Nail Polish & Unicorns

WARNING: This is a random emotional dump so if you want more then read something else.

It has been rough in every sense: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. The toughest being wondering if I have PPD or am having violent mood swings. The other realizing I am failing spiritually.

Instead of continuing to drown in my emotional state, I started to workout which I mentioned in my March Update post. I’ve since committed to working out at least 10mins daily in hopes I’ll improve my mood and alleviate stressing over things that are beyond my control. Well I was wrong. It has boosted my mood however the same problems exist and come flooding back as soon as the high of the workout ends. Today was no different…

Started the day by exercising. I’m currently doing Slim in 6 but I’ll do a separate post once I’ve completed the 6 weeks. Played with my son who was screaming MOM at the top of his lungs by the time I was done then clapped for me after I picked him up. We watched family vlogs until I got in the shower. I prepared for my appointment and this is where things started going wrong. The appointment was mislabeled, changed then rescheduled all after I had shown up for said appointment. I decided not to complain and just continued onward to lunch. The restaurant closed at 2 which was especially annoying as we’d been waiting to go back since Saturday plus we paid for parking but we found a different place within walking distance so the parking wasn’t a total waste. At this point hubby and I were both annoyed at the events, realized we’d forgotten something due to our extreme irritation and both expressed our grievances which took up all of our lunch. That is when I told him we needed to do something to wash off the stink of these events in order to salvage the rest of our day.

First stop was taking care of what we’d forgotten and that felt pretty good because yet again we’d hit a personal/ couple goal. Then on to Starbucks for the new Unicorn Frappuccino which my hubby described as a sweet tart ice cream. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but the name mixed with the colorful appearance put an instant smile on my face and changed my perspective.

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The Unicorn boosted my mood and lead me to do something I haven’t done in what seems like months; give myself a mini manicure & pedicure. I call it a mini because I didn’t soak or massage beforehand I simply cleaned up my cuticles, clipped and shaped my nails then polished. I was running late for my religious meeting (totally my fault I was 30min off…), messed up on a nail and ended up having an unpolished thumbnail but we made it. Once we got back home and were in comfy clothing, I polished my thumbnail and for some reason the whole day felt right. The weather was perfect (rainy and cloudy my favorite no joke or sarcasm intended), we made it to our meeting, our son was asleep, my fingers and toes looked nice, my hair was somewhat done (read better than all over my head or in a knotted bun) and we were relaxing together watching Founders which kind of turned me off of McDonald’s not that I frequented the place.

However my wow moment didn’t come until after the movie. I was deciding between going to bed and reading. I needed sleep desperately but I hadn’t read in silence in a while. Reading won; Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul pt 2. As I was reading the short stories, I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. I caught myself admiring the color and the time I took to do it even with all the interruptions. Finally I came across a story that (like the book had warned/ suggested) stopped me in my tracks and helped me appreciate my day even more. I closed the book right that second so I could reflect on the emotions the story evoked. Finally the WOW moment. I was happy because of two simple things: Unicorn Frap and my nails being polished. It wasn’t huge but it sent me straight to my Gratefuls book which I hadn’t used since late 2015. I wrote down a condensed version of this post with a few extra more personal details and here I am. I felt so inspired I decided to add writing in that book to my list of things to do. I’m hoping it’ll force me to find at least one thing to be grateful for daily beyond the basics that everyone is grateful for namely food, clothing, shelter, family and good health.

I’m not sure if any one thing will help or if I need to see my doctor to make sure this isn’t PPD but I do know all these little changes will only help me even if it doesn’t fix everything.

Weight & Stats – 2nd Month

Explanation (excuse) – As you can see there are no pictures, stats or measurements. The last week of the diet month was terrible. I could say Superbowl started me down this slippery week long binge but I’d be lying; there was more to it than that. I won’t give details because it doesn’t matter since it is an excuse. I’m not giving up or giving in. If it was easy I would’ve never gotten out of shape and unhealthy in the first place. I’ve set new specific goals and I plan on crushing them. I also plan to cheat wisely until I gain the willpower to cheat only on the planned day. This is the compromise I am allowing myself. If you’re physically healthy yet mentally deteriorating then what does it matter? I want balance and this compromise will allow me to find it in order to make a lifetime change and not a temporary one.

Goals for the Month:

  • Find something to replace emotional eating
    • Write down specific triggers even if it is as simple as boredom or I wanted xyz
  • Finish one workout DVD
  • Lose 4lbs

Weekly Details:

62 Days down (9 full weeks completed)

Week 1 (1/8*) – I failed this week… I cheated 3x on non-cheat days 😦 but I did ask my husband to force me to throw away my candy if I cheated again so my candy stash is no more. I still won’t give up this time. I’ve got goals!

