Home » LifeontheRun » The State of Things: 4 Months Out

The State of Things: 4 Months Out

…or 4 months in. I suppose it’s all how you look at it.

Remember when I said I wanted to write a 3-month postpartum update, because it seemed like that was a pretty significant amount of time (the end of the 4th trimester and all)? Well I guess I missed that window. So I started typing up a 4-month post the other day, got maybe a quarter of the way through and realized I was boring even myself. Which is a pretty sure sign I shouldn’t publish it. So instead, here is a somewhat random collection of 4-month updates, thoughts, and confessions. I can’t promise it won’t bore you, but at least it’s easy to skim in this format.

The most common thing people want to know (I think) is if I’ve lost all the baby weight yet. I’m finding the answer to be a lot more complicated than it seems. I lost a good chunk of weight pretty quickly and then it sort of stalled out a couple of months ago (I’m sure the almost nightly treats I consume have nothing to do with it!). Technically, I have maybe 5-6 pounds to go before I reach my starting weight (i.e. my weight at my initial 6 week OB appointment a year ago). And honestly – I’m expecting those extra pounds to hang around until Amelia is weaned.

DSC 0831Totally unflattering shot to demonstrate the belly at 11 weeks pp. At least Amelia looks cute!

But – extra pounds or not, my body is shaped very differently. Although my hips aren’t quite as curvy as they were a couple of months ago and I no longer look pregnant when I remember to stand up straight and suck in my belly, I’m just soft.  So yes, my clothes fit again (yay!) but they don’t all look as good on me as I remember.

The only parts of my body that are somewhat toned are my biceps — from lugging around a car seat, 500 bags, and a baby on a regular basis – and my calves – from carrying around so much extra weight over this past year. As for the rest? Well…let’s just say I now have quite the collection of cellulite.

I swore many times during pregnancy that I would not miss a single thing about it. Turns out that wasn’t quite true. Over the past few months, I’ve realized that I miss two things: 1. Not having to suck in my stomach. It was so freeing to just let it all hang out! and 2. The thick luscious locks that never shed. I am in the middle of some massive postpartum hair loss. My drains are so full that it’s a wonder I have anything left on my head.

Maybe that’s because at this point, pregnancy sort of seems like it was one long dream. It’s funny to me that you spend the better part of a year pregnant and then once it’s done (and you’ve recovered physically), it’s almost like you never were. I mean, sure, I have lasting physical reminders – my cavernous belly button, the canyon down the middle of my abs (more on that in a second), and oh yeah, that lovely scar. But for the most part I just feel like myself. And I ALMOST forget what it was like to be pregnant. Almost.

IMG 4863Last weekend before baby. Coat not even close to zipping

Labor and delivery though? Nope. No way. I am not sure I will ever be able to forget that.

As I mentioned above, I still have a lovely gap between my abdominal muscles. I wish I had known more about diastasis recti before and during pregnancy. My midwives never talked to me about it, and I just assumed a large separation between your ab muscles was normal. I’m sure I did things during pregnancy that didn’t help the issue…things I would have avoided had I known. Fortunately in the almost 19 weeks since I’ve given birth the gap has decreased — from about 3+ fingers 6 weeks pp to about one finger width at its widest point (around my belly button). So it’s not healed, but at least it’s slowly moving in the right direction. After months of doing nothing for fear that any core exercise would make it worse, I finally talked to my friend Kathleen at Oh baby! fitness. She gave me some really helpful suggestions and I’ve been working hard to engage my transverse abdominals ever since. Still haven’t given in and bought a splint yet. (FYI: some really helpful information about diastasis recti here.)

Except – your transverse abdominals are hard to find! Or at least, they are after they’ve been dormant for almost a year. I’ve been working on scooping or “hollowing” my belly — basically pulling my belly button into my spine — periodically throughout the day. Since I spend so much time sitting in the car, I practice during my commute (about the only productive thing I do during those 2.5 hours). But I really have to focus. The second I stop thinking about my posture, I’m slumped down with my “beer belly” hanging out once again.

Partly based on a recommendation from K and partially out of desperation from not being able to run, I signed up for Barre3 online classes. I will admit that I expected to be underwhelmed, and really didn’t see myself lasting beyond the 15-day free trial (I’m just against paying for online exercise classes). 10 minutes in to my first workout and my legs were toast!! Granted, there’s a lot more cellulite in there than muscle these days (see above) but still. I take back any negative thoughts I had about it…and will even admit that I’m sort of loving it. It’s a workout that I can easily do any time and since I’m still not running, it feels good to do something else active that doesn’t seem to bother my bum (I just modify/omit any core exercises that focus on the obliques for now). Plus, anything that works on toning said bum and those pesky transverse abdominals is good in my book.

