TWO YEARS Post-partum, TWO YEARS Breastfeeding

TWO! I am a very proud mama bear. Last Friday our youngest turned two.

Happy 2nd Birthday

We had planned for two children. Since going child-free was not our plan we at least planned for zero population growth on our biological part to be kind to Mother Earth.

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Two years on the boob. This was a goal that we took one day at a time to aim to meet WHO (World Health Organization) recommendation of two years even in industrialized nations.  I have so many people in my tribe to thank for supporting this journey… we will go until May to get through cold and flu season.

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Two kids making it two years on the boob. Heck yeah I am super proud this is a feat I met for both our boys! I still cannot believe we did it.

Two years post-partum – this is a time-period I stress like a broken record to my prenatal and postpartum yoga clients. In the ayurvedic tradition it takes two years for a woman’s body to heal after the effort of pregnancy and childbirth.  Three years for maximum benefit of spacing for siblings is not a cross-cultural and cross-temporal coincidence for nothing.

Brothers - Dia De Los Muertos

My post-partum recovery after this second kiddo has been a struggle compared to our first. My nervous system was shot for a while early on, then I stopped metabolizing iron for months which only added to fatigue, and finally the lingering stress fracture and recovery with my foot. I am convinced the foot thing was contributed to by the trials of my post-partum body. Right now I am heavy, have pathetic cardio endurance, and a still healing foot.

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Right now I am super proud of my TWO accomplishments and using them as joyful motivation to drop the weight I have piled on in the last year as I continue to nourish myself to better nourish others.  By the way that is the mantra I mention most often to the mamas in the Baby + Me Yoga classes I lead.

What are the truths you are beyond proud of that you are currently living day to day?

9 Months: Stasis

December 27th. This seems fitting to write a post as I am jumping back on the blog wagon.  I kind of predicted or set my year up for my blog to reflect what I thought would happen.  My year has been a year of stasis.  Not just blog inactivity but flying in a holding pattern as some things with my health took over in the cockpit.  My year was essentially focused on being pregnant, recovering from a c-section, then recovering from not being able to metabolize iron. Tonight my youngest will be 9 months old.  On the outside as long as he was on the inside.

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As I finished 2012 I was pregnant and told most folks to back off.  I started the year by living gratitude as much as I could for the possibility that my health or my baby’s health would take priority once he was born.  I actually freaked out a number of friends that wanted to know if there was something I was not telling them.  Nope, just covering my bases in case things did not go as perfectly as I planned.

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3 weeks faces

As we finish 2013 I am happy I made that decision to not put pressure on myself with obligations or expectations here and elsewhere in my life.  Kai was born 9 months ago via the most unnecessary surgery in my life, a c-section for a surprise breech.  Our recovery was remarkable as we left the hospital 40 hours after we walked in.  However I truly believe the Ayurvedic idea that it takes TWO years to heal from pregnancy and childbirth.  I went into post-partum with patience.

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hike baby

There are some post-partum joys that did not go so smoothly.  For me it was iron metabolism – my body is now just barely starting to metabolize it again.  Iron has led to fatigue, low milk supply, etc.  I am hoping to continue to see it rise as we go into 2014, especially as I am joining a new performance training center soon.  I am having another iron assessment in February and hoping all is good.

tri polar feed

2013 was a fun year for being a Polar Ambassador.  I had to back off of a lot of physical training but they were patient with me and my gentle post-partum messaging.  I signed up to rep them at a few races and even donned the Polar singlet for a couple of half-marathons and a sprint triathlon.  Going into 2014 I hope to actually train for races, get on the trails a lot more, and enjoy the hell out of my nordic ski pass.  I am loving their new Loop product because for realsies my fitness feels like it is at a minimal baseline.

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In 2013 I enjoyed my Larabar ambassadorship but let it go for 2014.  I was a bit sad that even though I am local I never did any repping with them at local events – even when they had no one to rep at the events for them that I went to.  Instead there would be an empty table and bars.  I still love the product and buy it but I did not feel very useful as an ambassador mostly giving out bars to yoga students when I was out and about so much.

