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Week 39 of my pregnancy compared to Week 1 of Henry’s life:

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I really cannot fathom that a little person came out of my pregnant belly.  So strange!  Also, it’s really hard for me to grasp that it’s been a week since I went into labor and delivered Henry.  Where did the time go?  He looks so different to me already.

 

Consider my mind blown.

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I really, really hate the media’s insane focus on celebrity moms ‘getting their body back’ and slimming down to their pre-pregnancy size in a week.  It creates a ton of pressure for the rest of us.  And very often, the methods they must use are unrealistic (hey, where’s my personal trainer, nanny, and chef?!) and unhealthy.  The other problem I have with the media’s focus on post-pregnancy bodies is that they only talk about the physical aspects – weight gain and loss, muscle tone, flat tummies, whatever. 

 

I’ve given a lot of thought to how I want to handle ‘post-baby body’ posts.  I want to blog about my new normal for two reasons: 1) this is a healthy living blog, and fitness has been a huge part of my life and will continue to be; and 2) I wanted to document a real person’s post-baby journey.  And a real person’s journey is as much mental as it is physical.  So I’ll be blogging about both aspects (I imagine this series will be a once-every-few-weeks thing). 

 

Look, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to drop this extra pregnancy weight.  Of course I want to!  I have a closet full of nice clothes that I can’t wear.  But to me, it’s really not all about the number on the scale – it’s about how strong I feel and how happy I am.

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That being said… here we go!

 

Mind After Baby – Week 1

 

The baby blues are caused by the intense hormonal shift that you body goes through after delivery, and let me tell you – it’s realI wrote a bit about  feeling like an inadequate momma in this post (and the comments back were SO helpful, thank you!).  For a few days after delivery, I found myself bawling at the drop of the hat.  I was easily overwhelmed and frustrated.  I completely lost my appetite.  I had intense nightmares about accidentally killing Henry with my clumsiness.  

 

But nothing compared to how I felt the first day we came home.  I was having crazy thoughts.  CRAZY.  Selfish and mean thoughts about everyone, including the Husband and Henry.  I wanted to crawl into a dark hole and sleep for 36 hours; interacting with others felt like a huge burden.  However, I really started to turn around emotionally two days ago.  And I really think it’s because of my placenta pills, which I began taking four days ago.

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Lots of people have asked me to follow up on my choice to encapsulate my placenta.  Obviously, I have nothing to compare my experience to because Henry is my first child, but I really do think the pills have made a major difference in my mood.  I’m running on 4 or 5 hours of extremely broken sleep a night and feel tired but stable.  I’ll never know if I would’ve bounced back naturally or slipped deeper into despair without the pills, but – like I said before – who cares?  All that matters is I feel better!

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Even though I had a touch of the baby blues, I must say that I have overwhelmingly felt awesome. I am just so happy that Henry is healthy.  He is a really good baby so far, too, sleeping well (when he’s not up and eating!) and becoming more and more alert every day.  Even though parenting is challenging, I feel incredibly blessed.  When the Husband, my mom, or my dad takes Henry and tells me to go sleep for a few hours, I kind of don’t want to nap because it’s time away from my baby. Smile 

 

Body After Baby – Week 1

 

Before and After:

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Overall, I gained exactly 35 pounds during pregnancy.  As of one week post-baby, I’ve lost 18 of those pounds (in the form of extra fluids, extra blood volume, placenta, and – of course – Henry himself).  That means that I’m 17 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight.  I’m sure some of that is milk, as well as pregnancy-related extras that will naturally come off in the next few weeks, but some of it is body fat, too (as it should be).

 

The only clothes that fit me are my maternity clothes or nursing clothes.  I look at my closet of pretty things and am so sad that nothing fits!  I try on my old clothes every now and then hoping that something will fit but, generally speaking, nothing does.  I also tried on my wedding rings two days ago, and my fingers are still too swollen to wear them comfortably.  It’s important not to actively try to lose weight too quickly because it can delay recovery and interfere with breastfeeding (they say breastfeeding requires an extra 500 calories a day!).  Losing weight isn’t a priority for me right now, anyway.  After all, it’s only a week out – I have much more important things to do! 

 

All my friends warned me that I’d still look a few months pregnant after delivery.  Very slowly, the faux bump is going down.  My stomach is pretty squishy, which is completely normal because my abdominal wall had to separate and spread during pregnancy. 

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Three days v. one week post delivery – much less swelling.

 

I have to wait until my 4 – 6 week check-up to get the ‘official’ okay to exercise, but I was also told it’s fine to listen to my body and go from there.  So Henry and I went on our first walk yesterday.  It was only 10 minutes, I walked really slowly, and I was pooped by the end, but the activity didn’t aggravate my bleeding and generally felt great.  I’m VERY glad that I stayed so active throughout pregnancy; it’s definitely accelerated my healing time.  All things considering, I think I will be able to do those late September/early October sprint triathlons that I was dreaming about.  But training will not start for many, many weeks!

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In terms of soreness from delivery, I have to say that if it wasn’t from the episiotomy, I would feel totally normal now.  I feel some tightness at the episiotomy site, but it’s really not too bad (I think my third degree tear is a very mild third degree tear).  My friend told me the key to a fast episiotomy recovery was really relaxing for the first week, which is pretty much what I did – the couch and I are now best friends! – so I think that has a lot to do with it. 

 

The only other post-delivery symptoms that I experienced are very low blood pressure and anemia, most likely due to blood loss.  I fainted twice in the hospital and had to be roused with smelling salts.  I didn’t feel or look normal (I had a pale gray/green hue for days) until about two days ago, when my mood also turned around.  I credit getting loads of rest, as well as the placenta pills, an iron supplement, and B Vitamin supplement.  And time – sometimes your body just needs time!

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So – the last area of post-baby body to discuss is the nursing situation.  All in all, I think breastfeeding is going really well.  My milk came in five days ago, and the 24 hours of engorgement was terrible, but my body is slowly figuring out what to do with all this milk.  Nursing is a lot more challenging than I anticipated, but seeing a lactation consultant in the hospital and in private, as well as reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, really helped things along.  Henry and I are following a pretty rigorous ‘schedule’ (I use that term loosely) recommended by my consultant because his feedings are so short; hopefully, we will be able to naturally back off it in a few days and space out the feedings.  The most important thing is that he’s gaining weight – and he is – so I feel like the 14 or 15 feedings every day is well worth it.

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Fun fact:  Thanks to a breastfeeding app, I know that I spend THREE HOURS a day nursing Henry.  It’s a part-time job!  

 

So – that’s my real post-baby body.  Mentally and physically, so much has changed, but I don’t mind a single worry, tear, pound, or stretchmark.  It’s all part of the process, and it’s all part of the beginning of the new me.  My body and mind will never be like before, but I didn’t expect to be the same person now that Henry is in the world.  Wherever I end up post-baby, I’m excited to get there.

 

If you’re a momma, what was your pregnancy recovery like?

{ 237 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Cindy June 20, 2012, 5:07 pm

    You look amazing! :) I am glad you are feeling “better.”

    Reply
  • Kirby June 20, 2012, 5:08 pm

    You are amazing. Such an inspiration. That is all.

    Reply
  • Amy June 20, 2012, 5:10 pm

    great post! thank u so much for updating us….ur boobs look enormous btw..congrats on that haha jk. im reading a breastfeeding book right now just to have a heads up of how it works..sounds like things are smooth for u which is great!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 5:11 pm

      Hahah they are ginormous. GINORMOUS.

      Reply
  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries June 20, 2012, 5:12 pm

    i appreciate this post and your honesty SO much. i’m so excited to get pregnant, but the post pregnancy body leaves me extremely anxious when i think about it. you’re right, our society puts way too much focus on how quickly women can drop their post baby weight. it’s nice to know that it doesn’t happen in a WEEK in “real life”! you look great, and i’m so glad things are going well!

    Reply
  • Sara June 20, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Congrats ! Am looking forward to your updates. I’m a stepmom – but not a bio-mom … yet, so your blog is very helpful. I’m active running and training, and am curious how all these things fit in before and after.

    Reply
  • Moni Meals June 20, 2012, 5:15 pm

    You’re so awesome and real Caitlin, you rock. ;)
    Henry is so adorable, I look forward to the many posts to come and have a great day.
    I hope you get more sleep. :)

    Reply
  • Claire Zulkey June 20, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I’m macabre and curious to know what type of CRAZY thoughts you were having.

    I know you are probably not excited about wearing maternity clothes right now but IMO you need to totally forget about your ‘old’ clothes for a longer period of time. You will definitely get there. But as they say, it took you 9 months to put on the 35 pounds, so give yourself more than a week to think about getting back there, ok? (I know you know this–I am probably talking to my future postnatal self.)

    Reply
  • Amelia June 20, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Caitlin, you are glowing and look amazing for just having had a baby. Screw the media and their pressures on new moms. They are ignoring reality and the norm for the majority of women. Thanks for being REAL and continuing to inspire and share your life with all of us.

    BTW, I think I see another book in your future…that is, if it’s not already in the making. :)

    Reply
  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY June 20, 2012, 5:18 pm

    You look great already! Also that picture of you holding Henry in front of your belly makes me wonder – how does all that stuff fit in there? It doesn’t seem possible to me. Hahahaha, one day I’ll figure it out, right?

    Reply
  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) June 20, 2012, 5:19 pm

    I think people in general understand (thankfully) that celebrity post-baby weight loss is not realistic for most people. I’d try not to worry about it, if I were you. So you just had a baby — if people judge you, they’re a jerk.

    Oh, and put that scale away!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 5:19 pm

      I don’t own a scale :) I weighed myself at the doctor’s office.

      Reply
  • Sara June 20, 2012, 5:20 pm

    I am so proud of you! Thank you for being honest about your experiences, and staying true to what works best for you (and Henry). I only have one child, and I was not in the better health that I am in now, so I didn’t make all good choices. However, I did stick to breastfeeding until he naturally weened himself at around 14 months. I wish I had a blog like this to read during that time. Still, I made it through and I have a very healthy, brilliant, quirky nine-year-old boy. Enjoy every moment with Henry, because every age will be your favorite. Children really do remind you to live in the moment.

    Btw, I think the arrival of Henry is showing that Maggie is smarter than previously thought.

    Reply
  • Kellie June 20, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Wanted to let you know that often your body keeps the last 5lbs or so until you are done nursing. I think it is the body’s way of insuring you will have enough stores to feed your baby.

    Reply
  • Cristina @ Tiny Perfect Bites June 20, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I love your attitude and am excited to hear how the healing/learning/nursing process goes for you.

    That picture of James next to Henry is my favorite picture ever. So cute!

