adventures and misadventures in parenting, marriage, and life
Monday, May 2, 2011
While most experts recommend women wait at least three weeks after a vaginal birth to begin any postpartum exercise, and it is recommended to wait at least three months before resuming any vigorous exercise classes or regimens, by the time five weeks had rolled by in a blur with our second, I started getting antsy. Unlike after my first child, I didn't feel like my insides were going to fall out if I walked more than half a mile. My body wasn't as tender and I didn't feel as fragile this time around. What I felt was flabby. And since I wasn't having any luck sleeping when the baby was sleeping (seriously who does???) I figured I might as well start taking advantage of the beautiful May weather by resuming the three-mile walks I'd been doing before the long, hard winter hit. After successfully completing the first three-miler, I figured it was probably safe to start hitting the weights. I not only wanted to get out of the maternity pants that were too big on me but still the only thing (aside from yoga pants) that fit, I wanted to lose the last twenty pounds and then some, just for good measure and because I wanted to get the body that I never managed to achieve after my first pregnancy.
The reality is this: I have no business exerting myself with strenuous exercise because it leaves no energy, patience, or strength to make it 24 hours around the clock with the baby and a four-year-old. While I may be able to get up to nurse the baby every three hours through the night, what I can't do is get up to nurse him and then stare lovingly into his eyes for the next hour and a half while he tries to figure out how to go back to sleep, then get up the next morning and start the cycle all over again. The self-pride I had earlier in the day when I made it through Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred workout paled in comparison to the fact that I threw my baby into grandma's arms, told my husband to give him a bottle when he got hungry, and trudged my sore ass to bed at 8:00 pm. I have been running out of steam by four p.m. most days, and can't seem to find the time to catch a nap. So, although my brain may be misinterpreting exhaustion for restlessness, it's obvious my body isn't quite ready to keep up the pace. I think tomorrow's exercise will be limited to lifting the remote control for the television.