Archive for sport

Finding my feet again

Any mother would tell you that having a newborn, especially for the first time, will turn your life – or at least some months of it – into a continuous cycle (probably two- or three-hourly) of feeding and burping and soothing baby, changing diapers, expressing breastmilk, washing up, taking a quick nap (if you are lucky), repeat. Things that once seemed like trivial everyday tasks such as taking a shower or a dump, or heading downstairs to buy a newspaper, become feats. Mothers also tend to quickly pick up and excel in doing everything with one hand – because the other is almost permanently chained to a bub. Suddenly, life revolves around just one person: baby.

No, I didn’t drug little M to type this blog entry – I am just lucky she loves her sleep! That said, I have found myself caught in the aforementioned cycle. She turns four weeks tomorrow and the days have just flown by. Time flies when you’re having fun, but also when you are constantly sleep deprived with no end in sight. It gets harder if you’re a single mom like I am – two pairs of hands are always better than one.

This past week, thankfully, a tinge of normalcy has returned to my life. Firstly, I have not only managed to run again, but also at a decent clip. I ran every day this week for a total mileage of nearly 50km – the last time I did this was probably at the end of the second trimester. Secondly, today I went to church for the first time since I popped – with little M in tow. I went solo: little M carried in a sling, diaper bag over my shoulder and infant car seat in hand. (If only new mothers also grew an extra set of arms for a few months!) Some of the SPHK crew were visiting this weekend and it was great to catch up with them again.

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So, very slowly but surely, I am reclaiming some of my old self again. I think it’s really important for mothers to remember to take care of themselves too. My daily me-time is a 45min run. The rest of the day I dedicate to little M, not out of duty, but out of sheer love for this sweet, tiny human.

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Post-natal hues

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Confinement: according to Chinese beliefs, a woman mustn’t be let out of home for a month after childbirth to ward off any illnesses, rebalance the body’s internal hot/cold energy and stay healthy overall. In addition, during this period, new mothers are told they cannot bathe, can only wash hair with water in which ginger has been boiled, and cannot drink only water, along with other myths.

Seriously? On the third day after delivery I was out the door, albeit just for a short while. I walked little M to the neighbourhood polyclinic for a mandatory check-up. I have been up and about since, getting a dose of fresh air, sunshine and greenery each day – sometimes with little M in the stroller, other times alone.

Yesterday, 10 days post-delivery, I returned to the nearby grass trail Tampines Eco Green. I know my body well. It didn’t feel ready yet for a run, so I just brisk walked. Today I felt better and interspersed very short and very slow jogging spurts in between brisk walking. I keep these little jaunts at about 45 minutes and bring a large bottle of water with me to ensure I am well hydrated. The last thing I want is to affect my breast milk supply – surprisingly I was able to express more milk post-exercise!

I posted the above photo on my Facebook wall a couple of days ago – “Little M’s first beach outing” – and got a couple of friends telling me the importance of confinement. I appreciate their concern, but frankly I am not silly or, as one put it, “hardcore”. I think I know my limits and what’s best for my body and mind. The fact that I have stayed very active up till the day my water bag broke (I was hiking at Macritchie 10 hours before the bag broke) has really helped with a quick recovery from labour. It also helped that I had a smooth vaginal delivery with no episiotomy needed, nor did I tear. Little M and I could have left the hospital 24 hours after delivery, though I opted to stay another night mainly to take advantage of the help from the lactation consultants. Apart from water retention in the legs that lasted about four days after delivery (compression socks did the trick), I felt great.

Every pregnancy is different and every woman is different. For me, I feel ready to get back on my feet and for some light activity. I believe it’s good for both me and the bub. The last thing we need on this new motherhood journey is to have our wings clipped at the get go.

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……

… Still waiting… Filling time with work, baking, running, swimming, hiking, and general preparations for little M’s arrival… Today, a lil hike at Macritchie and a homemade pecan butter cake (dad’s request).

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