Saturday Six: 11/3/18

  1. It’s been awhile since I’ve graced the internet with my writing presence. 😉 A few things have happened around here. We’ve gotten pretty used to being a family of seven. I decided to add a little more crazy to the mix and go back to work! Less than half time, but still something! So far it’s going pretty well. I’m home in the afternoons which is immensely helpful with homework, after school activities, dinner, naps, errands, appointments, sanity….pretty much everything. I’m enjoying the reactions of new patients who find out that I have *gasp* 5 kids and still find time to get dressed in the morning. Hahaha!6325_1539542123103.jpeg
  2. This kid is gets an entire category just to herself. Ruth is 2 now, and she embodies it FULLY. I have NEVER had a toddler like this. I literally cannot turn my back on her. She finds her way into everything and anything. Just in the last few weeks she has had encounters with baking soda, spray paint, vicks vaporub, sharpies, water, soap…you name it. I can’t lock stuff up well enough for this one! She tries to be helpful usually, but it often goes south. This kid is so stubborn and defiant. Let me elaborate: Tell me to come here? I’ll run 2 blocks in the opposite direction. Tell me not to touch the hot instant pot? You bet I’ll touch it and scream bloody murder. Tell me it’s time to walk up for Communion? I’ll kick, flail, throw myself around and become a limp noodle so you can drag me all the way up the center aisle of the church we’re visiting on coincidentally, All SAINTS Day.  All that aside, she can be an especially sweet child and is extraordinarily cute. I like to think she’s my path to sainthood. 😉 We love her kisses that are more like licks and the new words she is gradually gaining. She loves anything outdoors and her motor skills are waaaay ahead. This stage is temporary….I hope.
  3. We’ve had a lot of fall fun lately. The kids have all rode in the combine more than once and we hit up the pumpkin patch last weekend. All our leaves blew down the street so we didn’t get to jump much in them, but we did carve pumpkins this week and no one lost a finger. The kids loved trick or treating of course and we got close to a 5 gallon bucket full of candy. No joke. G and L both played flag football and loved it. I loved that they were on the same team and we enjoyed watching them! 20181102_181737.jpg
  4. Gabriel and I had a mother-son date recently. I’ve missed this! We try to do this 2x a year or more. He still wants to hang out with me so I want to take advantage of this as much as I can! And it’s always his idea! We had Mexican and picked up a few things at Walmart. He opened the door for me, I refrained from the sangria I really wanted, we had good conversation, he ate a burrito bigger than his head, and I paid the bill. 😉 20181102_102118.jpg
  5. Someone turned 3 months old! Kateri is such an awesome baby. Last night she slept for 11 hours. 11 HOURS. She tolerates and sometimes enjoys being pulled and tugged on by the 2 year old, sang to by the 4 year old, over-mothered by the 7 year old and cuddled regularly by the 9 year old. She’s starting to cut teeth (all of ours are early teethers!) and she’s upped her game to 6 month clothes and size 2 diapers. Growing, for the win! 20181015_113047.jpg
  6.  I’ve been hitting the reading game hard lately. I’ve surpassed my reading goal for the year which makes me hopeful for next year! I read mostly nonfiction. Biographies and memoirs are my favorites. Right now I’m reading “Everybody Always” by Bob Goff. He’s a funny and very inspirational Christian. Look him up if you’re not familiar; worth the read! Sometimes I neglect life and read when the kids are up, but most of it takes place after 8pm. I’m slowly making it through the stack above, loaned by a fellow bookworm friend. That bottom one may make my top 5 this year!!!!

Have a great week!

Postpartum tips from a mom who’s learned some things

I have something to admit. I’ve had 5 children now and I feel like I’m decent at growing/laboring/birthing them. However, I admittedly am no good at the postpartum period for about 6 weeks. With Kateri’s pregnancy, I did some reading and researching beforehand on postpartum. I scoured blogs of moms who’ve had more kids than me (!) and tried to figure out what the secret was and what I was doing wrong. I believe one memorable post was titled ‘How to postpartum like a boss’. That’s exactly what I needed!!!!

Why was I always so miserable and a heap of sadness for 3 weeks and then just a mess for 3 more weeks? I shared my findings with Jeremiah and he was on board, probably because he’s seen me so miserable 4 times over. I’m writing this because 1) I like to write in my little space here 2) I want to help other moms who struggle like I always do, maybe pass on some knowledge/tips 3) Postpartum hormones are a b!tch.

