Tuesday, 5 May 2015

New Goals, New Plan, New Start

Welcome to the world second son!

On 12th April my second little boy made his entrance to the world. I had been looking after myself in the hope of having a natural birth after an emergency cesarean section with my first son, but nature had other ideas, as it does a lot of the time. Unfortunately I suffered a placental abruption and haemorrhage and was rushed to theatre for a second emergency section to save both me and my boy.

Thankfully due to the medical professionals I handed us both over to, we made it through that stage, but nature hadn't finished with us just yet. I think due to the speed and abruptness of his arrival, my little man seemed to forget he had been born and stopped breathing. Again the wonderful doctors and midwives worked their magic and they brought him back to us. He required a short stay in special care but after 4 days we were both allowed home and are now well on the road to recovery.

I have realised a lot since this experience and most of it about how precious life is. Before this, I didn't seriously consider that life could be snatched away in a moment. We were told at the hospital had I been even half an hour later arriving it could have been much more serious, and I felt fine, I had no idea.

I've also been much more aware of my recovery. Firstly having my strength sapped out of me from the one procedure and feeling it slowly return day by day. As unfortunate as it was that my boy was in the special care unit and we were separated, it made me fight that bit more to make the journey to the unit as soon and as often as I could, at first in a wheelchair, then at a slow shuffle, until I could do that walk confidently on my own. It has made me more aware of the importance of exercise in keeping your body going and doing all the things you want to do. Had I just lain in bed, as I could easily have done, I would have missed out on even more time with my son and I probably would have been in hospital a lot longer. As it was, by the day I came home, I was barely needing any pain relief and could do most things for myself again.

While my recovery this time has been going really well, I haven't come through it unscathed. I will never give birth naturally now and never know what that feels like. While it is disappointing, I am grateful that I have and still can have children at all, although I now know not without some risk. I also have become more aware of my own mortality, which is a scary thing to face, but I am more determined than ever to look after myself as much as I can to prevent any risk I have control over myself. Life is precious, why endanger it further by being unhealthy? I want to live a long life with my family and the best way to help that happen is to look after myself.

I also want to add that I wouldn't have recovered as quickly as I am doing without the support of my family, but especially my husband. He has looked after me so well and really helped me recover at my own pace by taking so much of the pressure off me. I honestly couldn't have got through this without him.

So with my new motivation, the next part of my healthy lifestyle begins. It's been odd watching my body grow so big again,  (before I gave birth I had put on all of the 3st 10lbs I'd lost) and then watching it receed again in a matter of weeks. At the moment I am left with approximately 1st 7lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight but I'd like to lose a little bit more this time.

While I am determined to be healthy, I am still getting my strength back. Recovering from major surgery while not sleeping more than 3-4 hours uninterrupted, and also breastfeeding which can burn over 900kcals a day, is making it difficult as I am exhausted. My general diet is OK, I'm just snacking a bit more than I'd like. They're not too bad snacks on their own but I'm probably having too many! Plus the occasional take away has snuck in when I'm too tired to cook.

I have a new appreciation for the benefits of exercise too and when I have the energy I'm trying to get up and move around. At the moment it's just the occasional walk to the shops or the park, but I'm keen to get back to running as soon as I can. I initially thought that I couldn't do it for 6 months following a section but after some research I've learned that if the doctor gives me the ok at my 8 week check, I can start then if I feel up to it. Until then I need to build my strength and fitness with lots of walking, and if I feel able, some gentle yoga or pilates. I hopefully shouldn't have too much to make up as I was still doing weekly zumba until 2 weeks before I gave birth and had only stopped work 5 days before!

I have also, probably naively, set myself the goal of doing the 5k Race For Life for the fourth time this year, about 2 months after giving birth. I would like to run it but that is looking less likely as I'll have only just had my 8 week check, at the moment I will be happy just to walk it. But either way, it's giving me motivation to get my strength back and a target to aim for.

I still have my Facebook group Happy Healthy Honeys, but up until my 'maternity leave' interest in the current format was definitely waning. I'm planning to move the group away from the diet group it was with weekly updates etc to it being a place to share anything to do with living a healthy lifestyle such as motivating quotes, interesting articles, ideas for exercise plans, recipes, etc etc.

So please find the group on Facebook if you're not already a member, and hopefully you will find something to help motivate you too!