Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's All About the Milk!

Me and Teresa

My baby turned 3-months-old yesterday! She's a love. Her smile takes up her whole face and I love that she's so small and snugly. Her siblings are loving that she lights up in response to them. We are so blessed and our lives are greatly enriched by her presence.

I am exclusively breastfeeding on demand. And, psychologically speaking, I love it! I wouldn't want it any other way. My body is giving my baby everything that she needs to grow and develop (except vitamin D, but there are drops for that since we aren't getting outside in the sunshine much these days in Pennsylvania!). I marvel at how well God designed the female body to care for babies...truly amazing!

There is something that I am not loving though. And, it's all about the milk (to quote the life-sized singing cows at Hershey's Chocolate World!). I have been blessed to breastfeed all of my babies for a year (well, my milk dried up when Cecilia was 9 months because I was very pregnant with Justin!). The first two times, the baby weight came off pretty quickly (especially after Joseph was born...I was able to wear a size 6 dress in my sister's wedding when he was only 6 months old!).

Even after Lucy (who is not yet 2), I was able to lose the weight pretty easily. I still had a little over 10 pounds to go when I was got pregnant with Teresa. But, I'm realizing that those pounds were not at all the big deal that I thought that they were!!!

This time around, the baby weight is just plain STUCK. I have a whole closet full of clothes that do not fit. I would understand it if I had quit exercising and was eating poorly. But, I love exercising and have recently been able to increase my exercise quite a bit. And, I'm eating the same that I have for years (honestly, even more healthy as I am so conscious). I am careful to eat the calories that I need to make breastmilk (300 to 500 extra calories), but they are healthy choices.

And, nothing! A few hours of cardio a week, a weight lifting class on Wednesday nights, healthy eating...and the same number on the scale week after week! I know my body made maternal fat stores (and my body will never be the same again!), but this is ridiculous to me :). I have been able to maintain a healthy body weight my entire adult life because of good choices. It's not vanity or wanting to look a certain way because my culture tells me too...but rather, I simply feel best when I am a healthy weight for my height.

I only need to go online to read that the same thing is happening to thousands of other breastfeeding moms. It's nice to know I'm not alone! My body is slowing down my metabolism to keep my maternal fat stores to ensure that I am able to produce enough milk. My age and the number of babies that I've had is a factor too. Go body! Luckily, many women lose the weight once they wean (to be continued...)!

This is frustrating. But, I need to keep perspective. Would I ever trade my precious baby to be a smaller size? NEVER. At the end of my life, is the number on the scale what people will remember? No. (And I always read the obituaries in the Sunday paper...not sure why! I feel like I'm honoring the dead and I say a quick prayer for their souls. I never once saw a comment on body size!).

The advice that stood out from the rest when I read the comments from other frustrated breastfeeding moms was this: "Concentrate on your baby's face and not your body. There will be lots of time to take the weight off...but infancy is a short, precious time."

So, today I remember the Serenity Prayer. It's applicable in so many areas of our lives...

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.




No comments:

Post a Comment