As we approach the 9-month mark, I’m floored that both Hannah is 9 months and I’m living in a 9 month postpartum body.
Having two little ones is no joke. It’s incredibly challenging (some days to my core) but unbelievably rewarding at the same time.
I feel so fortunate to be in this place and be the chosen mom of these two girls.
First, let me start off by saying I’m so grateful for my postpartum body. The vehicle it offers me to move throughout this life is not undervalued.
But, to say it bluntly, my 9 month postpartum body does not look like my pre-pregnancy body. I’m a lot softer in many areas, and I don’t have the physical endurance that I used to (not yet at least).
But day by day, I’m starting to feel stronger.
I’m in this weird in between where I don’t quite have my old identity as a “serious runner”, but I still have this new identity that I’m growing into, as a mom of two and still a runner.
And while it’s easy to judge and criticize saying, “you’re not the runner you used to be, etc” it’s just as easy to remind myself that I birthed two babies, including one in my bedroom unmedicated.
I carried two babies and stretched all of my ligaments out. I had humans growing inside of me, which is just crazy. I’ve breastfed two babies and am currently still breastfeeding one.
My body is working so hard for me to be a mom in the first place. It is kind of in maintenance mode.
I’ve previously talked about my postpartum running exercise modifications and journey often. Specifically, I chronicled my return to running after a C Section, which in reality, was much faster than it should have been.
I have so much more knowledge now than I used to. And working with a pelvic floor therapist to have pelvic floor exercises to work on has been life changing.
I also learned a TON about postpartum exercise and how our body heals and recovers through our podcast episodes about Pelvic Floor Health for Runners with Dr. Abby Bales and Jessica Valant. They are both physical therapists and are such great educators.
Thinking back to my pregnancy with Camryn, I ran a half marathon at 6 months postpartum. Even now at 9 months postpartum, I’m nowhere near running 13 miles at once.
I have gotten into a good, diverse groove with exercise. I run 3-4 days a week (usually 3-5 miles at a time), bike 1-2 days, and do strength training twice a week.
Alot of times I’m doing two different exercises on the same day (ie- bike 30 minutes then do a 15 minute strength class).
I love the peloton app so much for stacking classes, and I can search for any length class depending on how much time I have. I’m really loving not training for anything and focusing on variety and building up different muscle groups.
For the most part, I think my hormones have stabilized at this point.
Thankfully, I think my hair loss is toning down a bit. It was alarming seeing so much hair in the shower for a while there.
My milk is somewhat stable, though on nights when Hannah sleeps through the night, I wake up extremely full and sometimes have to pump. Hannah has been a so-so sleeper and we’ve had our ups and downs.
Right now, we’re on an up so I’ll just keep it at that!
Baby sleep is impossible to understand. She is teething (bottom two teeth at once) and learning so many new skills (we’re starting to crawl), so I’m sure her brain is going a mile a minute!
Back to hormones, though – I didn’t have any postpartum depression thankfully. Looking back, I had much more anxiety after having Camryn, likely because I was a first time mom and had no idea what I was doing.
This time around, I really feel like I’ve been able to enjoy all of the little moments, with Hannah alone and Hannah and Cam together.
There are moments where I suddenly feel SO thirsty, due to nursing or forgetting to drink enough water.
I have to make sure I keep my water bottle near by (newly loving this one) and have easy, portable snacks. High protein granola is a new favorite.
Nursing is going really well with Hannah, especially since we got her tongue and lip ties released at 3 months. Honestly, I knew nothing about that procedure during Cam’s pregnancy.
I’ve first hand seen the difference it made in Hannah’s latch, and her digestion – prior to the release, she was going up to a week without a poop, which worried me so much! I was very stressed.
Now, her latch is wonderful and she is a quick eater – I know I have a semi over supply of milk and a very fast let down and she’s caught on – she gets what she needs and she’s all done. As I’m sure is the case with many babies at this age, she gets so distracted so nursing is like a circus these days. She’ll pop off whenever she hears something or wants to look around and smile then pop back on.
I won’t talk too much about baby solids here since I wrote about our baby led weaning foods at 6 months, but that is still going strong. Hannah loves to try new foods and reaches at anything and everything I’m eating.
Her favorite foods are pineapple and strawberries, pulled chicken, ribs, and eggs. It’s such a breath of fresh air feeding babies because they don’t have any opinions about food or picky eating yet!
I still have some diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) at 9 months postpartum. I honestly don’t know what “normal” is because I think a lot of women are walking around with some sort of ab separation without knowing it.
Mine has closed up somewhat, but not completely. So, I’m still being extremely careful with my exercise, especially any abdominal work.
Fortunately, in working with a women’s health and pelvic floor specialist and physical therapist, I have a set of exercises to do that are safe for DR and I have been slowly strengthening my pelvic floor.
I say slowly because it has felt like such a slow process to me – everyone is different, and some people may “bounce back,” literally and figuratively. We are all different and we have all had different birthing experiences so that all comes into play.
The beginning months are such a blur, because I really struggled managing needing to spend so much time with Hannah and not getting the quality 1-1 time with Camryn that I used to.
We really tried to carve out time together on weekends, which helped, but during the weeks, she was at school and I missed her a lot.
I know having her in daycare was the best option for us because she thrives on social relationships and interaction, but I just had this overwhelming sense of mom guilt.
The mom guilt still shows up sometimes but overall, I feel in a much better place now. Camryn has accepted Hannah as her little sister, and been goes out of her way to show she is thinking about Hannah sometimes.
For example, we went out last weekend and Camryn brought an extra toy for Hannah “in case she cries.” It made my heart so happy.
Camryn is becoming so thoughtful and such a good big sister, though I’d be naive to say, we don’t have our moments of tantrums and toddler jealousy.
I know I have so much to look forward to as these girls grow up and learn to play together but I’m reminding myself to take it day by day.
It’s no surprise I like to work, as I genuinely enjoy what I do. It doesn’t feel like work.
I love maintaining this blog, making new recipes, working 1-1 with clients, running the nail your nutrition podcast and NYN course, and more. If anything, being a mom of two has forced me to delegate and really only say yes to and focus on big things to advance my business.
Time is just so limited and I’m (still) learning to work more efficiently. I will likely be hiring as associate dietitian soon because I’m nearly full with my own schedule with 1-1 clients, which is exciting!
In the future, I’d like to expand into offering group coaching but I have to tell myself one thing at a time!
The blog will be getting an overhaul very soon and I’m so excited about it. My goal is to make it more clear about what this blog entails and have everything better categorized for you all on the home page.
For example, recipes divided into categories and top intuitive eating and running posts.
That’s all for now – thanks for checking in with me and reading this long recap.
How was your postpartum transition? Any other questions for me?