Motherhood 6 Months Out

March 11, 2013

I may have said this before, but I really no longer feel like I just had a baby. In fact, it all seems like a distant blur that happened years ago!! And for the first time since Mazen was born I can imagine doing this all over again. We’re going to wait a few years, but still, the thought crossed my mind.

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Some updates on the mom front:

M is so good at nursing now – he can latch on before I’m even settled. This can take one by surprise!! We are experiencing some of that older baby distraction frustration of popping on and off during nursing, but his nursing sessions are now mostly under 10 minutes, so that’s a huge drop since the days of 30+!

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My sense of smell is stronger now than EVER! Stronger than when I was pregnant. I guess so I can detect harm with a little one around to protect?

My hair continues to fall out by the millions. So annoying. I don’t really notice a difference in thickness, which shocks me because I lose so many hairs per day! I’m really worried about our drain pipes…

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I’ve been really bad about hydration. I know with breastfeeding it’s so important, but I no longer have that incredible thirst so it’s hard to remind myself to drink, drink, drink. I think I’ve been eating more than normal because my hunger and thirst cues are mixed up. Trying to do better this week!

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I’ve found there is this sweet spot with sleep. There have been a few nights when I’ve gotten some really good sleep chunks when Matt has been on wake-up duty. (Since dropping a night feeding or two, 7-8 hour stretches of sleep are possible. Possible but not frequent). Anyway, after one particularly sleepfull night Matt and I both agreed that we felt extra groggy and tired all day. Yet when we’re up and down all night we feel fine. That totally puzzles me.

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I’m not doing so well with weight loss. After getting sick I lost 4 pounds in 4 days (mostly water weight I’m sure). And then I felt like my appetite revved up 1,000 times more to try to compensate for those days of sick starvation. I had a few weeks of eating way more than I’m sure I needed (of the wrong kinds of foods too) and feel like I may have even gained weight. Just like you often read about with marathon training, when your appetite is increased because of an energy need, it’s so easy to overcompensate. I also have no idea if my cravings for chocolate and sweets are just bad habits or something hormonal that’s coming from within. It’s easy to blame breastfeeding needs even when I full out know I should be choosing something healthier than a handful of chocolate chips.

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I have abs again! Not sayin’ you can see them AT ALL, but you can feel them under there. I may not be slimming down, but I’ve definitely gotten stronger. I’m lifting more for biceps in Pump than I ever have – and I thank my permanent weight below for that!

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shel@PeachyPalate March 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I love that your not stressing about the weight and you are looking great so maybe you’re just at your ideal weight for where you are now in your life….feeling healthy and getting stronger is so much more important and if you need to loose weight it will happen naturally I’m sure. I wonder would a zinc and magnesium supplement help with the hair loss?

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2 Allison k March 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I lost 30 pounds post partum, right away, while eating totally crappy, and the gained 15 of it back! WHILE BREASTFEEDING and eating healthier!!! the injustice of it. But… Then my period came back at 10 months pp and I lost 5 pounds and its stayed off…while eating the same way! I’m just chalking it all up to hormones and trying to eat as healthy as I can, exercise regularly and hope that after I’m done nourishing a baby with my body things will work themselves out.

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3 Abby March 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I nursed for 18 months and finally figured out that the only way to quell my insane sugar cravings while nursing was to drastically increase my protein intake.I have no idea why, but it might also help you!

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4 JessicaE March 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm

This was 100% true for me as well!! As well as yes, increasing what i drink by even more than what i think I need. I bet anything you are really just thirsty some of the time, Kath.

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5 Holly March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I agree with the “I could have another baby” idea. I’m 5.5mo postpartum and I definitely feel like my body is mostly ‘mine’ again except for the nursing. And I’ve had a similar experience with sleep, rough nights don’t always equal sluggish days!

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6 Melissa March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Kath,
I say continue to be gracious with yourself and the weightloss. I’m a fourth time nursing mom and was surprised to loose a few extra pounds after stopping nursing the previous times (I nurse 1 year). I do fit in my pants currently and do not weigh myself but sometimes have to take a break from some of my less gracious jeans. :) Nursing definitely affects your appetite! I was amazed that initially you said you only noticed an increase in thirst. So now every time I nurse and feel hungry I try to wonder, “Or am I thirsty?” My appetite is generally more hearty and I seem to need a salt fix weekly (french fries or a fatty, greasy meal).

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7 Averie @ Averie Cooks March 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Thanks for always keeping it real and honest, Kath! I love your nail polish, too. I am beyond impressed. Your hair is straightened, your nails are done, you look all shiny and new! More than I can say about myself. I haven’t had a manicure in….year(s)! Whoops! And it’s amazing how efficient both mother and baby get at nursing by 6 mos which is why they always say that if you can just hang on past that first 8 weeks or so, it really does become second nature for most! Mazen is adorable and handfuls of chocolate chips make life better :)

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8 KERF March 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

My hair is effortlessly always and ever will be straight as a stick : )

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9 Amelia March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Thanks for sharing mommyhood with those of us that are not mommy’s. :) I enjoy reading about your experiences, your honesty, and most of all the pics of the cuteness!

