Oliver and me – September 13th (I am wearing my pre-pregancy jeans! :))

I had no idea how difficult it would be to fit workouts into my schedule — let alone blogging — once Oliver was born! The days just seem to fly by, and before I know it, it’s 3:00 PM and I haven’t even eaten breakfast.

I was trying to figure out where my days go, and I realized they usually unfold as follows:

We get out of bed between 9:00 and 10:00 AM (exhausted, of course, because he’s still waking to feed two or three times per night for 30 to 45 minutes). J heads off to work. I change and feed Oliver, which takes the better part of an hour, since he’s always quite ravenous when we wake up. By this time, he’ll be wide awake and wanting to be entertained, which means that yours truly remains unwashed and in pyjamas, since putting him down is not an option when he’s awake. About an hour and a half later, he’ll want another feed. If I’m lucky, I can get him to nap after this, which buys me an hour or so to start one of my three daily loads of laundry and/or some cleaning.

He always wakes up way too soon for his next feed and change, after which I hold him and do some one-handed vacuuming to try to get him back to sleep. If I succeed, I can finally get myself washed and dressed, and continue to work on the laundry. Then, I will suddenly realize I haven’t eaten anything, by which time he inevitably wakes up screaming for something or another. Sounds exciting so far, huh? 🙂 Of course, when we have an appointment or engagement of any sort — usually about twice a week — the entire un-schedule is thrown off and I accomplish even less.

Needless to say, my workout routine has been a complete washout and I have an ever-growing and increasingly urgent “to do” list, but at least my kid is fed and cleaned on a regular basis, so I guess that’s something to be proud of for the time being.

In the past two weeks I have managed to fit in precisely two workouts: one on the 29th of August, and one yesterday. Ugh. Add that to the fact that my parents were visiting from out of town for a week and a half (this means lots of indulgent and decidedly non-Paleo fine dining — not that I’m complaining :)), and suffice it to say, I haven’t made very much progress in my “lose the baby weight” challenge. I do have my “before” photos and scan results to post (as promised two weeks ago — sorry!), and will do so as soon as I can get some of my personal information blacked out on the scan PDFs.

J and I talked this evening and devised a plan, whereby he will call me about half hour before he leaves work and I will start feeding Oliver. As soon as he arrives home, I will hand over the kid and head off to do my workout. In theory, this should work. We will see how it goes.

We’re also back on the Paleo bandwagon again, though sadly, we have finished all of the frozen meals that J cooked before Oliver’s birth, so we’re going to need to be a little bit more organized in the meal planning department.

As far as my meagre two workouts go, my fitness has definitely suffered — quite badly — in the past two to three months. My first workout, two weeks ago, was to consist of six intervals of three minutes of running followed by two minutes of walking. During the second interval, my knee started hurting in the way it used to a few years ago when I had IT band issues. My ligaments were probably still quite loose from the pregnancy. I had to cut my running down to four intervals, and even that proved to be too much. My knee was very sore afterwards, and throughout the next day. After my run/walk, I did five rounds of 10 box jumps, 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups.

1. I need a new sports bra to accommodate my newfound “assets.” Ouch!
2. I need new shoes. My feet grew during pregnancy and haven’t shrunk back.
3. I really, really need to get back into shape 😦

Yesterday, I did a quick workout consisting of 200 double-unders, 100 kettlebell swings (12 kg) and 50 push-ups.

1. Double-unders? What was I thinking (see point #1 above)?!
2. Push-ups are a lot more difficult than I recall them being. Or my upper body is a whole lot weaker.
3. Did I mention that I really need to get back into shape?

So, I have a lot of work to do in the fitness department. In terms of everything else, I feel like Oliver is starting to settle into a somewhat predictable routine, and that over the course of the next few weeks, I should have regular periods during the day where I can start to chip away at my big “to do” list, which incidentally includes some more serious and regular blogging. I have so much to write about these days!

Other than that, can you believe that little Oliver will be a month old tomorrow?! He is growing at an astonishing rate (about 12 ounces per week), and is physically very strong; in fact, amazingly so. He is holding his head up for longer and longer intervals, can move very short distances on his stomach (even climbed all the way over his “tummy time” pillow” once), and can roll over from his front to his back, which he first accomplished at a mere eight days old. He also has a thousand megawatt smile that truly makes all the little inconveniences worthwhile 🙂

23 responses to “WHEW!

  1. You are being a little bit hard on yourself! Keep in mind that in life there are seasons–you will certainly have time to be fit again! It doesn’t go away entirely…even though we may feel a bit sluggish when we’re not running around like crazy monkeys keeping our bodies in top shape. Breastfeeding will take away some of the pregnancy weight over the course of a few months, even if you just sit on the couch the whole time and nurse. Don’t worry about the blog–those of us with kids *know* what you’re up to these days (more laundry, anyone?)–and those who are pregnant for the first time will soon find out what you’re up to. After about 4-6 months, it does get easier to have a little life outside of baby. Until then, your wee one needs you *a lot.* He wants your body–all of it!

