Self Care: Postpartum

Hello, hello, hello!

I am currently about 34 and a half weeks pregnant and in FULL on nesting mode. As I went down my checklist of mommy/baby needs, I realized I needed to get my postpartum basket made as well!

I just wanted to start off by saying that I am NO expert. These are the products that I found worked well for me after my delivery/postpartum recovery. I will provide links with each item on where you may purchase them. I will also be talking about what worked and what didn’t work for me.

I spent a lot of time on Google and Pinterest on any postpartum tips. Although I may have bookmarked/pinned a few, nothing was as helpful as the nurses at the hospital. Utilize them! They made everything so much easier.

With that being said, let’s get started!

Tip #1: STOCK UP ON ALL THE ITEMS FROM THE HOSPITAL.
Yes, the pads are going to be larger than your face. Yes, looking at the mesh underwear, you are probably thinking “that is not going to fit”. It will and you will love it. Don’t be afraid to ask for some to take home.

At Kaiser, they had these huge pads that had an ice pack attached in the center. I was a little out of it but understood the need 100% as soon as my nurse whipped up my “pad-sicle” and felt instant relief!

Tip #2: TAKE THE PERI BOTTLE HOME.
Whether you give birth vaginally or via c-section, the recovery gets messy. Period. Pun intended, lol.

For vaginal, you may or may not tear. Either way, it will be sensitive, probably swollen, and not an area you want to be touching with toilet paper. The peri bottle allows you to get yourself clean between “pad-sicle” changes without causing more irritation to the area. Also, hemorrhoids, they happen.

I was very grateful for my peri bottle. The one downside is that once you held it upside down, water comes out before you get the chance to actually clean yourself off. That is why I bought the MOMWASHER for this round.

This one allows you to hold the bottle upside down and squeeze the water as needed. It also has an angled nozzle to help reach those specific areas. It also comes with a little bag for storage!

Tip #3: TUCKS + DERMOPLAST = LOVE

Remember those “pad-sicles” I was talking about?
1) Pad
2) Ice pack in the center (optional)
3) TUCKS, take about 3 and line the center of the pad. Use more if you would like!
4) Dermoplast, finish it off with a spray of this guy all over the pad. You don’t need much!

Tip #4: ALWAYS INFNITY
Hear me out. Use those large pads for the first few days or when you run out. The length of time you have postpartum bleeding varies from person to person. I personally bled for at least 4 weeks. Although the most messy parts were the first week or two, it definitely kept going.

These are amazing. They hold SO much but feel like nothing. It allowed me to wear some of my normal clothes without feeling like I was walking around in a diaper. Keep in mind, these are their heaviest option. In my opinion they were the best because they were longer which allowed for maximum coverage.

Tip #5: Skip the large underwear.
This is my personal opinion. I took home a couple of the mesh undies they had at the hospital. After I threw them away (I warned you, it gets messy), I tried using these larger, bikini style underwear I bought just for this. Everything I read said “don’t ruin your undies, just go buy some ugly ones” so I did. I HATED IT. They were so uncomfortable and I still found myself needing to change them during the day.

This time, I bought some Depends. I kid you not, I was so excited. Not only are these disposable, but I am not adding to my already growing pile of laundry! They come in three colors, nude, black, and purple. You know, for when you want to change it up 😉

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Placed them all inside a basket for easy access (we have two bathrooms) and there you have it!

Thanks for reading!
-Jessica

Trimester One:

Here is a brief timeline of what happened in the first 12 weeks for my journey with #babyschmidt2.0

July 23, 2016: (3 weeks, 3 days) Positive pregnancy test! I just happened to be at the Venetian in Las Vegas. This was day three of our vacation and I knew something was up. I walked downstairs to Walgreens and coughed up $22.00 for two pregnancy tests! I didn’t even care at that point how much they cost.

July 26, 2016: (4 weeks) After a quick run to Target, I quickly put together a box that I would give to Michael. He didn’t know yet!!!

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At the time, I was going off of my estimated due date from my apps on my phone. I am by no means “regular” cycle wise so I wasn’t really sure how far along I was.

August 17, 2016: (7weeks) First appointment with OBGYN Nurse. This was new for me. Before, they would just set you up with an OB. This time, they sit you down with someone who gives you a book, some forms, and basically just goes through what to expect appointment wise, numbers to call, overall resources. It was great.

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August 18, 2017: (7 weeks, 1 day) Blood work and early ultrasound for due date verification.

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August 24, 2016: (8 weeks) First appointment with OBGYN. I also did an early glucose tolerance test since I am overweight. Im 4’11.25″ so my BMI was NOT where it should be, lol. Unfortunately, the lab I went to did not chill their glucose drinks…yuck!

