Resolving To Heal

And so it goes. Another year gone, another highlight reel to analyze. In reviewing mine, it’s clear that 2015 was the year that broke me.

I recently shared here that I’ve again been diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. Shortly after I wrote that post I had a psychotic episode.

Whew. Those are some big, scary words.

I was having a normal day. My five year-old was at school and I was home with my three year-old son and the baby. The three year-old is pretty high maintenance (all of my kids are, really). He needs outside time every day or else he becomes unmanageable. This particular day was cold and rainy. Thus he became unmanageable.

I don’t remember what I yelled at him about; it doesn’t even matter. I don’t remember which request of mine he refused to obey. I don’t remember how long the baby had been fussing for or how many hours it had been since I’d been able to set her down and have a moment to myself. I don’t remember when or how I snapped.

I don’t remember these details. That’s kind of what happens during a psychotic episode. It’s all very blurry and doesn’t make much sense. I do remember, though, that I told my son he needed to go into the bathroom and lock the door. I remember laying the baby in the pack n’play in spite of her cries. I remember repeating to myself, “You will not hurt these children. You will not hurt yourself.” I remember that, even as crazed and out of my body as I was, I wanted to protect them. The maternal instinct is a strong one.

I then grabbed a pair of scissors and cut off all my hair. Chunk by chunk, close to the scalp, I cut it all off. It was such a satisfying feeling to channel all of this crazy into an action. I needed to damage myself in some way but I didn’t want to do physical harm. So I cut off my hair.

When I was done, I knocked on the bathroom door and told my son he could come out. I was eerily calm. I told him I needed to take a bath. And so I ran the bath water and climbed into the tub, fully clothed and covered in chunks of freshly cut hair. I don’t know how long I sat in the tub or what my three year-old boy was thinking as he watched me shaking in the water.

The baby’s cries got intense and so I climbed out of the tub to go get her from the pack n’play. I carried her outside to the front porch where I sat on the swing and nursed her in the cold while I was soaking wet. I was shivering. This is when I snapped out of it and realized just how sick I was. How wrong this all was.

I began sobbing hysterically and rushed back inside, frantically texting my friends to see if they could help locate some donor breastmilk for the baby so that I could check myself into the hospital. I tried desperately to get a hold of my husband but he was tied up at work and didn’t see my messages or calls until much later. I called my parents and told my father that he needed to come over and sit with me because I was not okay. I texted my therapist. My husband eventually saw the messages and rushed home from work to be with me. I had a lot of support in my corner, which gave me immeasurable comfort.

Over the next several hours of conversing and coordinating, my therapist and I agreed that I didn’t need to go inpatient that day since I’d stabilized. I had a psychotic episode but was not experiencing postpartum psychosis, per se, since my spell was brief and because I was able to quickly realize how irrational my behavior was (those who suffer from postpartum psychosis often feel as though their strange or harmful behavior is normal or justified). I agreed to see her more frequently and to also see a psychiatric nurse practitioner for additional help and to adjust my medication since my PPD had now gone from manageable to serious.

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Luckily, I have an amazing hair stylist who salvaged my shorn locks and made it into a cute pixie.

I’ve been mostly okay since this happened. My husband lost his job the week before Christmas and our entire household got hit with lice, pinkeye, and a brutal upper respiratory infection around the same timeframe so it’s understandable that I’ve been feeling more stressed than normal. I had another rough spell on Christmas Eve and missed my kids opening gifts at my parents’ house for the first time ever. I’ve never, in 34 years, not spent Christmas Eve with my parents. But the dark thoughts and the bad feelings were more powerful than my usual Christmas spirit and they won out. I succumbed to them and spent the whole day in bed, crying and sleeping.

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Despite a bad Christmas Eve, I rallied on the 25th and made sure these kiddos had a great Christmas.

I have nowhere else to go but forward. I am seeing a registered dietitian to help correct my food intolerances and digestive problems that have plagued me for years; as well as to help take off the forty pounds I’ve put on since the baby was born in July. I’m seeing my therapist and the Psych NP and taking my meds. I’m complementing my meds with aromatherapy and essential oils. I’m buying myself a year’s package of acupuncture (since my husband’s outstanding, once-in-a-lifetime health insurance expires in just a few days I’m milking it for all it’s worth) to help with the anxiety and digestive problems. I’m organizing my home and aiming for a clean and clutter-free life. I’m doing All The Things. I’m trying.

