Tag Archives: postpartum

I’m on a Road

… to nowhere… eerr… fitness. (now try to get that Talking Heads song out of your head!)

It has been nearly 6 weeks since giving birth and I am all about getting back into shape. It didn’t help that yesterday on an outing with my mom, she pointed out that I still have a slight “belly” and that I really need to exercise. Ouch.

I’m not one to toot my own horn but I think I look pretty damn good for having given birth recently. I gained a total of 23 lbs during my pregnancy and have already dropped 18 of those lbs. 2 weeks after giving birth (when I was brave enough to step on the scale), I had dropped 12 lbs. 6 lbs have come off from breastfeeding alone. Breastfeeding burns a good chunk of calories although my insatiable appetite probably just balances it out.

But – I am a person that likes to be fit. And I’m also too cheap (and too egotistical) to buy a bigger sized pant. Right now this is my mom uniform:

(sorry for the grainy quality – I’m still trying to figure out our new point & shoot camera and the image ended up being too dark so I just increased the brightness through Photoshop).

My mom uniform consists of:

  • leggings (thank god they’re in style! I love elastic waist bands)
  • a nursing tank top (I own 5 of them and they’re all from Target)
  • a long cardigan (most of the ones I have are from Old Navy that I scored on sale recently. So I have 4 of the same cardigan in different colors plus I have some others that I’ve always had on hand)

I’m quite comfortable in my mom uniform and I don’t think I look super schlubby.

I tried on a pair of my jeans 4 weeks ago and they wouldn’t even zip up (cue some slight crying). Then I tried them on again about 2 weeks ago and they zipped up but the muffin top was criminal. I haven’t tried them on since because I don’t think my ego can handle it.

So – I’m on a road to fitness. After giving birth, you are advised not to start working out until 4-6 weeks postpartum. While I did feel pretty good after 2 weeks, I wasn’t really able to go for long walks without feeling some slight pain down south. I also missed out on the opportunity to go for lots of walks due to the crummy chilly weather (I’ve decided I’m going to try to time the next pregnancy, if we want more children, around the warmer seasons).

At the beginning of the month, my husband suggested we give P90x another go. This meant I’d be getting up at 5:15am during the work week so we could work out together. That wasn’t very appealing BUT I thought it would help me get used to getting up super early again for when I have to go back to work.

I’m not following P90x to the letter anymore. In fact, if I don’t work out with the husband, I’m not doing it on my own (so this means I’m not doing the Plyometrics or Yoga). This is mostly because I have to balance my time carefully with a napping baby, eating, showering, cleaning, etc. I’d rather not lose out on one of those things to do cardio.

Luckily, the weather has been getting warmer so I’ve been going on more walks (and this makes the dogs VERY happy as well). Since walking, I’ve dropped an additional 1-2 lbs (it fluctuates based on when I poop… and yes, I just went there).

I signed up for a 6k race in Baltimore (Port to Fort) that takes place on April 10th. I mostly signed up to support my good friend, Eludius. His 3 yr old daughter was recently diagnosed with leukemia and the organization behind this race (Believe in Tomorrow) has provided some amazing support to his family. (And if you’re feeling generous, you can donate to our team here).

I am determined to RUN this race. I’ve run this race in the past and really enjoyed it. I’d like to RUN it again (and this is definitely an ego thing). But I haven’t run at all in the last 8 weeks! This weekend will be my first attempt at running and I hope I don’t die. I kept up with running jogging until I was 38 weeks pregnant! Although I was SLOW, I was able to jog for 30-35 minutes. Hopefully this means I haven’ t lost too much fitness.

And did I mention that I’m determined to fit back into my pre-pregnancy pants? So, to keep things totally open and honest on this blog – I will show you my current belly.

I know it isn’t completely flat and I recognize that I have a slight pooch… but let’s consider that I looked like this just 6 weeks ago:

(actually – that was 8 weeks ago. I can’t find a 40 week belly picture right now)

Okay – nevermind, I DID find a 40 week belly picture and this was actually taken on the night I went into labor. It isn’t necessarily a good angle for comparison but you can definitely see that my belly is HUGE. It is still weird to me to think that Annmarie was IN IT.

I think Emily sensed something big was about to happen because she was extra cuddly that night.

So – I think by blogging about this, I might actually commit to this whole fitness get back into my pre-pregnancy pants things.

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Video – The First Moments After Baby Girl was Born

Even though you were not allowed to take photos or shoot video of the actual birth – Jeremy still insisted on shooting some videos of our time at the hospital.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share some of these or not but this particular video really captured how we felt in our first moments alone with Annmarie.  She was only about 15 minutes old and the staff had left the room so it was just us and our new baby.

He shot some other videos (mostly me saying I was freaking out) and some really sweet ones later but this video got me a little choked up just because.

Oh and we had predicted that Annmarie was going to make her debut around 3pm… not 11:11am.

Annmarie – just born from Charm City Kim on Vimeo.

