Categories
Oh Me, Oh Mãe

It Feels So Good To Lie On My Front Again (Maybe Not On A Wooden Floor Though) (21st July 2020)

When I wrote the hashtags I gave the image the temporary name of ‘Lying on my front again is so weird’. Sometimes the temporary name becomes permanent or often it’s just a reminder to think of something else along those lines.

Lying on my front again was weird, but I am also loving it – which isn’t so obvious through the image as showcasing a new love by lying on a hard wooden floor probably wasn’t the best idea.

It Feels So Good To Lie On My Front Again (Maybe Not On A Wooden Floor Though) (21st July 2020)
 
#IAmWritingTheseHashtagsBeforeIDoTheShootAgain
#BWillNotBeByHerselfMuchToday
#SheFinallyWentForASleepInACarrierWhilstIWentForAWalkAndWentToThePhotoGalleryToSeeACoupleOfFriendsWhoWorkThere
#TheyWereInTheirMasksAndTheGalleryStillWillNotOpenForACoupleOfMonths
#SoIAmWritingThisWithMyStandUpDeskThingWhileSheIsAsleepInHerCarrier
#IMightNotBeAbleToPutHerDownLongEnoughToDoAShoot
#AndThisIsTheFirstDayThatTiagoHasGoneToSomethingWorkRelatedOutsideOfTheFlatSinceMarch
#SoIMightHaveToWaitUntilLateTonightOrUntilTomorrow
#IAmGuessingThisPhotoWillShowMeLyingOMyFront
#INeverSleptOnMyFrontMuchThoughMaybeIDidButIDidNotHaveToThinkAboutIt
#BeingPregnantYouThinkAboutHowYouAreLyingALot
#LuckilyIWasMoreOfASideSleeperButItIsSaidThatLyingOnYourLeftIsTheBestWayToSleep
#AsItHelpsWithBloodFlowAndStuff
#IWantedToLieOnMyFrontAtTimesButObviouslyItWasImpossible
#AndIWouldWakeUpOnMyBackALot
#ProbablyBecauseOfMovingInMySleepAndTheWeightOfMyBumpTippingMeOver
#OrBecauseIJustWantedToLieOnMyBack
#WhenIWasInHospitalAfterGivingBirthITriedToLieOnMyFrontButItWasStillTooWeird
#MyUterusWasShrinkingDownForAGoodWhile
#IFirstLayOnMyFrontABitACoupleOrSoWeeksAgoWhenIDidAPostNatalExerciseVideoForTheFirstTime
#DoingAPlankFeltWeirdButThenDoingChaturangaAndBabyCobraWasOdd
#NowILikeToLieOnMyFrontABitInBed
#ThoughIfMyBoobsAreFullOfMilkItIsAlsoPainful
#IThinkMyStitchesMustHaveHealedByNowButILikeToBringMyKneeUpToo
#WhichIsPerhapsABitMuchButINeedToStretchEverythingOutIGuess
#IAmStillBleedingALittleLittleBit
#ThoughIWasWorriedItWouldBePeriodLikePainFor6WeeksButIDoNotFeelAnything
#IJustSearchedPeriodsAndBreastfeeding
#ApparentlyTheBleedingIsCalledLochiaIndItIsAMixOfBloodMucusAndTissueFromTheLiningOfTheUterus
#BreastfeedingAffectsYourPeriodSoWhoKnowsWhenIWillHaveAPeriodAgainButIAmNotLookingForwardToIt

It took me a bit of time to choose which image I wanted to use to represent the hashtags, but in the end I went for this one (obviously). I like the awkward hand peering out, though I’m not a fan of my remote being in shot. Tyra Banks would also be annoyed at my lack of neck, but whatever.

Bonus image:

It Feels So Good To Lie On My Front Again (Maybe Not On A Wooden Floor Though) (21st July 2020) II  

I just took it to test out where the camera was pointed, but I quite liked it. The stain on my dress (maybe I’d just done the washing up actually?) and my space socks. I only just realised today that one of them is inside out, which I guess says a lot about getting dressed with a young baby. The inside out sock was what sold having to post it.