I have become sort of obsessed with cloth diapers.

cloth diapers

Look, I know that the concept of using cloth to catch my baby’s poo, washing it in the same machine that cleans my clothes, and then reusing it is probably disgusting to many of you. Or at least probably doesn’t sound like your definition of fun. But I’m telling you…there’s something about those cute diapers that’s addicting. I can see now why people build up ridiculously large stashes. I’m one of those people who ordered a bunch of different kinds initially to try them out, and now I want more of my favorites (plus there’s so many more to try!). And yes, we are using them at daycare. This is more of a testament to the amazing teachers in the infant room than anything else, but it did take a little negotiating (side note: I’d be happy to write a post about using cloth diapers, particularly if you are working…if anyone is interested. But my main advice is if you want to use them in daycare: know your state’s regulations! They may be more helpful than you think).

I’ve bared my chest in more public places during the past 4 months than ever before in my entire life. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not walking around uncovered with the baby on my hip nursing at will, but you know, the baby gets hungry and she doesn’t really care where we are when that happens. I mean, in what other situation would I feel comfortable going partially topless at the office? (Answer: none). Luckily this whole nursing thing is becoming easier and feeling more natural all the time.

Really this whole being a mom thing is like that. Sometimes it is still strange to call myself a mom; to say that I have a daughter. But I’m amazed by how natural it feels. It’s not that I always know what to do, because I certainly don’t have most of the answers. But having a child of my own — it’s this huge life adjustment but also like nothing has changed, all at the same time.

Family photo_Easter

Related: I’m amazed by how much I have absolutely loved this baby stage. When Evan and I used to talk about the future, it was always about having kids…little people to do fun things with. I knew they’d be babies first, but the pictures in my head of our future family were always when they were older. And although I knew I liked babies, I was mostly excited about the kid stage. Except now that I have one I can’t even believe how much I love her at this age. It’s a lot of work, sure, but it’s way more fun than I ever imagined. I literally get to watch someone learn and grow right before my eyes. What’s more incredible than that?

Amelia_Gram_Easter bookLittle girl loves her books! Reading with Gram on Easter.

Speaking of babies, I’m sure you will all believe me when I say that Amelia is the most perfect, most wonderful baby ever (ha!). No but really, she’s pretty laid-back for the most part and I know we lucked out in that department. Which is why I sort of (kind of) hoped we’d breeze through the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. After all, she has always been a pretty good sleeper, and slept through the night at a fairly early age (don’t hate me). Shows how naive we are. I think (hope!) we are finally at the tail end of it, but I will tell you that it was worse than all those middle of the night, round the clock newborn feedings. At least then you expect to be up all night! I have never been closer to napping at my desk every afternoon than I was this past week.

Amelia 4 months

Good thing she’s so cute! It’s hard to stay grumpy when I see that little face.

And finally — it took me an entire week to write this post. But at least I got it done before the 5-month mark. Little victories.

24 Responses to The State of Things: 4 Months Out

  1. YES to all of this! We just had a discussion about cloth diapers with my husband’s family…they all think we are nuts but I honestly LOVE it. It’s very strange but I don’t care. They are the most adorable things ever. And the four month sleep regression… Holy hell that was miserable. SO much harder than the newborn stage bc NO ONE tells you about it and it’s extra hard after getting used to sleeping well again, relatively speaking of course. It was so frustrating and I am so, so happy to ( hopefully) have it behind us…until the 6 month one. Oy. And the barre classes…every time i have gone to one i leave barelly being able to walk haha. It’s a really great leg workout. And I am really loving 4 months, they are like for real babies now! It’s so much fun(most of the time) and i am really loving watching him figure out the world….and his voice(how are teeny tiny babies SO LOUD??). So glad you guys are doing so well! Love the updates, they are not boring at all!

  2. Love reading your updates! :) She is so perfect!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun´s last post ..5 Things I’m Loving Friday {Hydration}

  3. I would love to see a post on cloth diapers! I’m 5 months’ pregnant with my first and currently debating whether to go cloth, disposable, or some kind of combination of the two..

    • Cloth has really been so easy (so far!). We used disposables for the first 2 weeks and then switched to cloth during the day/disposable overnight until we ran out of disposables (maybe another 1/1.5 weeks?) and haven’t had any issues. Even my husband has become a big fan (he was willing to go along with it from the beginning but I think has been surprised by how easy it has been. We’ll see what happens when we start solids…). I will try to get a post together at some point soon, but if you’re leaning toward trying cloth, I’d definitely recommend it! Even if you just get a couple to try out at first before investing in an entire stash.

  4. Second the post on cloth diapers! We are planning on cloth. What is your favorite brand?

    • I really love my BumGeniuses! I have a few Freetimes and a 4.0 (which I really want more of!) and one Elemental. Probably won’t get more Elementals just because they’re expensive, take forever to prep, and I really love the Freetimes as an AIO (though the Elementals are a lot slimmer fitting). Another brand that I love are the Blueberry/Swaddlebees. I have 2 pairs of Simplex and they’re awesome — but definitely on the pricey side.

      And then a less expensive but still really good pocket diaper option are Nicki’s diapers (only $10! http://www.nickisdiapers.com/nickis-diapers-one-size-pocket-diaper.html).

      I could go on and on 😉 Really the only diaper that I have that I do not like is a Bumkins AIO. One of the snaps came off after the first wash and now it seems to be leaking.

