Pregnancy Comparison 1 & 2

Well, for you email followers I’m sorry you received an unfinished draft version of this post! Bare with me as I make my way through this time of newborn sleeploss 😉

I wanted to compare these two pregnancies mostly because of how they were so drastically different. I think the other post was getting too long and too caught up in details… so here goes a fresh new try.

Pregnancy 1 vs 2

As I’ve written about before, I didn’t feel ready to be a mother when I became pregnant with my first; women in their 20’s aren’t encouraged to get married and start creating their families yet. The pregnancy itself was overwhelming – the changes to my body and the emotions… the actual concept of a baby wasn’t a reality for me until maybe the final trimester.

This pregnancy was planned, but coming right after a miscarriage, it was hard for me to feel excited about it at first. I think I was afraid to actually want this baby for fear I’d lose it. But it ended up being a peaceful, sweet pregnancy with very little stress compared to our first. Health-wise I think this was a much healthier pregnancy. The first time, we ate quite a bit of fast food, I gained somewhere between 45 & 50 lbs. This time we mostly ate homecooked meals – very healthy and low in sodium and fat… I gained 24 lbs instead.

Losing the post partum weight took almost a year for pregnancy #1, but I’ve lost all the weight already for pregnancy #2 because of only gaining 24 lbs. I lost 22 lbs in the first 2 weeks post partum after pregnancy #1, so my body is basically doing the same thing this time, it just had a lot less to lose.

Everyone’s body is different, sometimes the weight just comes off slower – don’t worry about getting it off fast just focus on your newborn and workout once your body is ready. Even though I’ve lost the weight, my body needs to regain the loss muscle tone that allows me to wear my old jeans again – its amazing that muscle actually weighs the same but makes you tinier.

One thing that truly helps is wearing the compression underwear found at almost any maternity store. Its basic underwear with about 5 inches of firm elastic waistband made to compress your belly back in, and helps speedup fluid loss. There are other options that work the same like a belly band wrap that you wear for a month to 3 months daily under your clothes.

This experience was just so much better in so many ways… my first son came a month early due to what my dr contributed to the immense stress we under at that time. My baby spent 5 days in NICU, and we were shell-shocked trying to care and do whatever we could for him. The NICU was great, but seeing him with tubes and an IV was so hard. Baby#2’s birth was ridiculously easy, the hospital stay felt like a mini vacation at a hotel – I even got a massage!

Post partum Emotions

I guess it isn’t surprising I fell into a dark place of post partum depression the first time. With the circumstances surrounding my son’s birth, we also ended up trying to deal with angry in-laws who wanted to let us know they didn’t approve of our boundaries we were trying to set up after the first couple of months.

This time it surprised me how much happiness and bliss I feel post partum… its like realizing how it should’ve felt the first time. I’m actually able to enjoy my new baby instead of feeling a constant fear and dread that something could be wrong. Post partum depression is tricky – if you notice that you don’t feel strong feelIngs for your newborn, or immense fear or anxiety, get treated immediately so that you can recover as fast as possible! That kind of depression was so intense I remember not being able to really register the sunlight – I love sunlit but it was like it didn’t matter, it felt gray. I remember being able to appreciate sunlight again after being treated… if you suspect you have post partum depression, you MUST take care of yourself – it is so sad how it can rob you of the joy of having a new baby.

These two pregnancies just couldn’t have been more different, I’m grateful for the experiences so that I can understand more of what women go through. If you’ve had a birth or post partum experience you’d like to talk about please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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Newborn Bliss

breastfeedingwithPatrick

It’s been a week since the birth of our second son, and this time has just been so incredibly blissful!  Last Sunday morning was supposed to be a day of quiet and yet anxious anticipation – our scheduled C-section was for the next morning, and we needed to be at the hospital at 5:30am.  Sunday was going to be a relaxed day – a day where I could take care of the last minute details like sweeping the floor, or getting our 4-year-old to pick up the toys in his game room that I’d been letting him leave out for days now.

Instead, I was woken up by cramping uterine contractions, first randomly intervallic at 10 minutes to an hour apart… I called my mom just in case they really were the real deal, but I felt certain they were just a false alarm – I told her not to worry, maybe I just was constipated!  I was going to send my husband to go buy some prune juice.  Fast forward 4 hours, we decided to go to the hospital, but I wanted to make a  quick (psycho) stop at a local Wal-mart trying to find a purple shampoo for my hair, and prune juice (I still didn’t believe they were the real thing) all while I was having contractions steadily 5 minutes apart (and had been for 2 hours straight).  We get to the hospital, contractions were then at 2-3 minutes apart and extremely painful.  The dr. confirmed the baby needed to be born today – unless I wanted to try for an unplanned VBAC (Vaginal birth after c-setion) – haha… no! 

After watching my contractions on a computer screen that measured their duration and intensity, she decided the baby needed to come out ASAP!

It’s hilarious how in denial I was – I didn’t want to have the baby that day, I still needed to sweep the floor (oh wow).  My husband took charge and got us there in time for it to still be a C-section, thank God I can depend on his judgment – otherwise we would’ve been on the news as the couple who had a baby at Wal-mart because the wife couldn’t decide which shampoo to buy!

The experience at the hospital, from the C-section to being discharged, was so wonderful.

Now we are in full swing of caring for our newborn, and relaxing in the concept of being a family of 4.  Family of 4 sounds so beautiful.  Words just can’t describe how thankful I am for a healthy baby (no issues at all), for how long he waited to come out (instead of being premature), and for a normal hospital experience (no Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  Our first son’s birth was so dramatic, but that would be a different post.

Now for pictures!

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The nursery widow looks out into the back of the yard where the trampoline is - perfect for being able to keep an eye on the big brother!

The nursery widow looks out into the back of the yard where the trampoline is – perfect for being able to keep an eye on the big brother!

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And last, a post-partum pic!  I love this part of after-birth… having the weight literally seem to melt off of you!  Already have lost 17 pounds since his birth last week… only 7 more pounds to lose until I get back to the pre-pregnancy weight.  It is very empowering to know that my body is capable of such an amazing thing such as pregnancy… and to be able to bounce back so fast – it surprised me with my first, but is still surprising with this little one also.

Giving birth and immediately feeling the weight and hugeness of pregnancy (that uncomfortable roundness) disappear is just wonderful.  It makes me proud of my body… proud of my health & fitness level… and more respect for my body in knowing exactly what it can do.  🙂