This month I decided to get my act together and do something about the baby weight. I finally feel capable of committing to healthy eating and exercise now that Billy is sleeping better and we’ve established a routine. I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately about women accepting and embracing their post baby body which I think is absolutely wonderful but unfortunately I’m not one of those women. I think it’s amazing that my body has grown such a perfect little bundle of joy and I should be happy with the way I look ‘considering I had a baby’ but I’m not and I want to do something about it. I look in the mirror and I’m ok with what I see but my clothes don’t fit right and I seem to always look like a giant in photos with friends and family. I know it’s because I’m taller but it would be nice to look at a photo and not feel shocked at the way I look. The first day of spring seemed like the perfect time to start so I set some goals, enlisted my husband to help, hit a few road bumps but this is my baby weight loss progress for September:
Weight Loss goals
I want to lose the last of the baby weight, a total of 9.5kg (20.94 pounds) in 4 months by New Years Eve. It was my goal this month to lose 3.7kg (8.15 pounds).
Step 1: Routine
I wrote out Billy’s routine and worked out the ideal times to express, exercise and eat meals. The idea was that if I knew what was coming next I would just do it.
Step 2: Cleanse
I’ve done a few cleanses in the past with really successful results so I thought a juice cleanse would be the perfect way to get rid of junk food cravings and kick start my healthy eating program. Day one went well but by day two I was starving so the cleanse started to include eating fruit, vegetables and rice. Day three I was exhausted and worried about my breast milk because I was still expressing so included chicken and by day four the ‘cleanse’ was really just a healthy eating program.
Step 3: Exercise
I hear women say they try and try but no matter what they do they can’t lose weight. That’s not true for me, my body responds really well to exercise and it’s always been the key to me losing weight in the past. I spent the last few years in a reasonably active job but since finishing work I haven’t moved much. This month my activity level definitely improved but again I started out strong then slacked towards the end of the month. I walked every day for the first week, a couple of times in the second week then once in the third week and nothing in the past week. I did one exercise session at home but they were post natal exercises for women 10 days after delivery so basically I did my pelvic floor.
Despite the cleanse not really going to plan and the exercise wavering I still managed to lose 2kg (4.4 pounds). I did do my before weight at night time and my final weight before breakfast but I’m just gonna let that slide. I feel confident that if I try harder this month I’ll be able to lose enough weight to fit back into my summer clothes so I’m just going to keep going with my original goals and hope for the best. Oh and so much for enlisting my husband to help, he reached his goal weight in two days. It’s like fat camp all over again.
I’ve been grieving lately, grieving the loss of sleep so I thought I would take you through my five stages of morning… or should I say mourning:
Stage 1: Denial
It’s way too early, it’s still dark outside… He can’t be waking up now… He might resettle on his own… OK maybe I’ll just pop the dummy back in and he’ll go right back to sleep… I’ll get another few hours sleep for sure… Actually I better set my alarm in case he sleeps too long and we’re late getting up.
Stage 2: Bargaining
He’s still awake. Seriously baby if you give me one more hours sleep I’ll give you my first born.. wait that makes no sense. I will give you all the pureed pear your heart desires. I will single twinkle twinkle until my hands fall off. I will let you fall asleep in my arms, heck I will sleep in the cot with you if you please just go back to sleep.
Stage 3: Anger
What. Is. Wrong. With. You?!
You’ve been fed, I’ve changed your nappy, I’ve burped you, I turned on the heater, I gave you an extra blanket, I put a glass of water on the desk in case the air was too dry from the heater. I turned off the lamp, I changed the white noise from rainfall to fan, I turned off the heater, I turned on the nightlight, I bounced you on the fitball, I shhhed you, I rocked you in the chair, I turned on the nightlight… what else could you possibly need?
Stage 4: Depression
I’m never going to sleep properly ever again for the rest of my life. I will never remember what it is like to have energy.
Stage 5: Acceptance
You’re just a sweet little baby who spent 9 months in my womb, it’s not your fault you don’t want to be apart from me. Come lie in mummies arms and I’ll sing you a lullaby…. Ahhh asleep at last.
You know when you tell someone something then they come back at you all negative just bringing down the vibe? Well that’s what I mean by stop wasting my flava.
It starts in Pregnancy
You’re tired, I mean really tired. Like more tired than you’ve ever been before. Your body is growing a human being. A HUMAN BEING. You might have just gotten over six, maybe even thirty weeks of non stop morning sickness that lasted day and night like you’d come off a three day bender. You might be getting up twelve times a night to pee. You might not be sleeping because your hip aches and trying to sleep upright on the couch didn’t work, now your neck is sore so you’re fucked and can only sleep in the garden. Someone asks you how you’re feeling. It’s so nice that someone cares, you say ‘I’m tired’ then they reply – ‘Just wait until the baby comes then you’ll know what tired means’ – Stop wasting my flava.
It continues in motherhood
You’re dealing with sleep deprivation, you don’t understand how you used to be able to do a million things in one day at the office and now you can’t even collect a package from the post office. You make a goal – ‘Tomorrow I will collect the package’. Then tomorrow comes and time gets away from you with the constant rotation of feed, nappy, sleep. The baby keeps crying so you don’t make it out of the house today. Someone calls to ask how you’re coping. Oh it’s so nice speaking to another adult. You say ‘I just can’t seem to get anything done’ then they reply – ‘Just wait until he’s moving around, then you’ll never get anything done’. Mate stop wasting my flava.
