Body After Baby: 9 Months Postpartum

I don’t use extreme measures, deprive myself, or sacrifice my sleep in order to obtain results. I was active during both of my pregnancies and I fully believe that staying active has helped my body recover. I have found that being patient, consistent, and determined are the greatest ways to regain strength and stability in my body. I am a mama to two, and a wife to a firefighter. I don’t have a chef, housekeeper, or nanny. I am real person and I am inviting you to come on my postpartum journey with me. If you are recovering from childbirth please listen to your own body and know that each woman’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery is unique. 

To read Maisie’s birth story click HERE. You may also be interested in reading my 1 Month Postpartum Update and 4 Month Postpartum Update.

PRE-PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 27″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 130 lb.

39 WEEK PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 38″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 154 lb.

9 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 31″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Body After Baby 9 Months Postpartum

This is me right now. No makeup and still slightly sweaty from a workout.  

Postpartum Body Months 1 4 9

It has been 5 months since my last update and there has not been any significant change in my body measurements but there has been a huge change in how I am feeling.

My struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety left me feeling like a shell of my former self. Being brave, talking with my doctor, getting a prescription for Zoloft, meeting with a christian counselor for treatment, and making time with God a priority has allowed me to become engaged in my life again.

Back in December I was suffering from horrible lower back. I had never experienced pain like I was feeling which led me to physical therapy. My hips and hamstrings were so imbalanced and sadly my range of motion in my body was drastically reduced. I have spent the last several months focusing on correcting my muscular imbalances with stabilization and strengthen exercises.

In April I am going to be eliminating caffeine, sugar, gluten, diary, and alcohol (this one isn’t a big deal for me because I hardly ever drink) for 21 days. Bread is my favorite thing ever and so are cookies. Each time I have done an elimination diet or a juice cleanse I feel so much better. My cravings are drastically reduce, eczema improves, and I sleep better.  I will post more details soon in case anyone else would be interested in learning more about why this is beneficial for your body.

I realize that my last several posts have not made motherhood sound very pleasant. As miserable as I was feeling a few months ago my husband and our babies are the best thing that has happened to me. I am trying to keep this blog real and honest. As a christian it can sometimes be easier to pretend everything is fine because you don’t want others to be turned off by your vulnerability and rawness. Life is wonderful but it can be hard sometimes.

To the moms reading this who have not experienced anything that I have written about. I totally get it. I was right there with you my first pregnancy. I had no idea what postpartum depression felt like or even how consuming dealing with its aftermath could be.

To the moms reading this who have experienced anxiety and depression my heart hurts for you. You are not alone in your suffering. I promise. There are so many of us who suffer in silence. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk with your doctor.

When we judge each other we are forgetting that every person has a unique story. Everyone of us has experienced something that has changed us. Be authentically you. God created each of us for a purpose and a calling. It would be a boring world if we all experienced the same struggles and triumphs.

Thank you for your love, kind words, and support over the last several weeks!

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Joovy Caboose VaryLight Stroller‬ GIVEAWAY

I am super excited to be able to share this awesome giveaway with you today! I love being part of the Joovy blogger family and have enjoyed being able to review the Boob Baby Bottles and also the Caboose VaryLight Stroller.

Joovy is hosting an amazing giveaway and one lucky mom will win their very own Joovy Caboose VaryLight Stroller.

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Our family loves this stroller. It has a wide range of options for seating and is perfect for a growing family. The Joovy Caboose VaryLight can expand from a single to double stroller in seconds, easily folds with one hand, has a rear bench and standing platform for a second child, a car seat adaptor that can be installed on the front or back of the stroller, and an extra large storage basket. To read my full review click HERE.

joovy-caboose-varylight-configuations

Joovy Caboose VaryLight Stand-On Tandem Stroller Review

WHERE TO FIND AND BUY

Joovy Website, Amazon, Joovy Facebook, Joovy Twitter, Joovy Instagram

This giveaway will run from Monday at 8 AM CDT and runs through April 6 at 12PM. Good luck to all who enter!