Many of my favorite bloggers and a few of my friends like to choose a word to represent their goals for the New Year, rather than make specific resolutions. I like this idea. So my word for 2016 is “Heal.” 2016 will be my year to heal my sick and overweight body; heal my depressed and anxious brain; heal my relationships with my husband and children who’ve watched me downward spiral into madness and joylessness; heal my home by purging it of what’s unnecessary and filling it with love and fun. I want to have fun with my family again. I want to heal.

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I try so hard to find the joy in each day. I found it on this particular day.

I can’t write 2015 off as an altogether bad year — after all, I got a beautiful and lovable daughter out of it. But that pregnancy and that birth and that recovery and this postpartum phase have been downright soul-sucking. I’ve given every last bit of myself in order to create this family, and now it’s time to put those pieces of me back together to sustain this family. We aren’t whole until I am whole.

To 2016. To healing.
[clink]

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Lemonade

And so it goes. Another year gone, another highlight reel to analyze. In reviewing mine, it’s clear that 2015 was the year that broke me.

I recently shared here that I’ve again been diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. Shortly after I wrote that post I had a psychotic episode.

Whew. Those are some big, scary words.

I was having a normal day. My five year-old was at school and I was home with my three year-old son and the baby. The three year-old is pretty high maintenance (all of my kids are, really). He needs outside time every day or else he becomes unmanageable. This particular day was cold and rainy. Thus he became unmanageable.

I don’t remember what I yelled at him about; it doesn’t even matter. I don’t remember which request of mine he refused to obey. I don’t remember how long the baby had been fussing for or how many hours it had been since I’d been able to set her down and have a moment to myself. I don’t remember when or how I snapped.

I don’t remember these details. That’s kind of what happens during a psychotic episode. It’s all very blurry and doesn’t make much sense. I do remember, though, that I told my son he needed to go into the bathroom and lock the door. I remember laying the baby in the pack n’play in spite of her cries. I remember repeating to myself, “You will not hurt these children. You will not hurt yourself.” I remember that, even as crazed and out of my body as I was, I wanted to protect them. The maternal instinct is a strong one.

I then grabbed a pair of scissors and cut off all my hair. Chunk by chunk, close to the scalp, I cut it all off. It was such a satisfying feeling to channel all of this crazy into an action. I needed to damage myself in some way but I didn’t want to do physical harm. So I cut off my hair.

When I was done, I knocked on the bathroom door and told my son he could come out. I was eerily calm. I told him I needed to take a bath. And so I ran the bath water and climbed into the tub, fully clothed and covered in chunks of freshly cut hair. I don’t know how long I sat in the tub or what my three year-old boy was thinking as he watched me shaking in the water.

The baby’s cries got intense and so I climbed out of the tub to go get her from the pack n’play. I carried her outside to the front porch where I sat on the swing and nursed her in the cold while I was soaking wet. I was shivering. This is when I snapped out of it and realized just how sick I was. How wrong this all was.

I began sobbing hysterically and rushed back inside, frantically texting my friends to see if they could help locate some donor breastmilk for the baby so that I could check myself into the hospital. I tried desperately to get a hold of my husband but he was tied up at work and didn’t see my messages or calls until much later. I called my parents and told my father that he needed to come over and sit with me because I was not okay. I texted my therapist. My husband eventually saw the messages and rushed home from work to be with me. I had a lot of support in my corner, which gave me immeasurable comfort.

Over the next several hours of conversing and coordinating, my therapist and I agreed that I didn’t need to go inpatient that day since I’d stabilized. I had a psychotic episode but was not experiencing postpartum psychosis, per se, since my spell was brief and because I was able to quickly realize how irrational my behavior was (those who suffer from postpartum psychosis often feel as though their strange or harmful behavior is normal or justified). I agreed to see her more frequently and to also see a psychiatric nurse practitioner for additional help and to adjust my medication since my PPD had now gone from manageable to serious.