Week 2 (1/15*) – Only cheated on my scheduled day!!! Winning 🙂

Week 3 (1/22*) – 2x but I know what happened. This was an emotionally intense week and I defaulted to my old habit of finding comfort in food.

Week 4 (1/29*) – 2x again but once was during a play date and I regret nothing.

Week 5 (2/5*) – All bad… Cheated all week long

*Weeks begin on Sunday because cheat day (Saturday) is the end of the diet week. I originally was counting by Monday – Sunday but that confuses me when it comes to making notes for a specific week.

What I learned:

  • Drink more water – succeeded
  • Incorporate exercise – failed which is why it is back on the list. Actually it would’ve continued to be on the list because I am going to set monthly fitness goals like the one I’ve listed for the coming month

 

 

Baby Book Expectations

What I said:

  • I need a baby book
    • reasoning – it’ll help me keep track of all of his firsts
  • I love this one; I’ll add it to my registry
  • Yay I have it!
    • I’ll fill it out regularly

What I did:

  • Brings to hospital
    • forgets it exists because baby
  • Pulls out once during unusually quiet moment
    • imagines all the cool things I’ll be able to fill in
  •  Fast forward to present
    • rushes to fill everything in
    • extremely thankful for pictures and videos that have a date 🙂
      • haven’t actually printed any of the pictures to put in book…

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What I learned from this experience:

  • I don’t (didn’t) need a book
  • pictures and videos on cell phones make up for the book
  • I haven’t printed pictures in years so what made me think a book would change that
  • I’ve forgotten lots of stuff so some things only have the month
  • I don’t check it every time he hits a milestone

To all of you first time parents who might be considering a baby/memory book ask yourself these questions before purchasing one or adding it to your registry:

  • Will I remember to fill it out
    • most start off with basic info and hand/ foot prints
  • Am I honestly going to print out accompanying photos
    • do you have a printer at home or will you need to have them printed elsewhere
  • What am I going to do with it later
    • Will I keep it in a box filled with other keepsakes for that child
    • Do I plan on giving it to them when they’re old enough
      • Will they care
      • What will I do with it if they don’t want it

With that said I plan on finishing his entire book and apologizing to future children because I doubt I’ll do this again… I hope this is helpful to someone who is considering adding one to their registry or buying one.

Weight & Stats – 1st Month

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Stats* as of 1/12/17

Arms 16

Waist 43

Hips 49 1/2

Thighs 24 1/2

Weight 220

BMI 35.3%

*measurements are in inches and pounds and BMI is based on Weight Watchers scale

Changes:

  • Arms no change
  • Waist -4
  • Hips & Thighs -1.5
  • Weight -11
  • BMI -1.8

Goals for the Month:

  • Drink more water
  • Incorporate exercise

Weekly Details:

31 Days down (4 full weeks completed)

Week 1 – Excited but went to Red Lobster with my mom. I went right back to the diet for my next meal and still managed to lose an amazing amount of weight. (thanks to breastfeeding and period)

Week 2 – Husband talking me off the cheating edge. If it wasn’t for him I’m sure I would’ve given up.

Week 3 – I did terrible by cheating off and on the whole week but I didn’t quit. I got right back to it the next meal.

Week 4 – I had a plan. All of our meals were planned out and I had nuts, coffee and tea as my go to items when I felt like cheating. However that didn’t work… I cheated but regretted nothing because I enjoyed it!

What I learned:

Perfection doesn’t matter as much as improvement. I feel very good about not giving up this time and I know I’ll reach my goals if I don’t quit! I also realized weight loss without exercise could leave me dissatisfied with my end result… which is why I changed my goals to include exercise of some kind.

 

Bringing Healthy Back

I have a ton of life changes to update so look for weight, healthy lifestyle, food, date nights, home and my son. This post will be strictly about my weight and the healthy lifestyle changes I’ve made.

After taking the pictures below, I realized I NEED to lose weight in order to feel better, set a healthy example for my son and to get back to the body I had when I first met my husband. I only showed the side profile so I can see the progress my chin makes but other than that I’m still not brave enough to post my picture for the internet to see. Maybe one day I will but for now I want to focus strictly on weight rather than picking apart my facial flaws. Yes, I would sit on my computer obsessing over all the things I’d like to correct or change or wish I had but that destructive behavior is for another post that might never be written or published for public viewing. Drum roll please…

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Stats* as of 12/12/16

Arms 16

Waist 47

Hips 51

Thighs 26

Weight 231

BMI 37.1%

*measurements are in inches and pounds and BMI is based on Weight Watchers scale

Goals:

Look and feel better, weigh less than 200lbs by summer, no speific fitness goals yet

Method:

Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body

Additional:

It’s been about 21 days. The first week I was full of excitement but I went to Red Lobster with my mom. I went right back to the diet for my next meal and still managed to lose an amazing amount of weight. The second week was full of my husband talking me off the cheating edge and if it wasn’t for him I’m sure I would’ve given up. Last week I did terrible by cheating off and on the whole week but I didn’t quit. I got right back to it the next meal. This week which will be the 4th week I have a plan. All of our meals are planned out and I have nuts, coffee and tea as my go to items when I feel like cheating.

