Madelynn turns 3 months this week and therefore we are both through what many call the “4th Trimester.” This term is used for the first 12 weeks after birth as your baby transitions from the womb to the world. This is also a crucial time for mama as you are dealing with a huge hormone shift (birth) and many transitioning to breastfeeding (continual hormonal fluctuations).
I am truly amazed at what my body has done in the past 12 weeks. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby, my body has mostly healed from the birth, I have started exercising again and have started to push myself a bit more each week. Because I wrote a blog every trimester with what I was currently eating, my workout routine and some challenges, I wanted to round out those blogs with a final ‘trimester’ blog on my current exercise and diet. I also wanted to touch on what is going better than I expected and what I am still struggling with.
As you may have read I returned to some form of exercise about week after the birth. This was very slow walking and then I started to add some very light weights and an occasional yoga class. I always tried to listen to my body and did not push myself too much as I knew if I did, I would actually slow my recovery process. I spent the first couple weeks trying to make sure I established breastfeeding, finding some movement and getting any extra rest I could. As the weeks continued and I started to get a bit more sleep I started to add more exercise and a bit more intensity. I have now resumed teaching fitness classes and am back to my normal exercise routine of 5-6 days a week. Now, I am not where I was physically pre-pregnancy and of course still have some strength to gain and some weight to lose but overall am starting to feel a bit more normal.
My current routine looks like this:
Tuesday: 30-45 min workout at home, usually involving dumbbells and some interval cardio
Wednesday: Sometimes CrossFit and/or teach a 45 min mainly strength class
Thursday: Teach 45 min cycle/15 min strength class
Friday: CrossFit or another workout at my house
Saturday: Cardio of choice, maybe yoga
I also try to add in as much walking throughout the week as possible. I am slowly starting to build up my endurance again and have actually signed up for a 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day! I wanted something that would challenge me and Caleb will join me in a ½ mile kid’s race. My schedule might change a bit over the next few months as I hope to get back to the gym and add some traditional lifting and cardio and a yoga class at least once a week.
My nutrition has not changed much, however it is a hard balance of trying to lose weight and keep up my milk supply. Though you can lose weight while breastfeeding (check out the blog I wrote on this topic here) it is hard to find the correct balance of enough calories to support breastfeeding and exercise and still lose weight at a slow pace. I really ate the same for the majority of my pregnancy and post-pregnancy with the exception of a little bigger focus on fats right now for my milk supply. I have also added more wine. :).
A typical day looks like this:
As soon as I wake up: Large cup of coffee with MCT oil and half and half and splash of natural flavored creamer.
Breakfast Post Workout: Protein smoothie with protein powder, my FAV Craving Cocoa, PB2, tons of spinach, almond milk and slice of almond flour banana bread.
Not-Post workout: Eggs with spinach and cheese, some type of low carb bread or yogurt with granola and fruit, sausage
Lunch: 90% of the time, leftovers from the night before and an apple with PB or huge salad with protein and apple and PB.
Snack: Protein bar or nuts/string cheese/jerky
Dinner: Protein of some type, green vegetable and some type of small amount of starch (potatoes, couscous, squash etc.)
After dinner treat: Mini homemade PB cups or Craving Cocoa drink, or small piece of dark chocolate, etc.
Again, this has not changed significantly and my milk supply and energy levels are fairly good and my cravings are not nearly as strong as I was pregnant. If any of these change, I will then look at my nutrition and try to make adjustments.
Now on to my challenges of parenting two kiddos. There are so many wonderful things about having young children but also so many days that I feel like I can barely keep my head above water with working full time, my multiple side projects, managing the household and trying to have a teeny bit of social life. Some days work really well like clockwork, some days are a complete sh$* show.
Below is what is going really well:
- Madelynn is a rock star night sleeper (and I am sorry for all those mamas whose babies are not good sleepers). Madelynn is sleeping from about 10/11 PM to 5 AM/6 AM which in my book is sleeping through the night. I am VERY blessed in this area as we all know that sleep can affect so many areas of your life.
- The morning routine is going a lot better than I thought it would. I guess I pictured myself trying to feed Caleb breakfast and getting him ready for school while Madelynn would be screaming and I would have an early morning conference call I had to be on. However, *most* of the mornings are calmer than I expected. I do all the mornings by myself as my husband leaves for work before the kids are awake. I was terrified of handling this every morning. But we are slowly getting into our routine and luckily, right now, Madelynn falls asleep very soon after her first morning feeding so I can focus on Caleb. Don’t get me wrong there are still days that are just a cluster but overall they are going better than I thought.
- Caleb is doing well with the baby. We have not (YET) seen much jealously, regression or rebelling. He is 2 so of course he is going to have his moments (or many) and tantrums but he seems to be doing well with the transition thus far.
There are some things I am still struggling with. Now, I realize some of these seem small and insignificant but I am just thinking of everything overall since bringing Madelynn into our family.
- Madelynn is not a good napper. She will take very small cat naps, 30 or 45 minutes, maybe a 1 hour. Again, does not bother me if she sleeps through the night as I would much rather have that but I sometimes worry she is not getting the sleep she needs during the day.
- We are having a hard time transitioning to the crib. Every time we put her in the crib, she will not sleep longer than 30 minutes.
- I am ALWAYS preaching about planning meals ahead of time Though I still plan every week, I cannot for the life of me start dinner (any sort of prep etc.) until it is literally 30 minutes before we eat. I am based out of my house for my work so you would think I could take 10-15 min to do some prep before I pick Caleb up from school…but for whatever reason I don’t. This is only creating more chaos for me in the evenings as I am trying to spend some time with Caleb, feed the baby and make dinner all at the same time. The evenings are a bit chaotic and I often just find myself wishing my hubby will walk through the door at any moment.
- This post-partum period has been a bit harder physically. I am not losing the weight nearly fast and I have had pain in my joints including my hips, knee and low back. I did not do anything different for this recovery and realize it is probably due to the fact that I am 2 years old and not resting and relaxing as much since I now have two kid.
- Sometimes I miss my old life. Now, PLEASE, I love my kids and feel so blessed and have so much gratitude for them but sometimes I miss being able to really do whatever I want, when I want. I miss travel…a lot. I think it is natural for everyone to miss a time in their life (college, young adult life without a lot of responsibilities, etc.) when their life is quite a bit different now. Now, with 2 kids, I feel that I rarely get time to just relax. This used to be after Caleb went to bed but now by the time we get him down, it is time to feed Madelynn etc. Now, again, I know this is part of being a mom and I would not trade it for the world but sometimes I miss my former life and when travel and alone time feel so far away, it makes the longing a little more fierce.
I still think one of the best quotes about parenthood is ‘that the days are long and the years are short.’ I know this is such a precious time and I never want to wish my kids to grow up any faster than they are but I also look forward to the days where I can go out with my husband, family and friends more often and travel again. For now though, I will try to focus on fitting in some alone time for myself but also enjoy these fleeting moments with my two amazing kiddos.
Reading to both kiddos before bed. Love these moments.
What is going well for you? What are you struggling with? As always, I would love to hear from you.