Three weeks old and growing so fast!

I find it completely surreal that three weeks ago – right now, at around 10 am on the morning of September 15th – I was just nearing 5 cm dilation and was munching on ice chips, awaiting the much anticipated arrival of my little boy. Though I have certainly said it enough, I really just can’t believe that the pregnancy is over! Not that I am planning to start any second pregnancy again for a good long while, but there is a definite disconnect in my mind right now that this perfect little person was created by me and my husband, was grown and nurtured by my own body, and was born in such a drama-free, calm way. I can’t believe how lucky I am!

As I type this, Russ is sleeping in his bassy and making really cute faces like the one you see above (Those lips! Those cheeks!!). He cracks me up because he stretches out, puts his arms behind his head, burps, and farts in his sleep – such a guy!

This past week has seen a few new developments for our little man. He rolled up on his side several times in the past few days – at one point coming very close to rolling over onto his stomach, if not for his pesky arm thwarting his efforts – as well as started making more eye contact, smiling more, and cooing a lot. Oh my gosh, the cooing…it sort of melts my heart, it’s so adorable!

Coming up in the next few days, I’m going to start ordering his birth announcements, as well as prints of his newborn pictures and photos from the hospital, the birth, the first days and weeks at home with him, etc. I can’t say I’m going to turn into a full-on “scrapbooker,” because I seriously don’t see that happening. BUT I do love putting together photo albums – just good old, classic, simple photo albums that can be enjoyed for generations to come. With all the digital storage that is so popular these days, I think it’s still important to keep real, printed photos on hand. Similar to the way I feel about print journalism in the age of the internet – paper is still my preference.

Another new development – not on the baby front, but on the mommy front – is the return of some of my former athletic prowess. Before I found out I was pregnant, I was running, doing Lotte Berk (similar to Pilates, but most of it is done standing up), and lifting weights, and I was feeling the best I had in YEARS. I was also really into hiking, and I was eating well – getting enough calories to fuel all my activities and enjoying food, but I also had tons of energy. I was just in a really good place, right up to my last good run – a five-miler I completed while visiting my family back home in Conway, on December 23rd. Funny how you remember dates like that. After that last fateful run, things went downhill quickly – though I didn’t know why at that point! On January 5th, when I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive, I wasn’t sure if I would continue attempting to run for as long as it remained comfortable. My answer came when I began trying to jog that afternoon at the gym: Nope, no way, and no thanks. My bladder already felt like it had a brick sitting on it, even though I was only 4 weeks along, and I honestly just didn’t feel quite right about running. I decided to stick with walking and easy cardio like the elliptical machine for the remainder of my pregnancy. So, for all intents and purposes, I have not run more than a few steps ALL YEAR LONG! Well, that changed yesterday!

As a runner of just over eight years, I’ve learned over time that my mind is what tells me when it’s “time to run,” not my body. My mind has always been the driving force behind my running, because lord knows, I am not built for running. It definitely doesn’t come naturally for me. I’m not fast, not particularly graceful – I just sort of plod along faithfully and hope for the best. When Jon and I took Russ over to the middle school track near our house last night to meet up with a friend of mine for her run, I figured Jon and my friend would do the running, while I toddled along with Russ in the stroller. But after noticing that my walking stamina was really picking up – and not missing the fact that I’d had running on my mind all day long – I decided to give it a go. I walked the curves of the track and ran the straights, and did that for close to two miles. Really, without the stroller to slow me down, I would’ve felt okay running longer stretches (Jon took the stroller for me for a few rounds before deciding that it was making running in a straight line way too difficult). Now, I didn’t overdo it – I don’t want to compromise my milk supply or stress my body out, as I am still only three weeks postpartum. But I think when it comes to postpartum recovery, you just have to listen to your body. I woke up this morning feeling only a slight bit sore in my legs, and otherwise am feeling great! I can’t believe that I did it! It will take me awhile to get back to where I was before I got pregnant, but I felt very proud of what I was able to do yesterday, and if that was all I did for the next few months or so, I’ll be happy with it still. It’s really important to both me and Jonathan that we set a good example for healthy and happy living for Russ, and that starts with “walking the walk (or run) and talking the talk.” We love ice cream and cookies in this house, but we want to make sure that he gets a nice, well-rounded sense of how to live a healthy overall lifestyle.

Anyhow, off to feed the babe and shower so we can run to the grocery store. Happy three-week birthday, my son! What a blessed mommy I am. 🙂

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