Running A Mile

Before I had my baby I was a runner. I could always (even after a winter of barely running) finish a 5K, running the whole way. I ran races and won my age group in most of them.

When I got pregnant, I continued to run, but around 18-20 weeks began to have very bad pelvic pain. It would hurt very badly to walk/move the rest of the day after a run. I had to eventually stop running shortly after that, and went the rest of my pregnancy just going to the gym and weight training with some cardio on the elliptical.

Fast forward to a couple months postpartum, I attempt my first run.

I can’t even make it a mile without having to stop! Fine, I think, it’s just because it’s my first time out. I try again and again. Same thing.

I had signed up for my first 5K race shortly after giving birth, thinking, I could always run a 5K in the past! I’ll be fine! It was also on mothers day so of course I thought it would be so cute for me to run my first race as a mother on mothers day. Yeah. Real cute. Having to stop and walk SEVERAL times (I NEVER walked in a race!), AND stop at the water station. I finished with a time of 34 minutes. My slowest race ever. I was discouraged, but I really hadn’t trained much (only running about 4 times, and never completing more than 1.5 miles straight). I should have known.

Pregnancy has taken a bigger toll on my body than I thought. This past weekend I went running with my sister and had to stop after a half mile. I mean really? How is this even possible?! I COULD ALWAYS RUN! I was never one of those people who despised running and thought a mile was a long distance. Now I am.

I signed up for my first half marathon shortly after signing up for my first postpartum 5K (again, a bit overzealous). I thought I’d need it to get back in shape (skinny) after having the baby, but as it turns out I now weigh less than I did before I got pregnant (thank you, breastfeeding!). How the crap am I going to train for this when I can’t even find time to train for a 5K?! I’m going to need to find time during the week—after working all day, being up several times to feed an infant, being starving and tired when I get home (breastfeeding/pumping takes a lot out of me!), needing to feed the baby and put him to bed—to run at least 3-5 miles, and run longer distances on the weekends. I’m in trouble!

Should be an interesting journey, and this is only the beginning. Stay tuned.

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Pump Up the Volume

I exclusively breast feed and I work full time, which means I have to pump at work. I. HATE. IT. I am all for giving my baby the nutrition he needs, but pumping just sucks!

Take this morning, for example. I got to work and I was already full because my son ALMOST slept through the night (I only nursed him once…and probably just jinxed myself). I’m in my office and a few coworkers come in and we are talking about non-work related things, and I know I am only getting more and more full with each passing minute, but I don’t want to kick everyone out so I can pump. A) It’s kind of embarrassing, and B) I’m enjoying the conversation. Finally after about a half hour everyone leaves (I honestly was seconds away from kicking them out—I couldn’t handle it much longer!), and I put my little “do not disturb” sign on the door and break out the pump.

Well it’s a good thing they left when they did, because I had already leaked through my bra and luckily was wearing two shirts because I’d also leaked through the first one! I ended up pumping 21oz!! That’s usually what I have at the end of the day! Talk about ready to burst!

I usually pump every 3 hours. I don’t want to, but I know I have to or my supply will go down. That’s the thing. I wish I could just go all day without having to pump, but it will affect my supply (not to mention I will most definitely need to bring a few extra shirts!). I don’t know how stay at home moms who only need to breast feed and hardly ever offer a bottle do it. Some women I know don’t even own a pump. Even on the weekends if we are away from home and somewhere I can’t nurse for more than 4 hours, I have to pump as soon as I get home or my breasts will be rocks! I also am prone to clogged ducts. Maybe I have an oversupply issue??

Pumping alone isn’t even the issue. It’s that plus having to clean all the parts every time! Ugh, it’s all just the worst.

I read once that pumping can make your supply go down over time. Well it definitely is not affecting mine! I am pretty sure I could feed a small village of infants with my supply. We are pretty much out of freezer space for food because it is full of milk bags. In fact, I could probably give up now and have enough frozen milk to last him until he’s a year old like I plan to. But I wouldn’t do that. I enjoy nursing, just not pumping.

Anyone else in the same boat? Feel free to share your pumping/nursing gripes with me 🙂

Yes. I’m Exhausted.

My son is now 4 months old. Translation, I have not gotten a full night’s sleep in 4 months. There have been nights where I have gotten 6 straight hours, and those mornings I feel like a new woman! Most nights, however, I’m lucky to get 4 straight hours before he is up wanting to nurse.

I’ve asked my other mom friends about this, and some are in the same boat as me, and others tell me to just let him “cry it out,” it worked for them! To me, that’s just mean. The only way a baby knows how to tell you something is wrong is by crying, thus when they cry at night, something is wrong! As a mom, it is our job to make everything right again, so I just can’t imagine letting my son cry without me coming to his rescue. Some may say I am spoiling him; that by me coming to him every time he cries is making him think that he can get whatever he wants if he makes a little noise; and if we keep up with this routine he will never learn to sleep through the night.