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The best health tidbit for 2013 for me was that my sugar cane allergy was reversed.  This is a huge game-changer and my post-holiday fitness efforts will reflect the newfound food freedom I now experience.

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There ya go.  9 months ago I had our family’s second babe.  We are done.  Maybe in 2014 I can give people here in onlinelandia something besides being a mom to know me as.

There will still be a lot of content about maternal fitness since I have 2 prenatal yoga certs, but I will expand on other types of yoga too, personal training, #realfood enjoyment, stress-less living, and my love for the simplicity of the natural world because we are jacking up the consumer-driven, man-influenced one.

This next year I will see ya around online and IRL in a few places. My 2013 was a year of stasis, but not of regrets.  I am happy I took pressure off myself so I could be gentle with my body and enjoy my loved ones.  I hope to have my priorities in 2014 be just as reflective of how I choose to live my life.

Namaste.

Iron Girl Sprint Tri

You have read me wax on about the post-partum body and taking it slow. This past week was no exception. I think the iron thing is worked out but apparently my body is still not at a healthy baseline to be buffered against a lot of stress. Last Monday I had a very stressful night at a yoga studio I was subbing at when I was locked in the building after my class with a few other ladies and had to scramble to get out. The cortisol to adrenaline flowing then calm resolution did not happen and by the end of the night my lower left back was tightly constricted. This led to a Jenga game of post-partum body compensation and by Thursday I was seeing someone to help realign my body and get full feeling back in my lower left leg.

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So there was a sprint tri on Saturday and I luckily felt o.k. enough to do the course but take it easy. Before the swim was over my back was stiff, on the big hill on the bike I had a muscle spasm and could do nothing but leisurely walk the 5K. I was a bit bummed because I was looking to sub 30 my run. However I was not mad. I knew it was gonna be slow going and I enjoyed myself. The swim water was 75 degrees and I actually did not want to get out of the reservoir. I really enjoyed myself strolling with a cold water bottle. Overall it was a really fun event again and I crossed the finish line ready to be in mommy-mode. Mommy-mode once a chiropractor tackled my jangy back and piriformis with his elbow at least.

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My race report: slow, steady, mindful, joyful.

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Another fun aspect of the event was that I was there officially in capacity for Polar Heart Rate monitors. I ran the information booth for the expo (except when I was on course and had my husband encourage giveaway participants), did the course, and gave away a FT4T for Polar during the awards ceremony. I am an ambassador for the company so was eager to meet so many other Polar enthusiasts as well as answer questions for those getting into HRM training or had issues with their units and needed the friendly hand of customer service extended to them.

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Gardening Bugs

VLOG

I can update on myself that I saw my midwife last week for the 6-week check-up.  I am doing great.  My cervix is closed, my uterus was actually put back in position correctly (which is not always the case after a c-section), and I am cleared for some activity.  I can do yoga with modifications not to stress my midline or abs too hard.  So this week I will do standing poses to build stamina and strength as well as some hiking/walking.  I still have another two weeks to go before I can run.  If it goes well this week I will build up to being in some classes next week.  I return to teaching yoga in a couple of weeks and would love to be able to demo while I give verbal cues.

Nutritionally life is hilarious.  I will expand in a later post but I am back to being mostly vegetarian now.  Last time life was like this I was a college student with limited income.  Now I can afford to eat a bit more affluently and I am stuck as to what to eat.

This week will be great in the garden and going to some Boulder Start Up Week engagement.  Also Mothers Day was great.  I love my family and our hike in the mountains.  I was sore yesterday and am only a little tired today.  I am headed for a hike in a bit with my almost 12 pound functionally fit weight.  Yeah, my six-week old baby was 11 pounds 14.5 oz the other day.  That is some crazy milk I am making.