Pregnancy, Nursing, and Postpartum Body Love

I feel like there is a huge emphasis on the postpartum "new mom bod" in our society. Every time a celebrity has a baby there is lots of press touting her getting her body back, or how she looks post-baby.

It puts a lot of pressure on any mother - new mother or not. I mean, aren't we as women more than just our bodies?

Going into my pregnancy with Oscar, I would say I had pretty good body image. I had more good body image days than bad ones, but typically felt pretty at home in my body.

Or so I thought. 

Now, I am one of those ladies who kind of loved being pregnant. I say kind of because I was nauseated from about 7 weeks pregnant until I delivered and well, that part wasn't fun.

But it was hard to be at home in my pregnant body, even as I loved watching my belly grow as the baby grew, and seeing his kicks and rolls and punches. Heck, even as I was having contractions in labor and delivery at the hospital he was active, squirming the night away as he made his way into the world. 

After delivery, my belly was still soft. My legs and hands and arms were a little puffy (I had at least one bag of fluid during my time in the labor and delivery suite. If not more. I was a liiiittle preoccupied while I was in labor). And I was in awe at what I had grown. And really, since I'm nursing? Am continuing to grow.

Now I can honestly say I've never been more at home in my body. I love knowing what I am capable of. What I did. What I am still doing. I grew a human. I'm still growing him. When he was born he was technically in the 5th percentile for length and weight. I mean, he was four weeks early! Now he's at the 50th percentile and oh the rolls. The adorable little baby rolls.

I'm in love.

But I'm also in love with my body. I have new curves. A softer tummy, sure. And I'm pretty sure my butt relocated by about two inches closer to the ground. But I can still run and walk and lift weights. I lift and carry Oscar and we play "airplane" while he grins and kicks and squeals. 

Every time I sit down with him to feed him, I am amazed that I am still continuing to grow and nourish him, and have done so for four months. It's incredible to me, and something I didn't expect to love as much as I do. Now, I know nursing isn't for everyone, and I didn't think it would be for me, but it's something I genuinely enjoy. 

I truly never in a million years thought I could love my body for what it is and what it does as much as I do now, but I do. It's pretty incredible. I don't workout nearly as much as I would like to (because a huge part of my self care is physical activity) but I'm okay with it. I'm also way better at intuitive eating than I have ever been before. Granted, I'm always hungry and always incredibly thirsty but that's okay.

Sure, I still have some bad body image days, but they are few and far between. And when I do? I try not to let it turn into a bad body image week. One day at a time, right? And I work hard on self-care. Which I think it especially important for anyone, parent or no, women, man, child, adult. We all need to do what helps us live better lives. 

I would never go as far to say that the baby is the sole reason I love my body, but having a baby gave me a lot to think about. I don't want to teach any child of mine poor body habits. I want him to love himself for who he is, what abilities he has, and it is my hope that by actively working toward and becoming more aware of my self talk, staying positive, and learning how to love my body as I do today, that he will grow to be confident and at home in his skills, abilities, and personality.

I love where I am now. It's pretty incredible. And I can't wait to share more. 

Four Months of Motherhood

Sunday was Mother's Day. It's also the day that Oscar turned four months old. I can't believe I've been a mom for four months. It feels like it's been far less and far more time than that. 


At four months, Oscar is almost fifteen pounds and is just over two feet tall. He loves to coo and play with his giraffe toy, his elephant crinkle teether, and a stuffed Pikachu.

Watching him grow and develop is incredible. He's currently learning how to roll over and makes it about 3/4 of the way..he just isn't there yet. Close though! He has also started putting everything he can reach into his mouth, so that pretty much means all of his toys, loveys and burp cloths have been nommed. Which makes for a LOT of drool. 

I love watching his face light up when he sees me or his Da come into the room. His grin is INCREDIBLE and makes me so happy - he's learning how to laugh and I keep hearing him go "heh heh" when he finds something funny enough to crack up. I love it!

As for mumming, I'm loving it still. Every day is an adventure and every day I learn more. We've gone to the zoo and are now up to five baseball games. I've pretty much figured out the hows of nursing in public, though I know it will change faster than I even know. I love knowing how to make him happy when he's sad, and what he likes and dislikes (tummy time, but what baby likes tummy time?). 

I still cannot wait to see what the next month brings. But that month can take it's time. These four months have gone by way too fast!

Organization, Efficiency, and Motherhood

Ever since Oscar was born, I've become extra efficient and even more organized than I was before. I had time management down pat - or so I thought. Now? I feel like my time management skills have been thrown into overdrive. 


How so? Well, everything kind of has to be planned, in a way. Going out involves ensuring we have a packed diaper bag. Getting ready for work includes packing my pump bag, lunch, and Oscar's bottles. There's a lot to get done, and not a lot of time to do it in (especially if I want to get in play time with my cheery buddy before bed!). 

There's a few things I do to make sure my days and nights run efficiently. Most of them are common sense and work for any working person. Some of it's assisted by my bullet journal, and I have a whole post in the works about how the journal has been helping me be better and keep track of pretty much my whole life in a way my day planner didn't.

