I was feeling pretty proudi

I’d just recovered from the article about the ultra-runner who ran at 3 months post-partum while breastfeeding by reminding myself that ultra-runners are an amazing, slightly bonkers, breed of runners: go look at ahealthiermoo who is one, and amazing and who has just completed her first 100 mile race.

I’ve just completed week 5 run 3 of couch to 5k – walk 5 minutes, run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes and I managed it, and it was still slow going (my pace is still 10mins/mile at best, I still have half a stone to lose), but I enjoyed myself and can see that parkrun will happen again soon enough.

And then I came across the woman who ran a 3:22 marathon at 6 months post partum while pushing a double buggy.

Not that I’d ever have a hope of achieving that type of time even without having had LK: remember, I’m aiming for a sub 4 hour marathon in 2020, having been 2 minutes off at Berlin 2015

All credit to these ladies. But I wish they’d stop doing it. It makes the rest of us feel utterly rotten. Bad enough feeling guilty that I’m even going for a run and leaving LK with Daddy for an hour or so. But to then have this sort of achievement in the news? It makes one feel wholly inadequate. That you’re not even trying: when some days it’s tricky enough to remember to clean your teeth in the morning and take your inhaler and use a hairbrush (I’ve taken to doing this after the 5am feed, so at least it’s done). Some days involve seven changes of clothes in the space of 24 hours, plus two clean trousers for Mummy, who quite often declares “It’s only wee, it’ll dry”. Some days are ridden with laundry and others seem to be entirely nap free: so there’s lots of tummy time and looking at things and talking and smiling and, frankly, enjoying the little human finding her hands, and learning to smile, and lifting her head, and producing Surprising Nappies.

I’m supposed to be baking gluten and dairy free banana bread for a Macmillan coffee morning tomorrow. The bananas in the freezer are totally past it. There is no Stork Hard Margarine and three of the eggs in the Ocado delivery were cracked. So, since we need more nappies (we are about to go back into cloth after Epic Thrush Nappy Rash but the new, next size up, cloth ones need re-elasticating and I’ve only done half), we’re going to head into town to rectify this by buying gf oats, hard marg, caster sugar and making flapjacks to Great Auntie Peg’s recipe, as being quick and easy. I may get fancy and drizzle dark chocolate over them.

Melt together 250g sugar and 250g hard marg in a pan.

Turn off the heat and stir in 250g oats. Mum thinks Quaker Oats are best. But any will do.

Cook in a greased 10″x6.5″ tray at gas mark 3 for 45 mins.

Cut up 10 mins after removing from oven and leave to cool in the tin.

You may thank me later.

Xxx

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Poor LK

She has a snuffle. Bunged up baby. We have the humidifier going, and saline nose drops.

She is still remarkably contented. How did I get so lucky?

Xxx

Getting back to it….

It’s taken me about two weeks to fully process the First Run Back. It felt like a total disaster. I had downloaded the Get Running app, so I could follow the Couch to 5K programme. I had music and water. It was a lovely evening with a golden light.

So I spent half the “run” in floods of tears (it never was going to be helpful to start and end proceedings on a Strava segment on which, by some miracle, I am still QOM). I didn’t wear my Garmin, as the battery was flat. It was effortful. It was slow. It was dispiriting. My cheerful songs depressed me, and my pelvic floor kept letting me down, and my core was, frankly, non-existent. My bra was inadequate and walking involved frankly obscene levels of bounce (a natural result of going from 32B to 34C.). I weighed a stone more than my best running weight and the only good thing about the whole episode was that my running shorts weren’t too tight.

I spent the rest of the run trying to engage two sets of muscles that I’d never really bothered about, got home, and sulked a bit.

Three weeks on, and matters have improved somewhat. I’ve skipped week 2 of Couch to 5K and am on week 4. I have run every other day. I have usually covered 2 miles by the end of the session and my floor and core are beginning to play ball. I actually forgot about my floor today and there were no oops moments. All hail the NHS Squeezy app while feeding…. I still can’t muster more than a 10 min/mile at best (marathon pace was about 9 min/mile, half marathon about 8:30….). I am not yet ready for parkrun, and the general sleep deprivation is definitely having an impact.

On the other hand, it feels good to be out. I had not run in 7 months. I had grown the cutest small human in the world in the interim. I am able to sustain 5 minutes plod at a go, and most of my running gear accommodates me (I hesitate to say “fits me” because it’s kinda subjective). I am in the realms of pre-pregnancy weight, and acutely aware of how my weight slows me: and I am OK with this. It took stopping breastfeeding for Serena Williams to get back to her actual pre-pregnancy weight and it is fine if I get a bit stuck en route too, as I haven’t got her resources.

I’ll take that

Xxx

Silly things….

LK is now 8lbs! She has gained 1/3rd of her birth weight! Apparently I am doing something right here. I am still a mess of anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation (for which the perinatal MH team provided some sleeping pills….which was totally unhelpful).

