9 months later + Baby & Body

My 9 month update:

  • My extreme postpartum hair loss has stopped. And thank goodness my hair is growing back but all the new baby hair is sticking straight up! It looks so bad. I’ve resorted to gelling it back with super strength gel. 😦 At least it’s growing back, right?
  • I’m almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I only have less than a handful of pounds left so that’s good. I thought I was going to lose everything by the 6 month mark but it didn’t help that I barely went to the gym and didn’t stick to any diet scheme. I’ve been reading stories of how some women & of course celebrities were able to lose all their pregnancy weight and more by the 1-3 month mark. I know it depends on genetics and how much you ate during your pregnancy but can I say, LUCKY! I was still bloated and not feeling like my old self until I hit the 6 month mark. But I also know there are many women who are not able to lose the baby weight as easily. I found it and still find it hard to reclaim my body afterwards.
  • With the above said, I’m finally seeing how pregnancy has changed my body. It’s nothing too drastic like some women but changes nonetheless. For some reason, I lost a lot of fat from breasts. Since high school, I was known as that Korean girl with the huge tatas. It’s weird to see them so deflated now. I can see my breast bones sticking out behind them. I still have some extra fat on my face and stomach but I can’t complain too much about anything else.
  • 2 lasting comments I heard about my post-pregnancy body: I overheard a stranger from a coffee shop tell her friend that she couldn’t believe a thin woman like me had a baby. That was really uplifting and wonderful to hear. My ears definitely perked up. A bad one? I headed to my cousin’s rehearsal dinner for her wedding and saw my aunt that hadn’t seen me since my wedding. The first thing she said to me in Korean? “Lisa, you gained a lot of weight! Especially your face!” I laughed it off but c’mon – I had a baby and it hasn’t even been a year since his birth! I haven’t felt that judged and self-conscious in awhile. 😦  I’ve learned to roll with the punches and you know something? People are going to say shit. It can be with purpose or without thought. I would like to believe it’s the latter. I probably say things at times that are devastatingly inappropriate too – no one’s perfect. So with that said, just roll with the punches. Duck, roll, do a split, or let it just smack you in the face and GET OVER IT. Don’t take things too personally. Don’t take horrible things to heart – it will do you no good. People are going to be people. Just say c’est la vie and smile.

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2.5 months postpartum

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3.5 months postpartum

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5.5 months postpartum

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9 months postpartum

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Kyle’s 9 month check-up:

  • 19 pounds / 29 inches long / 6-9 month clothing
  • I’m a believer of vaccinations so he received everything he needed. Curacao doesn’t give as many vaccinations as the U.S. so he was missing a few. He usually has a fever after his shots but not this time around! He just had little bouts of crying with each shot and he was back to his happy self within minutes. What a trooper, right? 🙂
  • He is a fast crawler. He gets into everything. He loves cords and phone chargers. He’s ruined 2 phone chargers already. Those are expensive, yo!
  • He can climb stairs but hasn’t figured out how to climb back down. He just whimpers a bit until I notice his plight. I keep showing him how to navigate the stairs by climbing backwards but it’s a no go at this point.
  • He’s been standing since before his 7 month update. He tries to stand on everything and is a pro with his walker. I’m so amazed every time I see him zooming on by — on his walker! 😀
  • He has 7 teeth in total with another one on its’ way. It’s so strange to see him with teeth! Haha. He loves biting his daddy’s toes.
  • He can clap his hands, give us high-fives, and point his index finger at us so we can do E.T’s go home. 😉
  • He likes the game of chase. He giggles all crazy and crawls super fast to the kitchen. When he sees that I’m not following him, he crawls back out to let me know he’s there and to follow him. Such a smart little man!
  • One other thing that I am amazed by is his understanding of cause and effect. For instance, there’s a little old style telephone ringer on his walker that he loves to twirl with his fingers. But he realizes that I’m much better and faster at it so a couple of days ago, he surprised me by taking my hand and placing it on the telephone ringer. I didn’t understand so I brought my hand back but he did it again!
  • Strangers usually think he’s a girl. Does he?
  • His personality is incredible. He is such a happy little thing. He coos, giggles, laughs, and smiles all the time. I love love love his happy demeanor.
  • Oh and he’s such a troublemaker. I guess all babies are this way? But wow. He has such a mischievous grin and does things JUST to see how I react. Little rascal!