  1. Outfits for work get planned out for the week. This just makes it easier for me in the morning. I just grab one of my pre-set outfits and throw it on. For some of those sleepless nights, this gives me a little more time to sleep. Or more play and cuddle time with Oscar before we have to get ready to go.
  2. I shower at bedtime. With a pixie cut, it does mean some rewetting and combing of the hair in the morning, but it saves me 15 minutes every morning. Which is time I'd rather spend cuddling the baby, talking with Allen, and eating breakfast. 
  3. We tag-team mornings. Since we're nursing, I feed Oscar while Allen gets ready for the day. Once he is ready, Allen takes over and gets Oscar dressed and downstairs while I get dressed, do my hair and makeup and brush my teeth. We trade off daycare drop off and pick up each day.
  4. I keep up with meal planning, and cook at least once per week using our crockpot. Planned meals keep me from having to think about what is for dinner tonight, or tomorrow. 
  5. I also plan lunches. My lunch is basically the same every day: sandwich, fruit, yogurt. If it's not a sandwich, it's leftovers and fruit. Snacks are trail mix, fruits, or granola bars. Breakfast? Cereal and almond milk, Van's brand frozen power waffles (protein!) and almond butter or peanut butter, or homemade cinnamon bread. 
  6. Speaking of lunches, they get packed up the night before so all I have to do in the morning is put it into my lunchbox with a couple ice packs. Easy peasy. And I can pack lunch while dinner cooks - making use of that 15 minute cook time!
  7. I have mastered the fifteen minute tidy, but I don't stress the small stuff. My goal is to keep the house tidy. I do a deep clean every week or two. I've KonMari'd my clothes and I don't stress if everything doesn't get done every day. As long as lunches are packed, Oscar has milk bottles, and everyone is happy, life is good.

How about you - what do you do to stay organized?

Three Months of Motherhood

Oh heyyyy!


So this little man is now 3 months old. Time is FLYING!

I'm more and more starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of this mom thing. Or just being a mom. I know how Oscar cries when he is hungry and when he is tired. I know what he does when he is bored and when he just wants to be held and to snuggle. 

In the three months since I became a mom I've also learned a lot about myself. Motherhood has made me incredibly efficient. I don't spend a lot of time dilly-dallying anymore because I really can't. I have to be efficient with my free time, even more since I went back to work last month. 

Now, I thought I was efficient before. But nope. Now I combine as many tasks as I can into one block of time to get it all done. Cooking dinner? I'll prep Oscar's bottles and get lunches made for tomorrow while I cook. Clothes get picked out the night before (most of the time). I've started showering in the evening, which sometimes means I have crazy hair in the morning, but that's nothing a little water and a comb can't fix, right?

Really, all of my "chore" time is spent so that my free time - while Oscar is awake - can be spent enjoying time with him. When he goes to bed I catch up on my reading, my bullet journaling, and get things ready for the day ahead. 

There are days when it's overwhelming. It's new! But I'm trying to figure it all out. I still haven't entirely figured out how to get a good workout in, but that will come soon enough, right? For now I'm working on trying to walk, lift free weights I have access to, and enjoy what my body still can do. 

I'm still absolutely loving being a mom. It is, for me, one of the most wonderful things I've done. 

The word for 2016: Open

So in 2015, my word of the year was grow. I wanted to grow as a person and grow in other ways. I wanted to approach a multitude of things in life with an attitude of growth. 

That being said, 2015 was a year of growth. In 2015, I grew as a person. I stopped caring about what other people thought of me (for reals, it only took me 29 years, y'all). I grew in my beliefs and morals and values. I didn't grow this blog - I ended up deciding to take time away from it when I realized I just wasn't enjoying what I was writing, in an attempt to find my voice and grow as a writer. That worked, and I'll be writing more on that later.

2015 is also the year we decided that it was time for our family to grow, too. A few days after our second wedding anniversary we learned we were pregnant with Oscar, and we were thrilled. I grew in many ways during my pregnancy - and not all of them had to do with growing a baby. I had to determine what kind of parent I wanted to be to the little one I was carrying. Note: I'm still figuring that out and he's been on the outside for 10 weeks now. Small steps, right?

In December I started bullet journaling - another topic I hope to write more about it. I love it. It's a great way for me to keep track of my day to day without feeling overwhelmed, and while I fell down on it during Oscar's first month of life, I have been pretty intently keeping it up ever since. It was an exercise in growth and practice for me, the girl who has kept multiple day planners since high school. 

Which brings me to my word for 2016, only very nearly three full months late (though it's been at the forefront of my every day since the first of the year): Open. 

I'm not very spontaneous. I am open-minded, but I am a planner. So this year I wanted to shake things up a lot, and decided that my word would be open. Why?

Well, because I want to be open to possibilities. More open-minded. Open to new things and new plans. To being spontaneous. The one thing everyone tells you about when you have a baby is you need to be open to rapid plan changes. Sleepless nights. Open to more love than you may have ever known possible. I've found for  me, all of the above has been true. I know that this isn't true for everyone, but it has been for me.

I'm also trying to be more open to whatever may come this year. So far, it's shaping up to be a wild one: I never thought I'd be a mother of a near-term preterm infant (I had to be open to plan changes very early on this year!), and I can't wait to see what else comes from 2016.