, mellow baby, it barely feels like our family slowed down after he arrived. The perfect little addition to our family!
 
Now, while all this sounds so wonderful, it still hasn't been a complete breeze. There a few things that aren't back to "normal", which make me still feel stuck in the postpartum phase. I only have about 8 lbs left to loose, but I'm pretty sure that my hips & rib cage haven't shrunk back down one bit. Any dresses that zip up the back will not zip at the top, & none of my pre-pregnancy shorts or pants will button. Well actually they do button, but then it's "hello muffin top!" I know that I just had a baby a mere 7 weeks ago, and that this is expected, but it's still incredibly frustrating when I feel so good already! My body was back to its pre-baby size far more quickly after I had Liam. But I'm learning to love & accept it as is right now. 

 Aside from the physical, there's also the emotional. The baby blues hit me a bit later this time, not until around 2 weeks postpartum. With Liam I was an emotional mess about his exhausting & difficult birth, so obviously I didn't have that to deal with this time. Nevertheless, having two kids is an emotional adjustment in and of itself. I find that evenings are my challenging time...when I feel a bit sad. I think it's because I finally have a chance to wind down from our day and that is when my mind can wander. During the day, my boys take every ounce of me, & I am completely focused on them. Nighttime is a time for reflection, and sometimes I find myself feeling a bit sad. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but it's there from time to time on my mind. I don't feel as though I'm struggling with PPD, just the typical case of "baby blues" that can sneak up on any of us while going through this time when all the hormones are finding their new balance. Nevertheless, it can still be hard to process those emotions. Sometimes I know that I'm being ridiculous, but I can't change how I feel. There are days when I feel as though I am completely rocking this mom-of-two thing, but others I feel like I'm just not enough. Not enough of a mother, because I can't parent both boys individually exactly as I would want to. Liam doesn't get all of my attention anymore, & Finn doesn't get the pleasure of all day snuggles & staring into each other's eyes that Liam had as an infant. Some evenings I go from putting one to bed and then the other, only to have one of them wake up again shortly thereafter calling only for mommy. Those nights can be exhausting! There are also days now when I feel like I'm not enough of a wife. The house isn't as clean as I'd like... dinner is rarely planned before Conor is home... and somehow there is a seemingly endless list of chores, such that even our usual time alone in the evenings just can't happen. And other times, I feel like I'm just not enough of a woman. This is more about not having that "me" time or doing things for myself as much as I should. I have books I'd like to read, blog posts to write, fitness goals to reach, etc. But don't think for a minute that all this isn't worth it. I know it is; I feel how important each moment together is for me and my boys and I am overflowing with pride in how well they are both growing and developing. 

While the blues still sneak in ever so often, I always "check in" with Conor, my mom, & friends to let them know what's on my mind. Their support is an incredible thing and always helps me to see all the good & happiness. Because I LOVE being a mom of two! Motherhood is my greatest & most fulfilling accomplishment! Life couldn't be sweeter! I'm almost ready to say goodbye to being "postpartum" and move on with raising my boys!

17 comments :

  1. I'm a new reader, and I love this honest post, happy for you that you are feeling better physically so fast! The baby blues are a real thing, and thankfully pass quickly, as you know. Hope you are enjoying transitioning to a family of four! Julie from Everyday Happiness blog (www.julieborm.com)

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    1. Welcome! And thanks for your sweet thoughts & support Julie! It's nice to know I'm not alone in this!

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  2. You really did have the fastest recovery I've ever heard of! And while I only have one, my friends who just had their seconds in the past year have expressed the same feelings. It's hard to give each child (and your spouse and self) the same amount of attention as before. They either cut themselves some slack as time went on, or things got easier. I think it's the same as when you have your first. A friend of mine with a 6 month old asked how I keep on top of things and blog. I told her it's hard to compare her life with a 6 month old to me with a 2.5 year old. While kids don't get easier, we get used to the routine more and are able to add back all those things we enjoy. Just give yourself time :).

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  3. Yay for a wonderful recovery. I'm hoping for mine to go smoothly as well...right now we're just waiting for our little guy to make his entrance.

