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Renee's Pregnancy Journal

Month Two
~ January 25, 2003

Today is baby James' 2 month birthday, and I think I'm finally feeling like I'm sort of in control of my life again. It's not easy having a newborn, is it? I find myself wishing I could sit him up on a stool at the counter with some crackers or apples or something when he's sad. And that just won't do for now. He needs me! I'm breastfeeding him exclusively and plan to do so until he starts eating baby food to supplement later on. I love breastfeeding in many ways and it wears me out in others. But I'm grateful that I have no problem with it and that he enjoys it so much.

We just went in last week for James' 2 month visit. He's up to 11 pounds something now and 23 inches. He had his immunizations, which is always sad, but I held him and hugged him while his 3 year old sister sang to him. And as soon as it was over, he was just fine. He slept a little more than usual that day (and the nurse told me he might). But other than that, no swelling, soreness, or unusual crankiness. Notice I said "unusual" because he gets pretty cranky at times. It's usually when much is going on and he's probably overstimulated by us all. So I've been working with him to get him to enjoy time alone in his crib when nothing else works and surprisingly, this has worked to calm him down.

As for me and my post-partumness, I've had my 6 week visit at Dr. P's and all looked great to him except for some bladder prolapse. He didn't really call it "severe" but acted like it was. I remember after my last baby, he told me that he was really surprised that I could have so much control in my Kegal for how stretched out my pelvic floor muscles were. He echoed that this time, but added that since I don't want to have any more children, he'd recommend me having a hysterectomy and he could fix the bladder prolapse at the same time. I thought that was a pretty drastic solution, so I declined and told him that I'd rather see what I can do on my own first.

True, I am having some incontinence, but it has GREATLY improved since childbirth. For the first few weeks home, I wondered if I'd ever be able to go far from home again. But I Kegaled myself all hours of the day and eventually saw improvement. But I still could do better. I did take the literature on hysterectomies home with me, though, and was surprised to see that bladder prolapse (and other prolapse problems) were indeed deemed medically sound reasons to have a hysterectomy. Dr. P told me that all the Kegals in the world wouldn't cure the problem that I have. But I still wanted to try to see what I could do with time, exercise, and healthy living.

Afterwards a friend who's had 7 children told me that exercising on a rebounder (aka mini-trampoline) really helped her pelvic floor muscles strengthen after childbirth. I've searched on the web for similar information and even bought a book written by a certified reboundologist (yes, that's a real title ). So I bought a rebounder and have been adding it to my exercise videos as well as doing a bit of jumping just in the evenings on its own. In the past few weeks of doing this, I've seen a lot of progress, but still have stress incontinence. The book I bought says it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. So I'm still trying (and probably will continue if it really does work to keep things strong).

I love to plan ahead, so what I have worked out in my head is to give my rebounding and Kegal efforts a try for 6 months. And if I'm still having problems, I will look into the possibility of having some pelvic floor repair work done through a laparoscopy (and possibly have a tubal ligation at the same time -- but I'm not sure if I want to do that yet either). When I ordered my Rebounding book (Rebounding to Better Health), I also bought a book called The Incontinence Solution--Answers for Women of All Ages which says that you can have a less invasive surgical repair through laparoscopy instead of going through the full hysterectomy surgery. So that's an option I may consider if need be. I'm not sure why Dr. P didn't explain that option, but he did tell me I could take estrogen to strengthen the muscles if I chose to. I just don't like taking medications that have so many side effects. I was so happy to be done with pregnancy -- I didn't want to hear about any more possible changes for my body.

But other than all that, I am feeling really great. James mainly only wakes up at about 3:00 (last night it was 4:30) to eat, then wakes up again at about 5:30 and when he's done eating, I can get up and exercise and he'll eventually fall back to sleep. So it's just WONDERFUL that I'm able to be back in the swing of early morning workouts again. It gives me the energy to go all day, the time that I love to myself, and the hope that I'll fit into my old clothes again someday .

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