You woke up 12 times last night, you’re exhausted but you haven’t left the house for a week so you’re determined to get out and live life. You put on some makeup and get the hell out of the house. You go to the local shops, you’re feeling good after an extra large cappuccino. You’re exercising by pushing the pram around Kmart, buying baby shit you don’t really need but it’s on special and that shopping buzz is better than no other. You make a visit to the parents room to change bubs nappy, there’s a couple in there with two kids. The lady asks how old your baby is and you say ‘four months’. The woman says ‘wow you look amazing for four months’, you say ‘thanks’ beaming at the compliment because on the inside you’re rotting. Then the reply ‘Just wait until you have two’. Seriously, stop wasting my flava.
Why can’t we just experience what we’re experiencing without somebody wasting our flava?
When our baby was less than a week old my cousin and his wife came over to take baby photos. My husband and I were buzzing with the new baby, ‘He’s a good sleeper’ I gloated to my cousin. ‘That’s great’ he said. He didn’t waste my flava and let me experience the happiness. Fast forward to 10 weeks in and I saw him at our other cousins 21st. I talked about how tired we were as a couple, how we were playing the who’s more tired game. He gave me a knowing look and said ‘I didn’t want to burst your bubble, you guys were in that newborn excitement phase’. Why can’t we all be like my cousin? Why can’t we celebrate each others wins and let people feel their lows. If someone is feeling bad about something telling them it’s going to get worse is not the solution! I say lets #stopwastingmyflava. Even if you’re so jealous that your friends baby slept through the night that you could stab them in the eye. Smile and celebrate that win with them because when it’s time to share your win, you will want someone to celebrate with you.
There’s a game called the ‘who’s more tired game?’, I think most parents know what I’m talking about. My husband thinks he’s more tired because he works all day and wakes at night when the baby cries. I think I’m more tired because my work isn’t 9 – 5 anymore, it’s from when I open my eyes until I close my eyes. About a month ago my husband said his life was like the movie groundhog day (he was 60 hours into an 84 hour work week). I wasn’t sympathetic. ‘I’ve done a 150 hour week’ was my reply which I can hear myself saying in the most annoying tone. I hadn’t been that angry since I went mental and threw a game controller after losing in NBA Jam. I started to take deep breaths, I needed to calm down, it was obvious that I was more tired. How could he not see that?!
I was in labour for 21 hours when I gave birth and let me tell you I was tired. I was pretty dramatic in hindsight, wobbling my head from side to side, deep breathing in a daze but then again I had just given birth to a TINY HUMAN BEING! My little babe had a traumatic entry into the world being yanked out of my vagina with a vacuum seal so was taken away from me. It felt like I was in the delivery room forever being stitched up. My husband eventually returned to tell me the baby was fine. He was all in a hypo carrying around my placenta in a big yellow bio hazard bag and I was just zonked. He eventually went home and had a good few hours sleep. I was able to visit bub briefly then put in my room to ‘sleep’ but I couldn’t because I needed to urgently tell everyone the baby was born after my brother posted on facebook before I had a chance to tell anyone. Then my head was looping the fuck out from all the drugs so I had to keep my eyes open just to feel normal. Clearly I was more tired then.
I didn’t sleep the next day because people were constantly in and out of the room – one lady asking if I was doing my pelvic floor, another asking if I wanted to talk about the traumatic delivery, another talking about contraception (not necessary) while another looked at my stitches. There was no such thing as ‘rest time’, talk about hectic. I went home the following day and then the real lack of sleep began. People told me ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ but I didn’t listen. I was going to DO-IT-ALL I was woman, hear me roar. I cleaned the house, did the washing, cooked gourmet meals, I refused help. I thought I could handle it, then the sleepless nights got on top of me. I’m not sure if it was week 2, 3 or 4 because it’s such a blur but one morning I could not face getting out of bed. Nights were so hard back then, I’d get to 7pm and think ‘I can’t wait to get into bed’ then remember what was ahead of me. I’d have an overwhelming sense of dread and then delay going to sleep which makes no sense. I was definitely more tired then.
Here we are now just over 5 months in and I still can’t sleep while the baby sleeps during the day because he catnaps. We’ve separated (the baby and me) because old-mate-have-a-chat is too noisy. He has a cot sensor which I’ve tested vigorously to ensure I can hear it should he stop breathing for any reason so I’m not concerned about him being in a different room. Nights are much easier to handle now because I’m not up for hours feeding and settling him to sleep. I still have mornings when I hear him chatting and I telepathically tell him to shut the f up and let me go back to sleep but I get out of bed, shuffle to his room, look in his cot and his excited giggling face melts me and I say good morning, have a coffee and get through each day. I’ve made it out of the newborn mombie (mum-zombie) phase alive but five months of limited sleep has taken it’s toll.
So who’s more tired now? The truth is we’re both tired. We’re both so god damn tired. We laugh about the times before we had a baby that we thought we were tired. My husband is actually amazing, he gets up early and goes to work for 12 hours, he comes home each day and bathes the baby then cooks us dinner while I feed the baby and put him to bed. I’m glad we’ve stopped playing the ‘who’s more tired game’. We’re on the same team now, if one of us is tired the other will step up. The competiveness between us was pointless and besides…clearly I’m more tired.