 

Did I mentioned he loves mirrors and his reflection? Kyle does mean handsome by the way. 😉

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Yup. The cords. Freaks me out every time he does this. What if he somehow knocks over the lamp? What if he’s hiding a metal rod somewhere and electrocutes himself?!

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He doesn’t like his zucchini.

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My all-time favorite picture of Kyle. I’m so happy I got this shot!

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His trademark chubby thighs. Isn’t he such a G? That one foot ALWAYS goes up when we’re strolling around the neighborhood.

I usually have him in pants but last week was too darn hot for pants.

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My postpartum body after baby

When I was pregnant, I didn’t really think too much about life after baby. Silly or plain stupid? No worries. I think I was both too. C’mon. Women were made for this, right? The labor pains and the strength that comes from within. I can do this. And honestly, I was too in the moment what with my constant and might I add almost painful Braxton Hicks contractions. I was enthralled by all the baby forums and their questions of ‘What do contractions feel like?, Do I have signs of early labor?, What’s lightning crotch?’ I was also kept busy by perusing the internet and reading about women breaking their water while shopping, having their membranes stretched/ripped at their 38 week doctor’s appointment or how they’re already dilated 1.5 cm and effaced whatever percent at their last check up. Like, what?! I felt like I was always behind and no matter how much I read, there was always something else to figure out.

However, here are a few things that I wish I had known when I was pregnant about my body right after baby. In no particular order:

  • Your milk coming in. Your milk doesn’t come in right away like a pump at the gas station. It takes about 2 to 3 days. And for that to happen, you have to keep the baby sucking on your once sexy lady bits. You might think nothing is coming out but don’t worry, it is. Babies are born with reserves in their body for 24 hours or was it 48? Anyways, they will not perish of hunger. If you’re going to breastfeed, keep that sucker on your.. sucker and wait for your breasts to swell 3 times the original size. I have a picture of my boobs almost the size of my large head. They were hard and painful, hot to the touch and giving me a fever and chills. Once the milk came out, my sigh of relief was instantaneous. Wow oh wow.
  • And while we’re on the boobs, nursing pads are a MUST. I initially bought those organic re-usable cotton ones at Babies ‘R Us and personally, I stopped using them after the first week. You will leak constantly and it will drench through your shirt while you’re taking your 1.5 sleep (if even that long!) until your next pumping session/crying baby/waking up because of your soaked shirt. I used the ones you use once and throw away and they were more practical. Although, I’ve heard of women putting in long pads or newborn diapers in there to save some money.  😀
  • Breastfeeding doesn’t ultimately ruin your boobs – pregnancy does. That’s what I think anyway.
  • You will bleed for at least a month. Postpartum bleeding is no joke. I was done by my 6-week check up but I know some women can bleed for longer. It’s just annoying at most. And those hospital sized pads you’ll need? No need to buy them in bulk before. The hospital usually provides that for you and you’ll probably only need them for the first 3-5 days.
  • And as for sexy time after baby? 😉  Doctors usually say to wait until you get the green light at your 6-week check up and… we did. It was doable (haha) but not very fun for me. I didn’t get an episiotomy but had a 2 degree tear so there were stitches that probably still didn’t dissolve. We waited another week until I felt mentally prepared and it was much better when I wasn’t so worried about the possible pain.
  • You’ll be one of the lucky ones if you don’t deal with postpartum hair loss. I’m thankfully not shedding as much anymore but it was really bad starting 3.5 months postpartum. I would be pulling out countless stands as I showered, hair clogged my drains and my strands littered the floors for all to see. I’m now dealing with new funky baby hairs that stick up all over my forehead but I’ll take it over thinning hair any day.
  • I still have a light linea nigra on my belly. I’m not too worried about it but I wonder when it’s going to finally let up.
  • My skin has surprisingly cleared up and my annoying digestive systems issues have disappeared. I hear that a lot though. I’m assuming that having a baby is like a reset button?
  • My body is practically back to pre-pregnancy, give or take 5 pounds, and am able to fit into my size 26 jeans – but it’s still not quite the same. Muscle tone is weak and even though I don’t have loose skin, I feel like I do.
  • But all in all, I’m 95% happy with where my body is now. I didn’t think the swollen, bloated look would ever disappear but it eventually did within 5 months or so. As a first time mom, you’re always going to be overly worried about everything but it will get better – I promise. And try not to fret too much about the weight loss. I started losing the extra weight when I stopped worrying about weight loss! Some women are blessed to snap back into shape within a month whereas, some people like might take a bit of time. Take your time because time is so fleeting and worrying about the state of your body will only mount to more stress, hair loss (!) and take away your time from baby and living life. 🙂

