menu

Menu

close

Close

Yeah…Immaeatthat

May 29

6 months as a mom.

Lately my mantra for motherhood has been don’t push away the responsibility of motherhood, which I heard Sally Clarkson say on a podcast.  The first 4 1/2 months (before we sleep trained) were just insane and so much of that time felt like a struggle.  Now I’m finally getting to this place where I want to find a way to share the struggles that are part of motherhood, but be sure I’m being grateful and joyful for this gift of a daughter I’ve been given.  I found this podcast/IG account called Moms Struggling Well that I’ve really been enjoying following.

So here’s a 6 months as a mom update!

Weight loss from breastfeeding

After talking with some of my mom friends about body changes in postpartum a few of them mentioned that they didn’t feel like their body changed until after they stopped breastfeeding.  I’m not trying to be all weight focused, but I chose to bring this up because we hear EVERYWHERE how breastfeeding helps you “lose the baby weight,” including (for me) at 2am when Joanna was less than 48 hours old and a lactation consultant came in to our hospital room and started telling me how breastfeeding is gonna help me lose the weight so fast.  I remember wanting to yell how dare you!  How dare you come into this room and tell me my body that just grew and pushed out a baby isn’t okay just as it is. But I was all sunshine and roses because Jo was finally in the world and no one could’ve brought me down.

I’ve seen it said that breastfeeding is nature’s way of helping new moms lose weight.  And I just have to laugh at that because it’s such a fatphobic statement! Why would nature care about making women as thin as possible? Moms being told they need to lose weight is a product of our broken, image-obsessed world.  I just don’t see from a biological standpoint why the female body would want you to lose fat if you are a food supply for another human.  Wouldn’t your body want to hold on to fat so it could be sure it would have stores to pull from when creating milk?

Just like my body knew what size it needed to be all throughout pregnancy without me controlling it, my body knows what size it needs to be now as I’m breastfeeding.  And, my body will find what size it’s supposed to be when I stop breastfeeding, if that’s different from the size it is now.  My postpartum body is different than it was before and may take some getting used to in some moments, but (something I heard Lindsay Stenovec say that stuck with me is that) different isn’t bad.  It’s still a body worthy of love and care, as all bodies are.

And one more thing related to boobs.  One of my past clients told me that post baby your boobs end up looking like 2 tube socks and I now realize a truer statement has never been uttered lol (if this was you who told me this I hope you’re reading this right now haha).

Joanna rolled off the couch

Around 5 1/2 months Jojo was on the couch and she ended up rolling off.  Our Pediatrician had told me the day before to be careful of Jo rolling off things as she starts to roll more on her own and sure enough…

When it happened I didn’t cry, but then 6 hours later I cried about not crying (probably one of the biggest motherhood meltdowns) with the whole internal dialogue of what kind of mother doesn’t cry when her baby falls off something and hits her head?!! Joanna was/is fine. It was just the first time she had bumped herself and cried in response.  She calmed down quickly once I scooped her up.  Andrew, the forever optimist, pointed out we made it nearly 6 months without her hitting her head on anything and that is an accomplishment! And I know that the head is made with a skull to protect to brain during instances like this. But still it all just sucked. 

I ended up reaching out to 3 of my mom friends for support.  One’s husband is an ER doctor who told me they don’t even keep babies who fall the distance from the couch to the floor for imaging/observation.  Another friend told me all the things her baby had rolled off of/accidentally got injured on.  The third friend said (in response to how I was feeling guilty because I didn’t cry when Jo fell) that sometimes in motherhood you just get so overwhelmed and exhausted that you just don’t have anything left to give…like there is no energy to cry.  At a little over 6 months we are settling into a much more manageable routine and a lot of that is due to all of us getting more sleep, but there are still those intensely overwhelming moments when I honestly almost feel numb due to exhaustion.  You single moms (or dads) out there, I don’t know how you do it.  You have a level of strength I can not imagine.

