If you had asked me just 3 days ago, I would have said I had never had so much energy; I had gone from having a huge baby growing inside of me to suddenly having my little, light body again. And that pregnancy brain fog was gone. And the swelling was gone. But, the truth is,I'm only now starting to appreciate the huge change my body has gone through (not to mention my psyche), now providing life and love for a being that is outside of my body.
The only way I feel like I can discuss or understand these changes is to talk about them one at a time.
1. Breastfeeding: less than 24 hours after Mattias was born, a large amount of milk arrived in my mammary glands. I think my boobs doubled in size in 24 hours. And Mattias was on them. But despite being "on them", he couldn't quite get to the right place on his own. He would peck and warble like a bird, as always, but without my hand there to fit his mouth on, I have to wonder if he'd ever find the target. (I have learned to sleep with a flashlight to help him find the way in the middle of the night.)
2. Growing Baby:
We had the standard Danish home visit from the infant nurse and she was quite pleased. She was amazed how quickly my milk had came and that he had actually gained weight in his first five days.
Here he is: examined and then weighed the old fashioned way, with a metal hand weight and a piece of cloth. Up from 2980 grams (6 lbs 9 oz) to 3200 grams (7 lbs 1 oz)!! The Lorax had lost weight in the beginning and was finally up to his birth weight after a week. I have trouble explaining the discrepancy. But I had been amazed that Mattias seemed to eat constantly.
3. Sleeping: I sleep between Mattias and The Lorax. SR sleeps in the guest bed. This has prevented either of the boys from crying at night and helped us both sleep relatively well. I do constantly have the fear of - "what IF I roll over on top of him", but I haven't even gotten close to this yet. Fortunately. And he and I sleep without a blanket, just to be extra safe.
4. Weight: I am, as of today, down 15 lbs. 3 more to prepregnancy weight. I am completely amazed the weight has come off this quickly, considering I gained two extra pounds this time. It took me 3 months to get down to pre-pregnancy weight with The Lorax and with only 16 lbs weight gain. If things continue in the same way, I'll be below within the next few days. I am well aware that previous eating disorders can easily come back post-partum. I see super thin women and I get scared. I don't want it to happen. Sounds easy enough to avoid, but if you've experienced being super light, you know how invigorating and addicting it is. Well, I'm not quite super light yet, as you can see, but feeling good.
Post partum day 5
Post partum day 7
(as SR kindly pointed out: "You still don't have a 6 pack." Will I ever??? I wondered silently.)
5. Running. Well, it feels awesome! And, as I've stated before, I feel as if I'm flying. But in reality, I can't keep up with women I normally could pass. And I definitely don't think I couldn't keep up with her:
(Did anyone else see Vivian Cheruiyot's 14:20 5000 yesterday?? Wow!)
I have gone on two runs that were between 2 and 3 hours and I felt really good in the beginning, but I get tired and dehydrated and hungry near the end. But when all or half of my run I'm pushing this, I guess it's not too surprising. I am planning to run a social marathon next weekend with friends just outside of Næstved, though I am doubtful I can run the whole thing. As long as I don't run too fast, though, nothing hurts (and I can hold my urine). I can't wait to start training for real soon. I figure I have one shot in my life at getting fast and that is in this coming year. Hooray for the doping effect of pregnancy.
5. Swimming: when is it I can start again? My bleeding stopped after just 3 days, except for a little bit at night when I breast feed. Anyway, I'm going swimming tomorrow with our tri club in the ocean (bear in mind the ocean is the cleanest swimming water available - in terms of development of post-operative infection anyway, chlorinated pools being the most likely to cause infection.).
6. Biking: this is where I shine right now. I can do tempo 35 km bike rides at a pace very close to where I was prepregnancy. Nothing hurts. It just feels great. And I've noticed I have developed this sort of fearless tactic. I no longer have a need to break going downhill and actually pedal to go as fast as possible - maybe because I just experienced the worst pain conceivable and I just can't imagine flying from a bike being worse :). Yeah, I wear a helmet.
7. Urinating. Don't ask, don't tell :). Okay, I've already mentioned it above, so, when I run or jump, I tend to wet my pants. I had the same problem last pregnancy and it went away. I'm sure it will go away again - though if you ask "experts" they will say running will make incontinence problems worse later. Well, I don't buy it.
8. Exercising in general - can you do that? I get this question all of the time in real life. One young woman was a perfect example of this: "My doctor told me not to exercise for 8 weeks afterwards". My response "well, I started exercising the day after and I feel fine. Waiting so long would just prolong recovery. I don't know why you would do that. I have the utmost respect for women who take time off from exercising so they can be with their baby, but if it's out of health concerns for their own body, it makes NO sense whatsoever to me to wait, as long as nothing hurts."
9. Developing a relationship with my youngest son. This is such a strange time in motherhood. On one had, I have this extreme attachment to this helpless, beautiful, cooing creature. And he depends on me for everything. And yet, he is a blank slate. I do not know him. We share no past and no memories together. I don't know why I expected my feelings for him to be the same as mine for The Lorax. (maybe because all parents talk about loving their children equally). But developing a relationship like that will take years!
10. My husband. SR is enjoying his time off, in most ways. He is, as he puts it, "getting into shape" and he has also lost quite a bit of weight. He is excited about the year of racing to come. But he is still torn up by the fact that he has a new baby, reminding him of his first kids, and is unable to share all of this with them and see them during all of his time off.
Right now he is outside playing soccer with The Lorax. He could not be a better dad. I could post a picture of him in the bathtub with the two boys, but it would just embarrass him. You all know how cute my husband is, anyway.
11. The Lorax. He is wonderful. And has been always stepping up to help with the baby, despite having a much more traumatic week than me.
I guess the Neko Case line sums up my life the best: "but morning finds you, still warm and breathing".
Not just Mattias, but all of them. I am thankful when I wake up in the morning that this is all real.