I am wed to my kindle for night feeds: it helps with the staying awake. I am petrified of falling asleep with her on me. At the same time, I want to encourage her to be sleepy.

She is the most beautiful baby.

It is possible to have a UTI go unnoticed for 8 weeks if you drink enough water and fail to twig that cloudy wee might be a signal that something is amiss (honestly. Nothing stinged until a really dehydrated wee when breastfeeding).

It is really hard to stay hydrated when breastfeeding.

Babies don’t have clocks.

Reusable wet wipes are da bomb.

A determined LK can fight her way out of a swaddle in 5 minutes, and spat the dummy out after 3 minutes… she is the noisiest sleeper in the world, which makes it tough to work out if the world is going to end in the next 5 minutes if FOOD doesn’t happen.

We both prefer feeding on the left hand side. Fortunately, pumping statistics suggest that the left hand boob is a bit of an overachiever on the milk front.

Cloth nappies are easier than I hought.

Xxx

In which I embrace my inner East German Nudist

For surely, Birkenstocks are all one needs to wear in this weather? Means LK gets lots of skin contact, and I am less sweaty after wrestling her into a nappy (she wriggles!). It is not, however, an edifying sight and people will insist on visiting so I have to dress. I have not yet embraced the full European experience and my armpits remain groomed. One must have some standards.

LK is a very advanced baby. She followed Moonitorn the Unicorn with her eyes today, and her head control is getting more stable. She also sucks on her hands at moments of needing food. She knows where her towel is, but is not keen on baths, possibly because I am nervy. Both attempts have involved a dirty protest…

I am dithering over a dummy. Some of her feeds have been epic, and I am sure that it’s comfort she wants. Alas, my nipples are protesting.

Three more weeks of anti-coagulants. Assuming that the potential DVT I thought had occurred a week ago is definitely a figleaf of my overactive imagination.

Xxx

She’s here

She’s been here for a week, after being induced owing to a lack of movement. There was a bit of a pattern of this throughout my pregnancy. But this time, she didn’t perk up the next day….usually she would. So in we went at 4:30am on a Wednesday morning, totally unprepared for me to be admitted or in hospital for almost a week. Hospital was a bit of a nightmare, particularly at night.

She’s 6lbs 2oz of miraculous joy and luck, arriving Friday 13th at 6:41am after 12 hours of labour (some of which was back labour) and two epidurals.

Henceforth to be known as LK, or Little Knotter, as she had tied a true knot in her umbilical cord. This is rare, only 1 in 2000 babies do it. But then again, we know all about rare occurrences round here…. we seem to specialise in them!

And she is so, so, beautiful.

Xxx

Things to do instead of melting on maternity leave

Aka: it’s been years since I’ve done a Saturday list

  • Retrieve laundry from line
  • Wash overnight nappies Have nappy wash. Need to read instructions on temperature for washing.
  • Track down playpen on eBay May have found a Graco Pack N Play, beloved of the Americans.
  • Do letters for flag
  • Locate lost knitted bootie or knit another It was under the notebook with the “birth plan” in it.
  • Buy sausages from sausage stall Postponed until August. We have no space in the freezer.
  • Book dentist and general health assessment (possible the latter to happen post-baby) Both need phoning during office hours. Apparently I can’t have an online appointment until November when the 6 mth dental appointment is due. But I have enthusiastically bleeding gums.
  • Go swimming every other day Started well. Both of us cooled down and felt more energetic.
  • Spin in tour de fleece Well, I found the fluff….
  • Finish Safe Space online training
  • Guidemin (new volunteers especially)
  • Wrap paternal birthday present and get card Also got cards for N’s birthday. Waiting on arrival of paternal present.
  • Sainsbury shop forgot the sultanas. But wow! Aircon!
  • Finish grey cardigan
  • Watch Tour de France and spin in Tour de Fleece
  • Get present for nephew (no point in knitting. Infant lives in Dubai most of the time)
  • Block random baby knits
  • Pack up and mail baby hat for S
  • Track down last set of nappies on eBay. Buy nappy buckets and dirty bags and disposable liners in one go Decided to ask nappy lady for non-bamboo day nappies recommendation. Pausing.
  • Read lots
  • Nap occasionally (had a lovely one from 9:45 to 10:15 today. But had been woken at 6am by N’s alarm set to go cycling) Another two naps today. It’s the heat.
  • Make fruit bags and baby knickers In with a chance now the sewing machine is downstairs. Poor N brought down the wrong one on the first try.
  • Put solar photo thingy up (tape to window).
  • Hide in cafes and cinema (with knitting)
  • Enquire, regularly, of Thing1 as to what the heck it’s trying to achieve by walloping both ribs and pelvis simultaneously because both are bone and there are other locations to wallop which allow for more stretching Thing1 really not listening and evidently getting frustrated by the lack of space. There is not much I can do about this.
  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. This is a huge challenge.
  • Perineal massage.
  • Pedicure
  • Ignore people who are trying to be “helpful”
  • But adore those who are actually helpful.

Xxx