Eliminating food groups while breastfeeding

This is something I’ve wanted to address on the blog for awhile now because it’s something that really took a toll on me.  Joanna was a super fussy baby.  I kept being told by well-meaning onlookers (family, friends, internet people) that I should eliminate dairy from my diet to see if that would help with Joanna’s fussiness.  That recommendation to oh just start eliminating foods to see which one is harming your baby is so pervasive and toxic for someone who has had an eating disorder or history with disordered eating.  Any mom’s group on facebook will be filled with (well-meaning) moms with recommendations to just eliminate dairy, gluten, cruciferous vegetables, etc., etc., etc. from your diet.

If you have had an eating disorder, the early days of motherhood are not the time to eliminate a food from your diet.  I highly recommend you be open with your pediatrician about how eliminating a food group could potentially affect you before you eliminate any food.  Moms deserve to be okay to. The “oh just eliminate dairy and your baby will suddenly sleep though the night and never be fussy” recommendation is dangerous for those with ED histories.  I think a lot of reasons people follow this recommendation is because they think, “oh well at least I’m doing something” and it gives them a sense of control over the chaos of those early motherhood days.  And I get wanting that sense of control when everything is nuts early on and you are so desperate for sleep, but that is not a reason for you to go back into your eating disorder behaviors even if your intentions are good.  The research I found does not support eliminating foods when you are breastfeeding and if you need support, discuss this with your Pediatrician to determine what is best for your kiddo, but be sure to tell them why eliminating foods could be a slippery slope for you and dangerous for your family.  Having a baby is a huge transition and ED relapses tend to happen around transitions.  Be aware that eliminating any foods may not be an option for you.  I think it can be dangerous because some moms talk about going on an elimination diets to fix colic/gassiness like it’s no big deal, when they are incredibly restrictive eating patterns that could do harm to mom’s mental and physical health. 

Joanna sleeps now and isn’t as fussy and I think that is all due to sleep training, bc I’m still eating dairy and all foods and feeding her from my boobs.  I believe for the first 4 months of her life we got to this place where she was chronically overtired and we couldn’t get out of it and we just had to power thru until it was time to sleep train so she could finally start getting enough sleep. 

The LetDown on Netflix

Have you watched any of it? If you haven’t, I don’t recommend it.  It’s just too real and I didn’t find it entertaining because I’m so in that life right now.  But there was this one part where the mom on the show is crying about something and then she looks down at her baby and smiles but is still crying and I was just like yes.  That is motherhood.  Overwhelm and crying and non-stop, heart-exploding love.  It is so much work that you don’t receive a lot of positive validation for. I told Andrew I need more praise that I’m doing something right because I don’t feel good at motherhood some days.  Words of affirmation are a big love language for me and are helpful self-esteem boosters that I so need as I’m figuring out motherhood so Andrew has been upping his affirmation game for me through texts and in-person encouragement, which is helpful.

Mole on Joanna’s back

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but Jojo and Andrew have a mole in the same place on their back.  When Jojo came out we were like oh my gosh DNA was just like put dot here haha.  The below photo was after a poo-nami that required an outfit change while we were visiting my grandma.

Favorite part of the day

Jojo gets up at 6am-ish most mornings, so Andrew goes and scoops her up and brings her to me in bed and I feed her in the side lying nursing position and it’s just so sweet. So sweet.  I know I’m going to miss this.  I catch myself saying I’m going to miss this more and more lately, while from months 1 to months 4 1/2 I didn’t say that once lol.  IT WAS SO HARD! We want more kids and I’m excited to do labor and birth again, but those first couple of months were rough.

So that’s the update! See you guys back here again later this week with a recipe (if it turns out haha)!

29 comments on “6 months as a mom.”

  1. I’m not a mom, but I appreciate this post so much. You’re doing a great job. Thank you for your blog. It’s a nice spot in my day. :)

  2. Being a mom is so hard! I have a soon-to-be 4 year old and an 18 month old. Postpartum with my second was really, really challenging. He was a terrible sleeper and having two kids is crazy in the beginning. I’m a full time mom and there are days when I am counting the minutes until bedtime. But there are other days where the boys make me laugh so hard that I feel bad for people who don’t have kids! Just keep on loving your baby!