    Reply
  • Jessica June 20, 2012, 5:20 pm

    I’ve never had a child but I have to tell you that I so appreciate this post. Even as a everyday woman with no children, I feel the crazy pressure to “look good”. Not from my husband, family or friends but strictly from the media. It’s everywhere(internet, magazines, billboards, commercials, etc.)

    Your blog posts are so insightful and real and I appreciate them so much.

    BTW, Henry is adorable & you look fantastic!

    Jess

    Reply
  • Michaela June 20, 2012, 5:21 pm

    Congrats on our little henry! I swear he has been here before, he always looks so alert :) Just one good tip that i have done after two bubbas is where a tummy band which I got from the physio in hospital after bub. Its a thick elastic band that you wrap around your tummy and kepp adjusting the tightness as your tummy shrinks. Its designed to make you hold your core in and bring any muscle separation back together. I had 8cm tear with my last bub!! So worth it, I wore it for the first 3 months during the day and you cant even tell your wearing it under your clothes. Highly recommend!!
    Another good tip dont sweat the small stuff, who cares if the house is a mess because Henry wanted to feed more one day. As long as he is happy and content both your husband and yourself will be more relaxed parents
    Michaela xx (Australia)

    Reply
    • danielle June 20, 2012, 8:26 pm

      I also recommend some sort of tummy band!! My back ached so badly after giving birth (even though I stayed active during my pregnancy). The band helped hold everything together and helped my uterus shrink up at the same time. Win-win!

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:15 pm

        i will definitely look into this!

        Reply
  • Jessica June 20, 2012, 5:21 pm

    beautiful post :) So happy for you!

    Reply
  • Meghan @ CarmanClan June 20, 2012, 5:21 pm

    I had dreams for awhile that I rolled over on TJ or he fell out of bed, but we don’t cosleep! I think its because the cat sleeps with me. Don’t be discouraged if you struggle to lose weight, I gained 50 lost 25 by 6 weeks and am finally now dropping weight and TJ is 4 months old. I think my body held onto it needing it for breastfeeding.

    Reply
  • Megan@ The Running Doc June 20, 2012, 5:22 pm

    You look awesome for being one week post-birth! And I’m glad you’re willing to blog about the transformation both mentally and physically. It’s nice to know what it’s like for a “real” person rather than a celebrity who magically is back to a size 0 after 2 weeks.

    Reply
    • Amanda June 20, 2012, 7:50 pm

      Agreed!! :-)

      Reply
  • Presley (@runpretty) June 20, 2012, 5:23 pm

    I can’t wait to keep up with your progress. Based on your ideals, I know you’ll be a healthy influence for me. I feel like too many people go crazy post-delivery trying to get their “body back”… when in reality, it’s a NEW body. I’ll be in the hospital in 8 days or less, so I’m right behind you!

    Reply
  • Soniathe Mexigarian June 20, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Another amazing post. Thank you for breing so honest about the “post baby body” issue and your feelings, including the crazy ones. It’s great to hear that the placenta pills are helping you. I am not pregnant nor have kids, but your posts really do inspire me and have taught me loads about pregnancy, etc. It makes me kinda/sorta/maybe excited to go through it as well. :)

    The picture of James and Henry is soooo cute and I am laughing at the one with Maggie and Henry.

    Reply
  • Rachel O. June 20, 2012, 5:24 pm

    You look beautiful! For centuries women have given their bodies in order to create life. what you’ve accomplished is greater than anything else you’ll ever do

    Reply
  • Sana June 20, 2012, 5:25 pm

    :) I am glad the placenta pills are helping!

    Reply
  • Presley (@runpretty) June 20, 2012, 5:26 pm

    PS: you mentioned stretch marks, but your belly looks flawless right now! I’d be proud if I were you!

    Reply
  • Emily June 20, 2012, 5:27 pm

    I love this post! Can’t wait to see documented a REAL woman’s journey with a post-baby body. If nothing else, it will serve as a reality check for me–I’m 8 weeks along and have no idea what to expect!

    Reply
  • Molly June 20, 2012, 5:27 pm

    I feel like I should preface this with, I am no where close to getting married, much less having a child (well not that I am planning *knock on wood*) but I love these posts because you aren’t afraid to talk about it, especially the things people brush over during/after pregnancy. That’s what I love about your blog. It’s real. Thank you for that! You look like an already amazing Mom, and I can only assume you’re doing an awesome job! You’ve got this ;) You’ve got the love, you got it all :) Everything else pans out from there. Congrats on such a blessing.

    Reply
  • Jen June 20, 2012, 5:28 pm

    SO jealous of your boobs!

    Reply
  • Jordan @ Bake Write Sleep June 20, 2012, 5:33 pm

    BOOBS! Not fair, I want them! Hahaha.

    Henry looks happy and healthy and so do you. I’m so glad to read about this. I can’t wait to have a baby =]

    Reply
  • Rachel June 20, 2012, 5:33 pm

    you’re doing great, Caitlin! that first week post-partum is tough especially w/ the hormone shift. i was a weepy mess the first few days after each kiddo was born. but once those hormones leveled off a bit, i got a LOT better. but be warned! now that you have a kid, the silliest, sappiest commercials will get the tears flowing! those St. Jude’s commercials? don’t even get me started. just keep the tissues handy ;)

    Reply
    • Shannon June 20, 2012, 8:14 pm

      I have to agree! The commercial that especially gets me is the Pampers commercial that airs during A Baby Story on TLC. Gets me every time!

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:14 pm

        oh god, that pampers commercial kills me.

        Reply
  • Kristina June 20, 2012, 5:34 pm

    Thank you for being so honest and sharing all of this! I don’t have any children yet-and I’m not expecting at the moment- but I am excited to be a mom one day. I love the open, honest info that you’ve shared. It makes the unknown of pregnancy, childbirth, and new mom life less scary. I’ll be referring back when the time comes! :)

    Reply
  • Johanna B June 20, 2012, 5:34 pm

    I had an emergency c-section and a post delivery intrauterine infection. So it took me a much longer time than it will you. I’m glad to see that you’re taking life as it unfolds. Henry is beautiful and so are you.

    Reply
  • Earthy Nicole June 20, 2012, 5:34 pm

    I’m so happy you’re doing this. I think it really is important for women to see what other real women go through, the good and the bad. These days our perceptions are so skewed on what pregnancy and post-partum entails. This is obviously very sad and very scary, considering many women go into this not having a clue what’s happening to them. And because women are often too embarrassed or ashamed to share with each other these realities, we’re stuck beating ourselves up on the inside.

    Post delivery, I had a very mushy tummy too. I remember the first time looking at it in the shower after delivery and having no clue what I was about to see. Despite the pouch, I really didn’t care, surprisingly. I didn’t do a lot in the beginning but at 6 weeks (the magic number!) I felt ready to start working out and walked everywhere with my daughter in a sling. Between nursing and walking, the weight eventually came off (minus about 4 pounds) and I felt healthier than I’ve ever felt in my life.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better by the way. I don’t know if I had the typical “blues” or not but my daughter had colic and sometimes I cried as much as she did. It was awful but we made it through! Big hugs!

    Reply
  • Bonnie June 20, 2012, 5:34 pm

    That picture of James and Henry is ADORABLE. So cute! I already see they’re gonna be best friends. :) and Maggie is staring at Henry reproachfully in the last picture, haha. She’s just sad she’s not the baby anymore. ;)

    Reply
  • Lauren June 20, 2012, 5:35 pm

    I absolutely loved this post and think your approach is great. I can’t wait to follow your new (real) journey!

    Reply
  • Stacy June 20, 2012, 5:36 pm

    I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and have been reading it ever since. Congratulations on your baby and what appeared to be a healthy and happy delivery. I enjoy reading your honest posts about the experience, especially with an alternative medicine approach. I have also enjoyed reading the triathlon and doggie posts. Hope post-pregnancy continues to go very well for you, the baby and husband. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!

    Reply
  • Lauren T. June 20, 2012, 5:36 pm

    what kind of stroller do you have?? trying to pick one out myself!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 5:53 pm

      The City Mini 2012 and it is great!

      Reply
  • Vicky June 20, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Sounds like you are on the right track! My recovery took forever… I want to say it took over a month to feel normal. I also had bad tearing… It took about 3-4 weeks for the pain to fully subside. I also had a hemorrhoid that was the most painful thing ever, the pain lasted 2-3 months. As for breastfeeding… My little one was tongue tied and it wasn’t fixed until he was 6weeks! So I cried every time I feed him, my nipples were bleeding it was awful! I survived on Lanosil. But now I love love love nursing! The only problem is that my little one won’t take a bottle.

    Reply
  • breeb714 June 20, 2012, 5:40 pm

    I really appreciate the honesty when you blog. You are a hide nothing Blogger! I have so much respect for you as a new mother and as a blogger.. Thank YOU

    Reply
  • Anne Weber-Falk June 20, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Fabulous post. I remember when…wow. The first is now 21! Sitz bath for that episiotomy. I like your honesty and the real time photos. So many new mothers and fathers really don’t know what goes on after birth. It really isn’t at all like in the movies or Hollywood. Thanks for your frankness. Enjoy all of this now because 21 comes way too fast. Sighhhhh….

    Reply
  • Christa June 20, 2012, 5:41 pm

    You look gorgeous and Henry is precious. Thank you for keeping things so honest and open!

    Reply
  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life June 20, 2012, 5:41 pm

    This is a great post! I think new moms, and women in general, need more realistic role models like you. :)

    Reply
  • Kelsey June 20, 2012, 5:42 pm

    Congrats to you and your husband! What an exciting time for the two of you and your family + friends included.

    I just wanted to say that it has been really awesome to read your pregnancy updates along with your post baby ones. I discovered your blog during my freshman year of college and you have been such a great role model to me. Reading your blog ( along with some other healthy living blogs) has made such a positive impact on my life.

    I can’t wait to see where your new life with Henry takes you, I am sure it will be magical.

    Reply
  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride June 20, 2012, 5:43 pm

    Thank thank thank you for writing this post! It drives me nuts that so many people (especially due to the media) expect women to be back to their original bodies within 6 weeks of labor (even sooner if they breast feed) — it’s like no how about we focus on the healthy babies they delivered and continue to nourish with these bodies!

