Recovery

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*I’m typing this from my cell phone with an infant attached to my chest*

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This weekend will mark approx 6 weeks since baby arrived!
Couldn’t be more thrilled about no longer being pregnant, but I can’t claim that things have been much more comfortable lately. . .

I’ll go over the challenges in a bit, but first the basics:

Healing, went well and was fairly fast, I had no tearing and respected my bedrest orders as much as possible.  It was approximately 2 weeks until the bleeding stopped and I felt stronger and more capable with less pain.

Cramps, lasted about a week for the most part.  Nursing baby helps speed contracting, though it makes it more painful to accelerate the process.

Okay, here are all of the things that have been an issue due to my, rarely mentioned, *invisible illness:

Naturalfeeding, was going well at first.  Baby got his fill of colostrum and a good amount of the first milk.
However, this pregnancy was hard on my body, because of my thyroid condition, and took a lot of my resources.  Since delivery, my thyroid has all but crashed completely. 
My muscles are depleted, my joints are loose and ache, my body is stiff and sore, my mind is somewhat in a fog (not as bad as usual), my appetite is GONE, and I’m always worn down.
We went to my 6 week postpartum appointment this week, and I discussed with my midwife what my physical abilities should be at this point.  While the midwife agreed that I have healed beautifully from my delivery, she saw trouble with how my thyroid has been affecting me lately.
Due to my body’s inability to function fully, it has, for the past 2-3 weeks, been unable to produce the amount of milk that my son needs.  While I am still nursing him, we have had to supplement with formula as well.  At least until I recover from surgery, which is scheduled for sometime in the next two months.

Weight loss, has been completely halted since week one postpartum.
Another side effect of thyroid disease.  My weight is stable at exactly the original scale drop of130lbs and holding steady for the past 5 weeks.
That to say, I gained 20lbs of actually weight of my own -separate from the “baby weight”- and it’s not going anywhere.
At the one week post point I had lost only around 5 inches from my waist, and since then, I’ve widdled down about 5 more.  Still pretty far from my pre-baby size or shape!  I’ve even got quite a bit of cushion around my hips and butt, which my husband is NOT complaining about.
My midwife, technically, gave the go ahead for resuming workouts, though she stressed concern for my physical health condition and suggested that I hold off until after my surgery.  Though that was just a suggestion.
I do plan to resume workouts again soon, as I informed her that I’d been practicing light yoga sessions since around week 4, but I’m obviously going to listen to my body and not push myself beyond my level of comfort or ability.
Yoga has been such a relief on my back and shoulders, which have only gotten beaten with more stress due to naturalfeeding baby.

Managing my home and life?  Nope.
Baby reeeeally needs to be held… at all times… by me.  So, the husband has really been stepping up his game of pulling his weight around the house.  And while I’m grateful and appreciate his extra effort and initiative to keep the house in order, I also suffer from mom-guilt -as well as sick-guilt- for him having to do MY chores as well as his, and this is after working 7-5pm Mon-Fri.  No, I haven’t dropped off completely and become a useless burden to the house, despite the fact that my son won’t sleep at all unless I’m holding him, I do what I can… with one hand… and 7lbs of baby hanging from me… between HOURLY feedings.  Yes, hourly.  I don’t know how.
But, my husband always reminds me of how lucky I am to have chosen him. 

Somehow, through the pain and stress of it all, we haven’t let it negatively effect our relationship.
Despite the reputation of new parents, we have been intimate again since bringing home baby and we make a point of fitting in all of our usual hobbies and activities, as best as is possible with baby.  He’s still too young to take hiking, to a fancy dinner, or on long road trips, but we were able to get in a 3 mile walk around our local lake recently.  It’s all about managing priorities.
Priorities do change with a newborn, and continue to change as babies age, or brothers and sisters are born, or mom’s health fails, but it’s imperative that you have a someone to love and support you (doesn’t matter if it’s partner, parents, siblings, bestie, or your local community resources.  “It takes a village!”) and the overall investment in making it all work.

So, I guess we’re probably exactly where we’re expected to be as parents of a 6 week old infant… over-stressed, isolated, and sleep deprived!

Hope you are more informed now, whether you’re pregnant, postpartum, or just checking up on our story.
Thanks for reading.
We’ll be posting another video soon, so please look out for that too!