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10 meg March 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

so glad you are doing so well! i remember those days of felling normal again and thinking i could have another, then age 3 came along. :) the age maze is in now was one of my favorite so far, could put p down with toys and he would just sit and be happy! it was awesome! enjoy!

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11 Carly @ Snack Therapy March 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm

That last picture is so cute! He looks like such a little stud.

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12 Jenn March 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Try a drain cover for your shower drain. I’ve always been a huge shedder and these save our plumbing (they have more attractive ones than this, but this does the trick).

http://www.amazon.com/Hair-Snare-Drain-Cover-Universal/dp/B000PSDGNA

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13 Lindsay March 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I just sat and nodded in agreement through this entire blog post. I hear you on the water. When I was pregnant and even shortly after E was born I had no problem making sure I was drinking enough with breastfeeding but lately I just get wrapped up with chasing a crawling/climbing baby that I forget to hydrate. I finally bought myself some extra water bottles to fill up at the end of the day so I can just grab and go.

I also think that my lack of hydrating is mixing up my hunger/thirst cues and that surely isn’t helping my weight loss. To top it all off we have been dealing with some horrible nights sleep due to teething and a cold so I think I might be eating a little bit more for energy during the day. I find myself craving a loaf of bread (luckily we rarely have any).

Sweets are a something I started craving during pregnancy and once Edith arrived my sweet tooth went into overdrive. We just did a cleanse back in February because both my husband and I were overdosing on sweets and it really seemed to help. Now we have a small piece of chocolate most days and maybe one dessert per week.

p.s. about the abs! it must feel great and so motivating to really feel like you are progressing and getting stronger!

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14 marilee March 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Mazen is so cute. I love when you have pictures of him.He just makes me smile.

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15 Lyn @ Life Lyn Style March 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm

shower at the gym and you don’t need to worry about the drains.

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16 Gina March 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

You feel more tired, because you are getting into REM sleep and it’s completely normal to feel more tired when you start sleeping more. You will feel more rested once he has a better sleep schedule at night.

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17 coco March 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I feel the same about giving birth ages ago and would do Italy over again! :)

I’m not that thirsty either these days although hunger started to pick it up, is it for real that our milk is different around 6 month?

shorter nursing session is really good, we do around 10 min during the day, and 15-20 in morning and evening sessions.

can’t wait to read the post on M eating solid.

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18 Sarah March 12, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Your milk changes over time, yes. Nothing magically happens at exactly 6 months, but it’s definitely different than it was with a newborn, and I think it will keep changing later, too. The main difference is that when the baby is small, the milk has a lower fat content (though still plenty of fat) and more carbs (sugar). Later on, it becomes more concentrated in terms of fat (and therefore calories) so your bigger baby is getting more calories in the same volume of milk.

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19 Ashley March 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Kath,

Can you tell me how you reduced your night feedings? I could use the tips!

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20 KERF March 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

We just soothed him back to sleep with paci and things instead of feeding. It was quite easy – which might not be the case for every baby.

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21 Sarah March 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm

My hunger and thirst cues got all screwed up for a while around that stage, too. You’ve gotten more used to it but your body is still producing a lot of milk. I used to try to remember to drink a big glass of water if I was feeling hungry (unless it was obviously breakfast time or something and I hadn’t eaten in quite a while :) ) and then see if I was still hungry a bit later. Basic diet advice which I’m sure you already knew, but especially applicable for nursing moms!

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22 Liz March 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm

That Mazen is one absolutely handsome and adorable little boy! My little Mabel was born on 9/11, just days after Mazen and I have to say he looks like a healthy and happy little man and I think you are doing everything right :) I know food cravings are hard, they are insane for me right now as well. You look beautiful and fabulous, keep up the good work mama!

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23 Claire March 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Blue is Mazen’s color! He gets cuter by the day.

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24 Jacquelynn March 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm

I think you look fantastic! Mazen is such a cutie :) Did you notice a difference in your hair from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy? I am 21 weeks pregnant, and I haven’t seen a huge difference. Some people claim to notice a huge difference in their hair, but so far I don’t notice much.

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25 KERF March 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

Not really..I never got that big full hair people talk about. But it sure is falling out!

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26 Katie March 13, 2013 at 7:16 am

I’m having the same weight loss issues (I’m 8 months pp and still bfing too). Part of me has a hunch my body is just hanging on to these last 5-10 lbs until I’m done nursing. Who knows?

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27 Elizabeth @ Positive Change March 13, 2013 at 8:29 am

I really love how honest you are with your post-pregnancy. Thank you for this!!

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28 Susan March 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

Kath, I remember from years (and years!) ago that I felt okay after a night of bad sleeping but it was the day AFTER that I dragged. It happened enough that I noticed the pattern. You’re doing so well and Maze is the cutest little bug!

