During my weekly Target Adventure with my little peanut, I saw a newborn baby. She could not have been more than a couple weeks old. She was incredibly tiny and so adorable. I looked down at my noodle bug and basked in all of her beautiful glory. There she was, nine months old, sitting up in the cart like a big girl. She was pointing and blowing raspberries, giggling and babbling. Her short, sweet life flashed before my eyes, and I had a moment of psychedelia. It was almost like like we had just brought her home, and then I blinked. Now, we were standing in the middle of the infant section, buying stage three finger foods.
My monkey is crawling all over the floor, she is trying to pull herself up, and she’s saying “Mama” and “Dada”. Time has flown by so incredibly fast, and I desperately want it to slow down. My baby is just three short months from achieving her toddler status and I am a blubbering Mess.
As my child gains her independence, I am gaining my confidence in my postpartum recovery. As I look back at the last nine months of my little one’s life, I also look back at my healing process. I have allowed my body to take it’s natural course without pushing myself to bounce back, and I have given myself plenty of time to do that. Postpartum doesn’t end at 6 weeks. It continues well beyond maternity leave. I am satisfied with where my journey has taken me. I will continue to embrace it for the next few months. I will love the body my baby has created, and I will move on to the next chapter.
I was told by my doctor that I could begin working out after just 6 weeks, but after three long months, I found myself frustrated from not being able to push myself the way I had before. My postpartum body was not ready to bounce back and after a few more months of trying too hard, i finally gave up and allowed my body to take over.
Just recently, my joints have stopped aching, my stomach has become less noticeable and I have lost most of my baby weight. My c-section scar still aches, especially on really cold days, my bladder may never be normal, and I have accepted the fact that my new hips may never allow me to fit back into my old jeans. For nine months, with postnatal yoga and healthy eating, I have allowed my body to settle and heal itself.
My goal for the next three months is to start running again without expectation on how far or how much. I’ll let my body dictate the level of comfort and I’ll take it as slow as I need to. I also plan to focus on my mental health more. As I prepare to tackle a toddler, I want to give my head and my heart all the love that they deserve. When baby takes on Minion-hood, I want to be the support she will need to learn all about her own very big emotions. In order to help her, I need to help me first. I also would like her to understand that it’s alright for her to get help when she’s physically hurting and it’s alright to get help when she’s mentally hurting as well.
I have given myself this long to heal and I still have some road up ahead. Our healing process may take a long time. If you are not ready to move past your postpartum recovery for any reason, talk to your doctor. If you are still in pain months later, ask about physical therapy. If you’re concerned about your mental wellness, talk to your doctor about postpartum depression or anxiety. If you already suffer from a mental illness, talk to your specialist about new concerns you may have. The key word here is talk. Talk! Talk! Talk! Physically or mentally, you should not have to suffer alone. It is unfortunate that postnatal care does not extend beyond 6 weeks That doesn’t mean you have to stay silent. Get help and give your whole body the love and care it needs.
If you are just starting your postnatal journey, I wish you so much luck! Don’t feel guilty about your own healing. Give yourself as much time as you need. Remember, everyone’s body is different. Just because your co-worker is running 10 miles a week after her pregnancy, doesn’t mean you need to be too. Listen to what your body is telling you. If it hurts or is uncomfortable, chances are your body is not ready for it yet. It just went through some major stuff. Give it a break. Seek out help if you are in any way concerned about your recovery process. Take it easy and enjoy the time watching your little one sprout.
Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.
If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:
1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama”
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.
The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Sunday night
Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.
In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Finding Time to Sleep During the Holidays.
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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.