Well you know what I say? He’s a baby. He won’t be a baby for very long, and in ten years when he is running away from my kisses and sleeping over at a friends house for the first time, I will wish he was this little again so he would spend the night snuggling with me instead. I will gladly give up a few hours of sleep to make my child stop crying, to let him know that his mom will always be there for him. To me, if I let him cry and he eventually does stop and falls asleep, that might be great for me, but not my baby. Instead, he goes to sleep thinking his mom no longer cares if he cries. He thinks being uncomfortable and hungry is how he’s supposed to feel. He has simply given up.

Everyone always says “Just wait until he’s a teenager. He won’t love you anymore!” and “Enjoy it while it lasts.” So that is what I am going to do. Take in every baby moment, every cry, every smile, every laugh, and always know that I will love him as hard as I can for as long as I possibly can before he grows up and doesn’t need me to rescue him anymore. I know he will always need me, but not like he does now. He won’t always need me to rock him back to sleep, to be his only source of food, to pick him up when he is uncomfortable, to change him when he’s wet, to be present so he can feel better just knowing I’m around.

So yes. I am exhausted and would love nothing more than a full night of sleep. But I won’t rest knowing my baby needs me.

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Being A Mom is Terrifying

For 9 months you worry and hope and pray that your baby will be ok. As soon as you see the positive result, you become a shield. You do everything you can to protect the little life growing inside you. You read books, forums, and ‘google it’ to make sure you aren’t doing or eating anything that might compromise the birth of your child. Even after he has successfully entered the world, you continue to worry. You will never stop worrying for the rest of your life.

All we can do is cherish every moment we have with our children, and thank God every day that they are healthy.

Some moms and dads aren’t so lucky. Lately it seems, and maybe this is because more and more of my friends are becoming moms, that there are more sad stories about children with disease, accidents, and abuse on social media than there have ever been. My heart aches with each post, but I can’t help but read them all. I just can’t imagine going through what these parents have gone and are going through. How they find the strength to continue on with their lives afterwards makes them all my heroes.

Some recent stories of note are:

This one about a 4 (recently 5) year old with a rare brain tumor. He passed away 2 days ago and inspired this post.

A mother whose water broke at 18 weeks, but she somehow made it to 25 only to have her baby die hours later.

Twin girls are born early when a mother develops a rare pregnancy-related cancer. She got to cuddle them days before her battle suddenly ended.

A 3 1/2 year old boy runs out to retrieve his frisbee and his hit by a truck and killed. His moms best friend shares his story here.

I could go on and on. This is why being a mom is terrifying.

I’m sorry if this post and the above made you sad, but I just couldn’t help it. I hug my baby every night and smell his little head and I am so happy he is here with me and I with him. I just can’t imagine anything like that happening to our family. If you are currently fighting a battle of your own, I am thinking of you. If you have already suffered, I am thinking of you. If something happens to you down the road, I will be thinking of you.

Hold them close. Play with them. Watch them. Kiss them. Love love LOVE them. Because you just never know God’s plan.

 

B

Life Changing Stuff

My life was pretty routine. I’d get up and workout, go to work, play with my dog, go on dates with my husband, hang with friends…normal 29 year old business. Then I had a baby, and suddenly my life wasn’t my life anymore.

Before giving birth to my son I thought, “Once the baby is here I can still find time to workout, and we can just bring the baby with us wherever we go, just as before!” WRONG! I haven’t seen the gym in months, and leaving the house is suddenly a bigger production than Titanic. Don’t forget the diapers. Do we have enough bottles? We’ll need a change of clothes if (inevitably, when) he spits up/pees/poops on himself! Oh, and don’t even get me started on breast feeding in public. More on that later.

No surprise, it’s hard getting into a new routine when you’ve been on pretty much the same schedule for a few years, but we’ve adjusted quite well, my husband and I. Now my schedule is based around feeding schedules and naps and counting wet diapers. Working out consists of lifting the baby up and down and the occasional walk/jog with the stroller. Our poor dog, once the love of our lives, is lucky if he gets a pat on the head when I get home. Weekends with friends have been replaced with nights in and going to bed by 9. Exhaustion has taken on a whole new meaning.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Being a mom is the greatest thing in the world! The fact that a woman’s body is capable of creating another life is just miraculous. Seeing this little being for the first time, with his little fingers and his little toes, that YOU made…words can’t even describe it. Watching him grow and discover things around him is so fulfilling. The first smile followed by the first big laugh is the most beautiful heart break I have ever known. It all goes so fast. It seems like I was just headed to the hospital after my water broke, and now here we are, 4 months later.

It seems like time has sped up since he was born. I started this blog so I can remember it all. It’s my way of keeping track. My posts won’t all be baby related, but most of them probably will be. If you are a parent and you can relate to anything I’m saying, please comment. It will let me know I’m not alone, and that I’m not crazy! I’m new at this whole being a mom thing, and I know I won’t do everything right, so please don’t judge me. I am hoping we can share some laughs, cries, and memories together, because the best thing we can do as parents is stick together!

 

Yours in motherhood,

B

 

p.s. My son’s name is Maxwell. He was born January 8, 2014, 6 days late. Weighing in at 8 lbs 14 oz and 22″ long. He is a big healthy boy!

Hi. Nice to finally meet you :)

Hi. Nice to finally meet you 🙂