Here is a recap of my body changes with pregnancy and postpartum.

3 weeks pregnant. I’ve always had a pooch. 😉

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39~40 weeks. A week before I went into labor.

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5 months postpartum

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Body & Mind after Baby: 16 weeks postpartum

It’s been awhile since my last postpartum update. I think my last update was at 3 weeks? Where did the time go? Seriously. Where did it go?!

Weight:
As mentioned in my last post, I still have 10 pounds to lose from the 42 that I gained during pregnancy. The first 22 came off in the first 2 weeks – 11 in the first 24 hours alone after birth. Then my weight loss hit a plateau for a few weeks until I started incorporating some walking/jogging – another 5 pound loss. Then another 2 pounds. Then another 3. And here I am with the remaining 10. I think I’ll lose it by the 6 month mark.

Physically:
– My hair has started to shed starting from 13 weeks postpartum. I’m scared. I lose so many strands during my shower and throughout the day. I see a graveyard of strands on the floor and I am dreading what I’m going to look like in another month’s time. Eek. 😦
– My horrible pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome is 95% better. Thank God! I think my bi-weekly electrotherapy sessions, massages and just time helped. I still feel twinges from time to time but nothing I will complain about!
– My stitches ‘down there’ have improved significantly but not 100% back to normal.
– I’ve stopped breastfeeding so my boobs are basically dragging on the floor. Flopping like a fish on the floor. You see it but can’t really help. Bad beats.
– I think my feet widened. I can’t fit into some of my previous size 7’s.
– My hips feel like the screws aren’t bolted in straight. I complained about rickety hips in my weekly pregnancy posts during my 3rd trimester and I’m now dealing with my hips trying to find its’ original place again. It feels more sore now at 16 weeks postpartum then during pregnancy.

“In order to squeeze the watermelon-sized baby through the pelvis, the pelvis needs to widen. Ligaments need to stretch in order to let the pelvis widen. This is all fine and is part of the miracle of life, but Relaxin is non-specific in its targeting of joints to loosen up. It takes effect on all ligaments in the body. This is why many joints feel looser both during and after pregnancy.” (McKay, Tiernan)

Mentally:
Living in a foreign country with no help and no family, I thought I would suffer from postpartum depression or at least have the baby blues. My husband and I were both surprised to see that I was okay.  But as I mentioned in my post about Kyle’s birth, it’s all mental and what worked for me was  – “This isn’t going to be forever. He’s not going to be a newborn again. He’s not going to fit into your lap forever. He’s not going to want you to hold him forever. He’s going to think of you as uncool one day. Just try to take it all in for those days when he’s 16 and possibly raising hell.” 😀

Here I am with clothes. Clothes do a body good. Correction: Good angles do a body good. 😉

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And without? Everything else about me looks decent except for my belly. Naturally, I suppose. I always had a little bulge so I’m not too worried. BUT the jiggling jello that is my belly unearths itself when I try to shake my ass to Bubba SparxxxMiss New Booty” and it is NOT CUTE.

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I still have my linea nigra. I thought it would have disappeared by now but you can obviously tell that that is not the case. It has lightened up considerably though. If this is the only physical battle scar I receive from pregnancy, I do not mind! I’m still elated that I didn’t get any stretchmarks.

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I love his little feet. So cute and chubby… just like mommy’s. 😀

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What I Ate Wednesday. Slow Carb Diet.

