My POSTPARTUM JOURNEY – so far (up to week 14)

postpartumtransformation

I can’t believe it’s already been 14 weeks!

Time has been flying by (as evident by my absence) BUT I did a big girl thing this week and hired an assistant, so I “should” be able to get my act together over the next couple weeks to get caught up with all the things I need to do.

With that being said, I have clearly been focusing my attention on my family and my mental and physical wellness.

I compiled a really LOW quality video, pulled from all my instastories, with all my postpartum body and mind updates! Check it out to see how my body handled recovery and postpartum this time around with babe number 3, and then come back over here to read the DETAILS!

It’s funny because after I put the video together, I almost didn’t post it. It wasn’t as educational as I had envisioned and hoped it would be. Throughout this pregnancy and recovery I wanted to be real, honest, open, and help YOU gain the knowledge you need to lose that baby weight and find self-love throughout all the stages of your postpartum journey.

Here’s the lowdown on some of the details from my journey so far.

This has HANDS DOWN been the BEST recovery and postpartum journey I have ever had. AND I owe it all to my pregnancy. I know it’s a bit hard to tell in that pic above but I felt so fit and healthy physically and mentally, and I WAS, especially compared to my other 2 pregnancies.

I share ALLLLL my secrets, tips, wellness recommendations, and workouts in my MATERNITY HEALTH AND FITNESS GUIDE – available in my SHOP!!!

Click here to learn more

But let’s move on and start at the beginning. Henry was my biggest babe by over a pound and I didn’t have any vaginal tearing, I did have a little labia tear but that healed very quickly (TMI for some but I want to make sure you understand fully what I have been experiencing.)

I also encapsulated my placenta this time around and really felt that helped with my emotional well-being and with my milk supply. I was very skeptical of this initially, especially being a labor nurse and hearing all the myths and stereotypes behind it. BUT, this time around I was more open and willing to try things that really benefited my body, mind, and soul. I talked to some amazing friends that had done it and read some articles and ultimately came to the conclusion of, WHY NOT!? I found a women locally through friend recommendations and she came to the hospital, picked it up, and dropped it off the next night to my home with instructions. She even sat down with my mom and sister and answered all their questions about encapsulation. She explained that the placenta was made by you, for you. It wasn’t YOURS and it wasn’t THE BABIES. It was made to help for a time and holds nutrients and hormones our bodies need after delivery. I keep them refrigerated and still have quite a bit left. You aren’t suppose to consume them when you are sick as they tend to “feed the disease” (crazy, I know) and because I dealt with mastitis 3 times within those first 6 weeks, I took them on and off as I felt my body needed. They really were great for me, they gave me energy and I believe, they helped my emotional well-being. I am not sure how much of my mental wellness I can contribute to the pills verses the overall state of balance that my body was in because of my practices during pregnancy. You can email me and I will give you the contact information of the lady I used, if you are in the SLC area.

I also stopped bleeding after only 1 week and was able to go on walks almost everyday after that. For the first 4 weeks, I went on walks at night or to and from school to pick up Reagan, I also made sure to do my pelvic floor/transverse abdominus workouts. Although I only had a 2 finger ab separation at 4 weeks postpartum, I wanted to make sure to ease my pelvic floor and abs back into workouts to ensure that I didn’t damage or worsen the Diastatis Recti. You can learn more about this topic and what it is on this post. I have a program that I am working on BUT until it is released, if you are curious what these movements are, I would search, “Diastatis Recti workouts” on YouTube. @realheidipowell has a great video with some of the most important movements that can help your recovery as well. Along these same lines, I wore a few different wraps to help my weakened muscles and ligaments get back into their proper alignment and place. I started at 1 week postpartum but I really recommend you start even as early as the hospital. The faster you wrap the better it will help and benefit. You can find my favorite wraps and a review on them HERE.