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Luckily, I have an amazing hair stylist who salvaged my shorn locks and made it into a cute pixie.

I’ve been mostly okay since this happened. My husband lost his job the week before Christmas and our entire household got hit with lice, pinkeye, and a brutal upper respiratory infection around the same timeframe so it’s understandable that I’ve been feeling more stressed than normal. I had another rough spell on Christmas Eve and missed my kids opening gifts at my parents’ house for the first time ever. I’ve never, in 34 years, not spent Christmas Eve with my parents. But the dark thoughts and the bad feelings were more powerful than my usual Christmas spirit and they won out. I succumbed to them and spent the whole day in bed, crying and sleeping.

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Despite a bad Christmas Eve, I rallied on the 25th and made sure these kiddos had a great Christmas.

I have nowhere else to go but forward. I am seeing a registered dietitian to help correct my food intolerances and digestive problems that have plagued me for years; as well as to help take off the forty pounds I’ve put on since the baby was born in July. I’m seeing my therapist and the Psych NP and taking my meds. I’m complementing my meds with aromatherapy and essential oils. I’m buying myself a year’s package of acupuncture (since my husband’s outstanding, once-in-a-lifetime health insurance expires in just a few days I’m milking it for all it’s worth) to help with the anxiety and digestive problems. I’m organizing my home and aiming for a clean and clutter-free life. I’m doing All The Things. I’m trying.

Many of my favorite bloggers and a few of my friends like to choose a word to represent their goals for the New Year, rather than make specific resolutions. I like this idea. So my word for 2016 is “Heal.” 2016 will be my year to heal my sick and overweight body; heal my depressed and anxious brain; heal my relationships with my husband and children who’ve watched me downward spiral into madness and joylessness; heal my home by purging it of what’s unnecessary and filling it with love and fun. I want to have fun with my family again. I want to heal.

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I try so hard to find the joy in each day. I found it on this particular day.

I can’t write 2015 off as an altogether bad year — after all, I got a beautiful and lovable daughter out of it. But that pregnancy and that birth and that recovery and this postpartum phase have been downright soul-sucking. I’ve given every last bit of myself in order to create this family, and now it’s time to put those pieces of me back together to sustain this family. We aren’t whole until I am whole.

To 2016. To healing.
[clink]

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Nearly four months ago I had a baby. I’ve had a mostly amazing postpartum since then. I was showered with food and visitors and well wishers and helpers in the early days. I fixed my low milk supply issues with Euphoric Herbals galactagogue blends and by correcting baby May’s posterior tongue and upper lip ties. I maintained a positive attitude and continued regular therapy and my SSRI medication. I assumed I was in the clear from postpartum mood disorders. I assumed wrong.

It’s been coming on slowly, in little bits here and there. My patience with my older children is nonexistent. I yell. I rage. It takes almost nothing to set me off. I find myself wishing that I could just leave.

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Loud noise triggers my anxiety and rage like nothing else. When the decibel level in our home climbs up and off the charts due to the screaming, the crying, the barking, the DinoTrux theme song on TV, the banging of toys and beeping of oven timers… When this happens, my head feels like it’s on fire. My palms sweat, my ears ring, my heart starts jumping over itself and beats in skippy flip-flops. That’s when Mama loses it. Says mean things. Bad, mean things. Breaks little spirits, slams doors, wishes it would all go away.

At first I handled things okay. I have a high-needs baby who won’t sit in a bouncy seat for longer than 10 minutes, who flat-out refuses the swing and the playmat, who needs to nurse almost constantly. I estimate that I hold her about 50 out of every 60 minutes each day.

So I’m on the couch a lot. Holding the baby. Nursing the baby. This is how she sleeps. She’ll sleep in a carrier while being worn, too, but she’ll nap for much longer if she’s on me on the couch, not moving.

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I pass these immobile, boring hours by snacking. In the beginning, I tried to stick to apples and carrots and bananas and coconut yogurt and nuts. But cravings are powerful stuff, lemme tell ya. And when the three year-old makes frequent trips to the pantry for himself it’s easy to just piggyback on his snacks. Handfuls of Goldfish crackers here, a chocolate chip granola bar there. Animal crackers, Chex mix. Cookies.

