My Postpartum Journey: Month 4

I wrote all about my little peanut’s fourth month of life last week, but haven’t given you a peek into month four of my postpartum journey!

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HORMONES: The hormone change around 3 months definitely is a big one and I’ve been experiencing the effects of it ever since. First off, I knew women started to lose their hair around month three — but the sheer amount of hair is ridiculous! I guess the locks are making up for lost time since I barely lost my normal amount during pregnancy. The other noticeable change due to hormones is the amount of which I need to pump. That coupled with Xander leading my supply, have left me able to hardly need to pump at all! Hip hip hooray! I now might pump once a day if Xander sleeps a nice chunk at night. I end up waking due to discomfort and keep my pump available in the vanity area of our bedroom.

MILK MILK MILK: Staying on the topic of breast milk, we recently discussed that my milk is high in lipase. The older milk seems to have an even higher content of it because some of the expressed milk contains colostrum (which is higher in fat) and it has also had a longer time in the freezer to break down. Milk high in lipase isn’t a bad thing, in fact, the lipase enzyme breaks down lipids. This means the baby can digest the milk easier. However, with this comes potentially unacceptable milk for the baby. The milk gives off a slight metallically smell and makes the milk not as sweet. You should have seen the look on Xander’s face when we gave him the bottle of unthawed frozen milk that was high in lipase! Poor thing! We’ve now figured out that we can mix the unthawed frozen milk with some freshly pumped milk that is acceptable to Xander’s palate. Xander doesn’t receive too many bottles but it’s nice to have John feed him sometimes and as well as the conveniency of bringing a bottle in public (although, I’m getting much better nursing in public!)

Because of the extensive amount of breast milk that I do have in the freezer and the fear of how are we going to get through it all before it expires (we won’t), I’ve decided to become a milk donor. I’m currently going through the application process and still need to have my blood work done. I’ll be donating milk to the WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can expect a full post on the process of becoming a milk donor and other fun tidbits!

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EXERCISE: Exercise is going (dare I say) great! Ever since Xander turned 4 months old, John and I have been running together with little man in the jogging stroller. Half the time he just falls asleep and doesn’t even know what we’re doing. There is a pretty lake nearby with a 1.25 mile paved loop that we go on. Guess how many loops I am up to!? THREE!!! Just shy of 4 miles people! I’m stoked that I’m progressing that quickly, especially when we’ve only been able to run 1-2 times a week so far. I need to start thinking about my training plan for the Army Ten Miler in October though! I’m SO excited! I’m running it with my friend Lauren, who is the wife of John’s work BFF. We really hit it off and I think we’re planning on sticking together during the whole race as well! We’ll be doing some test long runs to make sure our running styles jive!

Aside from running, my in-home workouts are thriving. As part of the Just Dance Just Sweat Dream Team (#JDdreamteam on Twitter) I’ve been playing Just Dance 3; as an ambassador of FitFluential I received and completed the Bikini Body Express program by Valerie Waters; and through Glam media I was recently able to try a bootcamp style workout by Jennifer Cohen! I’ve been loving these opportunities and most importantly the fact that I can complete them right at home!

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BODY CHANGES: In addition to the copious amounts of hair I’m losing, there have been a few other body changes. I’m about 3-4 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body still isn’t in nearly as good of shape. My stomach is firming up, slowly but surely, and my breast size has decreased just a bit (thank goodness). There’s still a long way to go in the chest department, but due to nursing, I’m sure this won’t be quick. It’s nice to see a small decrease because it has made a few more of my dresses fit. And if someone tells me, “that must be a nice problem to have” one more time, I’m gonna slap ‘em….mmmkay?

Overall I’m so pleased with how my postpartum body is doing. My goals right now are increase my running endurance and focus on getting stronger.

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MOM STUFF: I get asked questions like: “How do you like being a mom?” and “It is everything you thought it would be?” The short answers are I love it and yes. Truthfully, I’ve always felt like I’d be an awesome mom and now that I am one, I’m pretty sure I am. I know, I’m so modest. But seriously, being a mom comes naturally to me. Sure there are days that I’m exhausted. Sure there are days that I’m bored. But taking care of Xander is the best. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am staying a stay-at-mom and have some online gigs on the side. John and I have always been on the same page about how we’d like to raise a family and we are willing to live on one salary to have me stay at home.

