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After four years and seven months of breastfeeding, my days as a milch cow are over. In one week, I lost four pounds and one cup size.
I can’t believe the clothes that I fit in now that I’m no longer a D-cup. Medium tops would always be a belly-shirt or I’d be exploding out the top like Pam Anderson. Dozens of people keep asking me: What are you doing? Are you on a diet? You’re melting away!
Nope. Just stopped the nursing. Its amazing how much smaller your body looks without the extra flesh on top. And I’ve missed these clothes! I remember looking through a box last fall and thinking, “Why am I holding on to this stuff?” It had been five years since I’d worn any of it (pregnant or nursing or pregnant AND nursing). Hello again, little fitted tees and dresses with spaghetti straps!
Other moms told me my energy would be through the roof. I certainly feel much more productive now that I’m not nourishing another person with my body. It takes that weight-of-the-world off your shoulders. Not there there aren’t a million things to be done, it just doesn’t feel like that much more than I can handle.
More than it feeling like I had more energy, stopping breastfeeding felt like someone stopped stepping on me all day long.
And I’m cleaning out my closets. And the basement. Who needs a crib? A changing table? Six pairs of adorable little sneakers?
|“Nine months on, nine months off,” my arse!|
|They must not be talking about those of us whose bodies are still worried there might be another potato famine. I got a call last week from a woman out West who was concerned that she was six months postpartum and hadn’t lost the baby weight.
“I’m practicing five days a week and eating really well,” she told me. And being a busy, stressed-out, tired, nursing mom. For some women, breastfeeding burns fat like no tomorrow. For others, it seems like a constant reminder to store-store-store for the lean times. Gotta be able to make that milk!
The only way to increase your metabolic rate is to increase your heart rate and/or muscle mass. That’s why fidgeters are generally so thin. I guess that’s one of the downfalls of that incredible 44 beats per minute Italian heart rate…
I hate to talk too much about weight because I really don’t think it’s that important. It’s not easy to forget about it, though, when you wear Spandex to work in front of a 1,200 square foot mirror…
It took me about 18 months with Bella to get back to my norm, and I mean my abdominal strength, to get my hips back to normal and my flexibility, too. By then, I was pregnant with Judah. I haven’t stopped nursing in 3.5 years, so it will be interesting to see what happens to my body once they’re both done.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but I have to get back to the sleep. We recently moved. New house, Judah has his own room and is sleeping in it. He’s still waking up and crying every night, but usually only once or twice and only for a few minutes. The first week we did it, he slept from 7pm to 5am twice.
I can’t even tell you. Incredible. The first morning, I didn’t feel like I was crazy for the first time in a long time. Years. I didn’t feel depressed, or like I couldn’t handle life, jacked up or anxious or anything. Just normal. Sure, I’ll have a cup of coffee. Let me get this soup on the stove. I’m going to throw a load of laundry in before I make lunches. And, yes, I’d LOVE to cover that class for you.
This is really the craziest part of it. In just a couple of days, I started to look forward to bedtime because I expected to be able to sleep for more than an hour at a time. No big explosion or fireworks or major event or anything. He just goes to bed and it’s not in mine.
I’ve been sleeping about five or six hours a night for a month now. A week ago, Judah wasn’t feeling well and was up all night off and on and the next morning I was slaughtered by it. So dead and beat up. It’s just so crazy how you can go without noticing it from, I-never-sleep to sleeping-fairly-well-is-normal-and-expected in a flash.
You enter this world that most people are in and it feels like a fairy wonderland.
I saw a friend with similar sleep woes and two small kids the other day. She was glowing at 8 am. She was smiling like I haven’t seen…um….ever. I met her after her first was born. She looked so, well, she looked how I FELT when I started sleeping.
I had to ask and the answer was YES! She’d slept for the first time in three years the night before. Her husband took the kids and she went to the far end of the house with the door shut. No nursing all night. No mommy on duty. She’d only slept for about five hours, but let me tell you, compared to two, five hours is paradise. Rejuvenating. Fountain of youth good.
A few people have asked me what’s new and I’ve mentioned the sleeping. “Awesome, what else?” they ask. I want to jump up and down. Did they not hear me? I’m sleeping! I’m sleeping! MY KID IS SLEEPING MOST OF THE NIGHT!!!! Not only is that new, it’s novel, it’s amazing, its incredible, its…..I thought it was unattainable.
So, yeah, that’s what’s new.
Stay Strong, Team
It’s three years today since Bella was born. Judah is nine months old. We made it, team. Some days (today) I don’t know how. It’s not the day-to-day, it’s the sleep.
At first, you’re so hopped up on hormones and excitement that you can ride on them for a good week. Then, by two weeks, you start to think, “Wow. This no sleep thing is no joke.” Dragging, grey, tired. And then it just becomes your reality. You’re just tired all of the time. That’s parenting. People say, it will get better at three months, six months, nine months, when they start eating solids, once the molars come in. I think for some kids it does, but I know for a lot of kids it doesn’t.
That’s one of the secret lies of parenting. In yoga we say, the biggest lie in Bikram Yoga is “Balancing stick is ten seconds.” In parenting, the biggest lie another parent will tell you is “My kid sleeps through the night.” Means something different to everyone and it doesn’t last for anyone. One of my good friends did cry-it-out at four months. She said her son slept through the night. “It works, Sara. You have to do it.”
At sixmonths he was getting up twice a night and at nine months once and at 12 months four times and at 18 months he was sleeping in her bed. We’re all just trying our best. Doing what we can. And we all have different kids. They all respond in different ways.
I’m not going to lie. My kids don’t sleep. Bella was up every 60-90 minutes, every single night for a good 18 months, didn’t STTN until after Judah was born. Judah slept last week from 10:30 pm to 4:30 am and so did I. It was the first time I’d slept six hours in over three years. I felt so good that morning. The next night, he woke up every 30-60 minutes. I felt so terrible that morning. Up and down. Up and down. And if you have some advice for me, please keep it to yourself. I’ve heard it all from people I know and from people I don’t. And I’ve tried it all. If you want to commiserate, give me a call.
So, I’m humming along with life in my reality of tired all of the time, coping pretty well, keeping most of the balls in the air and all of a sudden, there comes a moment when I think, “How am I not a danger to society? How am I operating a motorized vehicle? Running a business? Cooking dinner without losing a finger or burning someone?”
I’m SO tired. Drained. Exhausted. Brainless. Hopeless. I think its the brainless that’s the scariest.
And then the next day, I’m all right. Take class. Change my outlook on life. Feel better. Keep moving. That’s what my sister and I always say to each other: The only way to keep going is to keep going.
And you know, someday these sweet, little muffins won’t even live in my house, let alone wake me up every two hours and I will be very sad. Some days that’s enough to keep a positive outlook. Some days.