12 Months Postpartum: Final Update
It's really hard to believe, but it's been a little over 12 months since Liam's birth last May. Wrapping my head around the fact that he is one has been a challenge, he's not really a baby anymore and is so eager to keep up with his older siblings that he is hitting milestones far sooner than the two older ones ever did.
When it comes to my return to running postpartum, I finally feel that my body is back to "normal." Here's a look at where I'm at now that it's been a year since giving birth:
Nursing: I'm still nursing Liam once or twice a day. I consistently nurse him before bed, although lately he's seemed less and less interested in it. And sometimes I nurse him in the morning, if he wakes up before 5am I'll nurse him and put him back to bed. But that only happens a handful of times. I'm not sure how much longer we will continue because I'm not producing much and think that he mostly nurses out of comfort.
Sleep: Liam is finally sleeping through the night. We (I say we, because I was complicit) kicked a very bad habit of waking in the middle of the night, sometimes twice a night to nurse. Fo the first 4-5 months I chalked it up to him being tired. He was pretty much waking up twice nightly since around 3 months. And I was nursing him to put him back to sleep. I thought the habit would bite the dust when we started solids. But it persisted until April (when he was 11 months old), when I finally nearly lost my mind due to lack of sleep (this was after the Boston Marathon). WhenI get tired, I don't walk around in a sleepy stupor, I walked around pissed off at the world and so angry the slightest thing sets me off. Like some people are silly-drunk and others get angry-drunk, well I'm angry-tired. Like, really angry. It was bad. And I needed to sleep. So my hubby committed to getting up with Liam when he woke up in the middle of the night. It took about four days for Liam to get the idea that he wasn't going to get mama in the middle of the night and then he was done waking up. He's been sleeping through the night for a little over a month and I feel like a new woman! I'm happy, optimistic and have so much energy! I wake up before my alarm (that was last week...this week not so much. ha!) and have far more patience with the kids. Sleep is so key and so precious.
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Training: Now that I'm sleeping I feel like my body is responding really well to the training. I'm running slightly more mileage than I did during my marathon training over the winter and I'm able to give more intensity to some of my harder efforts: at track and on our weekly mountain runs. I think more sleep has made a significant difference in how I feel and how I'm running.
Injuries: So far I've remained injury free. I credit that to a conservative return to running postpartum, frequent check in's with my physical therapist and regular massages. When I ran a marathon 18 months postpartum after my second I suffered tendonitis in my calf that sidelined me for the entire summer. I didn't want that to happen this time around so I was more conservative in returning to running after the marathon. I have to stay diligent with foam rolling and stretching since my left hip tends to be tight, but so far all has been good.
Weight: Typically this is a topic I don't talk about because the specifics are rather un-inportant in the grand scheme of things. But I wanted to mention the fact that I'm NOT back to my pre-pregnancy weight. There are and handful of pounds that just are there, I think to stay. And that's OK. I think what's significant is that I am MORE physically fit than I was after my second pregnancy despite a few extra pounds.
Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com