Sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into a multipart series. It just . . . happened. Here's a short summary:
1) Realized that I was not only not losing weight, but gaining it (slowly) postpartum. Not thrilled with this. Tired of feeling frumpy/uncomfortable.
2) Decided to track intake using an app for a few days, with goal of just being more reasonable with eating. (Literally, a few days - today was day 4).
3) According to app, while being more reasonable I was eating 1800-2000 calories/day and not feeling particularly ravenous. Continuing moderate level of exercise (~3 mi run every other day or so, a 40-minute barre3 workout at home on Sunday).
4) Already feeling better about myself, UNTIL . . .
5) Milk supply tanking.*
I know that's what this is for, but I wasn't ready to have to dive in so soon . . .
There were signs all weekend, but I chose to ignore them. Then, when faced with the pump today, it became clear that there was a noticeable difference in my output. We're talking a ~20-30% drop, which might not sound significant, but oh -- it so is. It's the difference between putting ounces in the freezer and taking them out. It's also the difference between a happy, content baby and one that seems to be always on the verge of a hunger-induced meltdown. The whole issue reminds me way too much of my TTC experience (pre-Annabel), and it's not a great feeling. I'm experiencing a combination of guilt (for caring what I look like . . .) and anger (at my body for being so #(*&$@ oversensitive to these things).
So the right thing to do is . . . what? Add back extra calories (Josh says: DARK BEER) and try to get my supply back up, while resigning myself to just not feeling 'normal' for another few months (because it is so temporary)? Stop worrying so much about providing 100% breastmilk and keep the promises I made to myself earlier about NOT getting obsessive (too late)? One friend wrote in an email: "what stresses you out more? the few extra lbs or the keeping up with C? for me, the pumping and milk supply stress would make me nuts, so i'd rather diet, feel good about my body, and give my kid some formula, but it's up to you. does that make sense? i know you'll probably stress out more if you're restricting and then having to worry why C was fussy and whether you should have eaten an extra helping of almonds etc. that sounds miserable, for one."
I'm more likely to go with the extra calorie approach, but I did appreciate this fresh (and rather liberated, in a way) view. I am happy to have the perspective that a) these are all such disgustingly first world problems that it's ridiculous and b) it won't matter in 9 months. But today, I'm still feeling a little annoyed about it all.
and I hate that there is anything at all stressful associated with this wonderful baby
* Two other variables: I'm getting over a mild respiratory virus, AND I didn't pump in the AM on Saturday or Sunday mornings like I usually do. One friend (a lactation consultant AND pediatrician) suggested that maybe it was actually the lack of extra pumping that slowed down my output. I'd love that to be the answer, but I'm just not entirely convinced.
On the upside, the rest of our weekend was wonderful. We went to the beach -- Annabel was scared of the waves, which was a little sad -- and then Cameron had his first dip in the pool. Lots of great family time and beautiful moments.
we'll try again soon.