    Your body has done an amazing thing. It too needs a rest. It’s hard to put all of life in perspective when you have a wee one since most of the day is consumed with here and now demands. Exercise when you can for the first few months and then suddenly (likely after winter!), the sun will shine and you’ll feel that the time is right to go and get in top shape again. Oliver really doesn’t mind if you’re lacking in upper body strength as long as you can pick him up and hold him all day :-).

    On those same notes–kudos to you for getting into the groove of scheduling in exercise early–it’s something we all should strive to do, even when it’s hard. Time away does do wonders for the brain. We also like to hear from you on the blog :-)–but we do understand when you’re away for a bit!

  2. Hello, I have been following you for quite some time – congratulations on your fit and healthy pregnancy! I would like to ask you a question: If you are sometimes not able to eat before 3 a. m. (which I understand because I also do not eat when it isn`t possible in a relaxed athmosphere, no food on the run!) you could call it “intermittent fasting”, right? Does it affect your milk supple/quality of milk (if you can tell) in any way? I have read a lot of different opinions on this, so I am interested in personal experience…
    Please, do not rely too much on the method with which you took your body fat percentage! You had a very active pregnancy, even taking into account that you rested for some weeks…It is highly unlikely to lose 9 pounds of muscle (unless you were a highly trained elite athlete) – pregnancy is not a catabolic state…

    • I suppose that would be a form of intermittent fasting, now that you mention it. I don’t believe it is adversely affecting my milk supply or quality, as I definitely seem to have a ton of milk, and the little guy is gaining weight at a rate well above average (three pounds in the first month!). I suspect that evolution has allowed nursing moms to prioritize the babies’ needs, so as long as the aggregate intake of calories and nutrients is sufficient, I doubt it matters how many meals are taken over the course of the day. My sanity, however, is another matter altogether – I don’t like missing meals when I haven’t planned to do so! 😉

      I definitely believe that I have lost nine pounds of muscle, or at least something close to that. It’s fairly obvious from my appearance that I am much “softer” than I used to be (this is especially obvious in my upper body). I have also had a serious decrease in strength; for example, I used to be able to do close to 40 consecutive push-ups and now I can only do 12.

  3. I’m so inspired by you – thank you for recording all of this – you’re kind of pioneering the way here. I’m anxious to see how your baby weight challenge goes, as I’ll be where you are in about 5 more months!

  4. Great blog! I’d suggest a baby sling or something similar. It makes getting things done much easier because you have 2 free hands!

    • I do have a Moby Wrap, but I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s a little frustrating right now because I can’t seem to get it tight enough to hold him securely, so he cries and flops about (necessitating that I keep a hand on him at all times). I’m sure that with practice the two of us will get accustomed to it. It would be so nice to be able to putter around the house with him sleeping contentedly in a sling!

      • Moby wrap is super snuggly and sweet, but a pain in the ass to get on and off. I found the Ergo (with newborn insert) and Peanutshell sling both MUCH easier to deal with.

        To reiterate an earlier message: please cut yourself some slack! Your body is still working overtime to nurse your little one, recover from pregnancy (even a fit pregnancy requires some recovery) and deal with broken sleep. If you don’t get back to your pre-baby shape by whatever date…you’ll get there a couple months later. Really, not a big deal! This is a chance to grow in a different way– e.g., learning to deal with not being in control. I really think that’s as important a skill as anything one does in Crossfit (and yes, I do CF).

        • We also have a “Seven” sling (one of those freebies, which I do not feel is safe after trying it out a few times) and an Ergo, minus the infant insert. I’m thinking that at 11+ lbs he might now be big enough to try the Ergo.

          “Learning to deal with not being in control” — an interesting idea for me to ponder 😉 It has definitely been tough to take care of a little being who doesn’t operate on any sort of schedule and is completely dependent on me for everything, especially since I still feel compelled to keep up with all the household chores and cleaning (self-imposed standard) and my workout routine.

          • Another part of it, at least for me, was the mental fatigue– I felt like I faced a million tiny decisions each day, e.g. “let her sleep in the sling? or will she be happier in her crib?” and then “should I switch boobs? But she’s so happy here…what if she won’t go for it?” and on and on and on. It’s just exhausting. The babies are beautiful and amazing, but they kick your ass.

            Hang in there, though– and know that you’ve already done a fantastic job staying in great shape throughout your pregnancy and you look terrific now– pre-pregnancy jeans, mama! You have a lot to be proud of! (And I don’t want to say “cut yourself some slack” as another thing to add to your list of “shoulds” though– I know that can be super annoying too.)

        • Such good advise, really. Couple months in the scheme of life does not equate fail. We cannot control a baby’s schedule to a t or we will ho mental trying. you are intrinsically tied to his experience. please be kknd to yourself so others will know from your example that they should too.