    I’ve absolutely loved following your very honest journey all along – and I can’t wait to keep reading. Thank you for sharing it all :)

    Reply
  • alicia June 20, 2012, 5:44 pm

    You look so happy and great! Henry is such a cute and bright eyed and bushy tailed little guy! I was so excited to see a post birth blog! Thank you for updating. I had the baby blues for 2 weeks. I didn’t do the placenta thing mostly because I was not even thinking about MY recovery. Silly. Next time I think I’d do it. Why not? And dreams? Oh girl, they were nutty. And there were more than a few times I shot up in bed and started feeling around for a baby that was not there but happily snoozing in the bassinet. As for losing the weight it came off naturally and gradually – gotta love that 600 calorie per day breastfeeding burn. I didn’t sweat it at all but I think it took 8 months to come off? I kept track mostly out of curiosity. I gained 35 too and was active throughout my pregnancy. Oh and don’t forget the extra boob poundage haha.

    Reply
  • daphna June 20, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Out of curiosity, is there anything besides freeze-dried placenta in those pills? Also I was within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight immediately after I had my twins, but it took about 4-5 months for me to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans because my shape had changed. However, they eventually did fit again without a big struggle. Prepare to get insanely hungry when Henry starts eating more, but it all balances out really since you “lose” so many calories in milk. :)

    Reply
  • Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit June 20, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Thank you for such and awesome, honest post. I don’t have babies but my husband and I are thinking about trying soon and honestly the thing that scares me the most is getting back the post baby body. It encourages me to see that it will happen, and I don’t need to stress about it.

    Reply
  • Jenn June 20, 2012, 5:55 pm

    I adopted my daughter as a newborn. I am a tiny person, so you can imagine people’s reactions when they would ask how old my daughter was:)

    Reply
  • Randi June 20, 2012, 5:55 pm

    Wow. I didn’t even know hospitals still did episiotomies anymore. That sounds awful! :( you look great however!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:11 pm

      I think the rate has dropped to like 16%?

      Reply
  • Nikki June 20, 2012, 5:56 pm

    I’m so glad other people mentioned the boobs because those things are the first thing I noticed. They are like the size of the baby!

    Reply
  • Carol June 20, 2012, 5:56 pm

    Can I simply say you totally rock!
    Thank you for keeping it real and addressing the mental side as well as physical. I check in magazines for the library where I work, and every post baby “body back” caption makes me cringe. That should SO not be the focus.

    p.s. – I am addicted to Sabra’s spinach artichoke hummus after your blogging about it.

    Reply
  • Janelle June 20, 2012, 5:58 pm

    Your attitude is amazing! I’m so glad that I get to read things like this before I have a baby someday(if I do). Also, you are beautiful – before, during, and after pregnancy.

    Reply
  • VeganLisa June 20, 2012, 6:02 pm

    Caitlin,

    You look fantastic! I love that you always share an honest portrayal of the ups and downs of life. I’ve learned a lot from following your journey over the years.

    P.S. My mom is one of the authors of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding I’m glad that you found it to be a helpful resource.

    xo

    Reply
  • Leslie June 20, 2012, 6:08 pm

    Great post! Very well thought out. I like your attitude. I am many years post pregnancy. I would like to offer you one bit of advice. It’s very easy to get caught up in being a mom and doing everything for your baby and family. My advice is… Don’t neglect yourself. It’s so easy to do. I kept waiting for things to settled down, or when I had more time, and then I would exercise or take time for me. This time will not magically appear. You will have to make it a priority. I urge you to be empowered to care for your health and wellbeing. I look toward to reading your post as you move toward. You seem so much smarter about it all than I was back then. I will be rooting for you. I so enjoy your blog!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:10 pm

      This is good advice, thanks Leslie!

      Reply
  • Rachel June 20, 2012, 6:12 pm

    Great post. I’ve always been annoyed with the celebrity post-baby body articles because, hey, if I had a personal chef, personal trainer, and nannies I could probably look that good too!

    My baby is 26 days old and I’ve lost all but 5 lbs so far. I haven’t done much exercise other than walking around the block with the baby, so I can only attribute it to breastfeeding. The baby blues definitely hit me hard and I’m finally starting to feel a bit normal, but on her really fussy days I usually still end up in tears. The past 4 weeks have been the hardest of my life, but each day she is more aware and alert which is definitely more rewarding.

    Congrats on your little guy!

    Reply
  • Sarah June 20, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Caitlyn – I have been reading your blog for many months now and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experiences. As a woman hoping to try to conceive very soon, I really, really appreciate reading about your journey. Reading HTP is my favorite morning activity! Congrats to you all.

    Reply
  • Sunny June 20, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Thank you so much for a wonderful post. I don’t have kids (and don’t plan to), but am really interested in the pregnancy/delivery/recovery experience and your blog has been an education in fertility. Thank you for your honest assessments and observations each step of the way.

    Congrats on your baby and your healthy outlook on life.

    Reply
  • emily June 20, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Holy crap, your boobs!!!

    That is all. :)

    Reply
  • Alison (AlisonCanRead) June 20, 2012, 6:23 pm

    Can you do a post at some point about what you do while you’re nursing? Can you read? Play on the iphone? Watch TV? I’m hoping you can read – at least on a Kindle. I really want to have a baby ASAP, but I don’t want to lose my favorite hobby, which is reading. I’m trying to figure out how to balance reading and baby. Although being able to get pregnant is my main issue right now. :-/

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:10 pm

      You can read, sure. Maybe not all the time while you are nursing, and you may want to interact with the baby while they nurse, but there is definitely opportunity to read or watch TV while nursing if you want.

      Reply
    • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama June 21, 2012, 2:33 am

      I read A LOT during feedings! I think I read the entire Twilight series – HA! And I think there were some games of Scrabble being played on my phone at the time… I felt like a guy with reading material for the bathroom! =)

      Reply
    • Vikki June 21, 2012, 9:14 am

      I have a friend who read so many books during her last pregnancy because she read while nursing. (And while trapped holding lizzie because the child cried every time she would try to put her down.) She learned to love the kindle app on her phone and would sometimes read the books aloud to the baby.

      Reply
    • Ali June 21, 2012, 1:46 pm

      One thing to consider is as that baby grows up you probably ARE going to lose your reading time. If it’s that important to you, I’d maybe focus on figuring out if having a toddler is going to work with balancing your hobbies. Just something to think about.

      Reply
  • Army Amy* June 20, 2012, 6:25 pm

    I like that you focus on overall health, physical and mental. Mental health is so important! One of my coworkers had similar thoughts to what you described, and she told me it’s called postpartum anxiety and totally normal. I hope the placenta pills continue to work their magic on your emotional state. You’re doing great, Caitlin!*

    Reply
  • Rebecca June 20, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Beautiful pictures! You look great!

    Reply
  • Lindsay June 20, 2012, 6:26 pm

    I’m so happy you are doing these after baby posts. I’m getting married in September, and I know my fiance already has baby fever. I have been fascinated with your baby posts since day one because you are REAL. You tell it like it is, not like how we want it to be. I am interested to see and know how long it takes to lose most of your baby weight throughout a NORMAL process, not a celebrity crazy process. So thanks for doing this. Henry is adorable and I know you are and will be an amazing mother!

    Reply
  • Angela June 20, 2012, 6:29 pm

    Thank you for your very REAL post baby post!
    I had a horrible labour/delivery (44 hours worth) and ending up with a c-section….I remember getting home from the hospital and I had only lost 3lbs (probably due to all the fluids from being in the hospital) I was so mad and upset because my baby was 8lbs how was that possible?!?! We are way to hard on ourselves and often do praise the miracle it is really for us to be pregnant and give birth. Good for you for having such a positive outlook on everything! At the end of the day that little being that came from us (I am pregnant a second time and STILL think HOW COOL IS THIS!!!!) makes it all so worth it!!!!! Congrats on your adorable little Henry!

    Reply
  • amy June 20, 2012, 6:34 pm

    Congratulations on that beautiful baby! I know this is really hard to hear (it annoyed me when people said it to me) but it’s so true: Just enjoy every moment with Henry. It WILL go by so quickly.(except between the hours of 1am-6am). I have 2 kids ages 4 and 6 and am in the best shape of my life. I did workout through both pregnancies. It takes about a year for everything to even out. You may lose weight nursing (I was back to prepregnancy weight at 6 weeks) but your body will be different. Toning and strength training are key. But go slowly and enjoy your baby. Personally, I didn’t fit into my old clothes until I stopped nursing. Remind yourself that you have healthy habits and over the course of your life the year or two being pregnant and/or nursing isn’t that much time. I do highly recommend getting Henry used to a nursery at a gym as soon as he is old enough to do so. That hour or two for you to work out and shower uninterrupted is so important!!

    Reply
    • Ashley // Our Little Apartment June 21, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Yes! This!

      I had a post-nursing box of clothes for all my shirts that were too small to fit over my boobs.

      When my son was 1, they finally fit! :) Be easy on yourself, sister.

      Reply
  • Ashleigh June 20, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Thank you for always being so legit! He is beautiful!

    Reply
  • Annette@FitnessPerks June 20, 2012, 6:41 pm

    I love how real you are. Thank YOU for being so real about it, and recognizing that it’s NOT just about the post-baby body. Great thoughts!

    Reply
  • myra June 20, 2012, 6:43 pm

    Henry reminds me so much of my now 20 yo son when he was a newborn. Babies are pure; I love that. congrats on your lovely family.

    Reply
  • Robin June 20, 2012, 6:44 pm

    Once again, you are being honest about your feelings and your life, and it’s lovely. Your body carried that beautiful little baby for 9 months and it needs some time to recover. Just enjoy every moment. It does go by too fast. I have a child, adopted, so I never was able to experience what you are going through. I wouldn’t trade my little guy for anything but I love that you are sharing this with us!

    Reply
  • Amanda June 20, 2012, 6:46 pm

    Caitlin, even though we are strangers, I am so proud of you! You have a great head on your shoulders. As a momma-to-be, I am so thankful for hearing your experiences. Thank you for being real.

    Henry is just beautiful.

    Reply
  • Verna June 20, 2012, 6:48 pm

    I had a rough time after my son was born. I had a very long labor (30 hrs) and a nasty tear. I started going for little walks at 1 wk post partum and I ended up dropping all of my pregnancy weight by 3 months (60lbs). With my daughter my labor was shorter and easier. She came shooting out but I only had a small tear and I felt great for the most part. I was going for little walks at about 4-5 days post partum. I had a very painful time breastfeeding both of them, with my son for 6 long weeks and only 4 weeks with my daughter. Things will never be where they used to be but that’s okay. My husband still thinks I’m hot! ; ) Thanks for sharing your journey!

    Reply
  • Lauren June 20, 2012, 6:50 pm

    Caitlin,

    First, you look incredible! And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty about this all. I think too many new mom’s don’t voice their feelings enough which is exactly why they end up in postpartum. You are such an inspiration to all of the aspiring mommy’s! :) <3 xoxo

    Reply
  • Jillian June 20, 2012, 6:56 pm

    Many congrats on your little one! Henry is absolutely adorable.