Before I knew it, the “just one won’t hurt” mentality became my regular diet. I now binge eat multiple times a day until I’m physically sick. My gallbladder — wrecked by the pregnancy and cholestasis — aches almost constantly. When I saw my GP the other day she recommended surgery to remove it without even a HIDA scan since that test (the gold standard for confirming a low-functioning gallbladder) is contraindicated for breastfeeding.

So I eat and I sit on the couch and I can’t/don’t want to exercise. I’ve avoided writing anything in this space because I used to be the girl who lost 72 pounds because she fell in love with fitness and healthful food. I started a blog about my success and my journey. And now I’m a fraud. I’ve gained back 35 pounds since the baby was born just four months ago. I’m ashamed. I’m sick. And I’m depressed.

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My oldest daughter took this photo, and all I can see is how big I've gotten.

I catch myself thinking dark thoughts. Ugly thoughts. I am not suicidal, but I’ll see quick flashes and visions throughout the day of what’s known as Intrusive Thoughts, or ITs. I have to literally shake my head as if to shake the thought away. It’s like an itch. I have no control over it coming on and I have to get rid of it immediately.

I’m having nightmares. I’m exhausted. I’m weary. I feel trapped.

I have postpartum depression.

I’m not drowning, but I’m treading water. My therapist — who I saw today — agreed that we’re catching it early this time. So it will be okay. I know that. I believe that. I kind of just wish we could fast forward to the “feel better” part and skip the part where I have to fight to get myself back. I feel too tired to do this again. I don’t want to get up off the couch. I don’t want to take care of myself. I just want to sleep and eat and wait for it to go away.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. From someone — a Mama who Lost It — who’s done a bunch of half marathons and a triathlon and a crapload of workouts before, during, and after them, I know that the only way to get to the end of something is to fight your way through it.

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I ran for the first time in 6 weeks. I hated it and returned home to pig out and loaf around afterwards.

I’m struggling to close this entry. I want to conclude with an uplifting rally cry, an inspiring quote, a promise that I’m ready for the challenge and up to the task. But I keep typing and deleting because none of that stuff feels genuine. I’m a bit stuck right now, in my life and on the page. I will share updates on the un-sticking process as it unfolds.

All or Nothing

My therapist tells me that I have a problem with the concept of “all or nothing.” This has been an ongoing issue with resolving my negative feelings about each of my births. I used to think that employing epidurals for pain relief negated all the unmedicated labor I’d gone through before reaching that point. That the only “good” birth was a completely natural one, and because I’d had epidurals, Pitocin and — most recently — a cesarean, that my births were therefore “bad.” And I was a failure.

I don’t think these things anymore, thankfully. I’m not as hard on myself about birthy and parenting stuff as I used to be. Too bad I can’t do the same when it comes to food and fitness.

In my last therapy session I spent almost the whole hour whining about my weight and the fact that I’ve started slipping back into my binge-eating ways. I have almost no self control over my appetite these days. I blame this on breastfeeding, as my body naturally wants to pad itself with lots of calories in order to feed another human. My cravings for sweets are nearly instantaneous whenever I have a letdown.

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This baby is always on me. Always.

On top of this is the fact that I have grown and birthed a terribly high-needs (albeit gorgeous) baby who requires constant holding and nursing — sometimes for nourishment, sometimes just for comfort. And no, she won’t take a pacifier.

This makes it hard to prepare healthy meals and snacks for myself throughout the day. I was doing well with prepping a few days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for a while; but falling behind just once can really back up the conveyor belt and the next thing you know you’re shoveling Pirate’s Booty in your face by the handful because it’s the only thing you can quickly grab before sitting down to nurse Her Royal Highness, Lady Fuss-a-Lot for the umpteenth time. And therein lies the problem.

I can’t just pig out on some of my kids’ Goldfish crackers and move on with my life. You’d think I’d be able to shrug it off, recognize that I just need to kill my next workout to make up for it, and eat normally/healthily for the rest of the day. But that’s not the way my screwy all-or-nothing brain works.

