Anna's Recovery: Month 4
And then came the full blast of reality. After the first two days, I realized this is what it is like to work full time and be a parent. Exhausting. Every minute seemed booked and my mental gymnastics of all the schedules and to-do lists was exhausting. I had less obvious big blocks of time so it was all about being able to switch gears efficiently and effectively.
I at least was able to be around for all but two of Olivia's feeds so that was nice. However, I definitely felt a bit like nursing lost any amount of intimacy as she was shuffled through as apart of the agenda.
Olivia decided to not take a bottle on the first day and my school work schedule and location were such that it wasn’t that much more of a hassle to come home instead of pump. That still left one feed where she was going to have to take a bottle and I should technically pump. The hard thing was that even though the time block was only a three hour period, the next feeding time was right in the middle and there was no way of being able to take a break to pump. Olivia solved my problem by being on a bottle strike and then I would feed her right when I got home. However, this resulted in an unhappy baby for my husband to care for, was obviously not healthy, and affected the rest of the night’s schedule.
Adelaide was also working through a lot of transitions and taking it out as her own hunger strike at her new school. It was a new school with longer hours so she was now back to taking naps. So on top of added work stress, I also had two hangry children and Adelaide needing some extra TLC as well as her going bananas at bedtime. It was a marathon when I got home of feeding and bedtime. Where whether due to the nature of me being the one with the boobs or of me previously always doing bedtime routine and despite my husband’s best efforts, I was ping-ponging between two kids that both required me to get them to bed. I would finally be free around 10:30 at which point I was exhausted and didn’t know when Olivia would be awake again for another feed.
Amongst this all, I kept trying to tell myself that I needed to make time for me but the schedule was such that if I had a call on the drawn-out drop off mornings, I didn’t get to walk Gus and my time between my other job was limited.
Something had to give and I told myself it would be just for the month of January. I was still being mindful and moving but I was only able to get in one each of MF and two other untwisting series days. Yesterday, when I did my last MF things that had previously been feeling easy, it felt off and I could tell my right hip flexor and pec minor were creeping back in. Where I was able to do the serratus reach before with ten pounds, I was now back to zero on my right side and I could just feel right-sided neck tightness. Some was a result of pushing it too low with pushups, front plank, and serratus press in my workout earlier in the week where I could feel my neck overworking and some was that I still needed some cleanup work to help my bad habits go away and to counter life with a baby.
That also went for the untwisting series. Everything felt like it functioned much better when I did it as a part of my warm-up or first thing in the morning. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder. Even though it felt like I was far out postpartum, in reality, I wasn’t at all. With all of the ligament laxity from hormones and breastfeeding, lots of baby holding and feeding, and sleep deprivation things don’t stick as well as you’d like. I needed a constant application of glue to help me stick together. However I knew as I kept getting stronger, my body would hold the good patterns over the bad.
At the end of January, came the next transition and back to what “regular life” was going to be. Ah, it feels good to have my regular schedule back and Adelaide has found her groove so that stress had been eliminated. Olivia still refused to take a bottle for her one feed, so it was just my poor husband who had to handle that one. We’re making it work though.
Now back to me and my body. I’ve been consistently doing MF 4x/week, still walking every day, and putting on my investigative skills for my continued tightness in my right PF. I have realized a few things. One, my PF has more layers of tightness than I realized. One day when John had taken Adelaide up to his mum’s house, I reviewed some of Annatina’s release videos. I had been doing some internal release (I had taken a break because I needed the mental break from assessing that area) but hadn’t done much superficial release. I revisited that and man did it make a difference. The feeling that I had been having in my full squat of too much on my PF was due to tightness rather than exposure. Yay. Something I could easily tackle, so I set to it to be better about consistently doing release work again.
The other thing I realized, was on a whim one day I did the yoga pose plow (aka how much spinal flexion can you have). I realized that I basically felt completely suffocated, which I took as I was really still lacking in spinal flexion. So I made the decision to be more proactive about rounding my spine, breathing into tight sides, releasing my back, etc throughout the day. This back body tightness would limit my inhale (making it all go belly) as well as put my back into a position to want to engage more on my exhales and with ab work. It’s easy to stay motivated about getting after it for a few days, but unless you make it a habit, you’ll lose your motivation and get distracted by other things in life. I needed to figure out set times that I could make it happen. I’m trying to be more conscious about taking breaks from work and sitting more on the floor in a flexed spine position, but programmed time is important (like after every few responses on FB or after I go to the bathroom or before or after I eat lunch) otherwise it’s easy to kick the can and “do it later.”
Peeling back layers to help me keep improving
Improved strength despite a busier work schedule