  3. Love all of this! You and I seem to have had very similar early motherhood experiences. And you are definitely a great mom.

    I totally agree that all of the chatter around breastfeeding and weight loss is garbage for multiple reasons. Based on my experience and that of my friends, I think it’s a myth that breastfeeding results in weight loss for most people. I know my body did not start to feel truly “normal” (independent of weight) until after I stopped breastfeeding, and that seems to be many women’s experience.

    I also agree that elimination diets related to breastfeeding can be way more problematic than people realize. My daughter had a dairy/soy protein intolerance that was discovered at 8 weeks because of blood in her poop. I had to eliminate all dairy and soy sources (which is basically all foods that are not scratch-prepared meat, fish, fruits & veggies, and grains–just at a time when you really, really need to be able to rely on some convenience and pre-prepared foods) in order to continue breastfeeding. Her pediatrician was actually very non-pressuring and supportive of switching to formula because it’s a huge undertaking. But I was a first-time mom and honestly didn’t really comprehend at first how overwhelming it would be (especially as someone with an eating disorder history). I weaned at six months after my supply dropped and it was only then that I realized how truly crazy it was making me. If I had a similar issue come up again in the future with another child, I would definitely be more aware of all the issues that it could raise for me and whether continuing to breastfeed with an elimination diet was truly the best choice for our family.

  4. 😂😂😂Just roll those tube socks up and stuff em in your bra!! 
    I wanted to comment on the not crying when Jojo fell off be couch…and in sharing this I want you to know that I am sacrificing my reputation as a loving mother, just to make you feel better about yourself. 😂 Now that my kids are a little older (1 and 4) I have this horrible response to their falling. As soon as I see they aren’t seriously hurt, I get a horrible case of the giggles. I’d like to say that it’s all just nervous energy from the relief that they are safe, but if I’m going to be honest I think a huge part of it is that kids’ muscles are just so loose and relaxed all the time, that when they fall, 99% of the time it is like something off of funniest home videos. They don’t just trip and catch themselves, they trip, do 3 somersaults, flip through the air, and then land splat. I cannot tell you how many booboos I have kissed and bandaids I have applied while simultaneously cracking up while picturing the gymnastics routine of a fall that they just performed. So the point of my story is…maybe you didn’t cry, but you didn’t laugh,  so you’re at least a way better mom than me. You’re welcome. 😂

    • I also feel that I should add that when they are still as little as your daughter is, it’s REALLY scary, but like your friend told you, it’s pretty common and pretty scary but God made kids pretty resilient! When my daughter was a week old my son threw a toy car and hit my daughter in the head. I hysterically took her to the ER, completely sure she was going to have brain damage. They glanced at her, put a bandaid on it, and said, “Mom, their skulls are a LOT tougher than you think!” 

  5. I LOVE your take on breastfeeding and weight. Yes yes yes! I think it kind of goes back to that old cliche: “9 months on, 9 months off”, except it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. The reality is, it was a long process to grow and nourish baby in the womb, and it’s a long complicated process to nourish baby outside of the womb, so it follows that it’s a long and complicated process for your body to “go back to normal” but more likely find it’s new normal after you’re done breastfeeding. Meanwhile, your body is recovering from a pretty major incident (childbirth) and change (pregnancy and breastfeeding) and the hormones are crazy and your sleep is off. It’s just a process. I’ve done it three times now and I feel very passionate about being an evangelist for the process and rejecting the pressure to snap back after baby. I loved what you said in a recent post about sometimes caring for your 
    Body doesn’t look like caring for you body. I think so many postpartum moms need to hear that.

  6. Thank you for sharing your motherhood experience with us.  It seems like the stories out there are either “this is the greatest experience ever” or “this is the worst thing that will happen to you ever” so the nuance is much appreciated. I am 2-3 weeks away from the baby getting here and all of a sudden I’m terrified. Pregnancy has been so awesome and lovely and all of a sudden I’m so scared of bringing this baby home and not getting sleep. I keep thinking “what if I don’t bond with the baby” and “what if all this happiness goes away when the hormones come crashing down”. It’s been really helpful to read your candid thoughts on parenthood with the good and the bad. Really, thank you!