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  4. I've been meaning to share our recovery experience..just finding the that 'me' time you touched on here. I feel like that last half of the post you were in my head. All those 'baby blue' emotions, struggled with feeling enough of a mom & wife. I know these are pressures we are putting on ourselves as it seems we both have incredibly supportive and understanding partners but those feelings are still difficult to let go at times. I'm sure the lack of sleep doesn't help ;)

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    1. Exactly! I know that I'm being hard on myself, but that doesn't make it any easier to let those feelings go! It's wonderful to be able to "talk" with some many others who are having the same experiences right now!

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  5. I'm sure everyone is saying this, but like you said too, I feel like you did have the world's fastest recovery! You are amazing! When I read you went hiking, I was amazed. I could barely sit for a few days after having Mason and you are crouching, but again, I did have a tear so I guess we can attribute that to that. But really, I think everything you are feeling is normal. I remember thinking that everything was fine with me and then the days came when Mason would cry and cry and cry and I didn't know what was wrong and I felt like a failure as a mom since I couldn't "fix him". But those days passed and these will to. I'm so happy you have such a good support system and that you talk about it. I think you are doing amazing!

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  6. You look amazing and I'm so glad your physical recovery has been so quick and easier than last time. Our bodies are incredible things and I find it so amazing you were able to do that hike! go you!

    I've not yet had a baby, so I don't know anything about PPD or the 'baby blues' I do know that emotions can just be tricky. I've had days where I just felt off but had NO idea why. It seemed like everything was wrong and even blog land got me down and I couldn't figure out why. it sounds like you are doing the right thing, checking in with people when you feel off because sometimes just getting validation it's OKAY to feel weird helps. I know I'm not a mama but I'm here for you if you need to vent in an email or something! You are an incredible woman, mother and wife and you are rocking it out!

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  7. Seconding everyone else's comments about how awesome and fast your recovery has been! I'm sure Liam was happy to have his mama back to normal very quickly.

    No baby for me, but I completely understand the ups and downs of being a busy woman! You are not alone and I think you're doing a fantastic job!

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  8. You are a super mom and are rocking the mom of 2 thing! And you guys are still adjusting...it's ok! It's going to take a while to find a new normal (like months and months). We're 11 months in and I still can't manage to play with 2 kids, straighten the house and get dinner on the table most nights. Not to mention the 20 extra pounds I'm hauling around and everything else. Things have to give and everything and everyone will be ok with it. You're doing great, mama! I've heard every marriage should come with a 1 year grace period after having a baby to get things adjusted. You'll get there, I promise. Just the fact that you care so much means you're already a great wife and mom.

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  9. This is exactly why I'm planning a homebirth! I actually had a really easy recovery with Jett because even though I was at the hospital and induced all my plans had been for a homebirth and it was only at the very end that I broke down and got the epi and pit. Having those in my system for a mere 3 hours and no tearing meant we could leave the hospital as soon as I could walk! Took almost 12 hours for us to get out of there but I remember being very anxious to get out of there. Hopefully I can just stay home this time. As to being mom enough you've hit the nail on the head with EVERYTHING I'm so worried about having a 2nd. I hope it just gets better and easier with time and all feelings of inadequacy melt away because you're clearly rocking the mom of 2 thing!

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  10. I can seriously feel the sheer happiness radiating through the screen. I'm so happy for you :)

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    1. Aww thanks Valerie! You always lift me up!

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  11. Oh, Laura!! First, I'm so glad your recovery has been so great. I agree, the second time around things seemed to be 'back to normal' a lot quicker, plus YES to all those 'natural' drugs, I'm a believer. :)
    Thank you also for your honesty (and all the other gals commenting). We're 8 months in and I still feel like I'm just trying to figure it all out sometimes (plus I think some PPD/blues has hit me later this time), and how on earth do all these other mommas have their ish so together..?! We're always hardest on ourselves. You share and express so beautifully, I'm pretty sure you've been an inspiration to many. Hang in there and keep up the great work!! :)

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  12. I still think you're a total super mom! From what I read, you're just an amazing woman, and so very inspiring.

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