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Birth: The Aftermath Part 2

While baby girl is napping, I’m sneaking onto the computer to quickly blog the rest of my aftermath story.  A lot of your comments to the birth story and aftermath made me laugh out loud (so thanks for that – and thanks for still reading despite my long lulls in posting) and some of you have indicated that I may have scared the crap out of you.  Don’t be scared.  Seriously.  It really isn’t as bad as it sounds and quite frankly – I can see why women have multiple kids. 

So to continue my story.  Did I ever manage to pee?  Like I said – it was incredibly stressful to have a timestamp on when I needed to pee.  I could feel that I had to pee and always could (I never suffered from being “too numb” or anything as some people have told me).  But I just could NOT relax.  Everytime I sat on the toilet and tried to relax, I would feel my stitches tug and would then freak out.

So for this second round of “you need to pee on your own” – I had a new nurse help me.  She was equally as awesome as the first nurse and suggested/tried the same tricks.  But she had an additional trick up her sleeve.  She told me to bring my cup of water with a straw into the bathroom.  I thought, “Why would I possibly want to drink MORE when you guys said that the original problem was that my bladder was TOO full?!”

But instead of having me drink from the straw, she told me to blow bubbles.  It sounded ridiculous but as I blew into the straw, I could feel my body sort of relax and semi-push down south.  It didn’t work at first but after about an hour, I peed on my own!  The nurse happened to come back to check on me as I just finished peeing.  And the reason I love the staff so much at GBMC?  She high-fived me and did a happy pee dance.  I was finally free of the catheter!

During this time – Jeremy was starting to feel more and more under the weather (and not because he had been overexposed to blood and other things he’d never experienced with me before).  While the hospital is quite accommodating to moms, they’re not so accommodating to dads.  His “bed” was actually the hard-plastic cushioned bench next to the bed.  It wasn’t exactly comfortable and he was on wife duty AND baby duty (since I couldn’t really get up on my own).  All this took quite a toll on him.  So when I spent hours in the bathroom trying to urinate – I would always come out to this:

And because Jeremy had been such a great support to me while I was in the hospital, I would often just let him sleep in my hospital bed and I’d sit on the uncomfortable bench and watch TV.  And on more than one occassion a nurse would come into the room and see the setup.  I’m sure they thought he was an asshole.  But I knew he deserved some good rest (and I couldn’t resist taking photos because it was ridiculously cute).

During my stay in postpartum, I was giving doses of extra-strength Motrin (and at one point I thought that I didn’t really need it… but paid for it later.  My advice?  ALWAYS TAKE THE MOTRIN!) and stool softeners.  So that leads me to my next TMI bit.  Pooping.

Now – I am a VERY regular person.  I hadn’t pooped since I delivered baby girl (haha – I’m still laughing about that) and it had been 2 days.  I could feel it in my tummy that I had to go but was TERRIFIED.  However, the discomfort was getting to me and I thought I had to just try.  Well – it wasn’t that bad.  I think the worst part was my anxiety over what I thought would be one of the most painful experiences of my life but it wasn’t.  God bless stool softener.  I’ve had a few friends tell me that they didn’t poop for days and even weeks after returning home.  My advice?  Don’t let it get that far!  The longer you wait – the harder your poop gets.  Drink plenty of fluids and try to go as soon as possible!

So there you have it.  Since I delivered vaginally, my insurance only covered me staying at the hospital for 2 nights.  So we checked in early morning Saturday (2am) and left the hospital Monday evening.  The hospital provided a bag with all of my healing essentials and we cleaned out the baby supplies as well.  Shit – I paid for it (or at least my health insurance did).  And a lot of my friends had said that they wished they could stay at the hospital longer – but I was RELIEVED to finally leave.  I just wanted to be at home in my own shower, eat my own food (I wasn’t a big fan of the food) and sleep in my own bed. 

At home, the healing wasn’t bad either.  I had to use the sitz bath 3 times a day for 2 weeks (although I’m still using it once a day now because I quite enjoy it).  I no longer wear a monster maxi pad and I feel somewhat normal again.  And this is all before 3 weeks post-delivery. 

I think I can attribute my quick bounceback to staying active throughout my pregnancy.  So that’s what I recommend to you all.  And drink lots of fluids.

I really glossed over a lot of the aftermath mostly because it wasn’t terribly exciting.  So do you have any questions?  Clearly I’m an open book so feel free to ask the super gross questions if you have any.

Oh and now for the name!  Although if you’ve clicked any of my photo files, you’ve probably already figured out baby girl’s name.  We didn’t name her for nearly 36 hours.  We had 2 names we were stuck between and thought that we’d know immediately what to name baby girl once we saw her.  That was SO not the case.  But I started to feel awkward everytime a nurse came into the postpartum room and asked what her name was.  I decided that we HAD to have a name by her last night in the hospital.  So… we decided on Annmarie.  I loved that this name incorporated names from both our families (Ann and Marie), it is feminine and it isn’t overly trendy.   My mom, however, cannot seem to retain 3 syllable names so she calls her Annie and I find that equally as awesome.

I’ll chat about my adventures in breastfeeding next.

