Sunday, September 27, 2015

9-10 months postpartum

Technically I'm almost 10 and half months postpartum! Which is both wild and believable at the same time. I wanted to update for last month but for some reason both months blurred together and suddenly I realized, 'Keila you need to write about this before it's been a year!' So here is my latest update it's going to be a longer one because I have lots to say, hehe!


Physical

I have to say that out of all of my postpartum experience, months 9-10 have been really great for me physically. I have energy, and have really felt like my old self! The only marked difference is that I still have a bit of a pooch and I'd like to say that I do 100 crunches a day to tighten my core... but I don't. These days the extent of my core tightening is when I'm picking up both Gabriel and Cristian about 100 times a day! It really is a work-out.  B keeps telling me that I've never been so toned before! Not sure if he's just wanting some extra brownie points or if it's really true ;) I'll take it! Add to that running around with them at the park and adventuring everywhere else and I'm feeling really well. I was looking back at the archives and found this piece of how everything was at about 4 months postpartum. And wow how things change. I keep reminding myself that although it doesn't get easier we do get stronger and learn how to balance more as times goes on. I wish I could've told myself that but I guess it's a part of the learning.

Breastfeeding

This is really hard for me to write because I'm still processing everything. But my milk supply is at an all-time low. In part, because Cristian is sleeping through the night (about 8/10 nights). And his nursing has decreased to about twice a day. It's amazing to me how different the boys are and I know it really shouldn't be a surprise! I think it's also a reminder of how I should never compare or set -up similar expectations for the boys as a mother. They are both so unique and their needs from me are also different. Although Gabriel nursed until about 14 months it looks like these might be the last few weeks for Cristian. I loved being able to breastfeed him for this long and I am so proud of myself that I stuck with it! I think right now it's realizing that he won't need me in this way anymore and that time slips away from us. He'll soon be walking around too and I'll have to find different ways to bond with him. Which is okay but it will be different. And that is something that is both heartbreaking and amazing that we have reached this point in our relationship!


Spiritual/Emotional

These months have been really busy for us. More so because B had his really tough rotation in the MICU in August. I vented a lot about it on my Snap Chat (Mommy in MKE) haha! But honestly, that really helped! The reasons why I share this aspect of our lives (as hard as they are for me to share) is because they are our reality and I hope that it helps any other person who is experiencing similar circumstances. I empathize with all of you because it is hard. Having a significant other that works a lot and on good months is only able to see the boys about 2 hours a day (at most) is challenging. This takes a lot out of both of us because we have to be purposeful with our time and that is easier said than done.

I would be remiss to not share the 'ups' as well as the 'downs' because that's a part of life. But the crux of all of this is that even though it's tough we are able to connect as a family in ways that we never thought possible. I am a strong believer in that our challenges are what make us stronger, more empathetic, and kinder people. I'm not saying that you cannot be these things if you don't have struggles but in my experience the pruning in my life has helped me look at the world differently. Suffice it to say even though these past few months have stretched me in every which way spiritually/emotionally (and I've cried ugly cries) I wouldn't change a thing. Now I can look back and say we made it through, and you know what? We'll get through the next humps too.

Socially

You guys, as I write this I'm sitting down at a local coffee shop sans the boys. I know it is shocking! But in recent weeks I've decided to take my own advice to heart and make time for myself. I spoke to B a few weeks ago how perhaps we could budget a babysitter a few hours a week. It's been tough being so far away from family and if we were closer I know that they wouldn't hesitate to spend time with the boys for a few hours a week. But that's just not possible. I was chatting with my friend the other day (who is also away from family) and we talked about how because we are where we are we need to build our won community, our own village. Motherhood is a gift filled with so much goodness and learning that we cannot do it alone. 

I made the really hard decision to hire a babysitter to stay home with the boys while I blog, shower (I do now haha but you know #noprivacy) or do whatever I've been wanting to do (and haven't been able to) for the past couple of years for a few hours a week. Although I have been able to squeeze some of this stuff (blogging in particular) while the boys nap, at night when they sleep or when B can stay home with the boys it has taken a toll on me. I keep reading and being told that in order to be there fully for my children I have to put myself first. That sounds crazy, right?! How can I put myself over my own children?! And here's the irony in all of this, I preach about this all.the.time. But I never take my own advice.  

I love the analogy of the oxygen masks on planes. If you've flown you've likely heard the safety run-through where the flight attendant always says, "Please put your mask on first before you help another with theirs." This is because you will need the oxygen to breathe and stay alive before you help another. So it is with motherhood. We need to take care of ourselves, meet our needs, before we meet everyone else's. It has taken me year's to get to this point, but I am very happy (as I sit here breathing deeply) that I took this step. If you haven' taken this step, and have been feeling like you need more time for you consider this your push to ask for help. You are not a martyr, you're a mother and you need to take care of you.

Here's to taking the necessary steps to help ourselves!








3 comments:

  1. first of all I LOVE that you're making yourself a priority!! The oxygen mask is my favorite analogy for this situation too. Your boys need a 'well' momma and a well momma means a a mom who feels like she still has an identity outside her role as a mom.

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    1. Thanks so much, Shaunacey!! It's been a tough thing to learn but I'm so happy I took the step!! xo!

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  2. I think this is all so important - you need to be Keila who is a mom, not a mom who is named Keila, you know? That balance will come more naturally with time, but I think you are awesome for making it happen now too. It's important for the boys to see you as your own person with your own identity. You'll all be better for it in the long run!

    Chel
    thatssochelish.blogspot.com

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