So, expanding on some hashtags:

#BWillNotBeByHerselfMuchToday

I had to read this a few times. I was like why won’t she? Why wouldn’t she? But reading on I realised that I meant she wouldn’t stay by herself much without getting upset.

#SheFinallyWentForASleepInACarrierWhilstIWentForAWalkAndWentToThePhotoGalleryToSeeACoupleOfFriendsWhoWorkThere
#TheyWereInTheirMasksAndTheGalleryStillWillNotOpenForACoupleOfMonths

It was nice to see them, though it’s odd to go to a place that you used to go to a lot before and realise how much the world has changed – people in masks, it being closed for now etc. I’d said to them that when my baby was born I was going to stop by a lot to see them and to make sure I was getting out for a walk. I’ve only stopped by a couple of times so far, but hopefully that will change soon.

#SoIAmWritingThisWithMyStandUpDeskThingWhileSheIsAsleepInHerCarrier

At one point I was putting a little table on top of the dining table in order to be able to work standing up, but then a laptop stand that I ordered on Kickstarter MONTHS before arrived. I use both of them these days; I used the little table the other day to edit my dance videos whilst B was in a wrap. She fell asleep whilst I danced and I wanted to sort stuff out whilst she continued to sleep. I was worried that if I put her down she would wake up and I wouldn’t get stuff done for a while.

#IMightNotBeAbleToPutHerDownLongEnoughToDoAShoot

It looks like I managed to do the shoot an hour later (I couldn’t remember, I had to check when files were made).

#AndThisIsTheFirstDayThatTiagoHasGoneToSomethingWorkRelatedOutsideOfTheFlatSinceMarch

It was weird having him leave the flat to go to work. Luckily I had enough time to adapt to having a baby to not be totally freaked out. It was fine really.

#IAmGuessingThisPhotoWillShowMeLyingOMyFront

Correct. (Obviously you know that I just felt like saying that. I say obviously too much in these posts.)

#INeverSleptOnMyFrontMuchThoughMaybeIDidButIDidNotHaveToThinkAboutIt
#BeingPregnantYouThinkAboutHowYouAreLyingALot

I don’t think I slept on my front much, but like I said I never really thought about it so maybe I did. Perhaps I did as I had an urge to lie on my front from time to time, as I mention in the #IWantedToLieOnMyFrontAtTimesButObviouslyItWasImpossible hashtag.

#LuckilyIWasMoreOfASideSleeperButItIsSaidThatLyingOnYourLeftIsTheBestWayToSleep
#AsItHelpsWithBloodFlowAndStuff

Looking online it says it’s to do with a large vein down your back on the right side called the vena cava. It carries blood to your heart, which then goes to the baby. Apparently lying on your left side also helps with kidney and liver function, which means you should get less swelling in your ankles, feet and hands. I didn’t have much swelling, but I thought it might have been down to exercising a few times a day?

#AndIWouldWakeUpOnMyBackALot
#ProbablyBecauseOfMovingInMySleepAndTheWeightOfMyBumpTippingMeOver
#OrBecauseIJustWantedToLieOnMyBack

It would freak me out when I woke up on my back, though at times I was too tired to register how I had slept. I guess you’d know if you really had to roll over ASAP, but I mainly tried to sleep on my left until it was uncomfortable and I’d have to sit up to be able to switch to my right.

#WhenIWasInHospitalAfterGivingBirthITriedToLieOnMyFrontButItWasStillTooWeird

It was sooo weird. I think I also tried to lie on my back, but that also made my belly feel strange.

#IFirstLayOnMyFrontABitACoupleOrSoWeeksAgoWhenIDidAPostNatalExerciseVideoForTheFirstTime #DoingAPlankFeltWeirdButThenDoingChaturangaAndBabyCobraWasOdd

I was on a mat on the wooden floor and it felt pretty hard, and just really odd doing things that I hadn’t done for a long time. I think I’ve tried to go back to ‘normal’ exercise too quickly. I was doing a 30 days of yoga thing recently, but then I read more about Diastasis Recti and I think I need to work on closing that gap still.

The video above explains it a bit. I was doing it a while ago, but I didn’t take it that seriously.