Going forward I will be updating my progress the 12th of every month unless it falls on cheat day (Saturday). Cheats days will be spent eating everything that isn’t nailed down 🙂 Healthier me will see you next time.

 

Farewell Edges

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We’ve been together since I was born. We’ve weathered many storms. We’ve gone on adventures and explored new places. You never judged me or left me in my time of need. Now that I enter a new phase in my life I couldn’t help but notice our relationship has changed. You’re fading, going away, backing off… I don’t know how to deal with this. I knew it was a possibility but I fooled myself into thinking we were going to get through this untouched. I figured you were strong enough to stick around during the most exciting yet scariest time in my life OUR life. But, like so many others have already experienced, you abandoned me so where do we go from here.

Okay so that was extremely dramatic but you get my point. I started noticing thinning around my hairline when I hit 3 months postpartum. At 4 months I knew I wasn’t crazy and that my edges were indeed thinning. This wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t convince myself that my edges would be fine. However I did and now I’m way more traumatized than I should be. I would pick my son over my edges but I miss them. Pulled back hairstyles don’t look the same and the overall feel of a simple ponytail or bun is just sad now. I have confidence my edges will return to me but for now I wonder where our relationship went wrong. Was it the pregnancy hormones? The lack of attention? The frequent washing without conditioning? Only time will reveal the reason but know I miss you and I will do everything I can to get you to come back to me.

Pregnancy Classes pt 2

Here’s my quick opinion of each class based only on my birthing experience with my first child. It’ll say yes or no along with a brief reason.

Early Pregnancy – Yes* but you can find everything online

Late Pregnancy – YES because the hospital tour really made hubby and I feel more at ease and prepared since we knew what to expect

Infant Safety and CPR (non-certified) – YES but thank goodness we haven’t had to use it

Prepared Childbirth – Yes but I could definitely skip this for any additional children unless it was 4+ years since having my first. I did use a technique from the class which was breathing in/ out slowly and deeply while closing my eyes and focusing on getting through each wave (contraction)

Breastfeeding – Yes* and no. I’m only torn because the class itself was good and told you how to contact a lactation consultant (LC) but I still NEEDED an LC and you could find all of the info online

Newborn Care – Yes (see memes below) unless you’re not a first time parent, are around a lot of babies or if you take care of babies for a living

*if the class is offered for free

Recovery – Emotions pt 2

Ah good ole healing and over estimating…

Wasn't Ready

As I stated in my last post, the emotional toll has been tough and I wasn’t ready. I’ve already gone over breastfeeding now lets dive head first into healing and over estimating my abilities…

It is a necessary evil but it is evil… Let me explain. I thought I prepared for everything. I read a ton, took all the classes, made note of all the advice I received and researched every possible (common) birthing situation. I was ready for the unmedicated vaginal birth that I wanted to try as well as the meds I could ask for and their side effects, c-section, emergency c-section and complete knockout. I felt very fortunate to have the birth I wanted (see LnD for details) but I wasn’t prepared for the disappointment I’d feel when I got home.

I had this beautiful healthy baby boy, my husband by my side, a clean apartment and a clear mind that allowed me to be present and truly soak in the wonderful changes that were ahead of us. We took a seat on the couch and stared at this little human in complete awe that he was finally on the outside. The first full week with the three of us was amazing. It was challenging but great. However everything seemed to change when hubby went back to work. I knew what to expect when he went back but I wasn’t physically or emotionally prepared for the annoyance and random pain/ irritation from my vag stitches.

happiness

WARNING – Things are about to get real…

The first day was weird. I didn’t want to be away from him for a second for fear he’d disappear or I’d return to the horrible reality of SIDS but logically speaking I knew I’d eventually have to put him down. I had to time my bathroom breaks correctly or else I’d be running off the toilet bleeding, sore and waddling w/ my pants around my ankles. My bathroom trips were as follows:

Supplies

  • fill up squeeze bottle w/ warm water (only because cold water sucks)
  • grab Tuck pads ( unnecessary but in my mind this helped prevent hemorrhoids)
  • perineal ice pack (vag ice pack)
  • after swelling went down the ice pack was replaced with pads
    • note to younger generation the new “heavy” pads are so thin compared to the giant pads that we heavy flows once had to use
  • flushable wipes (adult baby wipes)

