Friday, August 20, 2010

Quiet Times

Right now my child is laying on a rug in the living room. He could lay in a crib, a swing, a vibrating chair, a bouncy chair, a bassinet and he’s on a … rug.

This is how it is with a newborn – totally unpredictable. Makes no sense. No pattern, no formula. I believe it is completely baffling my engineer husband. He keeps asking about the plan, what does the baby need, what does this mean. My answer:

I don’t know what he needs, he didn’t tell me.

Sure, there are cries, peeps and wails. There’s wiggles, rooting and crazy arm reflexes. But what any of it means – to put it politely – hell if I know. It usually means one of a few things: change me, feed me, hold me, soothe me. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.

Today Max is 4 weeks old. He’s becoming a little person. His eyes are growing wider, he is starting to smile. He seems to recognize my voice. He loves being held. He loves laying on his daddy’s chest. He likes music. The louder the better. When he’s particularly fussy, I can crank up some popular music to quiet him down. All that BS you hear about babies recognizing what they heard in utero? I’m sold. Black Eyed Peas was like a lullaby. I also downloaded Pandora on my iPhone. Here’s a tip: look up baby or children to find kids music – no buying songs, it’s all free. Even though I think the Baby Einstein stuff is complete bullshit, the Baby Eintsein radio station rocks! I know, I’ve gone totally mad but they were playing a bunch of songs from the Rockabye Baby series which is all of your favorite rock tunes put to lullaby music. I am convinced these CDs were made so parents didn’t lose their mind listening to yet another rendition of You Are My Sunshine. I’d rather sing along to Welcome to the Jungle (which sounds great when played by a marimba).

Another thing Max likes to do is hit the stuffed banana on his activity mat. Speaking of the activity mat – check this thing out:

(banana - left - gets hit, again)

When I saw this thing at the store I thought to myself – what a gimmick. But someone told me that babies love these things. It’s true. He loves this thing. He looks at the animals every time like it’s the first time. He loves to hit the banana. If you are having a baby, get one of these things. And then get all of the attachments (all of this is made by Infantino).

We were having some trouble with getting Max to sleep – he sleeps and sleeps well but he fights it every step of the way. Someone suggested a swing. So, we bought a Fisher Price swing (it’s small and portable). Combined with being swaddled (Aden & Anais makes the best swaddling blankets), the swing is like baby crack. Can’t resist it.

(baby on crack)

Max is not on any predictable schedule yet. Which means my life is on no schedule yet (as a “schedule” person, this is HARD). Some nights he sleeps for 3 ½ hours at a time. Other nights he wakes up to eat every 2 hours. There were a few nights like that when finally yesterday I woke up ragged. Have you any idea what it feels like to be woken up every 2 hours to go and feed/change/soothe a baby for 30 minutes, take another 30 minutes to fall asleep only to be woken up again an hour later?

It feels like sleep torture. I don’t even think I could call it sleep. It was like two days where I took nothing but short naps. NAP TORTURE!

Finally I told Chris he was taking the 12:30 – 1 am feeding with a bottle and I was sleeping. Great plan except the hard thing about nursing is that if you don’t get up to pump or feed you wake up with massive boobs (which are bigger than giant jugs) which don’t lend to an easy feeding.

One last thing we bought this week that I wish I had picked up sooner – waterproof liner for the Boppy. In the past 4 weeks it has been spit up on, drooled upon, shat upon (really). And, the dog seems to think that any time it is on the floor it is the perfect nest for him. Get the liner. And, get two covers for it in case one is the victim of a late night blow out (happened the other night…oy).

(I love my new bed, guys!)

So enough about my kid – and I don’t mean to yap about my kid but I know there are a lot of expectant moms reading this and in case you weren’t sold yet, my kid is so freakin’ adorable!

I got on the scale the other day, out of (morbid) curiosity. Just to find out when do I get to go back to being me, you know? I realize it took 39 weeks to gain the weight and might just take 39 weeks to come off (but let’s hope not, ok?). But I know that there are other women out there wondering – really, just how long does it take to lose the weight. Before I got pregnant I always wondered that myself. I should preface this by saying I don’t think it matters what you do (to a point), there is no way to control what you gain during pregnancy (unless you are like one of my friends who gained 75 pounds by an impressive steady diet of Cinnabons and Oreo McFlurries). I’m convinced that a lot of it has to do with genetics and just the way your body decides to carry baby. I read that Olympic volleyball player Kerri Walsh gained 36 pounds during pregnancy. I’m sure she wasn’t eating hot fudge sundaes every day. Then you read about other active women who gain less than 20 pounds. I have very little faith that in either case it was because of what they ate or how much they exercised. I exercised up to 90 minutes a day nearly every day through pregnancy and gained 36 pounds. I also did not bury my face in hot fudge sundaes (I wish!).

You’d think with a little person sucking out of me every 2 hours every day and walking about 6 miles a day that the scale would humor me. Just a little. So the other morning I stepped on to the scale and discovered that in the last 2 weeks I have lost….

(drumroll please)

One pound.

Let’s try that again. I stepped on the scale and discovered that in 14 days I lost….

(again, drumroll, fanfare….)


And that is all I have to say about that.

I lied. Of course I have more to say. I’ve done a lot of reading and questioning other athletic moms and found there are likely two things that will happen when you are breastfeeding: you will either drop all of the weight plus more immediately OR you will retain weight until you stop breastfeeding (you retain fat stores and water). I will likely be the latter.