    As a fairly new reader of your blog, I just want to tell you how wonderful it is to read candid posts about these things–the real aspects of pregnancy and life with a newborn. It is SO valuable to hear about these experiences, because all these things are frightening and the media does a terrible job of portraying all these things (labor, post baby body etc.), so when you don’t know what to expect, it becomes terrifying. I am not trying to get pregnant yet, but I already feel comfort in being able to follow your real journey through it all.

    So, thank you!

    Reply
  • Amanda June 20, 2012, 6:56 pm

    Beautiful post :) You make me fell like I can do this whole baby thing some day. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Marci June 20, 2012, 7:00 pm

    I really like your honesty. I was very weepy too for the first few weeks. Was incredibly sore for the first two. Couldn’t sit on my bum well. It got much better around Week 2-3. And I started taking walks around Week 3 too. I really found the first months (we are only 14 weeks old this week) very miserable to be honest. My baby is really good and I still felt very miserable. That was the word keep feeling. There are plenty of highs and I even have a lot of help, but they are tough. Having supportive friends saying the beginning is just terrible really helps! And I hated the extra big boobs, still do. And that engorgement day was ridiculous and painful. I didn’t know what was happening.
    You’ll be back to your old body very fast!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 20, 2012, 7:05 pm

    I love that you are being totally open and honest (as you always are!). Pregnancy is definitely not in my near future, but I appreciate hearing about what it’s really like

    Reply
  • Kim June 20, 2012, 7:07 pm

    Thank you SO much for posting a shortly-after-delivering belly pic, I’m 27 and it’s the first time I’ve ever actually seen it! Hoping to get preggers this winter and so curious b/c none of our friends have kids yet, so following your blog (and Daily Garnish & Fitnessista & KERF) is where I pretty much learn all the real-world pregnancy stuff. And BTW I think the squishy belly is super cute :)

    Reply
  • Molly @ RDexposed June 20, 2012, 7:08 pm

    I am LOVING these posts!

    Reply
  • Cindi June 20, 2012, 7:15 pm

    I can so relate to you not wanting to take naps because it will take you away from Henry! When my mom was here (the first 3 weeks after I had Molly) she would insist on me taking naps once I got Molly asleep. I would get so jealous that she could hold her all day long while I caught up on zzz’s. But those little cat naps got me through the first 2 weeks! Take them! You look amazing & I can’t wait to meet Henry. :)

    Reply
  • Kelly June 20, 2012, 7:21 pm

    I was hoping you were going to do a body after baby series and I LOVE that you are adding in the mind/emotional part as well. I admire you very much and I this only adds to the high esteem to which I hold you. :)

    Reply
  • Run_Mum June 20, 2012, 7:26 pm

    I remember the first 6 weeks with my first born. He fed pretty much every two hours around the clock. I adore my husband but in those first few weeks, I felt cross with him and even a little jealous. I felt like my life had changed so much and his only a little. He could shower when he wanted, go and mow the lawns without consulting me… where as I had to make sure my son was fed/okay before showering or that hubby would keep an ear out for our baby if I wanted to sit outside in the sun with a cup of tea. As for body, I truly didn’t care about my weight gain. I knew I was fit and active and ate fairly healthy and that in time the weight would come off – where as I would never get those first few months with my baby back – so that was my focus and priority.

    Reply
  • jen June 20, 2012, 7:38 pm

    you are soooooooooo beautiful inside and out exactly the way you are <3

    Reply
  • Angela June 20, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Man, that made me teary. You have such a gift Caitlin. Your ability to write so honestly is hard to come by. I’m sure by sharing your experiences like this you will help so many other women going through it too. We don’t hear much about the mental side of childbirth and being a new mom.
    Henry is such a cutie!

    Reply
    • Amanda June 20, 2012, 7:55 pm

      I agree. Maybe Caitlin’s next book should be about pregnancy and/or motherhood and self image.

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:09 pm

        I don’t have another book in me! LOL Three in two years was enough.

        Reply
        • Jessica June 21, 2012, 12:18 pm

          I really think you should write one on pregnancy, motherhood & self image like Amanda suggested! I would definitely buy it. :)

          Reply
  • Tara June 20, 2012, 7:45 pm

    Great post! I had the baby blues for a couple of weeks after our son was born. Crying for no reason, weird thoughts, and just a feeling that I wasn’t “right” and maybe never would be again. I know several of my friends that had PPD, so I was very happy my mood shifted back relatively quickly.

    Physically, I had a 3rd degree tear and honestly it was over two months before I could sit or walk without some level of pain. That was the worst part of my recovery. I thought I was ruined in that general vicinity forever!

    I gained a lot of weight with my pregnancy (and before when we were trying). I kind of went nuts with my eating and I definitely paid for it afterwards. It took 20 months, but I finally got down to my pre-pregnancy weight and lost another 23 pounds to get to a healthy BMI and weight. It was a hard, but good, lesson and now my whole family eats healthier and is more active.

    Reply
  • Ashley June 20, 2012, 7:49 pm

    The picture of Henry and James on their backs side-by-side = most adorable picture EVER!!!!

    Reply
  • Margaret June 20, 2012, 7:50 pm

    Thank you for being SO honest and open. It’s is so refreshing to read. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant now and I have loved reading your pregnancy updates and now the new baby updates. Thanks again for putting it all out there, it is truly appreciated. Keep up the great work, your baby boy is amazing :)

    Reply
  • Beverly June 20, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Good for you for being honest and real about the post-baby body! The media (and I’ll admit I’m a tabloid junky) makes me so mad regarding post-baby bodies, and it never bothered me until I had a post-baby body and very little time (and energy for awhile) to do anything about it.

    My son is 15 months old and the ONLY time I’ve weighed myself since his birth (and during pregnancy) has been at the doctor’s office. I honestly don’t even care anymore what the scale says, or if I have some leftover pooch, or the fact that I have a 21 inch scar across my midsection from having a C-section. If it weren’t for all of those things, I wouldn’t have my son.

    My brother-in-law said it best to my sister: They have 2 children and they vacationed at the beach a couple of years ago when the kids were still pretty young. My sister was so afraid to wear a bikini because she didn’t look “perfect,” and my brother-in-law said, “I think you stomach is prettier now than it’s ever been.” She still had a faint linea nigra.

    Children are a blessing, and so is the body that brought them into this world, regardless of its shape and form!

    Reply
  • Caroline Leigh June 20, 2012, 8:01 pm

    i just want you to know that i really love your openness and honesty. thank you for telling all! i’m so happy for you!

    Reply
  • Caroline June 20, 2012, 8:04 pm

    thank you for your honesty and for sharing this chapter of your life. i so enjoy reading and your openness is so helpful to others.

    Reply
  • Susan June 20, 2012, 8:07 pm

    Caitlin,
    I think you are brave, honest, and true. You have always written about being strong and healthy and how to become those things in a real way. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Kath June 20, 2012, 8:12 pm

    You do look fab, inside and out. Yay placentas :)

    And this makes me really, really dread what is going to happen to my boobs…

    Love all the Henry shots! He has changed so much – I think he’s looking more like Kristien!

    Reply
    • Elisabeth June 21, 2012, 3:52 am

      I thought Henry looked just like you & your dad at first, but I think he’s looking more like Kristien, too!

      Reply
  • Angie June 20, 2012, 8:14 pm

    Thanks for the realistic post baby body perspective. I’m nervous already thinking about it come September but now in the end it’ll be worth it! It also gives me motivation to continue walking and hiking. Running hasn’t been fun for quite a while!

    Reply
  • Whitney June 20, 2012, 8:14 pm

    I agree with all the other commenters and cannot thank you enough for your honesty and pictures of what you look like after giving birth. I am terrified about losing the weight when I plan to have kids one day. It is refreshing to see the approach you are taking and realizing that you do want to wear your beautiful clothes in your closet. I learn so much from your blog and am excited to read about your journey! :)

    Reply
  • GL June 20, 2012, 8:17 pm

    Caitlin,

    I don’t normally comment but wanted to let you know that I was really disappointed in your word choice of “real” person and that you even italicized when I feel “regular” might have been more appropriate. Yes, I know that words have many meanings, but I think word choice is especially important when discussing body image.

    Here’s my explanation of why it offended me: My body type/size has never been typical and I’ve usually sized out of most brands for my age group. Just a fact of life for me. But I constantly hear from the media things like “that’s not what real women look like, etc…” The word real in this context has such a negative connotation. So just because I don’t fall into the same category as the majority am I not a real woman? Fake? Imaginary?

    I just feel that descriptions like regular or typical are more accurate and less alienating to those who don’t fall into the majority category.

    I hope you don’t take this as “hater” comment and that in the future you reconsider using the word “real” in this context.

    -Cheers!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:07 pm

      I meant real as it not a celebrity; I understand what you are saying though. The ‘real women have curves’ thing bothers me because it implies skinny women are not real (!?!).

      Reply
  • penny June 20, 2012, 8:23 pm

    “I have a closet full of nice clothes that I can’t wear.”

    This ia a really unhealthy attitude. You can look fabulous and wear nice clothes regardless of your weight.

    Reply
    • Whitney June 20, 2012, 8:28 pm

      How is it unhealthy that she wants to be able to wear the clothes she owned before she was pregnant? Come on get real!

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 20, 2012, 9:06 pm

      Except that would involve buying a bunch of new clothes, and considering I just had a baby, I don’t really want to spend my money on in-between clothes. So in the meantime, I have almost nothing to wear. That is not unhealthy.

      Reply
      • Krista June 21, 2012, 9:49 am

        My baby is 4.5 months and I felt the same Caitlin! I wanted to burn the maternity clothes but only had those to wear for awhile. I did go out after a month or so and get non-maternity yoga/stretchy pants and tops for my mental health.

        Reply
      • Tara June 21, 2012, 7:39 pm

        I think it’s fine to want to wear your old clothes again (I would too), but trying them on a week after giving birth does seem disordered. You know they’re not going to fit yet, so why do it? I don’t mean to snark – I give you a ton of credit for putting your life on the internet.

        Reply
  • Kali June 20, 2012, 8:44 pm

    Ever since you announced your pregnancy, I have been looking forward to the post-baby health posts. I knew I could count on you to be thorough after the period posts! I come from a family of inactive women who never bothered to try to lose baby weight, and am looking forward to hearing more about your experience. Good luck and thank you!

    Reply
  • Erica June 20, 2012, 8:51 pm

    Henry is looking cuter by the day!
    It definitely takes time to get back to ‘normal’. I am 12 weeks post partum and I still have 4-5 pounds to lose, and don’t think it’s going anywhere til I wean. I’m too hungry and worried about supply to even think it. Interestingly, somewhere around 10 weeks, my old pants started to fit again even though I hadn’t lost weight in awhile. I think my hips shifted back to normal or something.

