Harsh Perspective

Since the weather’s been absolutely gorgeous, I’ve started swimming laps in the pool again. The last time I did this was when I was 38 weeks pregnant. Swimming was one of the only ways I could comfortably get exercise, so I did it a lot. I was swimming laps the afternoon before I went into labor.

Taken just a few days before G arrived! It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I was ever this big! 160 lbs., to be exact!!

But you know what’s really sad? I was in better shape then, 38 weeks pregnant, than I am now, 5 1/2 months postpartum!!

Puts things in a rather harsh perspective, really.

Looking back, however, being in such good shape, even while being a “beached whale” (actually my fav. preggo nickname that I’ve heard is “Jabba the Mamma”), was one of the best things I ever did. Not only did it help me lose the weight afterwards (I was in pre-preggo jeans by Day 4!), but it also gave me the endurance to get through all 22 hours of labor.

Excuse the giant whale belly. For those of you doing an unmedicated birth, this was how I labored for hours (but be careful, your arms get so sore it's hard to move them the next day!)

In discussing it the other night, the thing I kept remembering over and over again was NOT the pain, surprisingly. It was the absolute exhaustion! There were points where I thought, “I simply have no more energy left to give!” and then I was asked to push again, and again, and again, for hours! I heard somewhere that giving birth takes the strength and endurance of two marathons. Very true.

All the time, I see pics of people who JUST gave birth, moments before, and they are sweaty, sure, but they look AMAZING (you know who you are, people!). All “glowing” and euphoric.

I looked nothing of the sort. In fact, I think that I looked TERRIBLE. My eyelids were drooping (Jesse says the midwives were worried because during the last stage of labor, I couldn’t even open my eyes, I was so miserable!), my face and neck were all puffy from the IV fluids, and my hair was a rat’s nest from being every which way on the bed while they tried to get G out.

I look so bleh!!! That's what 22 hours of labor will do to you! The only beautiful thing about this picture is that it was our very very first family photo! You can see the hot rice sock to the right. Since G was only MINUTES old, they wanted to keep him warm 🙂

Anyways, not sure what inspired all of these thoughts…oh yes, swimming. Being in shape. Highly recommend it to pregnant mothers, as long as the Doctor okays it.

Another thing– whoever your birth partner is should also be in pretty fab shape. Jesse supported me through many of the Bradley positions. He’s a pretty strong guy, and even he was tired!

Also, can you tell I’m nostalgic? Definitely feeling the “baby craze” again…

Eek! My gorgeous baby G, an hour after birth. Hard to believe that this is pretty much what he looked like in my 38 week belly shot, just all curled up and floating around inside me!

This picture still gives me goose-bumps 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Harsh Perspective

  1. kelly i LOVE remembering your birth. so wonderful to be there to meet gregory, support you two, and hang out with the folsoms that night. 🙂 also, i totally understand the baby nostalgia. there’s something addicting about that post-labor high and endorphins, plus the opportunity to meet a new little person that was inside of you. no other experience that i am aware of will every mimic that.

    but then there’s the baby care that keeps me sane for now. 🙂

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