Wow, my life has been a tornado, both white and black of sorts. I feel I sorta jumped with that last post, so for those curious about how my post baby recovery went, I’ll sum up. Ok sum up? My sums are long.
After six babies, I’ve learned that the best results both physical and emotional, occur when I take. it. slow. and. easy. I really needed pills for the hormone imbalance, which I didn’t use due to fear of them for baby 1 2 and 3. But I finally found a true cure…placenta incapsulation. Wow, wierd, huh? Do your research about what the scientific evidence is, and ask my family about the difference between post me with baby 5, and 6. Real differences. By baby 4, I was actually much better with dealing with everything, especially as I realized how much deep deep prayer I needed to feel happy and competent, relaxed and everything else. So this new understanding of a whole deeper level of prayer than I previously understood, plus the placenta pills, equaled a much much smoother transition, emotionally I felt so much more peaceful, hopeful, and happy with the added physical help the hormones from the placenta lent, coupled with the deep prayer.
The other huge help I’ve learned through experience is utilizing the help and support you can obtain (which I employed baby 4) and taking it slower physically than your mind wants…your mind is eager but the flesh is weak.
I wanted to share this emotional support that God and helping hands lend, and this example of how physically slowly making goals, lends for a fantastic recovery, as follows:
Physically, the main thing I noticed was that for my last baby, (baby 5) was that by the end of the day, my stomach would sag out lie 4-6 inches further. The walls of my abdomen couldn’t hold my guts in or something once gravity took its toll all day long.
This time around, my abdomen is much firmer, and doesn’t descend by the end of the day…and I was able to practically hit the ground running after 6 weeks! This isn’t due to more or earlier sit-ups, quite the opposite: Slowing everything!
Taking 2 weeks of laying in bed was well worth it! Each week I put just a little more on top of that. So here is a sum of it as I can remember, which is not entirely accurate!
Week 1: Practically stay glued to baby, day and night. My baby would cry if I put him down, so I honored this separation anxiety, knowing it wouldn’t last forever. I do remember mid week I was able to set him down for a 20 minute independent nap, and I was so proud of him for this step of independence. By day 5 or so he took a long afternoon or evening nap all alone, and I was so excited about MY independence that I ran downstairs and uploaded all his birthing pictures on the computer, and did some emailing and facebooking. It was a little much for me, that much sitting on a hard chair, but since it wasn’t the rule, I did fine. I had many poignant moments with this special bonding time with my sweet pea, including writing his own little song to a familiar tune as I do with all my babies. My husband was taking this week off, and we had meals coming in. It was great to hear him doing homeschool with the children, but it was hard watching my house fall apart due to less strict cleaning standards. Also, I was able to start putting wee one down for the night instead of in the crook of my arms to sleep, so he was able to sleep in his bassinet and I we could go get him for nursings. I fear the dangers of co-sleeping being inclined to heavy sleeping myself, and so I did it out of necessity to get some rest, but as I prayed about continuing it, was guided by a friend’s caution who didn’t know of my situation, and I knew the Lord was saying it wasn’t a good idea for us, and besides sweet pea was gaining his ability to be left alone by the end of the week by not crying when not keeping contact with me. I was having big crush feelings for Husby for all he was doing.
Week 2: By the end of this week my husband was telling me how much he missed me and I began to feel useless in my mothering. This depression coming on was a sign to me that I needed to start hopping back into things, so I did a very few chores around the house by the end of the week but still kept it pretty quiet. For example, counters didn’t seem to hit my husband’s radar, so I cleaned up those which were like finger nails to a chalk board for me. Also the strain of a less clean house and watching my husband’s zeal for homeschooling progress down ward to his own strain, decreased my feelings of crush, and we all were feeling stressed and strained in our relationships.
Week 3: My husband had a great plan to ease me back into life and his idea was for me to begin by just doing homeschool. I remember how mind wiped I felt, and intimidated. I could remember hardly anthing of what the children were learning and where I was with their learning journeys. I prayed and prayed and as I did, I grabbed out all my homeschooling books and as I stayed up late the end of week 2, Sunday night, I gained both courage and enthusiasm and come Monday, I was ready and we really hopped right back in. With Husby picking up the chores still, I was able to do this. Thank the Lord for his help. By the end of the week, my house was quite icky…but nothing was disastrous by any means. My rear end was recovered enough however to sit more upon a hard chair at the table, but it was still a bit of a stretch.
Week 4: Now time to start assuming some chores. I was really grumpy and snappy to the children. I was starting to get more rest too, but I suppose each leap was physical and emotional, back into life. Having a baby shreds a lot of interior and it all needs to heal. Emotionally it is so difficult to see your body in a way different state and be helpless to do anything yet, and those who jump in too fast may feel effects later on. Not to mention the lovely hormone shuffle which is death itself. But needless to say I began my first exercises in the tub of blowing my stomach out really big and holding that, or sucking it in as far as I could, though it stayed the same size, that is what my muscles were attempting. I picked up the idea from a post partem recovery back in the day. I also started keagles, but felt some soreness, so decided to wait to do keagles the next week. I started praying to really love my children and even having those feelings of “crush” on them…and…it really happened.