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Birth: The Aftermath (aka How My Vagina Healed After Pushing Out an 8 Lb Baby)

Wow – it has been awhile since I blogged, huh?  Sorry to leave you hanging.  As I am typing this, I am hiding in my basement from my mom who is upstairs playing with the baby.  I love my mother, I really do, but oy… becoming a parent has increased her criticisms of me tenfold.  Seriously.  She had the audacity to tell me I was breastfeeding incorrectly when SHE NEVER EVEN BREASTFED ME.

Anywho.  Now to the stuff you wanted to read.  The aftermath.  During my pregnancy, I was a little frightened of labor and delivery but the thing that REALLY scared me was the aftermath.  The post-vagina care.  The pooping after being stitched down south. 

Well clearly I survived or I wouldn’t even be blogging about it but it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t pretty.

Prior to baby, Jeremy wouldn’t even be in the bathroom with me if I had to pee.  It wasn’t that I’m a big exhibitionist or anything, but come on – it was just pee!  This is just a line he never wanted to cross with me.  Well – he had to get over things very quickly.

After they pulled baby girl out (and she was still nameless…), the OB/GYN stitched me up.  And let’s just say that the epidural was either wearing off or perhaps didn’t completely numb things down south because I started to feel it and it wasn’t fun.  Thankfully it didn’t last long.  Another thing that wasn’t fun was the nurses constantly pressing down on my abdomen to check on how my uterus was contracting (and shrinking).  Every time they pushed down, a gush a blood came out.  I felt like a squeeze bottle of ketchup.

They noticed in the delivery room, however, that my bladder was incredibly full and pushing my uterus to the side.  So – they wanted me to go urinate before they moved me to the postpartum room.  And hello?  Trying to urinate after some serious trauma is no easy task.  And I couldn’t do it.  When I sat on the toilet, I could feel my stitches tugging and I just could NOT relax.  After about an HOUR (seriously – AN HOUR), they put in a catheter and proceeded to empty out over a LITER of urine.  Who knew my bladder could hold so much?

They wheeled me to postpartum.  As they wheeled me down the hall, all of the nurses that helped me and the OB lined along the hall and wished me congrats.  I really loved the staff at GBMC. 

We lucked out with the postpartum room we got because it was an end unit and it was HUGE.  The nurse that was on duty when we were admitted walked me through all of the post-delivery vaginal care I would need to do.  And this included:

  1. spraying down my vagina with a little bottle of warm water
  2. wearing a SUPER SIZED ice pack (I had to ice my vagina for the first 24 hours… and that ice was MAGIC)
  3. lining the ice pack with several Tucks pads
  4. squirting some hemorrhoids cream onto one of the pads (yes, I got ‘roids).
  5. wearing all this in some lovely mesh underwear

I was supposed to change all of the stuff ever 2-3 hours.  I was also balancing a catheter tube and pee bag while doing this AND I wasn’t exactly feeling light on my feet.  There were a lot of times where I would stand and blood would just stream down my leg.  I couldn’t exactly bend over and clean everything up… so this meant that I needed Jeremy to escort me to the bathroom and set up my ice pack/tucks pads/hemorroid cream underpants and clean up any blood that may have splattered down my leg and onto the floor.

Jeremy has gotten over the whole blood / pee thing, btw.

Aside from getting up every few hours to change my ice pack/tucks pads/hemorroid cream – I was pretty much bed-ridden for most of the time.  But I have to say that hospital beds are awesome.  I loved being able to adjust to any position I wanted.

While you’re in post-partum, a lot of staff come in and out of the room.  I had a nurse that was in charge of taking care of ME (so she was in every few hours to check my vitals and bring me meds), there was a nurse in charge of checking on the baby and then there was the other hospital staff like the food services people and maintenance that were in every so often as well.  And because so many people would come in and out of the room – a good chunk of the hospital staff saw my boobs.  I felt like it was inevitable that when I would start nursing the baby, someone would come into the room.

The next day, the staff removed the catheter and I was told that I HAD to pee on my own into some container so they could see how much I peed.  I was also told that I was to switch from the ice packs to a warm sitz bath.  They said I could continue to ice if I liked it but that after 24 hours, it wasn’t doing anything to actually help me heal.  They said warmth would help the healing process.

Well – I still couldn’t pee.  I tried.  For HOURS.  A nurse helped as much as she could by:

  1. Turning on the water faucet in the bathroom
  2. Turning on the heat lamp in the bathroom
  3. Using wintergreen oil to help me relax (the scent was supposed to help me)
  4. Suggesting I take a shower to help me go (she said measuring the pee wasn’t as important as me actually peeing)

Still, I couldn’t pee.  I just couldn’t relax and it was incredibly stressful.  So – I had to get ANOTHER catheter.  This time – it wasn’t incredibly comfortable (since I had now had 3 catheters inserted) and I was growing more and more anxious.  I thought that I somehow permanently traumatized some stuff down south and that I’d never pee again on my own. 

The staff had determined that my problem may had been that I let my bladder get “too full” so that it distended and made it difficult for me to pee.  I was ordered to pee within 2 hours of the removal of the new catheter.

So now my mom has decided to join me in the basement so this is where I’ll end this blog post for now.  Another cliffhanger!  Did I pee on my own?  Did I have to go home with a catheter?  I’m sure you’re dying to know!

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