A food related post for a change. I am not impressed with my photos in the least but they will have to do. 😀

I’m eating clean this week to see what this slow carb diet is all about. I have 10 pounds to lose until I hit my pre-pregnancy weight and I wanted to experiment. I know, I know.  It took 40 weeks for me to gain 42 pounds so it would take just as long but my whole office is on this slow carb kick so I thought, “Why not?”

And to tell you the truth, I am an incredibly vain woman who would like to fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans. 🙂 Well, I do fit into them and can button them up but it’s not a pretty sight. I’ll post my postpartum body update this week.

So far, I miss sugar the most but you know what I miss more? Going to the bathroom. I don’t know if a slow carb diet is going to work if I can’t poop! Is it too late for a TMI disclaimer? 😀 But anyways, I’m going back to my regular eating habits next week so no biggie. I’ll do a quick review on my thoughts and my results in another post as well.

Breakfast: Egg whites with black beans, spinach and spicy salsa. I threw in 2 Boca patties today.

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Miracle noodles with tofu and veggies sauteed in a soy sauce/almond butter sauce.

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Nuts like pistachios and almonds for snacks.

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Grilled chicken breast/thigh with veggies for dinner (potatoes and rice not eaten).

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Kyle is 2 months old today!

It’s been 2 months since I gave birth to my little man. And like every mom out there would say – where has the time gone? The days are a blur and by the time I look up, it’s 3PM. I will never be bored again. 😉

I’ll put up my 2 month postpartum update in another post soon. But for now, all eyes on Kyle!

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I don’t know about milestones but some of the things I’ve noticed:

– At his 8 week doctor’s visit, he’s grown an inch (forgot the measurements) and weighed in at 11 pounds. My husband thought he was overweight (men….) but the doctor said he was right on track. I busted out the, “I told you so!” I can’t imagine a newborn being overweight at this age. PUH-LEASE. 😛

– He also got his first round of vaccinations. I think he got 5 or 7 but they were all given in 2 shots and the Polio was via oral droplets. It wasn’t too bad. My husband held him and of course he screamed for a few minutes but he was perfectly fine again right after. I made sure to give him some prescribed medicine for his slight fever after the shots. He’s doing swell and I don’t see any changes in him that would cause alarm. I know there’s a lot of controversy over vaccinations but I don’t have a problem vaccinating my child. However, I do plan on delaying his follow-up shots by a month or so. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable having him bombarded by all these shots so close together.

– He’s able to lift his head/trunk up longer during tummy time. And when we hold him, he stiffens his neck up so he gets a better view of everything.

– I think he recognizes us. Perhaps me a little better. He smiles every time he sees me. Maybe it’s because I’m always smiling at him and it’s a mirror effect? I don’t know but I love seeing him smile more often. 😀

– He makes noises now and its’ the cutest thing ever. It’s not considered babbling yet I think but I think we’re going to be hearing more of it soon!

– His newborn hair had all fallen out in the front last month but thankfully grew back this month. I didn’t like seeing him look like a 70-year old man!

– He’s trying to fit his entire fist into his mouth for the last 2 weeks or so. He hasn’t found his thumb yet I’m assuming.

– His eyes are definitely more alert than last month. He concentrates on all the paintings we have and the shapes on our drapes and couch. He looks amazed.

– He is DEFINITELY teething. I was wondering why he was being extra fussy last week and come to find out, he already has an incisor budding out!! This is way too fast! It looks like a little white cap and I see another one coming out right behind it. But it looks like a molar judging by the position. Aren’t his top an bottom front teeth suppose to come out first?! And I see other areas on his gums that seem a bit red and irritated. Poor baby! That’s probably why he’s always trying to put his entire fist into his mouth.

– His left eye is always watery and filled with eye boogers by the time he gets up in the morning. The pediatrician says its’ normal for some babies to not have matured eye ducts yet and that its’ normal. She says I can try massaging that area but that it will usually clear up in a few months or so. I hope that’s the case because I’m wiping that area more than 10 times a day.

– Besides crying out for an occasional feeding, he’s been so good at night. He sleeps throughout the night without much fuss and I’m so grateful! I’ve been getting such good sleep for the past month that I feel guilty for all the rest I’ve been getting. My friend has a 1 month old who is very colicky and keeps her up all night. She doesn’t know what to do and I feel for her.

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Until next time. Bye, guys! 😉