One dietary transgression creates a domino effect. I pig out on the crackers, then I’ll have one, two, maybe even three bowls of cereal. And then a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Maybe I’ll just eat peanut butter straight from the jar, drizzling some honey on each spoonful.

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Before I know it I’m stuffed to the point of feeling ill. All because I thought, “Well, fuck it; if I’ve already had this one imperfect moment of eating, I might as well skip my workout and keep gorging until I hate myself as much as possible.” And then I’ll cry. I’ll cry because I’m not a triathlete anymore. And I’ll cry because my clothes don’t fit (again, NOT from the pregnancy, but from the postpartum bingefests). And I’ll cry because I hate the way I look, and I hate the way I feel. And I’ll cry because I know that eventually I’ll have to stop using the “Because I’m nursing/ because I had such a hard pregnancy” excuse for justifying my eating disorder and face the real truth: I’ve simply given up on myself.

So I have some work to do. I’ve had a bad week. A bad one. But I haven’t fallen so far down that dark hole that I can’t climb out of it yet. I’m going to take my therapist’s advice (since that’s kind of what I’m paying her for anyway) to forgive myself and move on. I’m not going to see my health journey as black and white/good and bad/success and failure. I’m going to try really, really hard to eat for joy and for nourishment. I will make an effort to move my body every day, no matter what the menu looks like. And I will do this because moving my body always ALWAYS makes me feel better. Case in point:

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Believe it or not, she's latched on and nursing in there. Multitasking Mama.

Today, I created my own babywearing HIIT workout. I’ve really enjoyed the Sara Hailey 4th Trimester program I’ve been doing but since I have the aforementioned high-needs baby, I really need to be able to wear her in order to get my workout done. So I downloaded a Tabata timer app, set it to 30 seconds on/10 seconds rest intervals, and did the following (each exercise is AMRAP — as many reps as possible — during the 30 seconds):

1) step ups on a Step with 3 risers
2) bicep curls
3) tricep dips
4) reverse flys
5) shoulder press
6) plie squats
7) walking lunges
8) reverse lunges

Use whatever weights you’re comfortable with (I’m just restarting my fitness so I only used 8#s) and repeat the cycle for 30 minutes. Dry off your baby — who’s now covered in your sweat — when done.

And you know what happened after I got this done this morning? My day was awesome. I had energy, I felt good about myself, and I intuitively ate healthy foods. So I’m going to go ahead and do that again tomorrow, and hopefully grab a quick run in the evening when my husband gets home, as well.

10 weeks postpartum, pounds lost so far: 0, and most likely a negative number at that. But I’m avoiding the scale this week so I actually have no idea. However, I may have possibly gotten my groove back today so who really gives a crap about the numbers.

Another recap in a week. Hopefully I can hang onto that groove..

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Pausing for a selfie during a slow two miler on the hills earlier this week.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Days just don’t get much more perfect than this one.

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This day is the kind of day I fantasized about during my neverending crappy pregnancy. I dreamt of taking my three children to the orchard on a sunny, crisp fall day and baking yummy apple-y things in the kitchen, filling our home with fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg while the autumn breeze blew the curtains back and forth. I dreamt of these things to get me through the long, sick, anxiety-ridden days because few things in life make me happier than fall, and all the festivities and foods that come with it. I believed that if I could just survive the pregnancy and get myself and the baby to the other side in one piece, we’d have fall as our reward.

Well, I survived and I healed and I got my reward today. My whole, complete family went to one of my favorite places in the world. There’s nothing particularly fancy or unique about the orchard we went to, except it holds some of my favorite childhood memories from autumns past and is therefore very special to me. We frequent it every year around this time. It was a spectacular day in every sense. My older children ran and jumped and laughed. My youngest snuggled and nursed. My husband and I cracked jokes. We held hands.