  5. Your journey has been so encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! I’m at 10 weeks 2 days and have found so much encouragement from your blog. 🙂

  6. Have you thought about trying P90X while at home? I am thinking about doing it when my little one is born. I can imagine the first 3 months are so are the most challenging in terms of trying to get out of the house, settling into a routine, etc.

    • I hadn’t thought of P90X, but I understand that the workouts are actually quite challenging, so it might be worthwhile to have on hand for those days when I just can’t get out of the house. I always prefer working out in a different environment (gym, park, etc.), but if it was a choice between working out at home or not working out at all, I’d have to choose the former.

  7. Don’t be so hard on yourself! For most of us it’s 9 months on, 9 months off. It usually takes me 6 to7. You will get there, don’t push to hard. It is easier to get hurt right now.

  8. First 3 months are tough. Hang in there. As someone posted, you are adjusting to broken sleep and that takes a lot out of you.

    Moby Wrap: takes some skills to figure out correct positioning for baby and tension of fabric. Give it a bit of time – was well worth it for us in the first 3 months. You can also just fold up a receiving blanket or two and try him in the Ergo froggy style. We found the Ergo infant insert useless.

    Hopefully you can get out for some walks. That helped me not go crazy when I wasn’t able to get in workouts. If I was in Vancouver I would totally volunteer to hold little Oliver for an hour while you worked out!! We used to live right next to a CF gym.

  9. Just ran across your blog today because I’m about to embark on baby number two and I’m trying to absorb as much about paleo lifestyle and pregnancy (I failed miserably in that with baby no. 1).
    You ARE being hard on yourself! Pre-7 month pregnant, I was an endurance cyclist, riding up to 300 miles a week on non-event weeks. My doctor forced me off my bike when I almost had a very premature baby because I wouldn’t slow down. Dumb me. It broke my heart to go months and months without it. My life with a new baby sounded very much like yours. 4 or 5 p.m. would roll around and holy crap, I haven’t eaten or showered!! This went on for four months with our daughter. She is, to this day, not a good sleeper. But, we’ve learned how to get our sleep regardless.
    I rode my bike probably 3 times in the first four months of her life. I also did a kickboxing video on days I wasn’t brutally tired (very, very rare), split into quarters throughout the day (this is good advice, divide your exercise into short 5 or 10 minute bursts throughout the day). It really wasn’t until she was almost a year old that I hit my pre-pregnancy weight (this is normal, so accept it now) or got back into any training routine with my bike, although I did have a solid yoga and running routine going by the time she was six months. You know, when she was willing to be in a stroller or take a nap!
    Your story and my story are very typical. Looking back, I know this second time around I’m going to relax and accept that it is only temporary. Even if temporary means most of the first year! If you love fitness, you will get back to it. It will not go away. Enjoy the few moments where your baby is so little and just focus on your rest and eating well. It goes so fast. I can’t believe my toddler used to be that small or that I really believed I would never get to ride my bike again!

    • Oh yes, and I had one of those newborns that knew the difference between being held or being in a sling. She hated the sling. But, she loved the swing! That was the best thing I ever purchased in my whole life. 😉

  10. Just wait until you have to figure out how to put Oliver in the Ergo on your back (more months to go for that one yet!), but it is a feat–one best practiced over the couch :-). I could do it confidently over concrete after a few months, but it certainly took practice. We toted our daughter in the Ergo until she was about 3 and by then she pretty much wanted to walk everywhere herself. We had the Moby and Ergo too, and they both worked, but the Ergo is so much easier. I can wrap the Moby 10 different ways and squish a kid in there any way they’ll fit these days.

    Ah, all the new things you get to learn–the super swaddle (the one where he can’t kick out of it in 30 seconds–it keeps for at least 15 minutes), the Moby wrap and wrap and wrap, nursing in the Ergo, nursing in the Moby, getting kids in carriers on your back. Who tells us mommies these things before they’re born? Sure, I practiced the Moby with the teddy bear once or twice and though I was good. The teddy bear never screamed, squirmed or tried to leap or fall out of it though. Jeez.

    On top of that, exercise is good for us and we’re supposed to exercise daily for our sanity, right? New nursing moms are lucky to be out of their jammies by 3 pm just because some new person had a different feeding agenda that day–one that did not allow for mommy to shower, eat or even dress. And then for me, I had the problem with too much milk, so sneaking out of the house before wee one woke up (like I can do now) was an impossibility since I had so much milk that the idea of running or jumping with jugs of milk did not seem terribly appealing–and if the baby was asleep, I wasn’t about to hop out of bed in a hurry!

    Becoming a mommy is definitely a lesson in control–things you can control and things you cannot. Some of the best parenting advice I’ve ever received is along the lines of–there are simply three things you cannot control–food, sleep and elimination. Of course, we can provide good nourishing food, pleasant environments/routines for sleep, and encouragement to potty, but when the wee one decides not to poop for a week, or sleep for a whole night, or eat anything but green beans for two days, oh well. 🙂

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