Over the weekend, we hit a big milestone — or, big at least in the postpartum world — six weeks since Baby Brady made his appearance into the world. Oh my!
When I asked Dave if it felt like it had been six weeks since Brady was born, he said that it didn’t seem like that long, but then again, he already couldn’t imagine what life was like without Brady in it before he was born. If there’s one thing that’s certain, our lives TOTALLY revolve around our little baby right now. Totally. And being pregnant and even giving birth to him seem like ages ago.
Six weeks postpartum update
Let’s chat about how things have been going. And in case you need to catch up, you can also check out:
- A Baby Goes West is here
- Brady’s birth story – Part 1
- Brady’s birth story – Part 2
- Brady’s newborn photos
- What the first 14 days of life with a newborn have been like for us
My postpartum body, recovery and fitness
When I last checked in with you after the first two weeks, I explained that recovery was actually a little bit tougher than I expected from a very long and intense labor and delivery. Well, I’m happy to report that all of a sudden, I woke up one day maybe around the fourth week, in which I just felt a lot better physically. For the first couple of weeks, I couldn’t walk with total ease, felt some definite pain and discomfort and had serious fatigue all the time. While the fatigue is still there because of lack of sleep (more to come on that later), the pain in my body has healed.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to jump back into my usual fitness routine or do anything extreme, because I know for a fact that there is a LOT of healing left to do internally. I mean, I grew a human inside my body for nearly 10 months, so just because I don’t have outward pain, doesn’t mean that everything is fully restored. And that’s something that all postpartum women need to realize and consider. Cautious is best!
After two weeks, I started taking slow daily walks with Rudy and with Brady in the stroller (walking a dog with a stroller is not super easy, and it’s now a skill I have perfected, and speaking of strollers, here is ours, and we LOVE it). And I have continued taking a walk every single day since then, but the length of the walks has increased to about 45 minutes on average at a slightly faster pace, while still falling into the leisure walk category — nothing power going on here. I have not done a single workout or stretch or even a gentle yoga session, but I do expect to ease back into things this week, after getting the go ahead from my doctor. I will talk a lot more about postpartum fitness as I get more into it. I don’t know when I will return to teaching group fitness yet either, so stay tuned for that.
I gained 34 pounds while pregnant and almost instantly lost 20 of those pounds, basically the first week home from the hospital. Over the last few weeks, I’ve slowly dropped another 4 pounds — which is one pound a week — a very gradual and responsible weight-loss. I’m eating a ton too. I’m guessing that I’ll continue to lose a bit more once I start working out, but I don’t expect to lose all of it while I’m still breastfeeding. We shall see!
Overall, my body is different than it was before getting pregnant. Not only did it grow and give birth to a human, it now has to provide nourishment for that human and recover. So it’s going through a lot. I didn’t expect to immediately bounce back into a lean-looking fitness instructor, so I will just be patient with myself. I feel healthy and ready to get moving again, that’s for sure and look forward to fitting back into my old jeans. But I will be doing it cautiously and slowly, just to be smart. And of course, the holidays are almost here, so bring on the pumpkin pie and egg nog.
Baby Brady’s growth and personality
Our tiny tot was just under seven pounds his first week of life, after losing a bit of his initial birth weight, and I’m pretty sure he is close to nine pounds by now — although we don’t get an official weigh-in until he returns to the doctor in a couple of weeks for his two-month appointment. While he is still wearing newborn diapers and newborn clothes, he is definitely growing as of late. I swear that in the course of two days, some of his jammies went from fitting to way too small. He is long!
At two weeks old, he was sleeping all day, barely opening his eyes and not able to do much except for eat, sleep, poop and pee. Well, he is definitely more alert now. I LOVE to make eye contact with him, and I feel like his eyes slightly follow us a bit more. He has the greatest facial expressions that I have ever seen on a living being in my life — and most of those happen while he is sleeping! When he wrinkles his forehead, he looks like a tiny old man.
He loves to lay on his back on his activity mat (we have this one, and it’s perfect), and he also loves to be held. I often wear him around the house to try to take care of some chores, as well as work on the blog (we have this baby wearer, and it’s so much easier to use than I expected, and Brady loves it). Overall, he is a happy and sweet baby, and there’s nothing in the world I enjoy more than staring at his little face.
How we’re adapting to being parents
Six weeks ago, I had no idea how to be a parent to a newborn, except for what I had read in books. And being someone who was never all that obsessed with or around many babies (although I was obsessed with the fact that I wanted to have my own), I was a little worried about how I would take to being a parent. Well, it has come SO naturally to me, and I feel like I’ve been doing it forever. While I am not yet able to totally read his signals and do all the right things, I feel like I’m doing the best I can, and it’s going well. We aren’t subscribing to any particular type of parenting philosophy and are just trying to do what works for us. And even though it’s a lot harder than I thought to care for a tiny baby, it’s perhaps even more rewarding and amazing.