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September 2, 2016: (9 weeks, 2 days) So, remember that 1 hour glucose test? I failed. It was such a shock to me only because I passed with Evan. I now had to do a 3 hour fasting glucose tolerance test! 7am appointment time, four blood draws, and another room temperature drink. They said the first hour is the worst. They weren’t kidding. I thought I was going to throw up. I sat there and watched Netflix because I was not about to throw up and have to drink it all over again!

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I PASSED! Well, for now. I will need to repeat this again at/after 24 weeks. Fortunately, it’s only one hour this time!

 

Oh S***! Another Schmidt?!

Hello, again!

I think one of these days I will get this blogging thing down. I have been wanting to write about this since I first found out. Since we were unsure of when we should share the news, I have refrained from writing about it until now!

I’m so excited to start documenting all that has and all that is yet to happen!

img_8384Baby Schmidt #2 is due April 5, 2017!!

When they say “you just know” in regards to becoming pregnant again, they weren’t kidding!

Something must be in the water because before I found out I was expecting, my news feed seemed to be full of people who were announcing their pregnancies. After I found out, the announcements seemed to continue! It was SO hard keeping this a secret!

Since we are not sure if this is our last #babyschmidt, I decided I wanted to blog this experience. My previous pregnancy with Evan was pretty rough towards the end, I also don’t have a lot of memories written down. I find myself scrolling through previous social media posts for some reminders.

Until next time!

-Jessica

 

Four

Hello, friends!

I realized I took a very long hiatus. I apologize. Thank you to my friend Elise for calling me out and motivating to getting back on here!

Today, I thought I would talk about skincare. It’s a topic I get frequently asked about.

Personally, I have always had “dry skin”. Not just my face, my whole body. On top of that, I tend to develop sensitivities to certain topical products depending on the brand/type. Basically, I have about a minute from when my face is wiped dry or drying to get the next product on. It’s THAT dry. If I use products that are not “hydrating” enough, my skin will feel tight and will most likely peel.

Fastforward to the present. My skin has not changed much. The only difference is now ok battling acne. If you know me, this is a big deal. #firstworldproblems I have never really dealt with acne. I can count on one hand the number of pimples I would get in a year. Now, I find myself developing them around my forehead. It’s always just one. Once it begins to heal, oh hey new pimple. It is honestly driving me crazy because everything I have in my arsenal is for DRY, DEHYDRATED skin. Seriously. From my make-up removers, cleansers, masks, toners, serums, eye creams, moisturizers, and sprays.

Michael to the rescue! So, Kiehl’s was having a 20% off “Friends and Family Sale”. I am an avid lover of their “Creme de Corps” lotion and a few of their skincare items. After listening to me complain, Michael agreed to take me and get some new products to try.

Here we go!

imageUltra Facial Toner $16.00

So, you don’t HAVE to use a toner. I prefer to use a gentle one to soften the skin prior to serums and moisturizer application. Also, I don’t always wash my face in the morning. I find it to be too drying at times. When I wake up, I take a cotton pad, pour this on it, swine across my face, and move on to my serum.

imageHydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate $58.00

This is a new product for me. I noticed that throughout the day, my face would feel tight. This was recommended to me by a Kiehl’s employee. It is used after toning, and before serums. I am so far loving this. With one use, my face felt more hydrated.

imageCreamy Eye Treatment with Avocado $29

I dont think it’s ever too early to start using an eye cream. My mom told me to start using one before I turned 20.

This stuff is exactly what it says, creamy. It’s thick but it applies and absorbs well. I’m seeing less dryness under my eyes when makeup is applied. If you have more concerns with smile lines, crows feet, etc, I would suggest an eye cream that targets those concerns.

imageAcne Blemish Control Daily Skin-Clearing Treatment $30.00

Like I mentioned above, I recently started experiencing some minor breakouts. This product has 1.5% Salicylic Acid to help with them. I apply this after my serum and before my moisturizer. Even though I have a breakout, doesn’t mean my skin is less dry.

After application, since I have already applied a serum, I wait a couple of minutes before applying a moisturizer to let the product penetrate the skin. So far, so good. After 2 days, usually my pimple is gone.

imageCactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist $27

This was a random find. However, it is AMAZING. I sprayed this on my face at the store and I couldn’t stop touching my face for the rest of the night. I have been ride or die with the Rose Water spray from Mario Badescu, however, this stuff is no joke, lol.

