One Year Post-Baby Update

Happy Baby April!

Happy Baby April!

Wow - it's hard to realize this, but in just a few days it'll be one year since I brought my daughter, April Susan, into this world.

April was born March 27, 2010 in a whirlwind delivery. Her entrance into this world was so fast that she almost was born in the car... Some of you may remember her birth story from last year, but for those of you who missed it (trust me, it's pretty comical... thanks to my awesome hubby), you can check it out here: April's arrival.

In this past year so much has happened. Not only have I become a mother (that's so strange to say that... me, a mom? Woah, watch out), but I started my own business doing fitness bootcamps full time, I work mostly from home doing writing and online nutrition counseling so I can be with April more, I work at an alternative health clinic part time, I run a corporate bootcamp and wellness program, and now, next week, I'll be working weekly at a large insurance company in Mass. doing diet counseling for the employees. So, as you can see, I've been incredibly busy! But, it's a good busy! And, I mostly work for myself, which I looovve.

On the motherhood front, I wanted to comment on what I've learned and done that I never thought I would have accomplished:

1) First, up until this week I exclusively breast fed April. Yes, she ate food, but the only liquids she drank (other than water sometimes) was breastmilk from me. Breastfeeding is incredibly energy demanding and there were days that I just couldn't eat enough, and it's a time consuming process, especially if you have other things to do, other than just be at home with baby (which is what I was faced with).

I had thought I would nurse April until past a year, but two weeks ago, April bit me so hard with her 6 new teeth, that there was nothing but blood coming out of me.... after that, I just had to cut back. It was so painful and she was more interested in biting than nursing, that I made the decision to stop. So, right now, she drinks goat milk during the day, and nurses a bit at night. I'm ok with this decision now, but it did bother me at first because I had no issues breastfeeding other than the nuisance of it sometimes.

2) After having baby, one of my friends said to me: "Motherhood is easy before you actually become a mother", which I swear is true. Now, don't get me wrong, April is a totally easy-going kid, and so sweet, but I really thought I knew it all before she arrived.

But, every kid is different, and every kid changes so easily from one second to another. So, you might read every book on the topic of parenting, but remember: your kid is your kid and no book is ever going to completely tell you how to raise him or her, and once you think you've got them figured out, they'll change on you :) Keeps you on your toes, right?

For example, one of my baby shower gifts was a pack-n-play (basically a portable crib) and some people always have their kids in these to keep them out of trouble. Well, I've barely even used the thing as I let April crawl around everywhere in the house and be a free bird. Different strokes for different folks.

Or sleep habits/training - some parents are adamant about their child's bedtime, where my husband and I usually let April dictate her own bedtime for the most part. Not that I let her stay up until 11am, but she usually tells me when she's tired. If I try to put her to bed before that time, she is not a happy camper. But when I wait until she's mostly ready, she goes right to sleep with no problems.

Also, with sleep - sometimes she sleeps through the night and sometimes not, and even though some books say she should be by this age, it depends on teething (she's got lots coming in), hunger, sickness, etc. She'll wake up if she wants to, not matter what I read.

3) With exercise, my workouts used to be my top priority, but since having baby, I get my workouts in when I can, which isn't every day, or always exactely when I want them to be. This still frustrates me somewhat, but so far I'm feeling really great and have dropped a lot of body fat.

Here's a video from my workout today that I did while April was at daycare:

4) With respect to daycare, before having April, I was convinced that I would not put her in daycare until she was at least over a year old. I was using this time as a bench mark since my girlfriends in Canada are all paid to stay home with their children for the first year. Plus, I wanted to be the one to raise my child, not someone else.

Well, unfortunately, no one is paying me to stay at home with my kid, so I have to work (thankfully not all the time though). And, as such, I have had to put April in daycare two days per week. I have in her in a beautiful home day care though, so it's more like home. And, I must say I love it. The daycare mom is so loving, so caring and gives April just as much attention and care as she deserves. April also gets to do pre-school at daycare with the older kids, so gets a lot of social and educational time.

On the other hand, with me, oftentimes I try to do work while April is at home, but it's not really fair to her. So, in daycare she gets to have fun, interact with other kids and learn new things, which I feel makes her more well-rounded. So, I was wrong about daycare and really look forward to her two-day a week visits (it also gives me a chance to keep up with the housecleaning when I'm not out working) :)

5) Finally - it amazes me how much I've been able to accomplish while being a new mom. I often hear mother's tell me how they have no time to: a) workout, b) eat well, c) doing anything for themselves... etc. But, I just don't see this being such an issue unless perhaps you have a very difficult child (which I know exists). You can still be a good mom and take care of yourself.