It’s a major change for me to be responsible for another person. While I’ve been Rudy’s Mom for more than two years, that is definitely different. It’s an adjustment to realize that you’re in charge of that little life, from now until basically forever. I certainly miss some of my freedom and ease of going where I wanted when I wanted, but I also know that during those times on independence I dreamed of having Brady here in my life, and now I do. Yay!
I’m constantly looking at parenting forums, Google and websites to find out if things we’re experiencing with Brady are normal, and I feel like we have SO much to learn, but it’s quite an adventure. Dave is a great father already, as we all expected. He misses Brady so much when he goes to work, and he’s the diaper-changing master and baby snuggler every second he is here.
I’m not going to say that everything is totally perfect. There have been a few days in which Brady has been pretty fussy all day long, with about 20 diaper changes mixed in and hourly nursing sessions. And of course, those are days when Dave is gone at work all day and has to work at a basketball game at night — so he is not home for 15+ hours. On those days, Brady doesn’t want to be put down, so even just trying to eat a snack is a challenge. I’ve definitely felt frustration and shed some tears. But then, he stops crying, looks at me, and I forget that it ever happened. Oh the highs and lows of parenting. It’s intense, people!
Dave and I don’t have any family nearby, and we also don’t have any childcare options right now, so it’s just me, me, me. Tough stuff! And those long days alone with Brady have made me think about all the single parents out there. I bow down to you. I truly do.
As far as doing things out and about, we’ve made a few outings. Other than going to the doctor, we started with a walk to Starbucks, and that went great. We’ve also gone out to dinner and lunch and most recently wine country. Brady sleeps the whole time right now, so that’s awesome, because this momma needs to get out! 🙂
The art of getting things done with a baby around
Having a newborn to take care of is no joke. I am incredibly shocked at how quickly the days fly by before I have a chance to do a whole lot. I figured that because I would be home with Brady all the time, I would have a ton of time to work on the blog and write a lot of content — my favorite thing. However, as you can tell from the infrequency of posts in the past six weeks, it’s just not that easy. When my Mom was in town after Brady first came home, I had extra hands around and thus was able to write Brady’s birth story, share his newborn photos and this post about the first two weeks as well. Yet, after she left and Dave was back at work, I realized that having the time and energy to sit at the computer does not come easily right now.
Not only do I feel like it’s hard for me to focus, but it’s also hard to use that time I may have when he is napping to sit down and write. There are chores to do and I’ve got to take care of myself too. I have SO many post ideas and things I want to write about and share with you, but it’s just not very easy to find the time right now. But I hope to get a better handle on a schedule with Brady in the next month or so and be able to carve out more time for A Lady Goes West. If you’ve missed my regular blog posts, you can find some daily updates over on Instagram, so make sure you’re following there.
An update on the whole sleeping thing
Well, I had hoped to be one of those parents who has their newborn sleeping through the night in his/her nursery at six weeks, but that is completely not the case. While I’ve listened to some parentings podcasts on sleep, and tried to do all the right things, our little guy is not sleeping long stretches at night yet. One time, he slept for four hours, but his norm is right around two hours at a time, many times with a few one-hour stretches as well. Not fun! He is still sleeping in our room, next to the bed, and because he wasn’t a fan of his bassinet at the beginning (we have this one), he’s chilling in this right now, and it’s one of my most recommended items to buy for your newborn. We are going to transition him back to the bassinet shortly I hope too.
Dave and I are both pretty tired all the time. I’m actually functioning well, even though I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in more than six weeks. Being a proponent for the benefits of sleep in your life, I can see that my energy, skin, mental clarity and overall wellness is certainly suffering from not getting the recovery I need each night. It’s not ideal, but of course, this is the one time in our lives when we just have to suck it up. We usually get him to sleep around 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. and finally get out of the bed around 8 a.m. And yes, we do plan to move the bed-time earlier soon, but it’s not there yet. Heeeelllp!
But still, even in the middle of the night, Dave changes his diaper and delivers him to me to nurse him, and every time that little man is placed in my arms, I forget that it’s a big inconvenience and pain to be up with him. He is so precious, and I melt when I touch him. Melt. Like melt.
Overall, while I’m still the same person as I was before Brady was born, I have a new perspective for almost everything in life. I’m learning and appreciating the little things even more each day, and I’m so incredibly happy to be doing it. But darn, I’d love a good night’s sleep. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by the blog today and reading about our adventures in parenting. I’m planning to be back for another post later this week. Wish me luck!Baby talk! Here's an update on life at six weeks #postpartum on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet
P.S. In case you’re new around the blog, I feel like I can’t write a post about life with Brady without acknowledging the long journey it took to have him. He’s a miracle, and we are thankful. Find out more here in my ebook “Fit & Fertile.”
Questions of the day
Parents out there, when did your little one make some good strides in the sleep department? Any tips for us?
What’s something great that’s been going on in your life lately? Tell us!