And will curse any woman who falls into the other category.

Can we talk about another crazy thing with nursing? I HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS HUNGRY IN MY LIFE. Not even during Ironman taper. I’ve read that nursing can make you incredibly hungry and thirsty. It does! The other night I woke up with what felt like my stomach eating itself – know that feeling? Which is strange considering that the last 4 weeks of pregnancy you can barely eat at all because your stomach gets so compressed and you never feel hungry.

I’ve kept up with my walking and yes I did a very bad thing. I sat on my bike. On the trainer. And have done so 3 times. I listened to my body and it was ok. I’ve also done a lot of talking to athletic women who’ve had c-sections. There’s not a lot to read about it because not many women have recorded their experience. So after a lot of listening, thinking and walking, I sat on my bike the other day for 30 minutes. I let pain and bleeding be my guide. While it didn’t feel perfect, it didn’t hurt or make me bleed. The hardest thing, though, was having to bend over! I have ridden so upright the past few months that leaning to reach the bars on my road bike was almost not possible – I had to keep my hands pressed on the fingers. But each time I ride I feel better. And, nothing is better than the sound of dropping a gear. The flick of the right shifter to drop a gear always signals – it’s time, it’s on, bring it. Of course I was bringing it was 12 mph in my basement but you get the point. The only sound that could have been better is wheels on pavement. I’m sticking on the trainer for another few weeks but I am salivating to get outside. I don’t care if I ride circles around the neighborhood, that first ride back on a real bike (not the monstrosity I was riding late in pregnancy – that was a mountain bike gone very very wrong) will be heaven.

My belly keeps going down but it looks forever bloated. It’s not mushy (amen) it’s just hard and round. Sometimes I look at my reflection in a window as I walk by and think to myself - THAT IS NOT ME! It is like you spend a year living as someone else. And can’t wait to get back to recognizing yourself again. Or at least wearing your old clothes. Speaking of which – I can finally wear some of my old workout clothes! But I know better than to try on my old pants.

Give it time.

The house is quiet, the little man is sleeping. The dog is somewhere upstairs (probably hiding under a bed – if you’re wondering how Boss is doing with the baby, he spends most of his time sitting by the front door waiting to escape or hiding under a bed). And husband is out. If you asked any other mother, she’d tell me I should be sleeping right now. But spending some quiet time lost in thought just feels better right now. Sleep is overrated anyways. You can survive on 1 hour naps. For a few days, at least!


Cheri said...

First-time poster here. I'm so glad you figured out the deep, dark secret that no one tells new moms - you (probably) will not magically lose all your baby weight instantly just because you're breastfeeding. Oh, the tears I could have saved had I known this ahead of time. In fact, I wrote a post about it, too:

Seriously, not a shameless plug, just want you to know that you're not alone.
P.S. Love your blog and Max is the cutest!!

Melissa said...

OMG. Some women don't lose weight until they stop breasfeeding???? Please tell me you made that up, please!

A friend bought us the Coldplay lullaby CD and Michael and I 'love' it. 'Love' as you will baby music. I'll have to try pandora for Gabby.

You crack me up. I'm trying hard not to write you a comment book. Max is so cute! Can you believe it's been a month!?

Clare said...

lost all the weight quickly, then gained half of it back due to the monstrous appetite. it IS freaky. i wish i had known. because once i stopped nursing, it went away without any effort. max is cute!

Eileen Swanson said...

uh oh, i eat hot fudge sundaes. maybe you saw that i posted that on fb the other day....ha! well, just 2 in 3 months, not too bad yet!! by the way, it doesn't matter that you only lost a pound, because that last pic you posted on fb is amazing! you look gorgeous ;-)

E.L.F. said...

I did not see that update! I just thought about hot fudge sundaes because I really like ice cream and wish I ate them all the time.

Cheri: your blog is great!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Oh wow! Your post leaves me with so many thoughts... YES, Baby Crack, er I mean Einstein! Biggest life saver EVER otherwise I would have thrown myself in front of a bus the first 8 months. I hope you get Max sleeping, 1 of the triplets had horrible reflux and didn't sleep more than 2 hours at a time for 6 months. I went psychotic (no really I did) and called in nighttime reinforcements. If he keeps sleeping in short intervals check GI issues... and I had a c-section to, I agree, if it doesn't hurt you are fine! You are an elite athlete so your body is used to moving, I think you will heal faster by being active. OKAY, fingers crossed...I hope Max starts sleeping better right away!!!

kT said...

Your baby really is adorable! And just some support: I didn't start doing tris until after i had kids, but I was a competitive runner for a long time, and I never lost all the weight until after I stopped nursing (I nursed each one for a full year). I gained about 40 lbs with each pregnancy, and my boobs were huge--I laughed at your D cup story, because I was. . .wait for it. . . H!! (Who knew they even had that letter?) Anyway, just try not to worry about it--your body will do the right thin when it should, and it knows it blongs to an elite athlete.

Erin Chernick said...

So, Elizabeth, I decided I don't need to write my blog anymore and just redirect others to yours!!:) You put words into my mouth! I am not kidding!

I will be 3 weeks in tomorrow..and the sleep torture! my husband has to wake me up because I get into such a deep sleep that I don't hear the baby..Funny thing is days are just fine for me..

Weight, lost a bunch first 2 weeks and nadda this past week. You are not alone!

And GOOD for you on the bike. Listen to the body and enjoy the road back to "racing"

Love reading and much, much more impressed you have the time to write blog updates!