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Postpartum Self Care

I wrote this post about a month ago. I needed to express my frustrations and typing them out helped. After re-reading what I wrote, I still feel so many of these things. They've lessened a bit as we get into a bit more of a routine, or as I get more comfortable in my new role. Plus, we've been heading outside more to soak in sunshine and it has helped so much. I know everyone's experience with having a baby is different, but this is my experience. 

No matter how many things I read, how many stories I heard from people, or listened to the advice from my doctors, I wasn't prepared for the postpartum part of my journey.

The pain and restrictions from having a c-section was horrible. The swelling was even more ridiculous than what I experienced in third trimester and breastfeeding was incredibly frustrating. It took about two weeks for the insane swelling to go down, three weeks to sleep in my own bed again, and about five weeks for the pain in my lower abdomen to disappear (though, not completely). I'm still dealing with leftover healing issues from my c-section incision (still! 12 weeks later!), but I'm on the path to recovery.

It's been a struggle and when you add in first-time mom anxieties, a newborn, and sleep deprivation, you end up an oversensitive, exhausted zombie. Outside of Emma, my patience is nil. Then there's my eating habits. Some days I'm super healthy in my eating routine and other days I could throw back an entire cake for every meal. I can tell my hormones are changing and my body is heading back to... normal? Pre-pregnancy? Sort of, but still changed and different.

Maybe I was naive, but I honestly didn't expect to feel these things physically, mentally and emotionally.

Then you take the new baby.... my heart fills when she looks at me, when she grins, when she cries and snuggles into my neck when I hold her.

Talk about a whirlwind of emotions.

I believe the biggest help I've had is having people check in on me regularly. To have people to 'chat' with daily even if by text or social media. Adam's been pushing me to get outside and we've been making the most of leaving the house for doctor's appointments by adding in other fun aspects (lunch out, walk at the park).

Honestly, my biggest struggle right now is taking care of myself physically. I feel like living in sweat pants, hair in a bun, and living off coffee. I've been trying to make a point of filling my water bottle and telling myself to drink 3 of them during the day. Or to switch a cup of coffee with a green tea. This goes well some days and other days, when I've had 5 hours of sleep, not so much.

I know it's just a phase and things will (or should) get easier. Summer is coming up which means more sunshine and opportunities to be outside. Just being out of the house and getting some exercise and Vitamin D should help me recover.

Trying to practice self-care.
It's been almost a year since I found out I was pregnant, and if you talked to me during this time, thank you. Thank you for being around to chat with, no matter how fluffy the conversation. It's been months and months of emotional, physical and mental craziness. I appreciate all of you.

xo Jen


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