I like to use a mist at the end of my skincare routine to “set” everything and provide another layer of hydration.

image“Creme de Crops” Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter $38.00

This was a splurge item. I currently have their two largest pump sizes of the Creme de Corps lotion. It saved my skin. Literally, saved it. Even made stretch marks smoother. I bought this for the sole purpose of applying to my feet, elbows, knees, and hands before bed.

I strongly recommend their lotions to anyone looking for extra hydration in the skin!

I know that was long. For those of you who made it through, thanks for sticking with me!

Until next time!

 

Three.

Left: July 1st, 2011
Right: November 24th, 2015.

New year, new me?

As the year begins to wrap up, people are usually creating a mental checklist of “goals” they would like to accomplish within the next year. Most of them are lifestyle changes.

This next year, I would like to become the old me.

Let us start with the obvious. I was smaller. Much smaller. Per the scale in my sister’s bathroom the other day, I am roughly 50 pounds heavier today than I was when the photo on the left was taken. (Boy, I deleted that sentence 8 times before deciding to keep it.) When I look at myself in the mirror, I often tell myself “Wow, Michael must really love me or else he would have left me by now. I mean, who would want this?” By no means am I saying relationships are only about physical attraction. But come on, no need to lie to ourselves. There has to be SOME attraction there. Even if that attraction developed down the road. That is just how clouded my head is. That is disgusted I am with myself. I mean, I’ve had plenty of people put me down. Whether it be to my face or behind my back. Some of them family, some of them friends, some just “know me” from people I’m connected to. If they can, surely I should be allowed to. The moment I found out I was pregnant, my first thought was “great, I’m going to be the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka.” I don’t believe you have to be overweight to have insecurities about your body. I just happen to have both. Now that we have Evan, getting into shape is one of my top goals. I want to hold him in his Ergobaby without my lower back hurting an hour later. I want to bend down and pick him up without my thighs burning. I want to be around and be well as he reaches new milestones.

Next, I was happy. What do I mean by that? I wasn’t toggling between being anxious or depressed. My outer appearance reflected how I felt in the inside. The smiles were real. The laughs were real. I had a life. I got out of bed. I made plans with family and friends and stuck to them. Nowadays we are constantly late to events because I have to spend so much time convincing myself we should go. I want to be excited to be out and about. To spend time with our loved ones. To smile when a photo is being taken, not run away from the camera.

I would like to be that girl again.

 

 

Two.

Am I doing this right?

Why don’t I feel like i’m doing this “mommy” thing right?

Having a history of depression, postpartum depression affected me. I remember calling Michael over after giving birth to make sure Evan was still breathing. The first few nights I remember crying because I couldn’t hear him breathing from our bed. This of course kicked my anxiety into high gear. I couldn’t get images out of my head of Evan getting injured. It didn’t matter to me who was holding him. If it wasn’t me, he was going to die. I was sure of it. Having these thoughts all day long was exhausting. I was tired. Feeling the guilt of the many, many E.R. visits during my pregnancy (gallstones), and all of the pain medication pumped into my body from the pain, I opted out of taking my anti-depressants.

At exactly four weeks postpartum, I was admitted to have my gallbladder removed. That definitely made for some uncomfortable feeding sessions. On top of that, I was told not to lift anything over 10lbs. At the time, Evan was already over that threshold. My depression started spiraling. I felt so helpless at times. All I wanted was to take care of my baby. How could I when I couldn’t even get out of bed on my own?

Finally I had enough. I decided to seek help and get my condition under control. I could not physically, mentally, and emotionally take care of him to the best of my abilities when I was not in a good physical, mental, and emotional state. How could I “sleep when he sleeps” when I was constantly hovering over him, counting his every breath? After some time, my anxiety decreased. I was able to get some more rest. I wanted to be out of the house. I felt more “myself”. I was finally enjoying the ever so fleeting newborn stage.

I’ve yet to master the art of staying awake after the first feeding, feed myself, and complete the list of tasks I wrote out the night before. It’s also a rare occasion that I’ve gotten out of my pajamas, brushed my hair, picked up the house, and have dinner cooking before Michael comes home from work.

For him and for myself, I will get there.11227966_10205240300063188_464322110667890931_o

One.

The ones who have my heart.

imageMichael and I got our first baby about two and a half years ago. She is our fur baby, Kaia. She is a papillon-maltese mix. She is full of energy, barks uncontrollably, and loves unconditionally.

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Evan Michael Kawaipunahele Satoshi Schmidt

Our nugget made his appearance on June 28th 2015 at 12:11am. He is the main reason I wanted to start this blog. I spent so much time body shaming myself during my pregnancy that I documented nothing. I can count on one hand the number of belly pics that I took. I refuse to look back on his first year of life, our first year as parents, and do make the same mistake.

This time will be different.