Thursday, August 18, 2011
Patience is a virtue of which I wish I had more.
Yes, I birthed baby Ben four weeks ago today. Creating — and then birthing — the human that he is took its toll on my body, that's for sure. And I know it takes a while to recover and feel...normal again.
But man, am I antsy.
I was feeling pretty good the first two weeks we were home. We'd go on family walks in the neighborhood. Sometimes I'd be carrying Ben in my arms, sometimes we'd be pushing the stroller. All-in-all, I was surprised at how good I felt following the natural delivery, and I seemed to be on-track for a better/quicker recovery than I had after birthing Sam.
But then two weeks postpartum, I followed the advice of an article written by...me. The physical therapist I interviewed had given the guideline of doing push-ups and planks during weeks two to four postpartum. So, anxious to get feeling strong and like an athlete again, two weeks to the day, I did 15 "girl" push-ups on my knees. Then I did 10 more. Then, I did a plank for 20 seconds. No big deal. Neither the push-ups or the plank bothered me while I was doing them.
My arms weren't sore. My abs weren't sore. My pecs felt fine. But, I ached. I kind of felt like my uterus was going to fall out.
I didn't follow the most important part of that article, or, of any exercise-based guidelines of any sort: Listen to your body, and consult your doctor (my doctor later scolded me). Turns out, my body wasn't ready for push-ups and planks.
I've since seen a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor muscles, and pelvic alignment. I've had the issue of my pelvis rotating and causing pain in my left hip, and I think the push-ups strained some muscles and made me rotate yet again, pulling on some other muscles and causing the ache.
I'm more aligned now, and feeling a bit better, but have had to slow down. I'm just today getting back to going on mellow walks around the neighborhood.
As someone who's used to controlling a part of my day, my mood, and how my body feels by exercise, this is hard for me. I'm really anxious to get out on hikes, swim laps in the pool, lift weights, ride my bike and really work hard. Heck, I'd be happy even doing a few push-ups a day without wrecking myself.
The good news is that the walk today felt okay. And more good news is that baby Ben is doing great, four weeks-old today. And big brother Sam loves having Ben around, and is, so far, a super-awesome big brother (see pic above).
I'm just hoping to walk a little further each day, feeling good. And eventually I'll be able to break into a run. Patience, patience.