8 Months Postpartum and Preparing Body
It is crazy to think that Dakota is 8 months now, time really does fly! It is even crazier that Justin and I are thinking of when is the best time to transfer another one of our frozen embryos. If you aren't familiar with our IVF story, please visit "Our Story" tab. Now I am focusing on now only providing the best nutrition for Dakota while nursing but also trying to prepare my body for an upcoming transfer in the next few months.
While breastfeeding, I have been sure to take my prenatal daily, along with an additional Calcium + Vitamin D and B12. Recently my insurance switched prenatal vitamins on their formulary. This new vitamin was lacking in several nutrients (such as Vitamin A, zinc, calcium, etc), so I decided to invest in Full Circle Prenatal. Previously I always just took the prenatal that my insurance paid for and made up for lacking vitamins/minerals with taking additional supplements. However, now with being a little older, having 2 healthy babies and breastfeeding both in a 3 year time span, I want to take extra precautions to be sure my body is fueled nutritionally as it can be before transferring another embryo. This prenatal was designed by a dietitian that I look up to and put my faith in for providing my body with the best optimal nutrition for me and baby. Through March, there is also 20% off! Read more about Full Circle Prenatal here:
Over the past 8 months, I have tried to focus on consuming nutrient dense foods to provide Dakota with what she needs. A nutrient dense diet means nutrient-dense breastmilk...It's never seizes to amaze me how much we can affect our baby's future by what we eat when we are trying to conceive (effecting our eggs as women and sperm for men), while we are pregnant (#epigenetics), and while we are breastfeeding! I have increased my consumption of eggs for choline, trying to have 3 daily. One benefit of the Full Circle Prenatal is that is also contains choline. Did you know that a baby's brain is only about 25% developed at birth and goes in to double in size in the first year of life? Adequate choline during early development increases memory capacity and helps prevent age-related memory and attention decline when your now baby, is a young adult. I have also tried to consume adequate B vitamins, particularly B12. B12 plays an important role in baby's growth, from a length/weight standpoint but also muscular and behavioral growth. Liver and organ meats are rich sources of B 12 as well as seafood (ie trout, salmon, tuna, sardines, clams). I know I do not consume adequate B 12 from my diet so I also take a B 12 supplement. DHA, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Iodine are other nutrients to focus on while breastfeeding. I have even started making salmon patties! Growing up, one of my best friends and neighbor, had salmon patties as a staple at her house. I could never get past the smell to taste them. However, with trying to increase my DHA, trying to find foods for a picky toddler (who used to love grilled salmon but now refuses), and also my daughter who is always up for trying new foods at this young age, salmon patties have became a hit in our house. This one in particular: https://downshiftology.com/recipes/salmon-patties/. I almost always have some help food prepping from my littles :)
I can also say now, 8 months postpartum, my body is starting to level out. This time taking much longer than it did after having Grady. With having a slight bladder prolapse, I did seek the help of a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor and am proud to say that I was able to run 12 minutes yesterday! Haha...this may not seem like a victory to many, but it is in my books! I have not focused on weight loss as much this time, but instead fueling my body and listening to my body and what physical activity, if any (..and what I have time for) will look like on a day-to-day basis. As almost all women do, I have had mood swings (and continue to!) but do truly feel like my investment in Young Living oils has helped as well as TRYING to get outside for a walk either on the weekends or on my lunch break. There is something about a walk or run outside in the fresh air that just hits this girl's happy brain receptors in all the right ways. Without this "me" time, I find myself on the struggle bus.
Over these next few months, I am going to continue to try to focus on not only my nutritional health, but my physical, mental, and spiritual health as we prepare to transfer another one of our precious embryos. It has been an adjustment going from one little one to two and some days the thought of being blessed with another baby seems overwhelming. I often doubt myself not knowing if I could ever be a mom to 3. But then there are days that the stars align and I feel like I could tackle whatever challenge God lays before me and Justin, even if that means all of our frozen embryos resulting in a positive pregnant test (wouldn't that be A-MAZING!). As I rock Dakota in her room, I read this verse to her, several times per day: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go." Joshua 1:9. I often think back to the day when Justin and I were going through infertility treatments, which is right where you may be. This verse meant something different to me then. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would have 2 healthy, perfect children and be preparing to transfer another frozen embryo. Now, having fearful thoughts of having another miscarriage, an embryo not surviving a thaw, and frankly, just possibly having 3 children, I have to also instill this verse into my daily life. What you learn while you're going through your infertility journey, will help you in the most unexpected ways later down the road. Remember, God is perfecting His perfect plan for you ;)
Love and baby blessings,