“So… was labour better or worse than Open WOD 14.5?…” This was one of Hilary’s first questions when she came to visit us in the NICU. She’s hilarious, what can I say?
I know we have some blog followers out there who are pregnant themselves, so let me start off by telling you how awesome becoming a Mom is. Apart from meeting and marrying my incredible husband, having two little babies has been the best thing to ever happen to me. Becoming a Mom puts things into perspective. Things that bothered me before, don’t. Petty bullsh*t that I put up with before, I brush off. Silly things that I thought were important before, seem silly. Having my twins has helped me simplify my life and has provided clarity moving forward. My husband and I have never been happier. …Plus I have two adorable boys who even when they cry and projectile poop onto me, make me smile and laugh. If you’re an expecting first-time Momma, you may feel anxious or overwhelmed with the impending unknown. But take heart! When your bundle of joy arrives, you’ll know what to do. Things won’t be as terrible as those strangers in the grocery store warn. Try and keep a positive attitude, keep things in perspective, and remember how blessed you are to have such an incredible little person!
Now, onto Crossfit and the aftermath. Postpartum, what’s it like? Let me start with the question that everyone wants to know but no one asks for fear of sounding vain: Did pregnancy ruin your body? While it’s true that you’re body will never be the same, it’s also true that after you become a Mom, you actually won’t care as much. I crossfit because it makes me feel good both physically and emotionally not because it gives me some sort of body image. (Although I wouldn’t mind if I looked like Annie Thorisdottir, big fan). Okay, Okay I can hear you say ‘Yeah, yeah but seriously what do you look like now?’. Everyone is different but I wouldn’t worry yourself with the concern. You crossfit, which means you’re tough and devoted, and generally healthier than the average bear. Four weeks after giving birth my tummy is back down again. Sure right after I had them I still looked prego for about a week, but that’s because my womb was still gigantic! The amazing thing is that as you breastfeed, your body continues to have contractions that shrink your uterus back down into your pelvis. Mom, just you wait until birth. You thought your body was capable of some pretty amazing things in Crossfit? Wait until you find out how incredible your body really is during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It’s actually astounding. Going through labour has empowered me. I can do anything. …Okay but 14.5 is another story. 😐
‘You thought your body was capable of some pretty amazing things in Crossfit? Wait until you find out how incredible your body really is during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It’s actually astounding.’
And what about my fears of a kangaroo style tummy pouch? Well they’ve been quashed, or maybe mitigated by the fact that I now have gigantic boobies? haha 😛 I attribute my quick postpartum twin tummy recovery to my devoted application of BioOil three times a day starting in my second trimester as well as remaining as active as possible and eating well. By eating well I mean correct portion sizes and wise food choices. Don’t fall into the seemingly socially acceptable mindless self-indulgence trend while pregnant. This is the most important time in your life to be or become healthy. Make pregnancy your reason, not your excuse.
And how soon afterwards will you be able to hit the gym and crush some WODs? Depends. Postpartum Recovery is called Recovery for a reason. 6 weeks is a safe recovery period for most women. But I’ve also been told that depending on the mode of delivery, you should be able to start being more active as soon as 3-4 weeks post delivery. I was fortunate to have a natural birth and was out pushing my stroller up hills and around the neighborhood as soon as 2.5 weeks afterwards. I’ve found that the biggest limiting factor is energy. On top of the standard ‘up every 3 hours to feed and change’, creating breastmilk is apparently hard work! I cannot believe how much I have to eat and drink to keep up with my body’s demands; way more than while I was prego! I make over 2.5 L of milk a day (!!!). With this energy output, I feel exhausted even after a 45 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood. Getting back into actual WODs will take some time for me and my new-found lung capacity. I plan on walking as much as I can and then going back 3 days a week until my cardio is back up to snuff. I won’t lift until I’m feeling strong and fully recovered. My goal is to be lifting lightly by mid-November.
My new normal is all about my boys. My life is consumed by burps, farts, leaking boobs, soaked outfits, cuddles, kisses and naps. I try and maintain ‘me time’ at least for one hour a day. Yesterday Hil and I went for pedicures and lunch. The other day we took the boys to the Peach festival. Keeping active and not becoming a shut in is important to me and my personal health. Sometimes I’m tired and would rather lay in bed, but I make an effort to go out and always end up glad I did. 🙂
Stay tuned for posts when I head back to the gym. I feel pretty weak and my arms may look like noodles, but I plan on making an epic comeback.
Oh, and the answer to Hil’s question regarding labour vs. 14.5? It’s probably a toss up between the two. …But maybe more like doing 14.5 on repeat for about 5 hours. Hey, maybe we could make that into some sort of marathon ‘Labour WOD’ for the Sick Kids charity. Sounds like a challenge to me!
If you’re looking for more of my previous ‘Crossfit while Prego’ posts including scaling options, healthy eating and general encouragement, you can find a few here, here, and here. Happy lifting and happy mothering! xo Jess