Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Lose that baby weight!"

That was the title of an email I received about 5 days ago, approximately four weeks after giving birth. The email came from a reputable website that I signed up to receive weekly updates for pregnancy and new baby information...not weight loss motivation!

Even though I shouldn't have, I opened the email, out of morbid curiosity. It had a link to all of these diet ideas and exercise plans for new mommy's, including things I could do with the baby. All helpful, but completely unsolicited. It bothered me.

Shouldn't I be celebrating my body right now?? I just pushed a 7lb kid out of me. I spent nine full months of growing this child. I would take pictures on a weekly basis while pregnant to show off how much I've gained and how my belly was growing, which clearly meant I was provided a good home for Lily. I should be more proud of my body now than ever!

I was talking to my good friend Jaime, who is also a mom, about all of this. She brought up the fact that all of the magazines are full of articles bragging about celebrities that are back into their size zero jeans 3 weeks after birth. We never see an article about the average woman that keeps at least 10lbs of her gained baby weight, or how a woman's hips will probably never be the same size as pre-pregnancy because of the work they had to endure to make a clear path for the baby.

As a culture, we just don't celebrate women enough. I honestly feel like I climbed to the top of Mt. Everest after going through pregnancy and child birth. It was so much work, yet incredibly fulfilling and such an amazing journey from beginning to end. Not to mention the fact that I have a beautiful, healthy miracle in my arms. Lily is my greatest accomplishment.

Yet this email that I received, along with most of our society, is telling me that I should be worried about this baby weight. I think it's crazy. I don't ever want Lily to have body image issues like I, and most American women, have had. I refuse to pass that on to her. It isn't fair and it's a waste of energy. I hope she will always be proud of how she looks. Easier said than done but I will do my best to encourage her to love and embrace her body.

People ask me all of the time if I gained a lot of weight will pregnancy. Here it is...I gained 50lbs during pregnancy and so far have lost 31lbs, (most of which was fluid and I peed it out). I am still eating what I want and exercising when I can to stay healthy and sane. The hardest part is just trying to find clothes that fit me! Would I like to go back to my pre-pregnancy body and weight? I guess... but it just isn't important. This is the body that Lily has given me and I won't ever be upset by that.

Here is me, about 20lbs heavier than I have ever been and proud of it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A day late...

Lily is one month old!

It isn't the best video but I wanted to get her while she was awake!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Life With Lily, So Far

Wow. Life with a newborn is crazy! Please remember that I never sugar coated pregnancy, so I do not intend on sugar coating motherhood. This blog is an outlet for me so I will let it out!

It is certainly true that no matter how much reading you do, or how many friends you talk to that have had kids, nothing prepares you for having a child. It's amazing, worrisome, stressful, fun, tiring, eventful....I honestly cannot come up with enough adjectives to describe it!

The statement, "I was a good mom before I had kids" (which I actually think is a book), is so true. I remember thinking, when some of my close friends had their kids, "why don't they have time to call me back", or "why do they always rush me on the phone"? I would think, "they certainly have time during naps or driving!"....not so much. It is all so consuming to have a newborn. Yes, it is true that the majority of her activities are eating, sleeping and shitting but make no mistake about it, all of those things require some amount of work by a parent. Allow me to elaborate...

Eating- right now, takes almost an hour from start to finish. Make a bottle, get situated in a comfy spot with a bib and burp cloth, feed, burp, feed, burp, feed, burp, keep her upright for at least 20 minutes to avoid spitting up or gas, change diaper because she definitely pooped, and then interact for a few minutes while she is still awake. She eats 8-9 times in a 24 hour period. Then, throw in bottle washing. We have 8 bottles, which each have 6 parts. Of course, I am anal about washing everything through and through, to the point where my fingers are pruned.

Sleeping- The first two weeks were a breeze. She ate and then fell asleep and noises were not an issue. Now, going into the third week, getting her to sleep and keeping her asleep is becoming more of a challenge. Keeping Bear quiet is key right now. Once she is asleep, checking on her incessantly ensues. This is when I try to get things done around the house, once she is dead asleep, which I have to do at lightening speed or just know that I will not finish a task. Thankfully, she sleeps REALLY good at night, just waking once to eat.

Pooping- the pooping. Lily is formula fed and everyone said that reduces the amount of pooping, compared to breast feeding. Not in Lily's case. No way. She poops every time she eats and then sometimes in between. My doctor insists this is normal but for the love of God, I need to take stock in Pampers and Oust room spray.

Although that all sounds like I'm complaining, I'm definitely not. It's amazing and so much fun, well, aside from the poop. I am starting to understand why people say that being a parent is the hardest job but the one you love the most. It is SO hard but I love it all. I love when she is awake during the day, making eye contact with me and checking out her surroundings. It's so much fun to watch her responses to different things. The feelings she evokes are unexplainable. I just love her so much.

Oh, and by the way, the "baby blues" is a very real thing and to all of you moms -to-be, just know it is VERY normal to cry and get emotional. Yes, it hit me, about a week into having Lily. I cry when I don't know what to do for her or if I'm worried about her. Yes, I get frustrated and yes, sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I just try to keep it all in check and take some time for myself, like going for a walk or to the store. This is when it is so important to have a great partner and support. It's essential. I have it. I'm so lucky.

Here is a few things I've learned about her so far:

  • She loves to walk around outside and listen to the birds.
  • The warm weather instantly relaxes her.
  • She loves to lay on my chest after she eats.
  • She hates having her diaper changed.
  • She likes her pacifier, but is really picky about when she wants it.
  • She makes HILARIOUS faces when she doesn't want anymore food, as though it is toxic poison.
  • She is not a big fan of sponge baths but likes her hair washed when her body is bundled up in a towel.
  • She farts like a man.
  • She burps like a man.
  • She loves movement, like riding in a car or a stroller.
More to come. For now, here is a picture from after her bath today, laying on her daddy...