    I will say this though – my core was wrecked after pregnancy. I found that my weak core made it hard to even get up off the couch, out of bed, or pick up the baby some days! My midwives suggested that I start doing some very modest core work just to activate those muscles again. You can do leg slides, diaphragmatic breathing, and shoulder raises. I did them for a few minutes every day when the baby was napping and I swear within a few weeks of giving birth my stomach just felt stronger.
    http://www.babycenter.com/0_best-exercises-for-the-first-month_749.bc

    Reply
  • Katherine June 20, 2012, 8:51 pm

    Seriously, you are just unbelievable inspiring. I am planning on getting pregnant (God willing) in about 1.5 to 2 years from now (getting married in Sept.) and following your journey has been so interesting and helpful for me. I just bought TCOYF on Monday because we’ve agreed that I am going to go off the pill once we are married, and I am looking forward to learning more about my body. I can’t wait continue on the journey with you now. Henry is absolutely beautiful- congrats to you and Kristien!

    Reply
  • Jessica June 20, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Congratulations on the birth of Henry! It looks like you’re doing great for being only one week postpartum. I’ve always heard “nine months in, nine months out” for recovery so there is no rush to try and lose weight! Especially since you don’t want to risk your milk supply so early into breastfeeding – from what I read it takes up to three months for your supply to properly regulate and you don’t want to mess with that.
    I wanted to let you know you shouldn’t feel bad about the episiotomy – I ended up with third degree tears (inside and out) after a fully natural birth with only one hour of pushing (my water never fully broke so my daughter came out with much more force than normal, since all the fluid had built up behind her). I also found things to be pretty painless postpartum and my recovery was surprisingly easy (even though my labor was 55 hours long) and I was going for walks 5 days postpartum. And I’m not in particularly great shape!
    I also found that the “baby blues” from the hormone drop postpartum only lasted about a week. I’m personally not a fan of any “new age” “treatments” and I think a week for your hormones to regulate sounds perfectly within the range of normal. I’m glad you’re feeling better.
    I hope you continue to enjoy your time with Henry – looking at my six month old, I can tell you that time will just FLY!

    Reply
  • Laura June 20, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Caitlin-

    I have never been pregnant, nor am I anywhere near the point in my life where I will be, but I wanted to thank you for your honesty in posting your experience with childbirth, the time it takes for the weight to come off, the information about breastfeeding, etc. I have learned so much about these topics which I feel are never usually so openly talked about. I always appreciate your openness on your blog and just wanted to say thank you for sharing it all!

    Reply
  • Sara @ The Foodie Diaries June 20, 2012, 8:56 pm

    I don’t comment often, but I just wanted to say how BEAUTIFUL you and Henry are!! I couldn’t be happier for you and your beautiful family :)

    Reply
  • Claire June 20, 2012, 9:15 pm

    Great perspective. I have a 2,4 and 6 year old. I was always scared about getting back into shape after having kids, but I guess what I didn’t consider is that I’ve always prioritised health and fitness, and that has not changed as my family has grown. I recovered quite well from each delivery (which were fairly straight forward and uncomplicated) and was able to start exercising again very quickly. I made sure to get back to my prepregnancy weight after each pregnancy and not wait until finishing having kids, I think this helps. But the reality is that if you are fit and healthy pre kids, why would that change post kids? And if you eat well and are active, your body will naturally find its equilibrium. I’m honestly in the best physical shape of my life.

    Reply
  • Leah June 20, 2012, 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the post, you look terrific! I really appreciate the effort you put into your blog. Its not just a bunch of pictures of your breakfast, you are, as others have said, a terrific writer. I am so impressed by the effort you put forth, seriously! Make sure you are taking care of you too!

    Reply
  • Amanda June 20, 2012, 9:35 pm

    This is such an insightful post, on an important subject that people tend to gloss over a bit. Thanks for your honesty and perspective!

    Reply
  • ErikaMC June 20, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing all of this. I was very active during pregnancy (I did Cathe Freidrich Muscle Endurance the day before I went into labor) and I know that helped me recover so quick. I had an emergency c-section so I had a different kind of healing but I was home and going for walks 4 days later. One thing that really helped my uterus go back down was massaging it. I would massage it twice a day for a few minutes.

    Reply
  • Danielle @ Dish'n'Dash June 20, 2012, 9:44 pm

    I love the honesty with which you are sharing your post-pregnancy experience. I agree that there is so much pressure on women – celebrity or not – to regain their “pre-baby body.” I’ve never had a child so obviously can’t speak from personal experience, but I never understood why the pre-baby body is the ideal, afterall, you had a baby in you, your organs get shifted around, hormones are changing. Why shouldn’t your body change? I would actually be more worried if it didn’t! A friend who has three kids (including a set of twins) told me that it can take up to 5 years for all the organs to get back in place. I wish more women knew this and didn’t feel the pressure to immediately get back into working out to fit some ideal image.
    Henry is looking like a happy, well-adjusted baby – many congratulations to you and Kristien!

    Reply
  • Brita June 20, 2012, 10:09 pm

    I’ve always loved your posts, but I think I love post-Henry posts even more! Your honesty is refreshing, and I already look to you as an excellent mama role model. Carry on :)

    Reply
  • Amanda June 20, 2012, 10:16 pm

    You’re doing great! You really are. I love the honesty.

    Reply
  • Christie M. June 20, 2012, 10:28 pm

    you are an inspiration! thank you for your openness, your honesty, and.. just being yourself! Reading your writing gives me positive energy each day.

    xo

    Reply
  • Kelly June 20, 2012, 10:32 pm

    I have three children and each recovery was way different. I had my placenta encapsulated with my third and the recovery was way, way easier even though she was my hardest baby. Each time the pregnancy weight has been a little harder to get off – I think it”s partly age and partly that it’s a second or third pregnancy. But it comes off slowly, like you I love to go for walks as soon as possible.

    You look fantastic and I hope you are taking it easy on yourself with learning how to parent. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it did not come naturally. But I love being a mom.

    Reply
  • Kayla June 20, 2012, 10:35 pm

    I love your honesty and frankness, Caitlin, on this issue, especially, and on many others you choose to tackle through your blog. You look fabulous, and Henry is a cutie. Good luck on finding your groove as a new mom! :)

    Reply
  • Morgan June 20, 2012, 10:39 pm

    I’m glad you addressed the baby blues. It’s a topic nobody talks about. Post partum depression is one thing, but baby blues is totally normal.

    I had it BADLY after my daughter was born in November. I cried for no reason, and did not want anyone around me. I’d say this lasted 2 or 3 weeks. I thought I was a bad mom bc I didn’t experience the euphoric happiness you are “supposed” to feel when your baby is born.

    I’m really glad you are in better spirits, whether it’s the placenta pills or not!

    Oh, and tour episiotomy tear recovery doesn’t sound so bad. I had a forceps assisted birth and tore in about 4 different spots both internally and externally. They were only first degree tears but when you tear in so many places it’s a horrible recovery. I couldn’t even walk more than 10 steps for 2 weeks and didn’t feel okay again until 8 weeks pp.

    Reply
  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras June 20, 2012, 10:51 pm

    You look so beautiful! I lovelovelove how honest and open you are being about your body, feelings, and feelings about your body. As someone who is planning on someday being a mom, I am so curious about what really happens during pregnancy and parenthood. And I’m sure other moms out there love hearing that other people are going through similar things. I think you have such a fantastic attitude about everything. You’re a great mother, and again, you really look gorgeous :)

    Reply
  • Lisa June 20, 2012, 11:11 pm

    I like the updates of your mental status too, and how you are changing.

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 20, 2012, 11:22 pm

    Only three hours?! I spent that amount of time this afternoon ALONE nursing. haha

    My first son took a solid hour per feeding during his first two months. He fed eight times every 24hrs. I felt like it was a full time job.

    The most awesome one of course:)

    Reply
    • Jessica June 21, 2012, 7:59 am

      I KNOW! I read that and thought “three hours? I think that’s what I’m averaging now, with a six month old, while working full time!” LOL! My daughter would nurse at least 30-45 minutes every two hours for the first several weeks – so that’s, like, what, eight hours a day! Literally a full time job! :)

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP June 21, 2012, 10:09 am

        Maybe Henry is efficient? I feel like three hours is a lot but apparently not!!!

        Reply
        • Jessica June 21, 2012, 10:42 am

          You should enjoy that he’s efficient! I had a very sleepy baby in the beginning that would fall asleep while nursing, so there was lots of tickling the feet and ears, undressing her, etc. I felt like I was stuck in my La-Z-Boy nursing all day (and night!) long.

          And it might change, as well – that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned with parenting – as soon as you think you’ve got something figured out, your baby will change it up completely! Don’t expect any pattern (good or bad) to last longer than a week or two, lol!

          Reply
    • Hotpotatokate June 21, 2012, 7:55 pm

      Yep, 3 hours is NOTHING when you have a newborn! Mine fed basically all day every from 7am to 11pm for about 4 weeks…

      Reply
  • Sara June 20, 2012, 11:48 pm

    hi caitlin, i’m not at this stage of life but i’m finding the discussion quite interesting and really appreciate your honesty — you are beginning to answer the questions that many women have about pregnancy/post-pregnancy realities that really aren’t available in the popular press (although maybe you get this from your friends if/when you are at that stage?) — in any case, a great reference and food for thought if/when i get to that point in my life! ps:this is neither here nor there, but I think your fuller figure post-pregnancy is actually a great look for you! i know you probably don’t want to keep the weight on (totally understandable, it’s about how you feel at your best) but i think you would look great either way!

    Reply
  • Misty June 21, 2012, 12:10 am

    Your blog and you continually inspire me! I love that you are so honest and open about the real life things we all think about, including real post baby bodies! I have a 21 month old and I was ( and if I’m being honest, still am) so hard on myself about losing the weight, and all the other changes that happen to your body when you have a baby. But blogs like yours and people like you are awesome to help us know what is real- that even though you look absolutely gorgeous, there’s no way you’ll be slipping into your favorite dress anytime soon, and it’s ok because it’s natural! I’m rambling, but I just wanted to say thanks for this post and those to come, you are my body image hero! Congrats on your gorgeous baby boy, and you truly are lovely!