*Invisible Illness: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s Disease

**for those that follow on social media, please be aware that I’m no longer using Facebook for the time being, but can still be found on all of the previously posted social networks.
Links in previous blogs.  Sorry!

Till next time. . . .

Post-Partum Update

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Hi, everyone!
It’s been awhile, but I’ve been busy!
Hope you’ve been watching the videos, if you haven’t been reading the blog.  Didn’t do a 36 week update blog, but did post video for that, and the husband’s in that!  He’s also in the latest video, which is our one week postpartum update, where we talk about our natural birth story, bringing home baby, weight loss, and introduce you all to the babe…

There’s probably a bunch of info that I left out or forgot to mention.  Sleeps not been visiting me too often as of late.  I plan to post a new blog soon, but if you have any questions about anything in the meantime, feel free to ask.

Hope you enjoy our postpartum update video, be sure to stick around for the outtakes at the end!  Aloha!

1wk Post-Partum Update, Baby Intro, plus Outtakes: https://youtu.be/HvQU3Ih-j0k

Pregnancy Weight

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I have, honestly, been concerned for awhile now about the weight I’ve gained during this pregnancy.

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7 months

*When I was 10lbs over the gain mark, I confidently concluded, that as a natural size 0, an extra 10lbs wouldn’t be such a bad look for me, and I pushed through insecurity…

Then about a month ago, I spoke with my midwife who voiced her concern as well.

I tried keeping a closer eye on my diet, minimizing my cheats, and still filling up on water…
However, I keep gaining at max speed and baby keeps measuring bigger than “normal”.
Yesterday, the midwife offered that I may be carrying a large amount of fluid, but recommended another sonogram to check on baby as she seemed more genuinely concerned with baby’s condition.

It’s always unnerving when medical personnel start, seemingly, spinning a kind of web around you, before filling you in on what’s the concern.

I’ve gone through this pregnancy with strength and confidence, despite my debilitating illness.  It’s only at the finish line that we’re receiving these upsetting concerns.
And while I try to stay brave and keep on my confident face…
I’m, naturally, falling apart inside, spinning through the rolodex of worse-case scenarios, pushing through memories of the past 9 months searching for ways to blame myself for unknown possibilities of what COULD be wrong.

But, this is parenthood.
And this is pregnancy.
So close to being able to help or protect my baby, but also so far from having that ability.
Trusting, as confidently as possible, in my sick, frail, damaged body to do it for me…
Finding faith in the powers that be…
Hoping it won’t be much longer until I get to hold my healthy, perfect, beautiful baby.

5 more weeks. . .

Stay Tuned!

Updates posted on:
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Pregnant Envy

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Didn’t think I was insecure anymore, but I’ll admit, I – like many others – recently had my confidence shaken by this woman:

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Only 4yrs younger than me, she recently reached viral fame by posting her pregnancy progression pics online.

Despite that the woman is 5’8, had an original waist of only 23″, and is carrying her very first child, (all things that differ from me) the woman was/is still a physical anomaly!

Pregnancy is an incredibly challenging process, where you lose control of your entire body and, sometimes, yourself along the way.  Often, women do feel the need to compensate for what they cannot control with what they can.
I am one of them.

I’ve been through this before, I’m familiar with the process, I trust what my body is capable of without needing my assistance or permission.
I’m confident that I’ve been doing what I feel is best for me (and baby) to aid my body in doing its job to the best of its ability…

However, I am not above having my confidence rattled by the abilities of another human.  I’m a personal perfectionist who feels the need to “do it all” to prove – not to anyone else – but to myself, that I’m capable of anything… anything that CAN be done.
For one day, I let insecurity get the best of me.  I fell off my game, let myself down…
For one day, I made the mistake of comparing myself to someone else and feeling discouraged by my own inability instead of allowing myself to be encouraged and motivated them/theirs.

No, I am not physically capable of achieving the baby body that this model got through with. No matter what.
This woman is an anomaly!
Otherwise, her maternity wouldn’t have made her famous!

I’m okay with that.
After thought and honesty, I concluded that my emotional response to her frame came not from jealousy, but from guilt.
I haven’t been working as hard as I planned to during this pregnancy, I’m not giving it my all.
I was feeling guilty of this before I was introduced to her results, this only fanned the hormonal flame.