  7. Oh man, the first time they fall is the worst.  I fell on ice holding my baby, and she went down and hit her head.  I was so upset, but thankfully I landed on the hard surface and she happened to fall perfectly into a little patch of leaves. It is one of the worst moments for me so far.

    I HAAAAAAATTTTEEEEE the recommendation to eliminate dairy.  Literally everyone in my life told me to do this, including my best friend who was so incredibly pushy about it I had to take a break from talking to her for a couple of weeks.  A dairy allergy is so rare, something like 2-3% of babies, so I don’t understand why this is the holy grail recommendation for everyone.  And I don’t even have an ED past, so I can’t imagine how much MORE stressful it would be to hear this. UGH.  My baby was fussy because 1- she needed sleep training, and 2- she desperately wanted to move.  She turns 1 next week and she’s almost walking, and I can’t tell you how much easier it is once they can move.  Despite everyone telling me to “enjoy the non mobile stage,” I was counting down to it.  She loves moving and she’s so much happier.  I wonder if this will be the case for you too!

    I love how you say that you’re enjoying motherhood so much more now.  I’ve been reflecting a lot since mine has her birthday soon, and I say that the first 6 months of life were the slowest, hardest 6 months of my entire life.  These last 6 months though, they’ve passed by in the blink of an eye and have been so much more enjoyable.  Sending lots of love!  You’re doing great :)

  8. I love everything about this post! Thank you! Your daughter is 2 months older than mine so I feel like your posts are so relevant and give me hope for the upcoming months. I struggle so much with loving my body and accepting that different is ok and your posts really help me change my perspective. Thank you!!

  9. Thank you for this post and peek into your motherhood journey! I have a 9-week-old and the first several sleep deprived weeks were brutal. Thankfully motherhood’s getting a little easier as he grows and is able to sleep longer stretches at night. Can’t wait until he’s old enough for sleep training :) but Im also trying to cherish his tiny newborn self since he won’t be this age again. Breastfeeding has also been one of be most challenging things I’ve ever done but I’m powering on. You’re doing great! 

  10. 1. Food elimination should not be the first line of defense in developing strategies to address a fussy baby. It makes zero sense, except in a small amount of cases. We really need to have a conversation about how to better support new moms so they can rest and be less overwhelmed with the amount of care that an infant requires.
    2. Breastfeeding should not be encouraged as a means to lose weight. If we want to increase the success of breastfeeding, we can not tie weight-loss to the outcomes. There are SO many other benefits. Again, what we need is to support moms on this endeavor instead of focusing on how quickly they shed the “baby weight.” I’m so, so tired of the post-baby body conversation!

    Thank you for posting about these issues. It’s so important to talk about!

  11. LOVE these updates, Kylie! We are nearly two months in and it’s such a blur. I love many aspects of motherhood but it is SO HARD, and the transition from 0 kids to 1 kid is the hardest transition I’ve ever made in my life. Everyone says it gets easier for future kids, but I’m like “let me get through 1 kid first!” So much of what you’ve shared rings true to me. Sleep (or lack there of) is so tough. Have you written about your sleep training? I’d love to read more about that.

    • Ditto to wanting to hear about the sleep training! Storing all this positive goodness away for when our little guy hits the scene this July.

    • Hi Sarah & Melissa! I didn’t really share specifically here what I did for sleep training because I seriously have no clue if we’re doing anything ‘right’ lol. I did write a little bit about how sleep training went in this post: http://immaeatthat.com/2018/04/01/19-weeks-as-a-mom/

      But here’s what worked for us…

      I listened on audio book to the Ferber Method book (Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber). I’m also a member of this facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/respectfulsleeplearning/?ref=bookmarks), which I found overwhelming to read thru what other mom’s are doing/working on…but I found helpful for when I needed to ask a specific question about Jojo’s sleep. There are a lot of knowledgeable moms ready and waiting to give advice about baby sleep;)

      At 4 1/2 months (once Jo could roll from belly-to-back and back-to-belly) we started with Ferber method (which simplified down is just you putting baby in crib and letting them cry but checking on them at specific time intervals until they fall asleep). Jo got more upset when we checked on her so we then progressed to just letting her cry-it-out with no checks and it took 3 nights of her crying about an hour each night until she would go to sleep on her own with no crying.