    Reply
  • Natalie June 21, 2012, 12:12 am

    I love you’re honest discussion of all things baby! You and Henry both look great and you’re doing an amazing job maintaining the blog with no sleep! My husband and I are considering trying to get pregnant soon and one of the things we keep coming back to is the cost of preganancy/delivery/the baby. This may be one of those “too personal” topics but if you wouldn’t mind I would love if you can comment on the cost of pregnancy/delivery/the baby. I have talked to friends who say they breast fed and it really didn’t cost much to have a baby, and then I found a website that said you should plan for $14,000 a year! Over $1000 seems crazy-and impossible- to me. Do you have any recommendations for financially preparing for a baby? I know it’s going to be an exciting as well as stressful time and want to make sure we can reduce the financial stress. Also, if not under the “too personal” topic, can you comment on how being pregnant/having a new born has affected your marriage and any tips you have. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Krista June 21, 2012, 9:59 am

      There are so many factors Natalie. First, your insurance plan determines how much your 9 months of Dr appts and labor and delivery cost. Then that first year – do you plan to work? If so, cost of daycare is pretty high but you can call around local places to see what you would pay. Also, do you plan to breastfeed or formula feed? Formula will cost on average $70/week. Diapers are another expense, ~$30-40/month depending on where you buy or if you buy in bulk. Babies grow FAST and will go from size Newborn, to 0-3, then 3-6, then 6-9, then 9-12 month clothing that first year.

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP June 21, 2012, 10:08 am

        My biggest advice would be to sort out your insurance, because we have individual insurance with a high deductible, we had to pay $10,000 for Henry’s birth. It was very rough, obviously. So make sure you have good insurance with a low deductible.

        Reply
        • Kelli June 21, 2012, 2:02 pm

          Agree. I also have an individual health insurance plan that excludes pregnancy (I was never planning to have children…oops!). After researching the costs, we went with home birth because we will pay close to $4000 for everything with our pre & post-natal care as well as delivery through our midwife. Hospital costs were $12-20K depending on variables.
          I can’t speak to anything beyond the pregnancy at this point, but there are obviously a lot of other expenses even now beyond the medical part. Maternity clothes, baby things, possibly making changes in one’s home to prepare for the baby…etc. It is smart of you to be thinking of these things now!

          Reply
        • Natalie June 22, 2012, 8:39 pm

          wow, thanks so much for the eye opener! I am definitely calling my insurance! I never heard of it costing that much. We were figuring on the cost of diapers and future daycare but I assumed that as long as our baby was healthy, Dr. bills would be low. So many people have kids and I never hear anyone talk about the cost beyond daycare and college! As much as I want to be pregnant I also want to be financially prepared, so looks like we will be waiting a little longer.Thanks again for your replies!

          Reply
  • Megan June 21, 2012, 1:52 am

    Love this!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You are awesome, and your attitude is fantastic. You have a beautiful glow about you in those pictures of you holding your baby, this new motherhood gig is really the best ever, isn’t it? (My girl was born 3 months ago. :) )

    Reply
  • Kristen June 21, 2012, 2:08 am

    Just wanted to let you know that even after you lose all the weight, your body is still going to be different (wider hips etc.) so often times your pre-baby clothes (jeans in particular) may never fit again, at least not comfortably. Certainly wear your maternity clothes for a few weeks, but go ahead and treat yourself to a few new items in a bigger size then what you used to be so that you can feel pretty and comfortable. There is nothing more depressing then wearing maternity clothes when your baby is 3 months old (speaking from experience!) and staring at a closet of clothes that you used to love. Just go to Target or Old Navy and get some affordable post-baby clothes that you can wear for awhile during this period of transition. Most of all, be patient with yourself and your body.

    Reply
    • Ruby @ Focus, Woman June 21, 2012, 7:17 am

      Totally agree with this! Once you start feeling frumpy, and have a moment, get yourself some nice in-between clothes :)

      Reply
      • Krista June 21, 2012, 10:00 am

        I concur as well! So good to do mentally!

        Reply
        • Jessica June 21, 2012, 10:53 am

          I’ll third this as well! It can take quite a while to fit back into your old clothes, and depending how your hips, ribcage, etc. have changed and widen, you may not be able to (this happened to my sister, she got back to her pre-baby weight, but everything had widened so she’s a size or two bigger now). Definitely get some clothes that make you feel good now! The best postpartum gift I got was a gift certificate to Old Navy from my MIL. :)

          Reply
  • Courtney @ Translating Nutrition June 21, 2012, 2:21 am

    Thanks for being brave enough to be honest and open about this experience! It is a joy to read, so refreshing.

    Reply
  • Juniper June 21, 2012, 3:24 am

    wow! thank you so much for sharing!!!

    Reply
  • Marissa June 21, 2012, 3:46 am

    Very interesting post… but I have to say, the best part is definitely the photo of James and Henry. So cute! In a few years, I’ll bet they’ll be best friends. Little boys and their dogs, right? ;)

    Reply
  • Elisabeth June 21, 2012, 3:49 am

    Thank you so much for sharing & being so honest with your blog friends! I applaud you for having such a healthy attitude about all of the post partum ‘stuff’ and I’m so glad you’re focusing on complete health for both you & Henry. Oh, and even though this isn’t the most important thing, you’re looking fantastic. You’ll be back into some of your clothes in good time :)

    By the way, that picure of Henry & James is too cute!

    Reply
  • penny June 21, 2012, 6:29 am

    First off, Henry is wicked cute. So bright eyed!

    I had two kids in two years. The recovery from the first was harder in the beginning (I felt weaker for longer) but in the long run I was back to normal within a few months. The second kid was a quicker recovery from birth but my body is not going back nearly as well (he’s 8 months today). Active during the pregnancy really does help. And I think breastfeeding gives you some weird ability to handle lack of sleep. We were mixed feeders with both kids so the times he got a bottle were times I could rest.
    Don’t fear pumping and bottle feeding or formula feeding. Its not evil and if its what you and your family need its a nice alternative.

    Reply
  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl June 21, 2012, 7:11 am

    I’m so glad you are documenting your post baby experience. I completely agree that celebrities set unrealistic goals for the rest of us and make us feel inadequate when we don’t “slim down” as fast. It took me a few years to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight but at the time I didn’t exercise. I’m glad you’re feeling better and I hope you continue to feel better! Henry is so precious!

    Reply
  • Ruby @ Focus, Woman June 21, 2012, 7:15 am

    You look great, love the boobs ;-P Great post, very open and honest. I totally relate to the not wanting to nap when you can-feeling, I had that too. Heck, I still do! I gained about the same amount of weight, and by about 6 weeks most of the weight had come off already. It took awhile before I could fit into ALL my clothes, but my bloated-clothes fit quite soon. I ALSO had a 3rd degree tear + stitches that went along with it, and I found the healing to go so much quicker than I’d have thought.

    As I did feel SO good after delivery, I ended up becoming too active too quickly and I ended up with SPD, which SUCKED. I most likely already had some kind of loosenes in my pelvic area, and Amber was turned just a bit during delivery to that must have hurt a little as well. Anyway, it took a long time (9-10 months) before I could start running again. I did start doing strength training as soon as possible (also taking a post-pregnancy fitness class) and that helped a lot, both with my drive to want to exercise, and building up stability and strength around the core & pelvic area again.

    I love that you encapsulated your placenta, I’m such a dork. I definitely want to do that next time, too.

    Reply
  • Tricia June 21, 2012, 7:16 am

    I know you’re not doing this to get credit, but I give you so much credit!! I read several blogs daily and you just seem so honest, conscious, and intelligent. Good luck with your recovery!

    Reply
  • Amanda K. June 21, 2012, 7:23 am

    you look awesome!
    (and some of your extra weight is fluid you’re carrying around. that’ll go away naturally, too.)

    Reply
  • jennifer June 21, 2012, 7:35 am

    Hi! Im a new reader. I love how you are embracing the new you. Having a baby does change who you are and it def can be a positive experience to get there.

    I shared your birth story with my husband recently. We are preparing for our 2nd child and will be attempting a bradley vbac. I appreciated the reality of the experience you shared.

    Looking forward to reading more about your journey!

    Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) June 21, 2012, 7:57 am

    I love that you are documenting ALL of these feelings, emotions, etc. I am 7 weeks post delivery and even now I regret not writing down how I felt in the first few weeks. It took a solid month for my body to heal from delivery. I got 20 stitches due to tearing and I also tore my urethra. Crazy, right?? Needless to say the bleeding lasted several weeks and by week 5 my pain was completely gone. Just try to take it easy and don’t push yourself too hard. Your body worked HARD to get Henry here so give it time to get settled down. Congrats!

    Reply
  • Britt @ BalancedBritt June 21, 2012, 8:17 am

    I am so excited you are doing such an honest approach on new motherhood and your baby post body. As an expecting first time mom I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly terrified of how different my body will be afterwards, but reading this, and hopefully continuining to read your progress will help me get mentally prepapred. I have 4 more months to get ready! lol

    Reply
  • Alex @ Raw Recovery June 21, 2012, 8:34 am

    Thanks for posting so honestly, Caitlin. That’s one thing I really love about your blog is that you post both the ups and the downs and I appreciate that because that is what real people go through. Henry gets cuter every day and you look beautiful!

    Reply
  • Gillian June 21, 2012, 8:35 am

    I’m not a momma nor do I plan to be but I have been loving your candid posts. You’ve had me in tears. Thanks keep it up! I love the looks Henry gives in your pic’s!

    Reply
  • Angie All The Way June 21, 2012, 8:49 am

    You are a beautiful beautiful woman Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Laura June 21, 2012, 8:55 am

    Sounds so awesome! And it’s all such useful information for when I decide to have a child. I have heard of the benefits of encapsulating the placenta and I think it’s going to be something that I definitely do in life!

    Reply
  • April June 21, 2012, 8:57 am

    Hi Caitlin~
    I just started reading your blog because i am a new momma too (Jack is 8 months already)…well, sorta new right? Anyway, i absolutley adore your blog and i can relate to all your ‘post baby’ stuff. Thanks for keepin’ it real and i am excited to follow your journey.
    Very interesting on the placenta pills, love learning about this stuff!

    Reply
  • Andrea June 21, 2012, 9:07 am

    You are doing so awesome. Thank you for being raw and sharing your experiences. I love the honesty and appreciate your willingness to share. The focus on this stage in a woman’s life should be much more positive and you have done just that. Best wishes as you continue the journey in to mommahood. I enjoy reading the updates so much!

    Reply
  • Nikole June 21, 2012, 9:10 am

    I had my baby five and a half weeks ago and reading this sounds so familiar. I had all of the same feelings the first few days. Everything evened out within the first few days though. I also gained 35lbs and lost all of it plus an extra few pounds within 3 weeks. The problem I found with losing the weight so fast is that I ended up with stretch marks. I didn’t have them when my belly was big but I think losing the weight so fast may have caused them. Oh well just a battle scar in my mind. I did find at around four weeks post delivery that I have had a lot of hip and lower back pain. My chiropractor has said it a combination of my hips returning to their regular spot and carrying the baby around all the time.