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We brought home over forty dollars worth of produce (I just kept adding things to our basket because I have no self control over apples and apple accoutrements) that I’d turn into a yummy dessert later that evening. An apple and pear crumble, to be exact, which followed a fantastic one-pot dish of salmon, cabbage, and new potatoes from this Martha Stewart recipe (I omitted the horseradish and added leeks to the vegetables).
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The weather — which, as I’d mentioned, was spectacular — had inspired more than just baking. I took full advantage of the magic this day had to offer and fulfilled another dream I’d had for the past nine-ish months.

I ran.

When we got home from the orchard, I changed into my (rather snug) running gear and nursed the baby down for a nap. I carefully transferred her to my husband’s lap and prayed she’d stay asleep for him while I was out. I knew I had a small window of time to get this done so I didn’t bother with playlists, headphones, or much of anything other than my Hokas and my Garmin. And off I went.

It was glorious. It was also painful and embarrassingly slow, but that didn’t stop me from crying tears of joy when my watch beeped to signal the first mile complete. All total, my grand comeback was a whopping mile and a half. But I didn’t stop or walk once. I ran the damn hills and I sucked wind and it all felt amazing. Like reuniting with an old friend.

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This marks the end of my second week of postpartum fitness. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve had a few binge eating spells that, unsurprisingly, tended to coincide with our more stressful days. I skipped two days of workouts after lifting weights again for the time (while babywearing, thankyouverymuch) because my body was incredibly sore.

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I expect to have ups and downs for a while. I don’t expect to be able to follow a strict exercise or diet regimen with a newborn and two other small children. So I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do and I’m excited to know that the next time I run or lift, it’ll be easier. Starting over doesn’t have to be a bad thing; I can enjoy this journey of rediscovering my fitness and repeating the process of getting strong again.

Week 3 check-in next weekend, which will hopefully be as awesome as this one was.

Weight, Weight, Don’t Tell Me

I’m nearly at the end of my first week of postnatal fitness and healthful eating. It’s been…educational, for sure.

Before we dig into my progress, here’s an update on my bitty May, who’s been working on getting the scale to go in the opposite direction:

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We hit 7 pounds last week! And technically, as of this post, she’s at 7 lbs, 6 oz and 21″ long. Because she was both low birth weight for gestational age AND an early term baby, keeping an eye on her growth was of paramount importance. The early weeks of nursing were a struggle. My milk supply wasn’t anything to write home about and she wasn’t transferring milk very efficiently due to an upper lip tie and posterior tongue tie. She lost more weight than we were all comfortable with after her birth and was slow to gain thereafter. I corrected the milk supply issue with these galactagogue capsules from Euphoric Herbals, as well as snacking on lots of these lactation bites (I increase the brewer’s yeast amount, as that’s the key ingredient my body responds best to). We also corrected her ties with a double frenectomy. Since then, nursing has been a lot better and she’s gaining a half ounce to an ounce per day. Yay, baby! Yay, boobies!

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Look how big she is!

As for me, my progress has been up and down. I signed up for a DietBet challenge to lose 4% of my body weight by the end of September, which came out to be a weight loss of about 1.5 pounds per week. I started tracking my calories in My Fitness Pal, which said I needed a 1,300 calorie-a-day budget to hit that goal. Adding on 500 calories a day for breastfeeding increases that amount to 1,800 per day. This is a perfectly reasonable caloric intake for a breastfeeding mom.

Planning my food was key. I prepped mason jar salads with lots of chopped veggies and either organic deli turkey or leftover roasted chicken for lunches. I prepped overnight oatmeal jars (with some personal modifications) for breakfasts. I hardboiled some eggs and bagged up some baby carrots or sliced bell peppers for grab-and-go (or grab-and-sit-and-nurse-the-baby) snacking. Diet was on point and I never felt deprived.

I faithfully did my 4th Trimester workout daily, even if it was 9:00 at night after I’d finally gotten the baby down, or — as was the case this morning — while wearing her in the carrier. Squats while babywearing is a surefire way to make a sleep-deprived and harried mom feel kind of badass.

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I got in some walking in my sporty new Lillebaby Airflow carrier. I moved more, cleaning things around the house and preparing meals. This carrier has been very comfortable to nurse in so it’s been easier to stay semi-active.

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I'm in love with the Lillebaby Airflow.

