It’s been 12 weeks since I gave birth to our little girl. Here’s how things are going:
I feel more and more like my old self every day. Albeit, a weaker and less fit self but it’s still nice.
With Travis traveling a lot for work now and Emma not liking her carseat a whole ton, running, and working out in general, has really taken a backseat. Hopefully I’ll figure out how to squeeze something in but I’m just trying to be patient right now – it’s only for a season. Emma and I do take a short walk every day so I’m not a total bum.
I had started to take birth control with a low dose of estrogen (Lo Loestrin) but when I went to get my prescription filled after finishing the sample pack, I discovered that our insurance didn’t cover much of it, so it would cost me almost $90 a month. Um, no. So I’m going to start taking a generic progesterone-only pill that my insurance will cover.
I still have a lot of breakouts on my face, though it does seem to be slowly getting better.
I still have the linea negra, though that is also starting to fade slowly.
And finally, I’ve started sleeping on my stomach again! I mostly sleep on my back and side still because of breast fullness but that’sbgotten a lot better than it was even a month ago. Oh how I’ve missed sleeping on my stomach!
Body Weight / Image
I haven’t lost any weight since my 6-week postpartum update, so I’m still 7-8 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. I bought a few new pairs of pants that I can wear to work, a couple pairs of shorts, and some looser tops, so I’m not feeling tons of pressure to lose the weight – and I’m pretty sure it’d be darn near impossible anyway since some of it comes from having grown 2 cup sizes (pregnancy and then breastfeeding). And though I would love to tone up my stomach, it’s just not my focus right now. I’ll get there eventually.
My eating habits haven’t been the greatest either. With Travis gone, I’ve been surviving on leftovers and easy things like cereal, bagels and toast. I do have dinner with friends on a regular basis so that helps me eat healthier meals (since they’re cooking). My plan is to cook healthy meals while Travis is home, with enough extra to give me leftovers for lunch or dinner while he’s gone. I’m also going to try to eat more fruits and veggies.
The emotional aspect of motherhood is still hard for me. There are some days when I love being a mom and feel optimistic about the new pace of life – those days are a breath of fresh air that help rejuvenate me. But other days are a struggle. I long for the old days of freedom and ease. I feel isolated at home and totally unsure of my decisions as a mother (specifically regarding Emma’s sleep habits). I get discouraged because I don’t have time to do things like workout or cook dinner.
But I’ve been reminding myself of 2 truths for encouragement:
One, I will never again have this much time to devote to one child. I won’t be able to sit and hold Emma or her siblings for naps when she’s older and not an only child, so instead of wishing this time away so that I could do laundry or dishes, or an exercise video, I should enjoy it – it’s only temporary.
Two, the words of James: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
My main struggle is faith – am I truly trusting that this is how God wants me to spend my time? Or do I think there’s something more noble, fulfilling and worthy of my energy? Not every woman is called to be a mother, but I am. And after my calling as a wife, there is nothing more important for me than being a mother. It may look differently than I expected (and it does!) but it’s exactly what God expected and planned for me. I’m still learning how to let go of expectations and joyfully embrace the reality that God has ordained for my life. I’m sure it’ll be a lifelong lesson!
God is using parenting to teach me self-sacrifice and to find my joy and worth in Him alone. I am being shown how much of my identity and self-worth has been tied up in being productive and doing things I’m good at – or at least things I know a lot about. With those reassurances stripped away, I am completely dependent on God’s help and grace. There’s nothing like the feeling of helplessness to drive me into God’s arms. So for that, I’m thankful. And I’m praying that God would continue to help me embrace my new reality and joyfully make these sacrifices for my family, as well as give me the wisdom I so desperately need.
And that’s where I’m at 12 weeks postpartum!