    I think it is great that you are “keeping it real”. It is so refreshing to read someone tell it how it is instead of sugar coating everything. Having my baby a month before you, it has been so fun following your pregnancy and now your adventures with your new baby.

    Reply
  • CMD June 21, 2012, 9:43 am

    I had a horrible recovery! After three hours of pushing and a forceps delivery, my body was a mess. I bled for over 2 months and couldn’t walk right for about 6 months. Even now (my son is almost 2) I am still suffering from pelvic organ prolapse. All that being said…it was worth it :)

    Reply
  • Kelsey June 21, 2012, 9:43 am

    What an adorable boy! I love his big eyes :)

    My son (now 6 months) spent the first two weeks in the NICU, which both sped up and slowed down my recovery. It sped up my weight loss dramatically, because I was pumping around the clock, going back and forth to the hospital, and running around like crazy when we weren’t in the NICU (he was born before Christmas, and we ended up hosting my entire family, so there was a lot of preparations). I didn’t have the hours at home to sit on the couch with my newborn. Unfortunately, that meant that I didn’t give my body the time it needed to heal from my tear.

    The hardest part (for me) of the post-baby body is the stomach. I’ve lost all the weight, plus some, but my stomach is still ‘squishy.’ Small price to pay for a baby though!

    Reply
  • Colleen June 21, 2012, 9:58 am

    Great post. Thanks for your honesty, as usual. Recovery from all three of my births were different. I bounced like quickly with my first – physically and mentally. By quickly I mean I didn’t experience mood swings and was back in my pre-preganacy clothes within 6 months – breastfeeding and not having time to really eat will do that. With my second, it was slower. The physical took almost 1.5 years (had to quit breastfeeding within 4 weeks of birth). The mood swings were strong and took a lot of time to level back out. My youngest is 3 and 2 months and I still shred a tear at the stupidest things. Plus I am still 20 pounds over my happy/healthy weight(quit breastfeeding at 6 months due to constant infections). I blame myself because I use all the excuses in the book – don’t have time, I’ll start tomorrow, I should just love who I am, it isn’t preventing me from living each day, etc. Slowly getting back into running and spending that time on me.

    Embrace those boobs. They are amazing. As a size B, having C-D’s was great…especially in the bedroom. :0

    Reply
  • AJB June 21, 2012, 10:09 am

    Your attitude is so refreshing! You look beautiful and it sounds like you are a wonderful mama. Thank you for sharing what a real pregnancy and recovery is like!!

    Reply
  • Kristin @ wounded_fawn June 21, 2012, 10:21 am

    So glad you are feeling better! you look beautiful and Henry is sooo cute! Hope you have a good day!

    Reply
  • Michelle June 21, 2012, 10:35 am

    You’ve managed to answer every single question I’ve been wanting to ask you! Thank you so much for sharing all you have with your pregnancy, birth and beyond – I can’t even tell you how helpful it is!

    Reply
  • Ashley June 21, 2012, 10:49 am

    The media puts FAR too much pressure on us to drop those pounds immediately. Heaven forbid we hold on to some of them for awhile.
    I think some ladies lose sight of the whole process and the fact we need to hold onto that weight for awhile when breast feeding, they can only see the 5/10/15 extra pounds they MUST lose.

    You look great :-)

    Reply
  • Christina June 21, 2012, 11:47 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your post-baby body pics! Its great to see a “real” body after birth. I don’t understand why some women are ashamed (it’s actually one of the reasons I’m so scared to have a baby). Society drills in our heads that we have to lose that weight so fast and it’s unhealthy.

    Reply
  • Debbie June 21, 2012, 11:50 am

    Listen to the doctors and take it easy the first few weeks…I didn’t, I was running around with my 3 year old, doing errands and lifting too much…I was in the shower one day and I thought I was bleeding to death…turns out I had formed a blood clot from being on my feet too much. Not fun! Take this time to enjoy your new baby and let everyone dote on you! Henry is beautiful…love all the pictures!

    Reply
  • Jill June 21, 2012, 11:57 am

    I want to start off by saying, I LOVE your blog! In fact, so much that it has inspired me to begin my own (only 2 days ago!). It seemed like a great time as I am newly pregnant too (14 weeks) and lots of exciting things are going on in my life. You have also inspired me to do some further research into placenta encapsulation, and it has now become a very real option for my pregnancy.

    I wanted to ask you since you are so well educated in all things healthy living, what books do you recommend reading during pregnancy? I have the basic, norm What to Expect but as a bookworm I want to read up as much as possible on pregnancy and all ways of delivery (mid-wives, water births, etc) and get some more information on breast feeding, but I am not too sure where to start! Always hard to weed the good informative books from the placeholders.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all your informative writing. As I progress through my weeks I have been making it a habit to follow along by reading your previous entries on your pregnancy, which are much more informative than any book!

    Jill

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 21, 2012, 11:59 am

      Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
      The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
      Panic-Free Pregnancy

      My top three!

      Reply
  • Lisa June 21, 2012, 12:05 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this! I’m only 7 weeks pregnant, so this information is very helpful for me. You look amazing and I’m happy that you have a healthy baby!!

    Reply
  • Kyla June 21, 2012, 12:12 pm

    This is so refreshing. Thank you for showing what a REAL woman goes through after she has her baby.

    Reply
  • Z June 21, 2012, 12:26 pm

    Hey Cailtin, thanks for sharing all of the experiences with us, it’s been so refreshing to read it from a real point of view. You seem to be handling it so well! Baby H is def. getting more and more adorbs every day, can’t get enough of the baby pix!

    Reply
  • brandy June 21, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Love, love, love this! Great job. Can’t wait to follow your progress.

    Reply
  • PB June 21, 2012, 1:03 pm

    THANK YOU for the honesty, especially in posting the post-baby body pictures. I’m a naturally skinny girl and sometimes I worry I’ve let being petite and all the comments that come along with it become too much a part of my identity and that any change to that (due to pregnancy, natural loss of tone from aging, etc) would really wreak havoc with my mental state. We need more discussion like this!

    Reply
  • Coreen June 21, 2012, 1:08 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I’m a new blog reader, just want to say that I really like your blog and congratulations! Henry is adorable.
    It’s so refreshing to hear a healthy attitude about a post baby body.
    Enjoy your little one!

    Reply
  • Jess June 21, 2012, 1:13 pm

    Good for you for sharing. I HATE reading the start ‘bouncing’ back stories. More so when I was trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I had a really great recovery. I didn’t even have a tear, but I was sore for a few weeks. I went to the gym about 3-4 weeks post partum for a really slow Elliptical session and ran for the first time at 5 weeks pp…I thought my uterus might fall out and backed off.
    What’s more important is taking care of Henry and getting rest when you can. In a few weeks he won’t be nursing as much and you’ll be getting more energy. It took 9 months to put on the weight and for many it takes 9 months or more to take it off.

    Reply
  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 21, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Love your realistic and practical outlook. :)

    Reply
  • Jo June 21, 2012, 1:30 pm

    I wasn’t sure I would still enjoy reading your blog post baby as I can’t really relate but, I do. I like your honesty that you don’t know everything about mothering, I like that you don’t obsess or post entirely about him. Too many bloggers become obsessed with their babies and I personally don’t enjoy those as much. Thanks for being honest.

    Reply
  • ARPL June 21, 2012, 1:30 pm

    That’s for all your candid information. My baby is 3 and I’m expecting my second and it has been fun following along your experiences.

    I remember I was afraid to look down at my stomach the day after I delivered. I gained 35 pounds just like you and 6 months later, they all were toast. Plus, my arms were ripped from carrying around a butterball all day!

    Reply
  • Allison June 21, 2012, 1:56 pm

    This is a beautiful post :)

    Reply
  • Amber K June 21, 2012, 2:09 pm

    You continue to inspire me Caitlin. I have always thought that I wouldn’t be too concerned with a post-pregnancy body. But I don’t think I’ll truly know how I’ll react until it actually happens. It sickens me how much the media plays up celebrities post-pregnancy.

    Reply
  • Beth June 21, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I had 3 babies in 3 years, they are 7,5, & 4 now. I still remember each birth and recovery so vividly.
    With my first I became down immediately after delivering. I was so overwhelmed and tired. I cried constantly. I didnt learn about placenta pills to later on after my 3rd baby and wish now that I would’v had the placenta dehydrated b/c I do believe it would’ve helped. I have friends that ingested their placenta in pill form like you and they as well had positive and obvious results in their moods and perspectives.
    With the second, I had a 16 month old that wasnt walking yet so I had to carry both around as well as deal depression and jugge nursing. I became again very overwhelmed.
    With the third I made myself get help immediately after his birth. I got support in all aspects, nursing, counseling, meds, communicated more, etc.
    If I could do it all over again I would do it differently. Im very grateful tho for my little people, they’re healthy and happy. Im personally still working on my own mental state. Being a mother for me is very difficult. I’m overwhelmed easily and fight anxiety when not controlled leads to depression. Fortunately, exercising, counseling and meds have helped.
    You are doing a great job!!
    Your perspective is very positive and real.

    Reply
  • Lauar June 21, 2012, 2:36 pm

    thanks for such a refreshingly honest post! I appreciate how you talk about things that others may not dare to tackle.

    Reply
  • Caroline June 21, 2012, 2:51 pm

    I love this post! Im only a few weeks away from my due-date and these thoughts have been creeping in more and more as I approach the end. For me I have loved being pregnant, looking pregnant, and just being a WOMAN these last 9 months! I hadn’t thought much about how i would feel after the “baby belly” was gone and it was just a “belly” for a little while. I’d like to say I want to embrace it all, and while I plan on it, I understand those societal pressures are in fact still around me! It is frustrating to look into a closet full of clothing now, and I can only imagine how much more it will be after Im no longer pregnant. I’ve loved following your journey with Henry as I am only a few weeks behind you, and look forward to seeing how your life transforms now that he is out in the world! Congratulations to you Caitlin, you are an incredible inspiration!

    Can I ask a side question?
    What stroller did you go with?

    Caroline

    Reply
  • Allison June 21, 2012, 2:54 pm

    I had relatively easy labor/delivery experiences, so my recovery that way was quick and I was back to walks and back to running within 3 weeks. However, my body seems to hold onto some extra weight for breastfeeding. I am still (my 2nd baby is 9 mos) up 5-10 lbs from my pre-baby weight and do not fit into all of my clothes. Everytime I drop below a certin weight my milk supply suffers, so I am trying to be ok with my current weight until my baby is a year old. I know getting my baby mamamilk is more important than my weight at the moment but I have been pregnant or breastfeeding a baby (or both for about 6 months) for the last 3 years, and I am ready to be my happy weight and wearing all my clothes! Good for you for your sharing your healthy attitude and not being in a rush. It really can take along time and I think it is better to know that upfront.

