body (+ mind) after bump #2: 1 year postpartum

I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we have a ONE year old!  Maybe it’s because he’s just so little (a “whopping” 16 lbs 14.5 oz at his one year well-visit) and he just doesn’t look like he’s ONE yet.  Or maybe it’s that this year flew by.  I’m also trying not to think about the fact that we will most likely never get to celebrate a first birthday again.  Time to get a puppy, right Matt?!

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(Side note:  While I am dying to get a dog, Matt’s not quite on board.  So really, this is more of a joke than anything.  I might die of a heart attack if he ever agrees to finally get a dog.)

This past year has been one heck of a ride, that’s for sure.  There were certainly a lot of twists and turns and a lot of unexpected things that happened that have forever changed my life and how I view other people.  My relationships have grown with people, but I have also lost a few friendships as well.  Thankfully, I feel like there has been much more growth than loss and I have easily been able to move on with my life.

As far as my postpartum body… Like I said in my 9 month post, no more pictures or measurements.  For the most part, I was doing it for me.  But, I also know that knowing I would be posting those pictures on my blog, I’d be extremely critical of myself.  While not taking pictures on a monthly basis hasn’t stopped me from continuing to critique my body, it has helped me have a much healthier relationship with my body.  I’m not as concerned with how I look and care more about how my clothes fit and how I feel physically.

Maybe my 30s have changed me a little bit?  I’m so much less concerned about my weight than I was in my 20s.  I obsessed over the number on the scale and would beat myself up if that number ever went above where I felt I “should” be – and then get frustrated when it never went below my healthy weight.  I also obsessed over calories – both intake and outtake.  I felt that running marathons would allow me to eat more and lose weight, when really the opposite happens (as any marathoner will tell you).  If I went over my self-imposed 1800-calorie limit, I’d be in tears.

Now, I never count calories.  I eat M&M’s on a nightly basis – after 8PM, sometimes 9.  I eat until I’m full and don’t worry if I overindulge every once in awhile.  I haven’t weighed myself in months.  Wait, that’s not true – I weighed myself this past weekend.  You know, right after the holidays.  I’m happy to report that even though I’m 3 pounds above my healthy, prepregnancy weight, I didn’t beat myself up, overexercise, or restrict.  Like I said, I’m in a much better place now.

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I’m also now 1-year into dealing with postpartum depression.  I’m not sure you can still call it postpartum depression when you are no longer really postpartum.  But, whatever it is, I’ve never been better mentally.  It’s scary for me to think back to just 2 weeks postpartum a year ago and how I was feeling.  Angry, scared, sad, confused.  While I certainly wish I would have gotten help sooner, I’m thankful I got help when I did.  I no longer feel the loneliness and despair depression brings.  I honestly haven’t cried in months (I actually remember exactly when I cried last – and it was for a very good reason).  I don’t feel like running away, or passing my exit on my way to work and taking I-70 all the way to Colorado.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have some of those same feelings.  While I am not sitting in my closet sobbing anymore, there are still times where I don’t feel good enough.  I’m assuming these are just normal feelings that I’ve always had and the same worries and fears that medicine just doesn’t seem to take away.  I feel much less overwhelmed as I have in the past, my stress level is way down, but I still overthink and worry.

2015 was one of the hardest years of my life.  But, it was also was a year that has helped me grow and become a much stronger and confident person.  I’m certainly going to miss being pregnant and going through the postpartum and infancy period, but I’m happy that I have 2 beautiful children, a wonderful and supportive husband, and a mostly happy life.

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  • Christine Suter

    I cannot imagine how scary postpartum depression must be. I’ve had friends who have struggled with it and the only thing I knew to say to them was “look, no one has to know. All that matters is you’re healthy.” Anyways, you should be very proud that you got the help and support you needed! That’s a great way to love yourself.

  • Michelle

    Thank you again for sharing your postpartum experience. My son is turning one in a month and I’ve been thinking about how much has changed, too. I wish I would have gotten help sooner too – it’s made me a better mom, wife and person in general. I am so looking forward to a more positive 2016.

  • Julia

    thank you for sharing, and writing this honest post. i was curious how you were feeling. best wishes for the new year.