But, I’m back!
I’m not feeling sorry for myself or making excuses anymore!
It’s time to shut up and show results.
This is MY journey, my decisions, my responsibility for myself. I’m not her or you, I’m writing my own story.

Starting now. . .

Interested in seeing my journey?
You can catch up with my very normal, typical pregnancy experience via:

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Thanks for stopping by!

Pregnancy In Reality

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After much discomfort, stress, and lack of sleep, I’ve decided to blog about my current pregnancy.

For those just tuning on or who have been reading, but not watching the videos via YouTube, my husband and I are currently expecting a baby!  This is of course, my third time, but is his FIRST, so that is very exciting for both of us.

I’m currently 6 months (26 weeks) progressed in this pregnancy and, after reading and watching videos/blogs/accounts from other pregnant women, have some things that I feel the need to share and stress…

What triggered this?

The overwhelmingly common feedback from pregnant, or previously pregnant, women that pregnancy is all “amazing, wonderful, spiritual, glamorous, blessing…etc”.  And, be those things as they may be… that does not begin to cover the reality of what pregnancy really is. . . .
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I’ll begin by going over some symptoms of early pregnancy that have since subsided or at least minimized by now:

  • Severe morning sickness

This felt like dying to me.  Granted, I experienced a worse version than most women (and apparently less than half of all pregnant women get morning sickness to begin with), but it was crippling and handicapped me from month 2 until month 5. At which point I was prescribed medication which I am still taking on occasion for lingering nausea and sporadic vomitimg.

  •  Headaches

This was another symptom that I cannot wholly contribute to pregnancy alone, but it was uncomfortable and often debilitating, nonetheless.  Another lone symptom, but also contributed or worsened by excessive vomiting causing dehydration.

  •  Lethargy

At this point I’m finally at the stronger, more energetic, healthier, more normal again stage of pregnancy (though I’m quickly nearing the end of it) and I no longer feel physically exhausted or fall asleep without warning in the middle of the day.  I’m guessing excessive vomiting had some contribution to that as well though.

  •  Cravings / Aversions

Something that may not ail all of you, especially first-time moms who are new to this ride and taking the changes in awe and wonder.  The aversions I found far worse than cravings, obviously, as they would usually be set off by or provoke another bout of nausea and vomiting.  Cravings I found fun, at first, but soon felt it became another symptom that caused me to feel out of control of my own body… as many do.

And that was just what I can recall off-hand of the first HALF of this!  Now, onto the short list of “magical blessings” that I’m still dealing with:

  •  Extremely tender, aching, swollen nipples/breasts

Started at a size 32D and am currently up to a 38DD and growing.  And the milk hasn’t even come in yet.  Oh, wait til that happens!

  • Backaches

Contributed to growing baby, stretched muscles, weakened core, suddenly heavier breasts, difficulty sleeping accommodatingly, and rapid weight gain.

  •  Weight Gain

At only two-thirds of the way through I’ve already gained 20lbs.  20LBS.  And I’ve still another three months to go!

  •  Cramping
  •  Brain Fog
  •  Blurred Vision
  •  Dry skin and hair – It’s said those improve, not always true.
  •  Chloasma – “mask of pregnancy” type of melasma, or rosacea
  •  Nausea – yes, still.
  •  Braxton Hicks – Mild, non-labor inducing contractions (still uncomfortable)
  •  Difficulty Breathing – baby has moved up against my lungs
  •  Increased Heart rate – Body’s attempt to increase oxygen
  •  Emotional Instability – You can not control your emotions
  •  Increased Urination
  • Joint Pain
  • Nasal Drip
  • Vaginal Discharge
  • – Your vagina is constantly cleaning itself in preparation for birth, there is constantly stuff flushing out of there. Some days you may even need a panty liner.

  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • – Due to pressure, pain on hips and ribs

  • Insomnia
  • – Due to any and/or all of the above

    Am I complaining? No.
    But, maybe that’s what motivates women to focus on the “magic” and the “blessings” that pregnancy creates, fear of being seen as complaining for telling the unfiltered truth.

    Well, I believe that filtering the truth, especially about pregnancy, creates an unrealistic idea of what to expect when you’re expecting, and leaves women in a panic or severe stress when they experience pregnancy like mine have been.