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29 aimee March 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

I am also 6 months into nursing and was having the same problem drinking enough..I’m just never thirsty! But i know its important so i ALWAYS get a tall glass or bottle of water before i nurse and make sure it is gone when session is done. Must be the six month mark that makes you feel like you could totally have another!..I’m right there with you!

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30 Kattrina March 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

My hair stopped falling out my the handful and I am so thankful for that. There was hair everywhere and it grossed me out. My sister says her hair falls out constantly and she knows the minutes her hair stops falling out she’s pregnant again (she’s had three kids). So I guess everyone is different.

I am at my pre-pregnancy weight but my clothes still don’t fit. It has been hard getting out to exercise (the key to fitting in my clothes, I’m sure) since going back to work full time and school part time, but I am hoping to get out for a run a bit more now that we are on daylight savings time. I wanted to give myself 9 months before I really started to worry about it, since that’s how long it took me to put on the weight, so I have three months left. Good for you for going to Pump!

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31 Bess March 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Increased sense of smell and appetite? maybe you are pregnant!!
What size is Maze wearing? Love his belted toddler jeans…adorbz.

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32 Rachel March 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm

haha that’s exactly what happened to my mom! my younger brother and i are only 13 months apart :)

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33 jen March 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Yeah, I totally hear you on the sleep thing. Every time we’ve ever had a period of improved sleep we found we both actually feel much MORE tired and groggy for about 7 to 10 days before we start to suddenly feel much, much better. We’re going on our fourth week of STTN again here and it’s amazing how I feel like a human being again!

But you’re right that when our girl was little and we were up all hours of the night this weird kind of adrenaline wakefullness kicked in.

And hear ya on the weight too. I never did lose the last 5 before I got pregnant with #2. Luckily the last 5 were only enough to bug me, but not enough to make me medically overweight or anything, so I haven’t worried too much about going into pregnancy #2 carrying them. And curiously enough, even though I’m probably eating worse this time (awful nausea & aversions still at 23 weeks), I’m gaining about 5 lbs less so far. Makes me wonder if my body just has a set weight it naturally wants to be at while pregnant.

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34 Alicia March 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I noticed a big drop in weight after baby was about a year. (just under 10% of my body weight fell off without me doing much other than watching my intake, which I had to reduce because she’d started to eat less from me.) I think when they’re still getting most of their calories from breastfeeding your body just naturally holds on to some extra in case they need it.

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35 Alexa March 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Glad to know I’m not the only newish mom who thinks handfuls of chocolate chips are a good snack… =)

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36 Carrie March 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Nodding my head the whole time I’m reading this post – both the sleep (why is 9 hrs not enough but 7 is perfect???) and eating parts! In fact, I think I asked you in the comments section a few weeks ago about better snacking ideas because I’d been over compensating on a growth spurt and gained a few pounds! Isnt it frustrating?!? I also forget to drink because the thirst isn’t as dire as it was months ago. Just commenting you are not alone on this one!!!

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37 Nikki T March 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I hear ya on the hair loss!! And the chocolate chips! ;)

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38 Sarah Crowder (punctuated with food) March 16, 2013 at 10:52 am

That Mazen is SO CUTE, mama! I hear ya on overcompensating when it comes to hunger. My baby is a year old (!!!) now and while you can’t tell with clothes on, there’s a little extra something something hanging on unnecessarily. Part of me figures I’ll get that together once he weans (not planning to anytime soon) but yeah, there are definitely times when I could make healthier choices.

No matter what, enjoy that baby :)

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39 Megan March 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

I am a first time mom to a 3 month old and never ever had a sweet tooth like I do now. I completely think it’s from breastfeeding!!! (We just recovered from a round of thrush where I had to avoid sugar and yeast… my breastfeeding worst nightmare- it was tough tough tough.) You are doing a fantastic job feeding your little man so be proud of yourself even if you aren’t at your happy weight… I’m not there either. :) Thanks for being so honest, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one fighting this battle!

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40 Lisa March 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Kath, your body is fighting to hold on to those last few pounds. Really, fighting! Between nursing and all the great exercise you get, your body is doing all it can to make sure you have enough calories.

Mark my word….Mazen will turn one and you will suddenly notice that those last few pounds are gone. ;) (it’s happened 4x to me now—each time I was frustrated at the stage where you are right now- but it happened naturally around one year of age).

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41 jenna k March 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

i relate so much to your words about your struggle with weight loss! i was down with pneumonia for almost all of february, and ALL i could eat was ice cream and saltines. then i got my appetite back slowly, and at first only felt like eating junky foods. i started cooking again after a week or two, but i still felt a huge compulsion to eat extra snacks, junk foods, and TONS of sweets. i’ve been eating so much ice cream lately! i’ve never been so unable to control myself or felt such a strong need to eat so much. i had actually started developing a pretty mindful, healthy way of eating, so it’s extremely frustrating, but i suppose we must just keep trucking! :)

and on the hair shedding… i lost a lot of hair when i took accutane in high school, so much that it thinned out a lot. ever since (6 years ago), i still shed a lot more than i used to, but my hair must be growing more now, because it stopped thinning when i went off the medication.

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