This is hard.
This will require lots of effort.
This will require deciding how important it is to you.
This will require a support network (for me, my husband, Dustin).
For all you moms, and especially new moms, you will know exactly what I'm going to be talking about.
The first couple times I attempted to leave the apartment sans Mark, I tried to time it just perfectly. Get ready to leave - i.e. get dressed, purse, shoes, hair, makeup, etc - feed Mark, give him to daddy, and then hightail it out of the house. While I never had anywhere I absolutely had to get to, my trips to Target or Market Street or Starbucks were a treat.
Buuuuut, they weren't really a treat.
It never ceased, I would be gone 30 minutes, thinking I would have at least an hour before Mark would even start to get hungry, even if then. But, then I would get a text from dear husband that little man was eating his hand. UGH! OK, no big deal, I will head home. See you soon daddy.
"How're my men doing?" I would ask upon walking in the apartment, only to be met with a sleeping baby and a husband who felt bad that I came home.
Oh well, I didn't really need to go out to get coffee. I have perfectly good coffee at home.
Now, repeat that same scenario but with me at the gym not even 6 minutes in on the treadmill.
We were all on struggle bus a couple weeks ago. But, we both know that this will not last forever.
Little man and I have really started to work well together, with the feeding that is. Because not only did I have to learn how to breastfeed as a new mom, but Mark had to learn to breastfeed as well. We sometimes forget that it's a two-way street with this.
Now that he is sleeping anywhere from 8-12 hours per night, I'm able to pump (if needed) at night time after he goes to bed, and first thing in the morning. He feeds on one side and I pump the other. Just in that one pumping session, I can get a solid 150-200 milliliters depending on how long I have to pump, which has proven to be one serving for Mark, depending on his hunger level and whether or not he is cluster feeding. However, yesterday he ate 240 mils in one sitting. WHAT!!!!
We also have about 15 frozen bags of pumped breast milk that I started to store up for when Dustin would stay home with Mark and I would be back at work. We were freezing about one a day, sometimes two, for a couple weeks. We only have to stick to that schedule for when Dustin is off for three weeks with Mark. Now that I am back at work, I pump in the morning and while at work. So far we have not frozen any more breast milk and have only had to use one frozen one.
Now that I am sort of a pumping machine, I am a LOT more comfortable with leaving the house since we have pumped milk that Dustin can use. Before I watched several YouTube videos on pumping and feeding techniques, I was struggling with both all the time. Feedings still hurt, and pumping wasn't really producing that much. (THANK YOU YouTube!!)
I would sometimes come home upset that Dustin had to use the pumped milk. Why? I was worried about whether or not we would have enough for little man for when Dustin is off for three weeks and I was back at work. It was either getting upset at Dustin using the milk in the fridge, or I would race home from the gym (a quick 5 minute drive) to feed him so we wouldn't have to use the valuable liquid gold, as they call it.
We are now in a good place with both feeding and pumping, I am in a much better mental state as well. Seriously!
Now that Mark is sleeping the night through, on weekdays I can wake up, feed Mark, pump, put Mark back to sleep, and head to the gym. Then on weekends, since I am a pumping machine, I can leave practically at any time to go to the gym and get a good workout in. And, I have to say, it really helps with my overall health and well being. That, and I am not texting Dustin every few minutes asking how little man is doing and whether or not I should come home to feed Mark.
Then once Mark gets big enough to fit in his jogging stroller, we can go on family runs together. And, once Mark gets to be three months old, he can go to the Kids Korner at the gym. That way Dustin and I can get back to lifting together (one of my favorites!).
I have to be honest, it is not easy fitting in fitness while feeding a baby, but with a little work - studying if needed - and a good and positive attitude, it is not impossible. That, and having at home workouts to fall back on. Check out my first baby wearing workout, which was a lot of fun, and very convenient too!
Then the biggest contributing factor in allowing me to fit in fitness is having such a supportive husband. He knows how important it is for me to get to the gym, and will assist in whatever way he can.
So, THANK YOU Dustin!
Hi there! I'm Kara, of taking KARA myself! I've dabbled in blogging off and on for a while now. Mostly off. But I'm trying to change that and make a dent in this side of the world wide web. Enjoy!