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Comments

  1. 1

    That’s what totally strikes me whenever I read about mommyhood here on this blog — it not only suits you totally but you are SUCH a natural mom, it’s amazing! I love hearing how being a mom has affected you, what you’ve learned and how much you’re loving it. Seems you’re finding an awesome balance too — still fitting in your ‘me’ time workouts and things like that. I love it!

    • 2

      Thanks Jess! I feel like a many people don’t feel like themselves or have trouble re-finding themselves after having a baby. For me t just seems like something I was always meant to do and including Xander in the things I do just fits. I also have such a supportive husband in that he knows how much working out means to me. It’s really cute — sometimes the boys will just be watching me finish up and John will be giving X the play by play of what mommy is doing! Thanks for always leaving such supportive comments Jess!

  2. 3

    I found this all very interesting Katie. Thanks for sharing the update!

  3. 4

    I LITERALLY cannot wait to start long running with you! I’m so impressed with your post-baby get back in shape life. You give the childless hope of bikini and running after baby <3

  4. 6

    I agree, you are such a natural!! And you make it look so very easy. Damn you. Just kidding ;-) Seriously I love reading the progression and you are looking fabulous!!

  5. 8

    So cool! I am glad all your hard work is not going to waste!

  6. 9

    Even though I have no desire to be a mom yet, I’m curious and enjoy hearing about your experience. Most people don’t divulge the real details.

    I love that you’re able to donate milk, what a great program!

  7. 11

    that is so awesome you are going to be a milk donor! really cool. jealous you are below pre-prego weight. that is awesome too. sounds like y’all are doing great!

  8. 13

    That’s awesome that your supply has regulated so well! Yay!

    And I am super impressed with your running distance. You’ll have to let me know what park you visit.

  9. 16

    I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU IN OCTOBER. Yes excited enough to use all caps :) You are rocking it girl!

  10. 18

    Wow almost 4 miles is great! Congrats. And your little one is such a cutie! Glad you are enjoying being a Mommy. It IS the best!

  11. 20

    I’m starting to store milk now for when I go back to work. I’m freaking out that I won’t have enough! haha I guess I just have to see how it goes.

    • 21
      Healthy Heddleston says:

      Good luck! It’ll probably go better than you think! Will you be able to pump at work as well?

  12. 22

    Congrats on your little guy! I am so impressed that you’re going to be a milk donor. Such a wonderful thing to do for people that can’t provide their own. Great job getting out there with Xander…both my boys were in the jog stroller from an early age so it was something they were always comfortable with and used to doing as they got older. They would talk about what they saw and look for things while we were out. Great fun!

    • 23
      Healthy Heddleston says:

      Aww that’ll be fun when he talks what he’s seeing during the run! I’m excited to be showing him at an early age something in passionate about!

      I’ll be writing about the milk donating so stay tuned for more info!

  13. 24

    Love the update on YOU. Although Xander is precious and I adore reading all about him too. :)

    I had no doubt whatsoever you would be an AMAZING mom, so I’m glad you feel that you are. Happy Friday!

  14. 26

    I really need to try that bikini body express.. It sounds fun!!
    Congrats on X being four months! Time is flying! Grace is almost three months :(
    We would love for me to be a stay at home mom.. Hopefully that can happen in the next month or so!

  15. 27

    Congrats! I too had the lipase problem with my milk and only my oldest would drink my expressed milk bc of the taste. I think it’s so cool that you are becoming a milk donor! My first was a preemie, and during her first two weeks I had to supplement my expressed milk with a bit of formula which i totally did not want for her and it would have been awesome to have the option of supplementing with other breast milk. There are no milk banks here in Ontario Canada that I know of. You seem t o be doing an awesome job – congrats!!! Xander is so lucky to have such wonderful caring parents!

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