Sunday, November 2, 2014

Post partum exercise - it's maybe coming back like sexy

My six week post baby checkup is this week. This is the appointment when generally women are cleared to work out. Well, at least everyone I know in my real life gets cleared then. Somehow everyone who blogs and has a baby gets doctor permission to start running as early as 2 weeks. Weird, right?

No big deal, I just created a human, I can totally go for a run 10 days later.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to start my "Body After Baby" pictures. Here's what I look like now, 5 weeks and 5 days postpartum.

Sorry I cut off my head, and forgot to wear my wedding ring, and posed in front of that weird yellow background that makes it look like a stock google image, but at least I got that nice French manicure for it, right?

So, exercise. It's about to be back in my life. I have actually gotten to the point where I miss it and I'm eager to get back to it, which I didn't expect. For the past week or so I've been walking 2-3 miles a day and feeling good. But don't expect to see any long runs (meaning like, 5+ miles) or craziness on here anytime soon.

I added the "+" above when I realized I used to be able to walk five miles in this time.
This is for several reasons:

1. Clearance does not mean necessity. Sure, my doctor may clear me. But that's going to be based on how my body looks in her office, that day, while I'm on the table. She's not going to meet me at my house to run along next to me and continually monitor my health. She's going to check if I'm healing appropriately, and then trust me to be an adult and make smart decisions. I'm not going to go run a mile, start feeling pain, and be like "oh well, Dr. C. said I'm cleared, 4 more it is!".

2. I like to err on the side of caution. Here's how I see it. Let's say I wait a few more weeks to run. Maybe even longer. I just stick to walks like I've been doing, and gradually phase in more strenuous exercise if I want. What bad things may happen? None of them. But maybe I push it right away because I can, and I want to impress the internet. That might work out fine too, but it also might delay my recovery or cause further problems. As much as I want to run, it still kind of scares me in terms of how it will feel/affect my incision. I'm not rushing things.

Walking is fun! It's fall! Pointless sneaker picture!

3. Ain't nobody got time for that. I have a baby. We have no schedule over here yet. Dalton eats when he's hungry, and sleeps when he's tired, and that's about it because five week old babies don't do much else. When he's awake, he likes to be held, because he is, you know, a baby.

It's torture. Absolutely terrible.

I don't find this shocking, because prior to having him, I did some stuff like talk to other moms and spend some time with infants. I like it too, so we're in agreement there. I'm thinking that we can continue our stroller and Ergo walks, weather permitting. When he falls asleep for a "nap" (it seems weird calling it that because all his sleep is random and in smaller increments, but I guess during the daytime that's what it technically is), I can grab a short workout DVD to do or walk/run on the treadmill. Or I can have a meal or shower or clean or blog or eat cookies.

I'll make a game day decision each time. But I'm not stressing myself out over trying to follow some sort of arbitrary exercise plan. Right now my full time job is baby care (Eric's going back to work this week, which means I'll have to start doing what every other mom has been doing for the past five weeks), so if I get other stuff in, great. If not, not. 

4. Another thing I'm not stressing over is losing the baby weight (see above cookie picture). I won't lie, it was exciting having that Biggest Loser scale moment at the doctor's office for my two week postpartum appointment. Except, you know, it wasn't actual weight loss like on the show, it was expelling a human and all the surrounding materials used to grow him and keep him alive from my body. If I'm being really honest, I'm not looking forward to weighing in next time, because I know the number is probably going to be about the same, four weeks later.

However, I've developed a really innovative way not to stress over it the rest of the time. I just don't weigh myself! I don't try on my pre-pregnancy jeans! God invented elastic waistbands for a reason, and I think this is it. I put them on, and if I get tempted to step on the scale, I just pick up my baby and snuggle instead. It's more fun, I'm sure, not that I would know since I haven't tried the scale option yet. If he's not in the mood for that, there's always wine. Call me crazy, but all my postpartum stress has been baby related, because all of the sudden having a tiny helpless human 100% dependent on you for literally everything is a game changer. I'm not saying that stressing over your baby and your body are mutually exclusive, but there's only so much room in my brain and one of them had to go.

And it wasn't this one.

Random question - would you rather give up cookies or booze forever? It would break my heart but I would have to say cookies. 10 months as a teetotaler was enough.


  1. I could pretty easily give up booze, but never sweets or cookies for an extended period.

    Right now I'm waiting for leif to fall asleep so I can run. It pretty much comes down to exercising when they are asleep because then you can hang out with them when they are awake and fun.

  2. I still mostly walk but have gotten in about two runs a week. I didn't get any in this week since I went back to work. Tomorrow at lunch I'll have to decide if I want to run or clean my house. Tough call.
    I want cookies and alcohol please! Although one glass of wine gives me a headache these days. So sad. Luckily I can take ib profen again!

  3. Cookies. Easy.
    I am a little preoccupied with my weight, not because of pre-pregnancy jeans (I'm just fine not wearing real pants indefinitely) but because I know I can't reach my former running speed/endurance as long as I'm 20 lbs overweight. Which, yeah, just another thing that doesn't matter as much as the baby...but it'd be fun!

  4. My quickest instinct/answer here was booze. But now I'm thinking that as long as I can still have cake, ice cream, etc, then it's definitely cookies. But really, neither. Also, that crab outfit is adorable!

  5. Man, that's not fair! I'm going with cookies...I do love my wine!

  6. I could give up booze, but never cookies. It's my weakness, well anything with sugar is really. I can't get over how perfect Dalton is; you made a cute little baby!

  7. I can't believe you aren't planning to run a half marathon or something in three weeks. That little guy is HANDSOME! Nice job :)

    I think I would rather give up cookies.. I can still eat cake with my wine right?!

  8. Cookies. No contest. I don't even like cookies and I am celiac to boot. You would have to pry my wine out of my cold dead hand . . .

  9. I think that a warm, soft chocolate chip cookie would make up for ANY miss-age I felt over wine I wasn't drinking...


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