Then I watched this video:

And I thought I better change these habits. I didn’t think that I was picking B up like how she demonstrates is wrong, but then I caught myself doing it 2 times today. I also haven’t been rolling to my side first, so that’s changing, and it also mentions slouching whilst feeding. If she had seen how I was feeding in hospital she would have been appalled… I slouch a lot though so I’m trying to correct that.

I’ve been using an app to remind me to do Kegels, and I think that may have helped a bit. I’m not sure, but at the hospital they said to do 10 sets of 10 today unless I want to regret not doing it when I’m older. I think it has made a difference as thinking about it lately when I’ve sneezed I haven’t been like ‘that was a close call’.

#NowILikeToLieOnMyFrontABitInBed
#ThoughIfMyBoobsAreFullOfMilkItIsAlsoPainful

These days I fall asleep on my front with my arms hugging the underside of my pillow a lot. I have to move my boobs up to the pillow a bit more if they feel sore. That’s the start of a rhyme…

#IThinkMyStitchesMustHaveHealedByNowButILikeToBringMyKneeUpToo
#WhichIsPerhapsABitMuchButINeedToStretchEverythingOutIGuess

At an 8 week check-up they said they’d healed well, but there is a bit of scar tissue. Hopefully that will soften up.

#ApparentlyTheBleedingIsCalledLochiaIndItIsAMixOfBloodMucusAndTissueFromTheLiningOfTheUterus

I love learning new facts by researching when writing hashtags, though I didn’t learn about the vena cava until today…

#BreastfeedingAffectsYourPeriodSoWhoKnowsWhenIWillHaveAPeriodAgainButIAmNotLookingForwardToIt

The doctor at my 8 week check said that breastfeeding can act as a natural contraceptive, but she recommends using other forms. I wouldn’t take the risk, particularly after hearing that a woman opposite me on the hospital ward was breastfeeding her newborn, whilst her 10 month old baby was at home. Maybe it was her plan, but I highly doubt it. If you don’t want that to be the case for you, then I’d suggest that you play safe…


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying my blog (and/or the work I make) please consider supporting me by ‘buying me a coffee’ on Ko-fi – thanks!

Categories
Oh Me, Oh Mãe

I Have A Lot Of Respect For My Body And What It Did

There are two images for this post, but I decided to not put them side by side, so scroll down to see the second, as well as an outtake and comments.

I Have A Lot Of Respect For My Body And What It Did

#IDidThisShoot11DaysAfterGivingBirth #ThereIsALotOfPressureForWomenToHaveTheirBodiesReturnToTheirPrePregnancySizeAfterBirth #TheUterusDoesReduceInSizeButItIsNotLikeTheBabyWillBeBornAndYourPingsBack #ItIsWeirdNotHavingAFullOnBump
#ICanSeeMyPubesAgainWhichIsFunny #AfterBirthTheUterusWasShrinkingAndTheMovementOfItMadeMeInstinctivelyAffectionatelyRubWhatUsedToBeMyBump
#IHaveALotOfRespectForMyBodyAndWhatItDid #IAmStillBleedingAndApparentlyICouldBeUntilBIs6WeeksOldIfNotOlder #ThoughIWasWorriedItWouldBeLikePeriodPainButItisNot #AGoodPerkOfPregnancyAmongstOtherThingsWasNotHavingPeriodPain #IHaveToBeCarefulWithMyStitchesButTheySeemToBeHealingWell #MyBiggestRegretIsNotBuyingAPortableBidetSoonerAsItLetsMeCleanTheStitchesWithoutNeedingToHaveAShower #IBoughtSomeReusableBambooPadsSoIAlsoCleanOffTheBloodBeforePuttingOnANewOne #IWasGoingToSayItIsNiceToNotWakeUpInTheMiddleOfTheNightToBeAbleToTurnOverAndToGoToTheLoo #ButIHaveNotBeenSleepingMuchWhichAccordingToMumFriendsIsNotUncommon #IAmWritingThisAtNearly2AMAfterBabyWokeUsUpAndIDecidedToPump #IAmExpressingAndFeedingWithBottlesMoreThanIAmBreastfeeding #HopefullyThisWillChangeAtSomePointWhenHerMouthGetsBigger #IDoTryToBreastfeedHerALittleAtLeastOnceADayButYesterdayIFailed #IKeepFeelingReallyThirstySoIBoughtSomeRehydrationTablets #ItIsProbablyDueToBreastfeeding
#TheyToldMeToDo10SetsOf10KegelsADay
#DoingSomeNowWhilstIThinkAboutIt #IHaveASoreFingerFromWhereIBurnedItOnSteamFromTheSteriliser #AndThenIGotAPaperCutOnTheSameSpot #IHaveChangedSoMuchSinceGivingBirthThough #IDoFeelMoreConfidentButIThinkItIsCausedByNumerousFactors #IThinkHavingAChildChangesYourPriorities #FeelingDownAndRubbishAboutMyselfSeemsPointless #IThinkThisIsTheHappiestIHaveEverFeltInMyLife
I Have A Lot Of Respect For My Body And What It Did II