Process

  • use bathroom as normal
    • good time to note I was terrified to have a bowel movement (BM). the first BM was awful and the blood (from vag) looked like a crime scene. so all BM was accompanied w/ slight fear of seeing the same horror show and feeling like I was being ripped apart down there…
  • use squeeze bottle filled with warm water
  • wipe with wet flushable wipes because regular TP felt like sandpaper
  • open, crack and shake ice pack
  • place Tuck pads on ice pack (later on would be placed on heavy flow pad)
  • use numbing spray as necessary (all the time)
  • waddle out the bathroom like a baby wearing a diaper…

That was my routine for what felt like forever but I eventually adjusted. What I didn’t adjust to was the pain that would radiate from my nether region up through my lower back and sometimes down my leg. It was so persistent that my sciatica came back. Yet more things I didn’t think I’d have to deal with because of the “you’ll be back to normal in no time” lie that was told to me since I had an uncomplicated birth. Plus with that statement rolling around in my head I felt like a failure because I was still sore. I felt I didn’t deserve to take the pain meds prescribed to me since everything went so well during delivery. I was also paranoid about the effects it would have on my little man. I kept piling on the expectations and guilt over not being healed and up and running at full speed. I kept wondering why I was still sore, bleeding and experiencing intense back pain. I told myself if I wasn’t overweight when I got pregnant I wouldn’t still be in pain. If I would have followed a strict healthy lifestyle while pregnant then I wouldn’t still be in pain. If I would have just XYZ then I’d be perfectly fine but I wasn’t. The pain eventually grew so intense that I couldn’t pick him up one day (about 3.5wk pp).

I finished running errands, cleaning up, cooking dinner and was now refilling the mobile diaper station aka the pack n play when it happened. I was picking up my crying heart (my son) when I knew I needed to quickly and carefully put him back down so I didn’t drop him. I lost all control and fell to the side of the pack n play. He started crying louder and I ugly cried in utter pain. I was afraid because I didn’t know why I’d simply collapsed. I had the pain before but this time my body decided it didn’t want to support me. It didn’t want to keep holding me up after continuously pushing it. If I didn’t say it before I’m saying it now. No one put this pressure on me except myself. I wanted to be supermom and I expected myself to do so because I no longer worked, my delivery went great and my son was ideal. I felt I needed to live up to all the expectations I had in my head. But my body couldn’t keep up. I wasn’t sleeping or eating enough (some days only a handful of whatever was close) or taking time out for myself so my body (in a very loud way) said you can’t keep this up. This also coincided with the breastfeeding issues I was having. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that even with a nearly textbook delivery I needed to focus on taking care of myself and my son and doing other things as I felt up to it.

I wish I could say this was my wake up call but it wasn’t. I got worse and so did my need to prove I was fine. It wasn’t until breaking down completely in front of the lactation consultant that I realized I needed to stop before my sadness (over not being supermom) turned into full blown postpartum depression. My husband happened to be off that day and was able to come with me so he was able to reason with me. He reminded me that these were my own requirements driving me insane not my son or anyone else. He held me and reminded me that it hadn’t been that long since I had a child. He also reminded me that if I kept going I would really break down and wouldn’t be able to take care of our son then he lightened the mood by trailing off into something funny involving what he was saying. It helped tremendously. I spent the next day treating my body as I should have from the beginning. I watched movies, took care of my son and allowed myself to relax. I allowed myself to just be… And I felt like I’d DIE!! But that got me to thinking. I needed to relax in order to recharge but a complete stop would drive me insane. Then I realized BALANCE is what I needed.

I had to allow myself to do both. I had to allow myself to let go of the supermom idea. I had to realize pregnancy was very taxing and delivery was the fast version of the whole time I was pregnant. I needed to allow myself to heal the way my body wanted to. Mentally I couldn’t sit around while my apartment became dirty and cluttered but physically I couldn’t keep deep cleaning like I used to. Physically I needed to rest when I could and exist in the new role I was in. Mentally I needed to cope with my new limitations instead of beating myself up for a made up version of motherhood. Sure their might be times I’m supermom but I needed to be okay being normal mom.

stuff

 

To my son: Mommy is trying the best she can while still trying to maintain her own identity. I’m coming to terms with the fact that my life will never be the same but it is a great thing. I’m changing into someone I never thought I could be. I’m doing things that I didn’t think I was capable of. Most importantly I’m finding a new type of strength. I’ve always been able to physically push through things but mentally I’d block out and avoid anything that caused mental pain. Being a mommy is teaching me to deal with mental/emotional pain in the same way I deal w/ physical pain; head on and armed with as much knowledge as possible. My hope for you is that you’ll go through life the same way. With your eyes wide open and armed with as much knowledge as possible coupled with commonsense of course. And if you get married and your wife finds herself in a similar situation do what your dad did for me. Remind her she’s a wonderfully made human and you’ll support her through whatever. Also offer to take your little one so she can have a break knowing her child is close by and in the best hands (next to her own of course 😉