Week 5: I began using the stairs, and I also started my post recovery movie by Erin OBrien. I recommend highly both her step by step work out for recovering after baby as well as her awesome post natal work out. The shoulder circles alone as she says wakes up everything, and feels like heaven itself. My inter-costal muscles were so tight and the stretches she had you do…wow!
Week 6: I took my first walk and it was good timing. I’ve rushed it in the past and felt twingy down there, but I felt really good.
Week 7 and beyond: Well, believe it or not, my family had a move in mind. I was reluctant to, but I began packing. My husband had some goals of when to have our house ready by, and though I bucked against his ideas, I began to see that really was when the housing market was the hottest in our neck of the woods, so with Heavenly Father’s help, and the really great emotional support of the offers for help by my visiting teachers, whom I let bring me boxes and then employed their watching my kids the day of photographing my house, and then help again watching them the day of moving out as well as cleaning help that final day. Having emotional support for those things helped for all I felt I needed to do alone. I have gained a testimony that a person can do an awful lot, if someone offers genuinely in love for help and gives some assistance it offers scads of strength for the individual to do the lion-share of work. Just keeping someone in your thoughts and giving that bit of help goes a long way.
Here is what I did to make this huge event possible. My husband I gained an over all idea of what needed done with repairs and packing. Then I made a map of what I would get done week by week. If I hadn’t done this, I would have been a world of stress not knowing if I’d be able to get it all done, but as it was, I knew where I was at in the plan, and knew I could do it sufficiently. What with having an over all relaxed baby, I was able to achieve what I needed in his naps. We homeschooled just the basic minimums (Each child does math, reading and writing per day with out any supervision if possible, unless they needed help) until I knew I needed every focus on the move…but some of the museums we went to when the house began getting showed certainly became part of the curriculum, as well as guess who helped each week with the cleaning? Team Mom and Kids. They worked awesome. Definately hard work with goals was the main curriculum. But by the time I was a week shy of our goal, I was burned out of ordering kids to work….for sure!
A little Miracle:
The day I had my wonderful visiting teacher take my kids away, I had 2 hours to finish cleaning the home…but I had over estimated just what I had to get done and honestly I was working too detailed to keep on pace. I began praying saying Lord somehow can you make up for what I can’t do? I told the Lord I knew I should have prepared better by staying up later the night before and that I was being silly when I went to bed thinking I could tackle the rest by the morning…could He somehow make up for my misjudgment? I was thinking I would be blessed with more efficiency or strength or something…but the grace appeared in a way I wasn’t expecting. My neighbor called asking if she could bring over pizza and it dawned on me to ask her for help instead. I knew my life line when it came from God. She said she’d be happy to come over and I said “Really?” She said she really was. So she came and told me she was a professional cleaner back in the day and she vacuumed and wow. I’ve never been able to achieve those straight lines. She glistened with sweat as she worked so fast and hard. I was crying as I cleaned with an overwhelming feeling of love for the miracle God gave me….I was so humbled how the help came right in my hour of need…I felt so overwhelmed with love. I gave this neighbor a huge huge hug and told her she was a literal angel for me. What a special day.
Well, the Lord in his great great goodness, let the house sale in 4 days. The fourth evening I flew to Utah for a funeral and it so happened that the viewers that morning, when I forgot to polish the kitchen sink, wanted to buy and they revisited Saturday. My poor husband got sick that weekend as he watched all the kids and got them out of the house for showings. Just previous to leaving for the funeral, I got cold and angry feet about leaving for this funeral at this difficult time, but in the end felt I could do it for my mother only (it was her father)…and my husband ‘prophesied’ that if I went the house would sale, and it did!!!) The funeral was well worth the sacrifice of course. But now it was my turn to get sick….mid museum visit….but atleast we weren’t showing the house, though it was a dewsy of an illness!
So my father came the next two weeks which were the final before take off. His help watching kids and with moving was a great grace, albeit not without a bit of emotional difficulty due to his recent divorce with my mother. But I was extremely thankful to him.
Somehow we did it and were finally in a van and headed to a new home and a new life! Praise the Lord for all his grace in this horrendous achievement…now if you wouldn’t mind donating a prayer that the sale goes through, we’ll know by May 16th.
All and all, my wee one has suffered not too much neglect due to the help of his siblings and the repentant spirit of when his mother felt and feels she’s getting too caught up and needs to focus her delight in him and his babyhood. It was just showing the house that he suffered; that week was murder and that was when I prayed, oh I don’t know if I’m neglecting him more than usual, but it feels like I really really am, Lord willing, please let it sale quick so I don’t have to ignore his emotional needs….and the Lord did see fit, praise His smiling grace.