Outtake

That’s my bamboo pad poking out of my underwear in case you really wanted to know…

Comments

I realise that my hashtags don’t talk about my linea nigra (the dark line running down my abdomen), which was one of the main reasons I took the close up photo. The pictures don’t really show how dark it is around my belly button. I quite like the line though (apparently it’s always there, but darkens with pregnancy) and how the two parts don’t line up.

The second image also references a couple of photos from my Waiting For Things In A Time When You Rarely Wait For Things project.

The linea nigra is definitely darker in the ‘I Have A Lot Of Respect…’ image.

This week I posted a couple of diptychs to Instagram, which represent my blog posts about B’s birth, and our hospital stay.:

5 Hours Before Giving Birth
24 Hours After Giving Birth

In hospital I took quite a lot of these bathroom mirror selfies. I was interested in how my bump would look after giving birth as I think about articles I’ve seen over the years shaming or praising women after they give birth. Kate Middleton comes to mind with her standing outside that hospital letting the world see her new baby for the first time whilst her post-natal body is reviewed, three times. I’m not about to turn this blog into a commentary on the royal family, but I can see why Meghan skipped the immediate photo call.

Like I said in the hashtags your body doesn’t ping back to how it looked pre-pregnancy, but from what I read years ago you’d have thought that it did based on the comments that are said about post-partum bodies. I think people are a lot more honest about these things now (or I’ve just been more aware of these talks over the last few years), and I hope my ’24 Hours After Giving Birth’ picture helps add positively to the conversation.

With the ‘I Have A Lot Of Respect….’ photos, they move away from the hospital pictures a bit as these are taken from the front rather than the side. I guess seeing my ‘bump’ from the front it doesn’t look like much, and actually by the time I took the pictures it had gone down a lot.

Reading the hashtags 5 weeks on it feels like so long ago.

I stopped bleeding a couple of weeks ago (I think) but I still have some aspects of lochia, which I learned about for a recent photo/set of hashtags.

‘#ApparentlyTheBleedingIsCalledLochiaIndItIsAMixOfBloodMucusAndTissueFromTheLiningOfTheUterus’

I feel awkward that I wrote about seeing my pubes again, but I was feeling very open after not long having 6 people staring at a baby coming out of me and numerous women touching my boobs to help me breastfeed. It is strange not being able to see your whole body though. In my birth story I talked about having to give a urine sample, but you just put the cup ‘down there’ and move it about hoping to get some in there. Whenever a midwife came to visit I had to pee on a stick so they could check for protein and maybe something else? This was also an exercise in peeing, moving the stick and hoping.

Some pubes are present in these photos and again I felt awkward, but then Pretty Gardens by Róisín Murphy came on. I’d never heard it before. I really like her music, but decided to explore more of her discography and it felt reassuring that it’s okay to talk (or sing) about these things, if that’s what her song is about anyways. ‘Look at me all naked, I let my pretty garden grow wild’.

‘#MyBiggestRegretIsNotBuyingAPortableBidetSoonerAsItLetsMeCleanTheStitchesWithoutNeedingToHaveAShower’ – A portable bidet was definitely something I should have bought sooner – it’s basically a fancier version of a squirty plastic bottle.