At 4 weeks I started slowly back at the gym and worked in some at-home CrossFit inspired workouts. I really wanted to make sure to transitioned my body slow and steady. I felt ready faster than expected, simply because of my workout regimen while pregnant. My goal was to do something active each day and listen to my body. You can check out my FREE At-Home CrossFit Inspired 6 week Workout Plan and download it to see what my workouts typically looked like. I also started back into yoga at about 6 weeks postpartum and have been doing that about 2-3 times a week. They are a lot of things you can do to stay active. Find what works for you and what you love. Just make sure you are cleared by your doctor AND that you slowly transition back so you do not injure yourself!

As far as my nutrition goes…for the first 2 weeks I had amazing friends and family cooking and bringing me meals. I ate a full, yummy, balanced diet, keeping sugar and processed foods in my diet. When my milk came in, the SUGAR CRAVINGS flooded in as well! I think I was more hungry those first few weeks than I had been during pregnancy. At about 2 weeks postpartum, I went to a nutritionist to help me with my nutrition and eating. (even if you don’t live in Utah, ask for Taylor at @maxmusclecottonwood and he will take care of you!) I knew if I was going to breastfeed and lose weight, I needed to consult with someone who could give me a plan that would ensure my milk supply stay right where it is. I had done a MACRO diet before getting pregnant and knew it was what I wanted to do to lose the baby weight. MACRO dieting is simply breaking up the calories you are eating each day into specific amounts of fats, carbs, and proteins, to ensure you are not only eating enough but that you are eating the right nutrients per calorie. This particular way of eating is not only so perfect for breastfeeding, but it also gives you the food freedom you wish to have as well as the healthy relationship with food that you need. Whole grains, cheeses, proteins, fruits. A lot of really great clean, fresh, whole foods. When I was breastfeeding I was consuming about 2000 calories a day and my macros were high in proteins. Because I am not breastfeeding anymore, I am consuming about 1500-1700 calories a day (depending on my protein after my workout). My breakdown is 148g carbs, 140g proteins, 35g fat) Eventually, I will get around to posting pics of what I eat each day. I don’t plan to do MACROs forever. Just until my weight is off. I have 15 pounds left. Once I lose the rest of my baby weight I plan to go more toward an intuitive eating plan, where I stay eating clean and much like my macros, but I won’t measure and weigh all my food. It’s hard work and worth it because you see results the RIGHT WAY, BUT, I will be excited when I don’t have to do that all the time. I will say it again, to all my breastfeeding mamas that want to lose weight, find a nutritionist and get on that MACRO wagon. You can keep your supply up while working out too.

OKAY, now to the topic that I have kept private for a while now. Breastfeeding. I was planning on breastfeeding Henry for at least a year. It’s such a tender, sacred, beautiful thing that I am blessed to have experienced. My milk comes in full force and I have enough to feed a village. It’s worth the cringing latch pain, the engorgement, the scabbed nipples, and tender breasts. It’s worth it all. After you get past those first 2-3 painful weeks, you think you’ve regulated and gotten past the rough part. Or at least I did. I mean, this isn’t my first rodeo. I breastfeed Reagan and Baylor, so I knew what I was in for…or so I thought. I was stubborn and determined. Even through 3 rounds of mastitis. Rubbing out hot spots, antibiotics, and fevers. I wasn’t going to stop. Until about 7 weeks postpartum the visual migraines started. I had never had a migraine before, but now I get why people hate them so much. In my situation, I would randomly start seeing white spots and then my entire vision on my right side would go out, followed by nausea, light sensitivity, and a headache like never before. It didn’t matter what I was doing, they started to happen randomly and frequently. I was nervous to drive and when I got them, I couldn’t function. It was confusing to me. I had felt so incredible physically and my recovery was so amazing. Why was I experiencing this? Long story short, after talking with my doctor, getting a few blessings from my husband, many prayers and meditation, I knew the migraines were related to hormones and breastfeeding. I knew my body was telling me it was time for me to stop. I knew it was right, but it was hard. Mentally I was a mess, I was dreading that first bottle. I held him close and placed it to his lips. He immediately latched onto the nipple and guzzled down 4 ounces. I watched with tears streaming down my face as he ate and ate and ate. It was a tender mercy saying to me, “SEE, he will be just fine Sadie, in fact, he will thrive. This is okay.” AND IT WAS. And I knew that. How many mothers had I helped breastfeed, how many felt like failures when they had to supplement? How many put pressure and stress on themselves? I KNOW, as a labor nurse, that breastfeeding is absolutely the best thing for our little babies, but I also know that formula is wonderful as well. You HAVE to think about your well being as a mother. I don’t wish to make this a discussion, I just wish to share my story, the good and the bad. I wanted SO BADLY to breastfeed him longer, for a million reasons, but also to share my experience with my readers and show them how to lose weight while breastfeeding. My visual migraines stopped the second I weaned him. He’s been growing, loving, and bonding with me and my husband. I look back now and know it was just a little hiccup. Something that seemed so stressful, so painful and sad, but now I see it’s all okay.