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In no particular order, my tips for moms who suck at being postpartum, like me. Here goes.

  1. Sit. One of the most popular things I read was to sit for 1-2 weeks to allow your body to use all it’s energy to heal and allow it to rest a bit. At first this sounded like hogwash to me. Why would I sit?! I have 4 other kids and a newborn to care for! Well let me tell you, I think this was one of the most helpful things I did. J took care of all the meals, cleaning, dishes, laundry for an entire week after we came home from the hospital. I sat on the couch, porch, lawn chair, etc and fed the baby, talked with visitors and ate. I only stood or walked when I absolutely had to. I napped almost daily and just did a lot of sitting around. In past times I had done just the opposite, and obviously it worked well *sarcasm*
  2. Wear a belly binder. Anyone who’s had a baby knows about that jelly belly that you’re left with immediately postpartum. That thing shrinks a bit on it’s own, but then it’s all up to you. I always have a hard time breathing for the first few weeks as well, due to the shifting of organs and void space in my abdomen. I started wearing a compressive postpartum belly binder on day 1 postpartum this time and immediately felt relief. Not only did it give my organs some support, but I could breathe better, my low back didn’t feel quite so unstable, and it helped the belly to shrink. Definite help!
  3. Don’t be alone. This one just kind of happened by chance for me, but again is probably my #1 or 2 tip for surviving. Looking back, I was never alone with kids for the first 2 weeks, there was always another adult or 2 here, by chance or planned by my dear husband. What a great help! Not only did they help with the kids or housework, but also just having another adult to talk to was a therapeutic. J was on summer break when Kateri was born, which had never happened with our other kids. Don’t get me wrong, I did still have my fair share of down, weepy, teary days for no apparent reason, but they were a lot better this time. Having a support person at home was definitely key for me!
  4. Take the ibuprofen. I can tough a lot of things out, but those postpartum cramps, pelvic pains and joint pains are for the birds and they last awhile! This time around I made sure to take the prescribed ibuprofen for about a week postpartum. It helped immensely as I could move better and wasn’t about to vomit every time I had after-pains. Don’t tough it out. Just take the ibuprofen.
  5. Vitamin D. I hung out with the sun on my face for at least 15 mins a day, sometimes a few hours. Vitamin D is our friend. Being outdoors itself also helps to brighten moods. My neighbors are probably got used to the sight of me nursing the babe on the front porch because I just find it helpful to be outside!
  6. Freezer meals. I had 12 or so meals in the freezer prepared weeks before Kateri was born. Nothing fancy; taco meat, lasagna, tator tot casserole, egg bake, etc. This also helped with allowing me to sit so much. The hard part was remembering to put the food in the oven at 4 pm since it takes so long to defrost and cook!
  7. This too shall pass. I have talked to so many moms who have dealt with the same struggles I have. I told myself daily to just try to get through another day. Get something done or read/watch something funny if you feel down. Hormones take time to level out. Enjoy the baby. Give it time. This too shall pass.
  8. Work back into life slowly. Man did I ever suck at this one. With my previous pregnancies I tried to jump full force back into life within 1-2 weeks. I was up on my feet all day and exhausting myself. Same goes for exercise. Even this time I jumped the gun and tried running at 3 1/2 weeks, not my smartest move and very painful. Running at 6 weeks felt much, much better. I did start pelvic floor and deep abdominal activation in the hospital (I’m a PT remember!) and started walking for exercise when I felt ready, beginning with just a few blocks. This was a change for me and one that I’m glad I adhered to. We tried an overnight trip at 3 weeks that was not our best move, either, as it was just too much for me. One of these days I’ll learn!
  9. Be patient. Here’s another one that I’m no good at, but working on. I’ve found it’s important to be patient with yourself, your family/kids, your hormones and body, as very difficult as this is. Everything takes time to resume it’s normal functioning, your family included. Adding a new baby to the mix with a mom who can sometimes be a mess makes an impact on the kids too. We talked to the kids how things were just temporary and we would get back to ‘normal’ soon enough. I think they enjoyed the temporary increased Netflix time, however.
  10. Lower your expectations. This was easier for me. It took us 2 hours to get ready to go somewhere overnight during those early days. Again, not our smartest move to start with. Our house was constantly in disarray and was a mess and the laundry did pile up a handful of times. But we did find our way out and we did survive. It helped to realize that things were going to be nuts for awhile, as they should be, and I didn’t need to worry about it!

There you go. If this post helps just one mama, I’m glad I wrote it 🙂

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