  5. Your baby is seriously the cutest baby in America!! I love your updates- please do more on any and all topics :)
    Ashley´s last post ..Holiday Questions

  6. i love it!

    first, your child is so beautiful!!! she’s amazing. simply amazing!

    also, we cloth diaper too and LOVE it! it gets so much easier once they are on solid foods…you just dump it in the toilet and go. it’s amazing.

    i was never good at breastfeeding in public, but that’s probably because i had tons of back issues after giving birth. good for you! i was still able to make it to a year, even though i exclusively fed him in the comfort of my own bed :)
    dawn @ running the dawn´s last post ..a measuring stick

    • We’re actually a little afraid of solids and cloth! ha Now we don’t do anything to the diapers before washing…just toss in a pail and then run a rinse cycle first. But good to know you think it’s easy on solids!

      And I’m using the term “public” loosely. Although I have fed her in a couple of restaurants, etc, I always use a cover…and more often than not I nurse from the comfort of the backseat of the car or in another closed room by myself. :)

  7. Everything you say in your post-baby updates reminds me of myself, only one month behind you. Alexander sleeps through the night too (though I’m guessing he might have that regression too.)
    Lee´s last post ..A New Addition

    • That’s awesome that he sleeps through the night! Hopefully you’ll breeze right by the regression…you never know. And even in our case, I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been (though I probably wouldn’t have admitted that at the time!).

  8. Lauren, beautiful post as usual. What great family pictures. Little x-man baby looks like she is totally in to Grandma Conkey’s reading.

  9. What a great post…it was well worth the wait! You are so lucky your little one is sleeping through the night already! We weren’t as lucky but finally getting there at 10 months : )
    Jenn@Mark My Miles!´s last post ..Empty Laundry Baskets!

  10. Thank you for always writing such open and honest posts about your experience with pregnancy and having a newborn. You’re family is beautiful:)
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine´s last post ..My First “Thinking Out Loud” Post

  11. So excited to read your cloth diaper post! I’m due in September and have already become obsessed with cloth diapers.
    Chasity´s last post ..Staying Fit While Pregnant

  12. I checked out the website for the Barre3 classes, and I can’t find where you can sign up for a free trial. I love running, but I am struggling to get in my runs, and this would be nice to add to the workout mix. From the website, which classes have you taken online and liked? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jenny! So sorry for my slow reply. They don’t make it easy for you to find the free trial. Try this link (you do have to provide your credit card information): http://www.barre3.com/onlinefreetrial/

      So far I really like the ones that get my heart rate up (since I’m a bit of a cardio junkie). So the Interval Strength and the body blast/sizzler workouts are great, as are the ones without props (I don’t have a special barre ball and so far have gotten by fine without it!). And of course for me, I appreciate the 30 minute Bounce Back and the 10 minute postnatal workout. I see that there’s also a runner’s workout on there that I haven’t tried yet but will probably do soon!

  13. Loving all the updates – the real side of post-baby that isn’t just focused on losing the weight. I really appreciate as I’ll hopefully be in your shoes one day!

    One of my fellow nurses is a Bar Method instructor, which is about the same idea as Barre 3. She says nurses shake the most during some of the moves because we’re conditioned to work in one direction with one set of muscles…and the super tight hamstrings made me look so inflexible next to the ex-dancers…oh well! It was a different type of workout and was difficult, but I’m not sure it is something I would keep up for the long haul. I like to sweat.
    Susan – Nurse on the Run´s last post ..Nurses’ Week 2014: the reality of nurses on TV

    • I can’t see myself doing this for the longterm either, but it is a good way to get in some strength training. I have a hard time sticking with it — if I have any free time to exercise, I’d always rather be running!

  14. I just found your blog, and I’m sad I haven’t been reading it all along! I have a 4 month old daughter and had a c-section as well, and am making my way back into running. I’ve been lucky so far – ran Boston and a few other races with no issues. I did have really bad SI pain while I was pregnant though, so I know exactly what you’re talking about – I was off from running for about 2 months. I did a lot of hip and lower back exercises, and that seemed to help a lot. I hope yours heals up quickly!

    My daughter used to sleep through the night as well, but that ended once I went back to work. I feel like she wakes up every few hours now to make sure I’m still there and say hi. :) Glad to hear I’m not alone on that one! Your daughter is beautiful. Looking forward to keeping up with your blog!

  15. Aaaahhhh! She is such a cutie!!!!
    MILF Runner´s last post ..How to celebrate. (aka Shameless Birthday Pimp/Attention Whore Post)

  16. She is SO cute! Sleep regressions are a bitch-the 4 month one didn’t get us too badly, but the 8-9 month one was 3 weeks of pain in the buttness. Thank god for coffee.
    Lori´s last post ..Motivation

  17. I personally think you look amazing. :) also, i’ve been going to barre3 in atlanta! It’s definitely a challenge!

  18. […] I first read about rectus diastasis on another blog a few weeks ago and was pretty sure that I had it, and last week the PT confirmed that I do indeed […]

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