    Reply
  • Caroline June 21, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I just read back and saw that you chose the Citi Mini 2012. We chose the same but I have been having anxiety over the fact that It will not be rear facing, or my little guy will be too hot in a carseat attached to the stroller, or it will be too bulky. I know a lot of it has to do with that last minute “what the hell am I doing!?!” feeling as I near the end of my pregnancy , but I just wanted a first hand opinion on your experience (so far!) with it! Thanks :)
    Best to you!
    Caroline

    Reply
  • Denise June 21, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I am so glad you posted about this! I have an 11 week old boy and some days I still have a hard time with my body. Yes I understand it brought this beautiful baby boy in my life but I was not prepared for how my body would look afterwards. I could not fit in to anything and my boobs are so big I can’t get my old shirts past them! There were many days that I would get in the shower and cry. Everyone says the weight will come off but it is so hard to believe it when you see how flabby your belly has become. Also, I could not work out during my pregnancy bc of heart issues so I felt so ready to get back to my old running self! I have started working out and have really concentrated on yoga and Pilates to get my core muscles back. I am so weak!!! Holy cow it is crazy! But I thank you for being honest and sharing your photos bc it would have helped me mentally to read this 8 weeks ago. And yes I am close to my beginning weight but still carry at least 5 lbs in my boobs :) the breast feeding gets better its just getting through it that is the hard part.

    Reply
  • julie June 21, 2012, 3:24 pm

    I know you say you hate how media makes it seem like you need to lose pregnancy weight immediately, but I honestly think your post is just as bad. Maybe bad isn’t the word? Just as sad or just as disconcerting. Like, you just gave birth. One week ago. Why do you need to be talking about your weight, taking pictures of your stomach, and trying on your old clothes? What about just enjoying your baby? And chilling out. I don’t know. Our society is messed up – celebs, tv shows, blogs.

    Reply
    • Kelli June 21, 2012, 4:01 pm

      I think one of the points of this post is just to show what a healthy woman looks like 1 week after giving birth. Her tone is quite positive through this post, so I don’t think she is focusing on needing to get it all off asap. It kind of seems like you missed the point- by showing her own experience & documenting her body’s changes she is hoping to help other “normal” women go easy on themselves after giving birth.

      Reply
      • Ellen June 21, 2012, 9:50 pm

        I think Julie’s point is that it is sad that weight is even a concern or consideration whatsoever so soon after giving birth.

        Reply
  • healthy ashley June 21, 2012, 3:24 pm

    You are amazing. And I’ve fallen in love with Henry.

    Reply
  • Brigid June 21, 2012, 4:23 pm

    You look great, and Henry is a little doll.

    I have a TMI question . . . I’m very busty, too, and am scared about how jumbo my boobs will become when I have a baby. Ha. How many cup sizes are you up now from your pre-pregnancy size?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 21, 2012, 4:31 pm

      I am up five cup sizes. Yes five.

      Reply
      • Kelli June 21, 2012, 6:00 pm

        Oh heavens! I’m up 2 cup sizes at 30 weeks pregnant, & am dreading what will happen after my milk comes in! Going from a DDD pre-pregnancy has already been crazy….
        fun stuff! All worth it though, right? ;)

        Reply
      • Brigid June 21, 2012, 11:23 pm

        Oh God, now I’m terrified!

        Reply
        • Victoria June 23, 2012, 11:04 pm

          well if it makes you feel any better I only went up one cup size – from A to B! Was soooo hoping to finally have a little! hahaha

          Reply
  • Carissa June 21, 2012, 5:16 pm

    I love you for this. Dearly. Thank you.

    Reply
  • allpointswhole June 21, 2012, 5:46 pm

    Love your focus and the post!

    Reply
  • Bridget Miller June 21, 2012, 8:24 pm

    you are beautiful!!!

    Reply
  • Pam June 21, 2012, 9:44 pm

    Your posts keep me coming back, really appreciating your honesty on what you are going thru.
    You look fabulous by the way, your belly has gone down a lot in 1 week. You will be working out again soon and back to competing without a doubt.
    You are very inspiring and making me look forward to becoming a mother someday :)
    Be well, Pam

    Reply
  • Carrie June 22, 2012, 1:01 am

    You look great!! I vividly remember feeling quite similarly to what you’ve described. I couldn’t eat and was an emotional mess. I recall literally mourning my “old” life. I would daydream about sleeping in and being able to be alone in my house… And cry. I felt so selfish, but luckily it went away within a few weeks. Parenting is the most difficult and wonderful thing I have ever done. It gets so much easier, yet there are always some challenges. Getting used to my new life was really difficult though.

    Reply
  • Kristen June 22, 2012, 3:49 am

    I’m a far way off from having a baby of my own but am loving reading your about your journey so far with Henry (he’s adorable btw :-)). I think what my friends and I appreciate most (and yes we totally discuss your blog amongst ourselves- please feel free to reach out if you ever come to SF :-)) is your absolute honesty. Its so refreshing to hear about the ups and downs since its so relatable…fyi you totally have all of us on the placenta pill bandwagon at this point. Can’t wait to hear more about your mommy life integrating into your healthy living life…loving all the Henry pics :-) Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 22, 2012, 9:40 am

      Thank you so much Kristen for such a sweet comment!

      Reply
  • Jennifer (take the day off) June 22, 2012, 9:52 am

    I’m so glad you blogged about your experience with the “baby blues!” I had a baby 6 weeks ago and cried EVERY DAY the first week. Let it be known that I was not hormonal at all during pregnancy and I;m a generally even person…so this came out of no where for me. I had all the symptoms you mentioned. I was worried I would never return to my normal self again–but fortunately, a week later the crying stopped and my optimism returned. EVERY mother i talked to admitted that she had a rough go of it at the beginning too. NOW I KNOW! the problem is that no one talks about it (probably because no one remembers it due to the initial daze of sleeplessness). Glad you are feeling better!!

    Reply
  • Stephanie June 22, 2012, 12:58 pm

    I’m not one to comment on blogs I follow much, but this has been my third one on yours in a very short time! I can’t thank you enough for sharing your birth story and post-delivery feelings. Though I’m not planning on getting pregnant for another year or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would like everything to go for my pregnancy and delivery. Your honesty is so helpful. I’m not doing a good job of explaining how much I appreciate your openness, but just know that it’s made me feel better about the whole process. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  • Chattynatty June 22, 2012, 10:00 pm

    Your honesty will so help other women going through this. Wish I had had more honest mom peeps around me with my first. I had friends (2in particular) after their first, which coincided with my 1st , who were all about getting prego again- like now. I thought there was something wrong with me bc I wanted to think about anything but having another baby- like ever i was focused on sleep, and when my baby would sleep. Now I have two kids, not babies, and realize I wasn’t crazy at all,

    Reply
  • Victoria June 23, 2012, 11:01 pm

    So glad you are posting about the realities of post partum body recovery! ha! The media/stars make it looks so simple. I delivered my son just shy of a year ago and still have remnants of the line on my lower belly! LOL!

    Reply
  • susan June 24, 2012, 1:40 pm

    After baby #1, I was left with about 35 extra pounds. I had used pregnancy as an excuse to drink chocolate shakes and eat french fries, and put on almost 50 lbs. I lost it all within a few months though. I breast-fed, made sure I ate smallish portions (not going hungry, but eating just til satiated), and I walked A LOT. I know it’s probably too hot where you live, but my oldest was a terrible napper, so I walked her in the stroller for an hour or two every single day to get her to sleep. Once you can exercise again, it will come off at a good clip.

    Reply
  • Maria Makes Muffins June 28, 2012, 5:21 pm

    It is so nice to read your post on body image post partum. I am pregnant with my second child, due early Sept, and struggled with body image and getting back in shape with my first. Your honesty is greatly appreciated and needed.

    Which breastfeeding app are you using?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 28, 2012, 5:45 pm

      ifeed baby! it’s great.

      congrats on your pregnancy!

      Reply
  • Carol July 4, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Thank you for this post, I needed it. I had a baby on June 14th, and reading this really helped me and made me feel less alone, other blogs I read don’t really address the issues you’ve talked about! THANK YOU!

    Reply
  • Rachelle July 18, 2012, 3:23 pm

    I am a new follower… followed over from KERF. So glad I did!
    Turns out you and I had similar due dates ;-) I was due June 20th, 2012, but I had my daughter at 38weeks 2 days on June 8th (6#5oz). She is my second (I have a son who will be 4 in September).

    My recovery has been monumentally faster the second time around. 1) b/c L&D was much kinder to me this second time around (very very VERY light labor for ~20 hours, 4 hours hard labor, and like 1/2 degree tear). 2) I had rather significant nausea the entire 9 months, so my weight gain was only 15 pounds (with my first it was 30 pounds). My doctor was never worried though, he never said a thing. I was on the slightly heavier side of normal at 130 pounds (5’2″) so maybe that is why. Along w/ the nausea I had horrid SI hip joint pain & bad back & sciatic pain, so working out became exceedingly challenging and painful, and I pretty much stopped cardio at 20 weeks. I tried to continue very light free weights for my arms, but gradually I even stopped this.
    At 2 weeks post delivery I was back down to 130 pounds. However my body is totally mush. I have my 6 week OB appt this week & will likely be cleared. So I want to get back to it…. I had been trying to start running longer distances (ha, for me that is 2 miles) last summer, but I got really bad knee tendonitis, and had to rest.

    It was challenging getting to work out with one child and a full time job… I don’t imagine it will be any easier with two kids! I need to get a double jogging stoller…. eeek!

    Reply
  • Cortney October 23, 2012, 4:58 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    Thank you so much for summarizing your experience! I look forward to visiting this page many times as I begin a similar journey (hopefully!) in 2013.

    Just an FYI that your week 35 & 37 pregnancy photos don’t seem to be showing?
    Figured I’d let you know, since you have so much great content, that you might not notice right away :)

    Reply
  • Cortney October 23, 2012, 4:59 pm

    P.S. I meant to comment on this page regarding the photos on it that I mentioned above, but I had too many windows open and messed up lol:

    http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/pregnancy

    My bad! :)

    Reply
  • Elizabeth February 3, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Caitlin – can you tell us who encapsulated your placenta? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Caitlin February 3, 2014, 3:14 pm

      Jereka Hunt at WombMart!

      Reply

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