Today I am 7 weeks postpartum. How crazy is that?! Knox is a month and a half old, sleeping amazingly well still, cooing and smiling, and so stinking cute. As for me, I am completely healed up from surgery (minus the numb c-section belly thing) and back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Note, I am definitely not toned by any manner of the word… haha. I just got to my first Pure Barre class since I was 34 weeks pregnant yesterday, though, and it was pleasantly surprising. I am certainly sore today, no doubt, but I was really excited about how strong I felt after being off for so long. It’s amazing how I have been able to see my body and just general self bounce back after having Knox, and it’s 100% because of a. my support system and b. things I did/am doing to get me back into routine quickly. I know all of our bodies are different, but I wanted to share today the things I believe have helped me bounce back physically and emotionally so quickly after having Knox. I have had my share of hormonal highs and lows, it’s inevitable. But, overall, I really have been so excited about my body’s progress in healing over the last 7 weeks.
- What I Ate During Pregnancy: I was intentional my entire pregnancy to not overeat, and to stick to my healthy overall diet and lifestyle. Definitely with splurging mixed in, don’t hear me wrong… I had something sweet just about every single night. We even drove 30 minutes once to get a specific cheesecake that I HAD TO HAVE at 9:30 PM. But generally, I ate wisely and worked out up to 34 weeks pregnant until the pregnancy tumor on my pointer finger became too large to comfortably do anything. Contrary to what so many say, you aren’t eating for two while pregnant. Well, you are… but not two full humans. The suggested extra calorie intake is actually just between 300-500 extra a day during pregnancy. So, basically a PB&J sandwich or nuts and fruit with almond butter. Being intentional helped me stay fit up to delivery and it’s helped me bounce back in every way very quickly post-baby. I feel good and confident, and it helps motivate me to get up, get out, and get back into routine. By week 2 postpartum my body was seemingly shrunk back to almost normal, and it certainly wasn’t because I was doing anything for it.
- Shower and Brush Your Teeth: I know it sounds crazy if you haven’t had a baby before… but if you have then you probably just laughed a little from how true it is that we need encouragement to do this. I get it, getting dressed is an effort! It’s also hard to justify when you’re sleep deprived and know you won’t be leaving your house, but trust me, you will feel so much better. I am not talking full hair and make-up with a cute ensemble. But, I do make sure to put on cozy loungewear at minimum that I feel presentable in, shower, and brush my hair and teeth. Just put your baby in the Dock-a-Tot, play pin, or swing by the shower door, and get yourself cleaned. You can do it!
- Make Yourself Get Out: Whether it’s an aimless stroll around Target, the grocery store, or to go work in a coffee shop, just get out of the house as often as possible. Take your baby out, I promise it’s good for both of you to, and just go be part of society. Go people watch and show your baby around town. Grab your favorite drink at Starbucks… whatever it is for you. And start early! We took Knox to Christmas Eve service 11 days after his birth. Just put that Milk Snob over the carrier, and you’re good. I swear! This all has been easier to do with our Milk Snob covering his carrier.
- Have a good support system: THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Have people who you trust to watch baby so you can have some alone time during the day or to go on a date with your hubby. Have a trusted circle of mommies you look up to, ones that bounced back quickly too, that you can ask questions and be honest with. Have people who can hold you accountable to getting out with baby, and who can ask you hard questions to make sure you’re doing alright emotionally. (Those hormonal rise and falls are no joke, y’all!)
- Get back to doing things you love: For me that is writing, working out, leading worship, and creating content for The Cake. I knew before Knox ever got here that I would want to dive back into those as quickly as possible to get used to my new routine and just feel like myself again. Your baby doesn’t feel less loved because mommy is taking care of herself. I feel more capable of loving Knox when I am energized from doing things I love, and for most of them, Knox is part of my new routine doing these things. He is in the carrier on stage during worship practice, he is next to me in the office while I pack orders or write. We are also back to leading our small group for church as of last night, too, which felt so great!
- WATER WATER WATER. In addition to the copious amounts of coffee I inhale, I am sure to guzzle my water. I have my big cup from the hospital that I refill all day long.
Having a baby changes everything, but it doesn’t HAVE to change YOU. Fight to get back to doing things that make you feel like you. It’s hard, no doubt. I had to fight having a full on panic attack ON STAGE my first day back leading worship from not being with Knox for so long. But you can do it! Your hormones are off the charts in the weeks following your labor and delivery. Your highs are high while your lows are super low, but you can recover. You can totally do this. Learn how to include baby in the things you love to do. The more you fight, the easier it is to hurdle over those postpartum blues. You can have an easy and quick bounce back, and it simply depends on you deciding you’re going to dive back into life and fight the voices in your head that say “it’s too early to go out”, “you’re too tired”, “you never will, so why try?” Tell those voices to hush and take the reins on your journey to recovery post-baby and discovering this amazing new role you have as a mommy. You are a ROCKSTAR.
It’s also SO IMPORTANT to note, if you can’t seem to shake those voices and don’t feel yourself, call your doctor! Postpartum depression is so normal, and you’re not alone. Don’t let yourself believe you are. It’s not shameful, it’s normal. It’s part of the recovery process for SO MANY NEW MOMMIES. You aren’t alone. Have I said that enough yet? Surround yourself with good community and talk to your doctor.
**BONUS NEWS: If you haven’t heard, my email list is where it’s at starting this week! I will be sending out weekly devotionals, Sweet Thoughts, as well as using my email list to spoil my readers there before anywhere else. You will be the first to know all about new product hitting The Cake Shop and any exciting news, and I just might sprinkle in special promos just because I like ya now and again. 😉 There is an exclusive code for 15% off when you sign up, so get-r-done. Who doesn’t like being part of the VIP circle?
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All photos by Cottonwood Road Photography for The Cake by Hannah
Dog bed c/o Essentia