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned. As mothers, this is a hard pill to swallow. Especially as new mothers, with tender little babes who rely on us for survival. I hope you know it’s okay. It’s okay to struggle. To find what works for YOU and YOUR BABY. To work on yourself. To become present as a mother and as an advocate for yourself.

Whatever you are struggling with, just know, that this too shall pass. AND if you feel as if it will never end…it will. The storm is passing. The clouds are moving.

This postpartum journey is FAR from over but I am so glad I get to share it with all of you. It’s a beautiful journey filled with ups and downs.

HAVE GRACE with yourself. Have PATIENCE.

Take time to breathe, to stand in front of the mirror and appreciate and LOVE your body for what it just gave you. For what it just did. For how beautiful it is. In every stage. Take time to breathe out the negativity and breathe in the positivity. Take ONE DAY AT A TIME. Repeat this phrase EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

MY WEIGHT HAS NO POWER OVER ME.

Because it doesn’t. It will come off. Don’t compare your journey to another women’s journey.

You are doing an incredible job.

You are beautiful, strong, kind, smart, and an amazing mother. Don’t ever forget that.

If you have questions about my postpartum journey, email me, or comment!

XOXO

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Showing 10 comments
  • Bekah
    Reply

    Thank you for posting this! Your honesty is so good for me to read. I am 23 weeks with my first baby and have so many fears and anxieties about postpartum recovery. Your words are so encouraging. Thanks for being real!

  • Torrie
    Reply

    You look great, and it’s inspiring to see how committed you are to your own wellbeing and health! When I get pregnant for a second time, there are definitely a lot of things I want to do different since I didn’t take great care of myself with my first, and I’m still paying for it in some ways.

    And yes, I understand firsthand that things don’t always work out the way you choose, especially when it comes to nursing and childbirth and pregnancy and all those things in general. I had to stop nursing at four months because of an AI disease diagnosis (and the subsequent medications I was put on), and while it wasn’t what I wanted, it was what was best in the interest of my health. Go you for being in tune with yourself! Thanks for sharing honestly about your pp journey.

    http://autodidacticambitions.blogspot.com

  • Lexee
    Reply

    Good read! I have a two month old and can relate. I’m starting to understand the macro diet concept but I also have no idea where to start…can you post more about that? I want to do it but still don’t know quite how to manage it.

  • Roxanne Hew
    Reply

    Hi Sadie, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. My kids are 7 and 5 years old now and I won’t be having anymore but your message still resonates with me. At 8 weeks postpartum I had to stop breastfeeding my daughter for multiple reasons and it was extremely heartbreaking for me. I am so glad to see the support you show your readers. I’m thankful for the little time I was able to breastfeed both of my kids and also thankful that my kids grew up healthy and strong with the help of formula. Now I’m reading your body positive posts and I think it can apply to all walks of life. I’ll be sharing your blog with my sister now who is pregnant and struggling with body image. We have to lift each other up and help each other out by sharing our experiences. There’s no reason to feel bad about any single aspect of pregnancy or postpartum. We are women, we are strong, and we are beautiful!