‘#IBoughtSomeReusableBambooPadsSoIAlsoCleanOffTheBloodBeforePuttingOnANewOne’ – The reusable bamboo pads seemed like a good investment (I also have reusable bamboo breast pads), as I was getting through a lot of maternity pads and I thought if I could be bleeding for 6 weeks then it was worth trying them. Plus I can use them when my period comes back, which I hope isn’t for a while but knowing my luck it could be imminent.

‘#IWasGoingToSayItIsNiceToNotWakeUpInTheMiddleOfTheNightToBeAbleToTurnOverAndToGoToTheLoo’ – I thought I was going to say well I have to wake up to look after B, but I said ‘#ButIHaveNotBeenSleepingMuchWhichAccordingToMumFriendsIsNotUncommon’. That does kind of sound like it’s because I need to look after B, but the not sleeping was due to just feeling high on life I think.

I talk about breastfeeding and bottle feeding in the hashtags, but I won’t say much on it as I have an image of me expressing so I will write about it more then. I’ve breastfed a lot the last couple of days, but I’ve mainly been expressing and bottle feeding. Her latch is definitely better now though, which I think is due to her mouth being bigger. Sometimes I don’t guide the boob to her and just let her latch on by herself now.

‘#TheyToldMeToDo10SetsOf10KegelsADay’ – I have an app now to remind me to do them. It’s just called Kegel Exercises. Everyday it builds up the amount you do. It’s great! (Again, I’m doing some extra ones whilst I think about them.)

‘#IHaveChangedSoMuchSinceGivingBirthThough’ – I have definitely changed a lot.

‘#IDoFeelMoreConfidentButIThinkItIsCausedByNumerousFactors’ – The confidence comes and goes though, just like before. A few days ago we took B out in her pushchair for the first time. As I’d done it once I’ve now done it everyday since and yesterday I took her out in it by myself. I also managed to do the lying down breastfeeding position last week for the first time. I’d only tried it once before and hadn’t attempted it for a few weeks. If I’d done it in the hospital I probably would have done it loads since. I’m also still not confident about sharing these posts on social media beyond Instagram.

I think hormones have a massive impact on confidence. I used to do improv comedy when I lived in London and some weeks I’d feel super confident and other weeks I’d be a nervous wreck. This week I’ve felt pretty confident with looking after B. Tiago left the house for work a couple of times last week, which he hadn’t done since before lockdown. Yesterday I was alone with her for the longest time so far (about 7 hours) and it was fine. It would have been a lot sooner if it wasn’t for the pandemic, so though I wish there wasn’t one, having T around more has been positive.

Still can’t believe I became a mother during a pandemic, but I don’t know any different and my past life seems like decades ago now.

I do love the word awkward I know, but that is how I feel about sharing the underwear pictures. I like the chosen one, but I initially went for the outtake as though the outtake is a bit too zoomed in for my liking I felt like the chosen one is a bit more ‘showoffy’. It’s more confident with the placing of my hands, though I like the oddness of them, whereas the outtake is a bit more shy.

I asked Tiago which one he preferred though as I was doubting my decision and he said the more confident one, so it confirmed which one I preferred. He said he liked it more though as it is more symmetrical. The top is more wonky in the outtake…

I am proud of my body. Our inbuilt knowledge and instincts are pretty incredible – with giving birth and I think this when I see B’s mouth doing its different ‘breastfeeding techniques’.

I still want to exercise more than I am though, as I did more when I was 37 weeks pregnant. A daily walk is great for my mental health and my confidence, but I also need to make more time for stretching. I try to do a bit whilst waiting for things – like the sterilising machine. Yesterday we did a baby yoga class and got all the way through, so that was great. Normally B starts to get upset around the bit that is more for the parents, but we do get recordings since they are online. I doubt that we would have ‘been to’ a baby class yet if they weren’t online, and I don’t think there were many online classes pre-Covid, but I could be wrong.

I still haven’t breastfeed in public, so that’s the next thing for my post-natal body and confidence checklist but I think it might happen fairly soon… Watch this space.


If you’re enjoying reading my blog (and/or the work I make) please consider supporting me by ‘buying me a coffee’ on Ko-fi – thanks!