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Postpartum Depression & Anxiety: Part 2

Thank you for coming back to read the second part of my postpartum depression and anxiety story. If you missed my first post, you can read about my panic attacks and struggle with postpartum anxiety and depression before continuing.

Finally admitting to myself that something was not right was the first step in the process to reclaim my thoughts. I knew that I didn’t need to feel ashamed of what was happening to me but at the same time making the phone call to the doctor to schedule an appointment was so hard. So hard.

I first tried getting an appointment with my OB but that was a complete failure. I called, talked to the receptionist about needing to see the doctor for postpartum depression, called back and left a message, and was finally told that I couldn’t get in for an appointment for at least several weeks. I honestly felt like I was being tested and wondered just how many times I would need to say what was going on in order to get an appointment. I hung up the phone in tears.

Wiping up my wet face and blowing my nose I made a promise to myself that I was going to call my PCP and get this taken care of. I love my primary care doctor and soon I was in his office with tears in my eyes explaining to him what I had been experiencing. I wasn’t sure what I had been expecting but he was so kind and understanding that I knew I hadn’t been able to get an appointment with my OB for this reason. I was exactly where I needed to be.

I left the doctors office feeling so much better about everything. I had a plan in place laid out by my doctor who would be monitoring me during my treatment with follow ups and a list of counselors in my hand to call to setup an initial visit. I also had a prescription for Zoloft.

Within two weeks I was sitting in the office of a christian counselor pouring out my heart. For the next several months I completed lots of homework.

Want to know what I was learning about?

Meeeeeeee.

That doesn’t sound horrible at all does it. Most people love talking about themselves. I do too!

But when it comes to dissecting my behaviors and why I am wired the way that I am it really isn’t super fun. It is very insightful but it takes an open mind and heart to look at your life, how you were raised, and basically all the experiences that made you, well, you.

I learned so much. I am huge proponent of counseling now and would recommend it to anyone. In counseling I actively worked on real life skills for sustained change. This was not an easy process but well worth the investment of my time and energy.

2 Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 5

My major breakthroughs involved recognizing what triggers my negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to catch, challenge, and change them when they appear. Reading my bible each day, listening to uplifting sermons and podcasts when I am exercising or after the kids have gone to sleep, being more aware of the pattern of my thoughts, and being comfortable spending time with friends again has helped tremendously.

I “graduated” from my counseling sessions right before Christmas and by the end of January I was back in the doctors office for another follow up and to discuss going off the medication. My doctor asked me an array of questions. He wanted to know what I had learned in counseling, how I was going to cope with my anxiety once I was no longer on the medication, and how Josh and I were doing. I have so much respect for this doctor that he took the time to ask me these questions.

Sitting and talking in the doctors office during this visit was much different from my initial appointment 6 months earlier. I was upbeat, my outlook on life had improved, and there were no tears, only smiles on my face. I left the office with permission to stop taking the medication but to call if I start to notice any changes in my mood or behavior.

It has been several weeks and I am doing well. Not to say that I still don’t catch thoughts in my mind that shouldn’t be there but I am able to challenge them logically and correct what behavior led them into my head. I know this will continue to be an ongoing process.

In my situation, medication alone wouldn’t have solved the underlying issues that were triggering my anxiety, but it did allow me to think clearly enough to get to the root of the problem. While medication would have altered my mood it wouldn’t have allowed me to really deal with the reasons behind my anxiety.

If you are suffering with depression or anxiety I highly encourage you to seek out a certified professional. Hormonal imbalances after pregnancy make some women more susceptible to postpartum depression. There is no shame in admitting you need help. God has not left us here alone to struggle through things by ourselves.

My husband and family have been so supportive and encouraging and I am not sure if they will ever know how much I appreciate them. I am thankful that I sought treatment and that I am not allowing my worries to rob me of joy.

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