I love recapping baby Aria’s developments– I am so grateful that this blog can provide me a place to capture all the special moments with Aria. Still, in trying to at least attempt to stick to the original nature of this blog, I thought it might be worthwhile recapping my first few weeks postpartum in terms of how I feel, what I am doing to be healthy, and what I am eating. The last few weeks have changed my mentality towards food and fitness drastically, all for the better, and I am eager to share these developments with you!
The first few days after Aria’s birth were spent at the hospital of course and from the moment she was born, I knew I had to eat a lot more than I was used to eating since breastfeeding would require much more calories than I was accustomed to consuming. Remember how during the last few months of pregnancy I always felt full and could not eat as much as I wanted? Well as soon as she was born, hunger returned and I was so happy to welcome it back! I made sure to take advantage of all of the hospital food options and pretty much ordered my money’s worth (well, I did share with my husband too!). For the two mornings I spent there, I had scrambled eggs (yes, I plan on eating eggs from now on), either a muffin (blueberry) or a bagel with cream cheese, and tea. I also ordered a banana and peanut butter but never got around to eating them. For lunch, the one day I had lunch there, I ordered a small salad and a hummus/cracker/veggie plate and an apple and cookie (which I didn’t eat). Dinner my first night was a veggie burger, and the second night was actually a fancy meal of pasta primavera, salad, bread and cheesecake plus chocolate cake. My husband had a steak! A friend of ours actually ordered this meal for us as a special treat. It was pretty tasty if I do say so myself!
Once we got home, I knew that eating a lot would be hard due to how busy I was, but it was also essential. Many friends and family brought us tons of food (and still continue to do so). My mom brought over Indian food and snacks, my mother-in-law brought us pizza, salads, and my favorite chocolate cream pie and strawberry shortcake, my sis brought us pizza and cake, my bro brought us spinach calzones, pizza strips, my favorite bagels, and tons of coffee, my best friends brought me pasta, eggplant, salad, rolls, and chicken for the husband, and our other great griends brought us pizza and cupcakes. To say we have been treated like kings and queens in the food department is an understatement, and I am so grateful to all of our friends and family who have and continue to feed us well! Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been eating whatever friends and family have brought for us. Pizza has been a staple since I can eat it with one hand, as is bagels, pasta, Clif bars, hummus and cheese sandwiches, baby carrots for an easy veggie, muffins and scones, bananas, string cheese and clementines. Admittedly, vegetables are not making much of an appearance in my diet currently, but I am fine with that. I don’t have much time to prep food now because of the baby and the fact we have a lot of great visitors, but once more of a routine forms, I am sure I can bring veggies back in a big way. Another thing I eat every single night now is dessert– I find a slice of cake, some cookies, ice cream or chocolate are great ways to add in extra calories. I usually have dessert later in the night (10 or 11) due to the energy burst it gives me.
A recent breakfast of cottage cheese, banana, and half of a scone:
A recent dinner of pasta, pizza, bread, and eggplant parm (thanks friends!!!):
By the end of my pregnancy, I was up 15 or so pounds. Now, two weeks later, I am pretty much at my pre-preggo weight with the exception of a pound or two. I haven’t put any effort into weight loss, but most of my gain during pregnancy was baby, placenta, and the like. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to be back in all of my old clothes, but honestly, I could care less. I am more interested in eating well and eating enough to fuel breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and of course, taking care of my little love.
As far as exercise, I try to get Aria out on a forty minute to an hour walk whenever I can (it has to be at least 50 degrees though). That means so far, we have taken three great walks around the neighborhood and we plan on going out today. My fitness plan is to continue to go for walks as much as I can as long as the weather cooperates. Aria can only handle about an hour outside before she gets fussy or hungry, so that’s as far as I will push it for now.
Her first walk to the Brown Bookstore:
Perhaps the greatest gift little Ari has given me though (besides herself of course) is since her birth, I have been relatively pain-free in my back and joints. In other words, I feel more “normal” now than I have in years! I can walk normally, bend, get on the floor to play with her, and scoop her up without a care! I have heard pregnancy and childbirth can change one’s body in terms of hormones and aches and pains. Well, knock on wood, I feel amazing. My joint and nerve pain is gone, my digestion is fine and I can do things in terms of my mobility that I have not been able to do for over two years. I hope things stay this way because I honestly feel like a new person.
As far as trauma from birth, I am fortunate that I didn’t suffer much. Because I had an easy vaginal delivery, all I dealt with was some soreness that has since gone away. in fact, I never had to use any standard treatments for “down there” like ice packs or tucks pads, though the hospital sent me home with all of that. I took Motrin for a few days but that’s about it.
I feel so blessed and fortunate that my postpartum period in terms of my physical health and condition has been so smooth. I thank Aria for that, because whatever changes she caused in my body have all resulted in increased, not decreased, comfort levels physically. I also attribute my ability to “bounce back” to breastfeeding– I can tell my calorie burn is much higher than it has ever been. Also, it is worth mentioning that my thirst is through the roof– I must drink at least 200 or more ounces of water a day, and I still feel dehydrated much of the time. Again, that’s definitely due to breastfeeding.
All in all, I guess one note to wrap up this post on is to say pregnancy and birth in many ways has been much more of a blessing than a curse to my physical condition and attitude towards food. I feel better than ever, I have a much better body image than before pregnancy, and I have a much more lax attitude towards food in a positive way. I definitely marvel at the important job my body is doing in being the sole source of sustenance and nutrition for my daughter. Sometimes I actually cannot believe that my body is performing such important work for her, and that realization is what motivates me to eat well, eat a variety of foods, and eat enough!
And just because I can. . .