    *I won’t even get into these hoards of teenage girls who somehow got it into their heads that they should get pregnant, because it seems so great.

    My intention is not to convince everyone that every pregnancy is a horrible experience, every pregnancy and person is different.

    Nor, is my intention to simply complain.

    I would, however, really like to see a world where women tell the whole truth about pregnancies, not just behind closed doors (in private forums), and not just the beautiful version of the truth.

    Why is the pain and suffering we endure something that should be shamed or hidden?!?

    Why are we lying to eachother and creating unrealistic expectations based on the impression that we are superhuman and don’t vomit, cry, and pee.
    Yes we do! It’s ugly, but it’s true.

    And this, is what it takes to make a baby… in reality.

    Well, this is my experience anyway.
    What is yours? Honestly. . .

    Please, feel free to respond in the comment section below, or via:

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    YouTube

    Thanks for reading! Aloha!

Mutual Stress

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If you’re a woman, you may have experience with someone of the opposite sex muttering these words to you (or some version of) “you know it’s just your hormones making you feel this way”
And you’re probably aware of how immediately the interaction spirals downhill from there.

Recently, the husband and I have been finding it more difficult to be friends.
We are partners, we are housemates, we are family, but we are individually dealing with exhausting amounts of personal stress.  And when that’s the case, we usually have a companion to turn to, to talk to, to relieve stress… to keep the balance.
But, what we hadn’t accounted for, is times when we are both at our limit and both feeling like falling apart.  My partner’s problems have become part of my problems too, and likewise.
Turning to one another is no longer an option.  Burdening the other person in order to offload our stress would be selfish, and create more harm to the relationship.

So what do we do?
Who can we turn to now?

The best life is unbearable knowing he needs me and I can’t help him.
He’s unbearable, overflowing with tension and stress, not being the open, loving friend that I need.
I’m unbearable, pulling back, lashing out, pushing him away, because I’m falling apart and don’t know how to handle it on my own.

We are not perfect.  We are not without trouble.  We’ve been called “The Notebook couple”, but that’s just not true.
He is my best friend, and I’m his.
He loves me, and I love him.
That is the foundation of our marriage.  But, it’s not enough. 
Life happens, and being in love doesn’t cancel the bad.  Doesn’t dissolve the deadlines, the social disappointments, the work obligations, or the days that pass when you don’t have sex because you’re just too stressed… only feeding the stress.

During these storms, I remember all of the storms of my past, the ones I went through alone.  I’m reminded that I’m capable of enduring this, but I’m fearful that my coping mechanisms may not be built for two.
And while memories serve to reassure that storms do pass, with what consequence?
If we are carrying too much baggage to be in the same boat, won’t we drift apart?  Will we be able to recover from this storm together, or will we find ourselves on the horizon of a new dawn, cleaning up an old mess?

Right now, we’re in separate rooms… Sinking in our individual pools of problems.
Too overwhelmed to be capable of communication.
But, utilizing our personal outlets of stress processing.  Me on my blog, him wrist deep in a video game tournament. . .
So for now, we sit alone, widdling at the stress block one chip at a time.  Maybe, by the end of the night we will be removed enough to talk it out.
But, not for now.

Will this storm pass soon enough?  What is all the stress about?  How will we figure it all out?
Stay Tuned. . . . .

In the meantime there’s:

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Thanks for reading along with us!

Dear Diary. . .

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Today was more of an emotional rollercoaster than an emotionally sensitive person should be able to deal with…
Though, as far back as I can remember, I’ve been pressured and rolled by the powers that be, the universe has made me stronger and harder than I care to be.
But, at the end of the today, my best friend is laying next to me, he always has my back. 
And that is my reward for tribulations and adversities.
All I’ve been through, all I carry with me, and even days like this. . .
To lay in his arms and know that I’m safe.
*My Happy Place*

It’s not all love and sunny days, there are failures and frustration on both ends.  That’s human nature, that’s human relationships.
The important aspect is that through it all, despite the pitfalls, that love remains strong and he’s still my best friend.  I couldn’t imagine a day without him.  He’s both my weakness and my strength, and I’m the same for him.

We have forever to go til “death do us part”. . .
And I’m still confident that I’ll get there with him…
“Happily Ever After”

Stay Tuned!

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*I’m also on Instagram now under @your__ex_girlfriend