  • Laura
    Reply

    I get aura migraines as well. I feel you girl! You rock. End of story.

  • Lee
    Reply

    Oh, how I love you! You’re inspiring and real. Thank you for staying true to yourself and your loyal readers. This post is awesome and I loved the video. Thank you for sharing that! I’m just several weeks out from having baby #3 and haven’t worked out like I did with the others, but I’m excited to get back to it after postpartum recovery. Cheers.

    • Lee
      Reply

      PS-Aura migraines or visual migraines are horrible and I’m glad that you found a solution for yours. I’m sorry for the anxiety of making that decision, but it definitely sounds like you made the right choice for you! I have been getting these kinds of migraines since I was 11. I recently began using a topical magnesium (EASE spray) and it has worked wonders! I haven’t had one in 3 weeks of use…which is sadly a LONG time for me when I’m pregnant and I get them all too often. When not pregnant, I only get them 3-4 times a year. Anyway, I tell you this should the migraines ever become a problem again. As women our hormones are constantly changing and so unfortunately they can become a problem even when you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, etc. Ah, the joys. Best wishes!

  • Caroline
    Reply

    I decided to take the time to read this post bc I was interested in your weight loss post partum (I had my third baby in April). But instead I got another confirmation that it’s ok if breastfeeding doesn’t work out (god is good and in the details). I went through my first case of mastitis last week. Besides it being miserable I was overwhelmed with how I couldn’t be the mother I wanted for my 2 and 4yr old. And then my baby dropped from the 92 percentile in weight to the 47th and I was devastated I wasn’t nourishing my baby to grow. With lots of tears my husband gave her her first bottle of formula last night and she drank it quickly and cried when it was gone. More tears from me since she’s obviously starving. Reading your journey with breastfeeding brought more tears to my eyes. (There’s been lots of crying). I know adding formula will help her grow and help me be a better more to my other two. But man it’s hard to accept that. Sorry for this novel comment, just wanted to say I really appreciated reading your story about breastfeeding and it was another sign that everything is going to be ok. Thanks

    • sadie
      Reply

      Thank you for being brave and sharing your story! AND being brave and using your motherly instincts to choose what is best for your babe! You are an amazing mother! Don’t ever forget that!

  • Lenae
    Reply

    Thank you Sadie. I cried watching your video. I found it very encouraging and don’t feel so alone right now. I’m a personal trainer of 12 years with a degree in Exercise Science. Five years ago I was a very strong and lean 135lbs with great muscle definition. Three kids and THREE c-sections later I’ve been left with 60 extra pounds, two hernias, and a severe diastasis recti (we’re talkin 5 finger widths!), and this is despite doing everything “right” each pregnancy. My first two kids were both 9lbs 6oz and this last baby was 10lbs 7oz. I have a very small frame at 5-3 with a short torso. So, that might explain why my abdominal wall is basically shredded. My doctors think I will need additional surgery to repair the damage to my abs. In the mean time, I’m going to be belly binding and focusing on weight loss first and see what happens. I’m currently 3.5 weeks postpartum and I don’t recognize myself right now. Seriously, I’ll see a photo of myself and be like, “Who is that?!? Oh, wait, it’s ME!????” I’m so embarrassed to run into people who know I am/was a trainer (trainer who competed in a fitness model show!). It’s summer and I can’t hide behind layers of clothing and I’m so discouraged and was starting to get depressed. People think I’m supposed to have all the answers and look at me like, “What happened to you?! How did this happen to YOU of all people?!?” Watching your little video tonight gave me hope and got me refocused. I feel greatly encouraged and empowered. I will press on! :) And one day, I’ll have some awesome before and after photos to share with future clients.

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