True, there are days where I forgoe a shower to get more work done, or don't do much other than play with April, but I still have found the time to spend time with my husband, keep up with my own needs, and be a good mom. And, I do all of this with NO help at all - my family lives in Canada, so these tasks are all of my own accord. 

 

Overall, it's been quite a whirlwind year and I look forward to the next 365 days with my little Ape-y.

Here's to motherhood - It's the best job ever!

 

 

 

Posted Mar 23, 2011 by Cassandra Forsythe.
This entry is filed under Postpregnancy, nutrition, and exercise.
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Comments for This Entry

GravatarAmanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength10:30AM on March 23, 2011

Congratulations on becoming a mom! Sounds like you have learned SO much and are doing a great job. I'm due with my first on June 3 and I love how you brought up that it's still possible to take care of yourself and get your workouts in. That's something I'm super stressed about because workouts have always been a priority for me as well. I'm trying to become more flexible about when/where/how I workout now in preparation for the business that I'm sure is ahead.

Also, my husband and I are looking to start a local bootcamp outside within the next few months. Do you have any advice on how you found a location or went to market?? Anything would be appreciated!

GravatarCassandra12:03PM on March 23, 2011

Hi Amanda!
Great to *meet* you! I see you're pretty close to me - about 2 hours away. We should meet up sometime! It's great to meet another fit mommy :)

Congrats on the new bundle of joy heading your way - motherhood is awesome.

We should get on the phone or email and chat about your bootcamps, etc. I've done both indoor and outdoor and can lend you my experiences.

BTW - I love your website and would have loved to attend your workshop this weekend, but it's my daughter's birthday :)

TTYS!

GravatarAmanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength01:50PM on March 23, 2011

Hi Cassandra -

Great to "meet" you as well. :) I would LOVE to get together...why don't you send me an email at amanda@skillofstrength.com and we can try to figure out a date/time/place?

Also, if you're interested in Kettlebell Training, my husband said he's happy to help you out! He can do a private session similar to the workshop.

Happy Birthday to your daughter! I'm looking forward to meeting you.

Thanks again. :)

GravatarJill Maxwell06:49AM on March 24, 2011

Great post Cassandra! Also, I love the workout videos you have been including. Hope to see more of them!

GravatarMiranda08:42AM on March 31, 2011

Thanks for your 1 year post-baby update, and good job with continuing the breastfeeding up until 1 year! That's so awesome, I really think it's something that has gotten lost somehow in our culture.

I also appreciate the link to your birth story since I am now 39+ weeks and getting anxious! The same thing is happening to me, btw, with the 'small' belly measurement. I'm getting sent to 'growth check' ultrasounds and the last one estimates I have an 8 lb-er in there which my doctor still doesn't seem to believe based on my belly size of 36cm! It's encouraging to see I am not alone on that and you had a healthy baby, so I am continuing my workouts and hopefully will be in the gym the day of or before I go into labor just like you!

GravatarRumiana01:41PM on March 31, 2011

Cassandra, you are very good story teller. I enjoyed your 1 year motherhood trip, I can feel how busy you are and at the same time you find time to exercise and you don't forget healthy meals. I like also pregnancy fit stories you had on your blog, I learned a lot from them and changed my mind how hard pregnant women can workout.

GravatarAngela11:13AM on April 14, 2011

Glad to read your update but I feel compelled to make a comment. I CRINGED when I read this "Plus, I wanted to be the one to raise my child, not someone else." in reference to daycare. Not the case at all. I won't go into a long soapbox rant, but this type of thinking can be destructive for moms like myself who have children in daycare.

Glad things are going so well for you and your family.

GravatarCassandra11:25AM on April 14, 2011

Hi Angela - you did read the next paragraph, right? Where I said that original mentality was incorrect and that I now love daycare. Sorry for the miscommunication.

GravatarAngela12:32PM on April 14, 2011

I guess because my little one is in a group daycare full time, that comment can really be a sore spot. Not to mention I hear it ALL the time. I was looking for a more direct connection that thinking that way is no correct. But I guess your posting isn't about daycare now is it ;-) I'll try not to be so emotional in my comments.

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