      But I’d recommend you join that facebook group and/or read Ferber’s book so you can feel supported in whatever you choose and find what is right for your baby!

  12. I just had baby #2 almost two months ago now, and I completely related to you with my firstborn! When I found out I was pregnant again, I was absolutely dreading the first few months because they were just so horrible with my daughter. This time around though — whether due to luck or just having some experience — it’s not nearly as bad. So there’s that to look forward to. (I also started the eat-play-sleep schedule real early, and he adapted great.)

  13. I laughed so hard when you wrote how Jojo and Andrew have a mole on the same spot of their back. My mom and I have a mole on the same spot of our heal! Never heard of anyone else having this. Too cute!
    Big thanks for all this motherhood encouragement and sharing all the “realness.” I am not a mom yet, but this gives me hope that I can handle being a mom and have a life outside of my ED. Much love!

  14. My exact thoughts regarding The Letdown! Could not get through it because it was too real and depressed me! Great job, momma! ☺

  15. I’m so enjoying your updates as you move through the different stages of being a mom, especially how honest you are about the struggles (and the good parts, of course!). And, always love the pics of her sweet lil face!

  16. That is one very photogenic baby :)

  17. “… and I now realize a truer statement has never been uttered lol.”
    Please tell me the pun was intended hehe. :D

  18. I feel like I can relate to so much in this post as a mom to an 8-month-old! 1. I have really been enjoying Mom Struggling Well, too! I also like God-Centered Mom. Both great podcasts. You should also give Happy Hour with Jamie Ivery a try too! Not as mom-centric, but still great if you like MSW and GCM. 2. I did not lose weight when I breastfed. So I wish that saying was not so common because it’s not true for everyone! I was starving all the time and felt like my body just settled in and stayed at a place where it could feed my kid, and that’s ok. 3. On eliminating foods… I have this theory that every baby from 0-3 months is fussy and a bad sleeper. And mom are always looking for solutions to fix those things, and people have tons of recommendations that “work,” but really, I think the “working” is just the baby growing out of that stage. I might just be cynical, but it seems like people are like, “Well, she was fussy for the first month, but then I cut dairy and slowly after like 2 months of that she stopped being fussy.” So… many it was cutting dairy, but maybe it was just that your baby’s digestive system finally developed. But who knows! I think with my second kid I will be less desperate for a solution and know the solution is just time. 4. I watched the first episode of the Letdown and was like, “Wow this is so what it’s like,” but also, “Wow this is so what it is like, and I don’t need to re-experience it in my free time,” lol.

  19. My little girl turned 6 months on May 24 so is just a few weeks younger than Jo, it’s been so great (and refreshing!) to follow you on social media the last 6 months. I love love love your perspective and when there is so much “get back to yourself” body stuff out there it’s really nice to read your blog.

    Also, amen to sleep training. What you said about her being chronically over tired and just making sleep worse was true for my girl as well. I had to do two nights of CIO where she just cried for an hour (tried to do checks but they just really didn’t work for her) but since then she’s never cried longer than 15 minutes. We are still getting up once a night for her to eat, but we were getting up 4-5 times a night before sleep training, so I’ll take it. I too pull my girl into bed with me when she’s up at 6-6:30 am and it is my favourite part of the day as well!

  20. You guys are both doing so great Kylie! No one would ever doubt that. I thank you so much for being so REAL with everyone about your new-mom experiences. I’m seeing more and more new mothers coming out and saying similar things. I think it will do a lot of greatness for the world in general to be more supportive of mothers instead of so judgmental. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top