Jan 12 2009

How to lose 20 pounds in a week

Step 1: Give birth
Step 2: Breastfeed

I kid you not, I lost 20 pounds in the first week after giving birth. Six lbs. 5 oz. of that was Jonathan. A pound or so was amniotic fluid, maybe a few pounds for the placenta, a few pounds of large uterus, extra blood volume, fluid and miscellaneous things, and there you go.

I have about five pounds to lose to return to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I have a lot of work to do to return to my pre-pregnancy look and get rid of that stomach pooch. My line down the belly is still visible. I managed to get through it without having prominent stretch marks. I don’t see any, anyway.

The other day, I made the silly mistake of trying on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. I could get them zipped and buttoned, but eep! Way too tight. Indecent, even.

I think my hips are just a little bit wider, and I’ve heard from some other mamas that they eventually pop back into place. Maybe. We shall see. In the meantime, I might have to get some new jeans.

I still have a few weeks before I’m allowed to exercise, but I’ve gotta say I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to go for a run or do some pilates!

My belly started shrinking minutes after birth. The nurses pushed hard on my belly to help it along its way and to make sure my bleeding was ok (or something). Oww! It really hurt! The first day, I think I looked about five months pregnant, but with a flabbier belly.

I’m amazed at how my skin sort of snapped back. It was stretched to the max! And now, it’s pretty close to normal. My belly button is popped back in, though it’s sort of stretched out.

I’m not quite back to normal yet, and I know it’ll take awhile for my body to totally get back to its regular state. I’m in no real hurry.

It took me a long time to actually feel pregnant. But, it took no time at all to feel not pregnant. At 4:23 a.m. on Dec. 20, I was pregnant. At 4:24, I wasn’t. Almost immediately, my body started to get back to its pre-pregnant state.

The hormonal changes were so rapid! I was running on adrenaline and endorphins for several days. Right after giving birth, I felt amazing. I felt such a rush of love for both Jonathan and Shane. I felt proud of being able to get through it without using pain meds.

Even though I had been awake for 24+ hours, I was unable to sleep. I was wide awake and perfectly content to just hold my baby and stare at him for as long as I could.

Because of my preeclampsia, I was on an IV of magnesium sulfate for 24 hours following the birth. This meant that I couldn’t really get out of bed. I was able to get up and go to the bathroom (thank goodness!) but I had to have a nurse assist me. It took a bit of effort to get in and out of bed and to scoot myself into the bathroom, disrobe, and tinkle.

Except, it wasn’t really a tinkle. It was Niagara Falls. I had to write down the amount of liquids I drank and I also had to, ahem, measure how much I eliminated. There was a little plastic bucket inside the toilet to help with this. I guess this ritual was to make sure I was drinking enough and eliminating it properly.

At least every two hours, I peed somewhere around 600cc to 650cc of pee. Folks, that’s about 20+ ounces. That’s a lot more than I’m used to peeing at one time, especially considering the last few months of pregnancy, I was going just a tiny tinkle at a time (but extremely often).

Just peein’ off the pounds, I guess.

That phenomenon has since subsided.

I was not prepared for how swollen the lady bits would get. Oh, my goodness. Swollen and tender! It wasn’t comfortable to sit on a hard surface for a few days, and I was terrified of my first post-partum poop. Thank goodness for stool softeners! It went well.

The nurses had set out an array of goodies to help me. I had a stack of mesh underwear (I am not making this up) to hold my giant sanitary napkins and cold packs. I had a can of some kinda medicine to spray. I had a “peri bottle” to rinse after going to the toilet. Some Tucks pads and other hemmerhoid cream (which, thankfully, I did not need). And some ibuprofin to help the swelling.

After one look, I said to myself, “Well that’s the end of that!” but thankfully, things got back to normal a lot faster than I expected. Within two days, the swelling was completely gone. My pain (which, at its worst, was maybe a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale), had pretty much gone away. I still needed my handy hospital tools for the first week and a half or two at home, minus the mesh undies.

The bleeding is more obnoxious than anything else. It’s mostly gone now (3 weeks postpartum) but not completely.

I did move a bit slowly a few days after giving birth. Nothing wrong with that — what kind of a hurry could I possibly be in?

I think I might be making the first week after birth sound a bit worse than it actually was. It wasn’t that bad. I didn’t know what to expect, so I was kinda surprised, I guess, and I wanted to record those lovely details so I’d have a reminder of what to look forward to next time. Heh.

I did end up walking out of my recovery room and out of the hospital while carrying Jonathan. No wheelchair for me, thanks! Oh, and it was the coldest day it’s ever been since I moved to Pittsburgh. The wind chill was -11 that day. What a great day to bring a baby outside.

5 Responses to “How to lose 20 pounds in a week”

  1. For us not-yet-moms, this is all useful information, but not exactly something to look forward to- except those weight-loss tips 😉

    joannas last blog post..Birthday Math

  2. As an already-mom, I heart this post. :-) It made me laugh and smile that you were so honest. It’s spot-on. Now I have to read your birth post – I’m working backwards through my Google Reader, can you tell?

    Beth @ The Natural Mommys last blog post..Meet-and-Greet-Mega-Monday

  3. I’m so glad you covered the lady bits part–that’s my biggest concern. Except for the health of my non-existent child:)

  4. I think it’s great that you decided to write about all the things you encounter after giving birth. It’s funny how there’s soooo much information out there on pregnancies and giving birth, but hardly anything about what to expect afterwards. No one tells you these things.

    Anyway, after having 2 kids, I can totally relate. And like you mentioned, it sounds worse than it really is. For those of you who are expecting your first baby… there may be several not-so-pleasant things to deal with after birth, like the bleeding, swelling, slight pain, etc., but you are also in the company of a beautiful new baby. And I’m telling you, you hardly notice or are even slightly bothered by these things. You are too busy taking care of and loving your new baby!

    Kookaburras last blog post..Children’s Place SCAM

  5. I was on that diet. Lost 30. Now I need to keep it off LOL

    :–) Nell

    Nell @ Casual Friday Everydays last blog post..Dream Weaver

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