And then my supply tanked overnight. Literally. I woke up Thursday morning to empty breasts and a fussy, unsatisfied baby. Whereas I’d been having multiple letdowns per side per feeding, I was suddenly having one short, weak letdown and then nothing. I panicked. I dipped into my precious freezer stash and fed May some frozen milk while I racked my brain trying to figure out what went wrong. My workouts weren’t intense or long, my diet was sufficient for a nursing mother and full of diverse foods. I’d kept taking my EH capsules and was well hydrated. Why was I hardly producing anything anymore?

Oh, right. Calorie counting meant I’d cut waaay down on my yummy aforementioned lactation bites, which I ate liberally pre-MyFitnessPal.

To test this theory, I didn’t track my calories yesterday and ate my lactation bites again. I even made a batch of these super healthy lactation carrot muffins. (Again, increasing the brewer’s yeast.) And guess what? Happy baby, leaky breasts, lots of letdowns. Problem solved. Apparently I just have to keep eating sweets. I mean, twist my arm.

So I’ve backed out of the DietBet and am getting refunded. 1.5 pounds per week is too much to lose at this point. She’s still a newborn and my body is still recovering from many months of malnourishment during the pregnancy. I’m absolutely loving the workouts and the feeling of being sweaty again (aside from the night sweats, which have been a blast) so I will keep up my activity and increase it gradually, as I definitely want to be in shape enough to get in some fall runs and/or bike rides by the time the leaves are changing. But I’m not going to stress about food or calories. She needs to eat, so I need to eat. And eating is awesome.

Will check in again next week!

Six Weeks Later

It’s been six weeks since a surgeon sliced me open and birthed my daughter for me. I’m still in pain. More pain than one should be in at this point, per the obstetrcian. So I must continue to “take it easy.”

Oh, I’ve taken it easy, alright. I’ve sat on my butt and nursed my babe and shoveled absurd quantities of food into my mouth for six weeks. My body, which had been so hungry and malnourished during my pregnancy, is making up for lost time.

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I took this pic in Target two days ago because I was shopping while both babywearing and breastfeeding like a Mom Boss. But... Can we talk about those fat rolls first?

I didn’t gain much during the pregnancy — 15 or 16 pounds total — but I’m back at the weight I was when I was admitted for May’s induction birth. I’d lost almost all of it pretty soon after I was discharged — between water weight, baby, and placenta — and I’ve gained every ounce back in just six freaking weeks. How did I let this happen?

I’m feeling hella sorry for myself these days because I still can’t function normally without being in pain. Just grocery shopping wears me and my poor uterus out. I’ve attempted some power walking but regretted it immediately afterward. I am not even close to starting my Sara Haley 4th Trimester workout program or [sob] running anytime soon.

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I power walked on the park trail two weekends ago. It wrecked me.

The sadness and laziness and the craving sweets and the sleep deprivation… It’s all a recipe for obesity. I’ve been caught in this perfect storm before and ended up at 220 pounds, justifying every bad food choice I made by saying, “I’m breastfeeding; I need the extra calories!” or “I just had a baby; I deserve a break!”. Since I’m recovering from the trifecta of: difficult pregnancy, long Pitocin-induced labor, and major abdominal surgery, I will cut myself some slack. But just a little. Cutting myself generous chunks of slack is doing me no favors.

So I’m calling it. Enough is enough. I may not be able to move the way I want to yet, but I can start doing 10-minute walks here and there, and pelvic floor exercises. I can choose fruits and vegetables over cookies. I can stop putting junk in the grocery cart. I can go to bed earlier (I type this at nearly 11:00 at night with a sleeping baby next to me; I have literally no excuse for still being awake since she’s already down). I can do these things. I have done them before. This blog is titled “Mama’s Lost It” because that’s what I did — I lost the weight (it also a reference to how nutballs bananarama crazypants I am so the name serves dual purposes, but I digress).

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THIS is what I'm capable of looking and feeling like.

I will make my very best effort to post weekly updates here to hold myself accountable. You can also follow me on Instagram at @see_mama_run or join me in this DietBet (I’m Suzanne T) to lose 4% of your body weight in the month of September.

So, here we go — Mama’s losing it! Again!