Not Quite Ship Shape

I knew when I got pregnant that I was going to have some weight to lose after the baby was born. I also knew that stretch marks were pretty much inevitable. They tell you those things. What no one mentioned was the fact that my actual level of physical fitness was going to take me back to square one.

At my peak of strength and endurance I was doing three 5:30AM boot camp classes a week and running 5k’s at a decent speed without training whenever I felt like it. That period of my life lasted for several months until I got a cold while wedding planning and then started to trade mornings at the gym for much needed sleep.

Even my normal level of physical fitness was satisfactory to me. I walked over four miles a day commuting and, according to my pedometer, logged at least an extra mile daily on top of that. If I felt like going for a run (which wasn’t often haha) I could pickup and run a couple miles.

Even as a pregnant woman I was walking at least five miles five days a week up until I pulled my groin eight months in while foolishly running to catch a train that I wasn’t even planning on catching in the first place. For days after that I could barely walk, and several weeks later I was able to work up to one mile of walking each day (I’m sure it was some combination of the pull and being very very pregnant).

I assumed that after walking through pregnancy and delivering Luke naturally, I’d be able to jump right back into walking. After my first week home with Luke consisted of scurrying around the house and too many trips up and down the stairs I got monster cramps, and at the urging of Mike, my mom and my mother-in-law, I reluctantly took it easy for the next five weeks.

I assumed after my six-week postpartum check up that I would get right back to walking and running and that I’d start dropping sizes in no time. That was in mid-January. Mother Nature had other plans and dumped a bitterly cold and snowy winter into Chicagoland’s lap and kept it up through the beginning of March.

Before resuming a commute, I headed into the city once to interview with my new job and once to clean out my desk at my old job. Both trips left me exhausted. To help make commuting easier, I started walking at an indoor track occasionally with my mom for 30 minutes at a time. By the end of each walk I was really feeling the workout. I resumed commuting and thankfully my body adapted to the 2.5 miles of total walking the two days a week that I’m downtown.

On a recent solo trip to the indoor track (this past Thursday) I power walked one mile, then walked/ran one mile (alternating laps) and walked a third mile. That was all I could take for the day. And walking approximately four total miles around town yesterday (Friday) with Luke and my mom has left me sore and resting in bed this morning (with Luke napping on me of course).

It’s humbling really; Working my way back to my old daily physical fitness level, starting at square one. I may not be able to control how my body sheds the excess pregnancy weight and what actual shape the will leave my figure in and I have no real control over when and how the stretch marks will fade. But I do have control over my physical fitness. Regardless what pant size I end up in, I’d like to be able to walk five miles in a day (without feeling tired or sore) like I used to and I’d like to be able to run two to three miles whenever I feel like it – whether I’ve run in the past month or not. But for now I’ll settle for getting Luke and I out of bed and started with the rest of our day, one sore step at a time.

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Ashes for Luke

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I had one of those “I’m a parent” moments today while Mike and I were on our way (with Luke) to a lunchtime church service to receive our ashes for Ash Wednesday. We had to park a couple blocks away due to the popularity and timing of the service. As we neared the church we were joined by countless mothers with their young children in tow. Maybe it was being surrounded by a lot of other moms, maybe it was being home and able to do something during the middle of the day, or maybe it was the fact that we were taking Luke to get ashes, but I distinctly remember pausing and thinking to myself, “This is a very mom thing to do”.

3 Months

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three months… and it’s still artic cold outside and we’re still buried in snow (Mike is out shoveling as I write this). Poor Luke has only been graced with three walks thus far, and while he might not know what he’s missing – I sure do (where are the 40s, we should be out walking daily by now). Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of things that hold Luke’s increasing interest. He’s growing more and more interactive with his bouncy chair, play mat and swing. Added to the mix have been a bouncer (Luke didn’t like that his legs dangle so we put a file box underneath him so he’s sitting) and the high chair, aka his Olympic Viewing Chair.

Speaking of the Olympics, Luke LOVED them. We don’t watch TV often with him – usually only at night after Mike and I have had dinner, especially while the Olympics were on. Luke seemed particularly interested in the women’s events (awake and attentive verses the cat naps he’d sometimes take during the men’s events). One night while the games were on, Mike decided to put together the high chair in the basement to see if Luke would fit so that he could sit independent of us while we were eating in the dining room. Luke was so content to sit and watch the games from that chair that we would bring it back down to the basement after dinner, and thus the Olympic Viewing Chair was born.

Luke is still going to bed between 8-9:30, and sleeping through the night about 5 nights a week. The exception being the nights around when I’m at work – those nights feature either multiple wake-ups, or wanting to be fed at 4am instead of the usual 5:30-7am. I’ve read that this is common when Mom goes back to work, it’s the baby’s way of compensating for time not spent together.

Another development new this past week has been an early onset of ‘stranger’ anxiety/overstimulation when others are around (I put stranger in quotes because sometimes they are people that Luke already knows). Usually taking place around 6 months, it’s not unheard of to start as early as 3 months. Oddly, it’s described as a completely natural and healthy development. While Luke is his usual cool as a cucumber self around Mike and I, he’s taken to having an incredibly short fuse with everyone else (my dad being the exception). He’ll start off fine being held by someone else, then Mike and I will let out a sigh of relief, minutes later the lower lip will start to quiver and Luke will start wailing like we’ve never heard him wail before (he’s such a content baby that we’ve actually never heard him wail before). He’ll continue to wail until one of us intervenes. We’re going to work with Luke on this so the three of us can find a way for Luke to be comfortable around others, especially people that he already knows.

This past month, Luke got to meet (and wail at) his Great Grandma Lois, Great Aunt Anita and Great Aunt Kelli. Mike made the mistake of telling me that I should go buy Luke some more clothes in this particular size – so Aunt Kelli and I had a wonderful day shopping for Luke – and Luke got a ton of new outfits in his current size… and the next size up 😉 When Aunt Anita came to visit she also brought Luke some new outfits, one of them being the outfit that he wears for his monthly photo but in the next size up!!! So without further ado, Luke’s three month photos:

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Mike happened to be home when Luke and I were taking photos, so occasionally Luke would look over and give him a smile. After we were finished with photos, Mike gave us a mini trumpet concert (playing as softly as he could) and Luke was transfixed.

Mike happened to be home while we were taking photos - so occasionally Luke would look over at him.

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I love the above photo of the three of us, it might be my new favorite family photo. It’s just such a natural moment – now frozen in time.

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I’ll end with this photo, if you look carefully, we’re all reflected in and on the bell of Mike’s trumpet as he played.