Fed & Fit

Ep. 168: Life Since Baby!

On today's episode, I'm talking about how we're adjusting to life since baby!

We're back with our 168th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 168 Transcription

Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. Welcome to the show. Today, you get just me. Me, myself, and I. And what we’re going to chat about today is the real-real on how my life has changed in the last 6 months since having a baby! She’s so cute!

If you didn’t know it, Austin, my husband and I, welcomed our first little girl. I say that because one day maybe we’ll have more babies. But we welcomed Graysen into the world in January. On January 25, 2018, she made her appearance. I went almost 42 weeks pregnant with her. And if you’d like to read all about her birth story, you can head over to the blog. I have Graysen Joy’s birth story is a blog post here. It’s unabridged {laughs}. So if you like detail, I got you covered.

But a question I’ve gotten a lot has been; how is this different since baby, and how is that different since baby. Workouts. Food. Body image. Sleep schedule. How are you doing all of these things? How is your work different? So we thought that it might be a really good opportunity just to hop on; let’s chat about it. I’m going to tell all.

Because these are the kinds of things that I was curious about before having a kid. I wanted to know how life; what does it actually look like? How actually is it different? Because you hear so many mixed reviewed, right? And I think personal mindset and personal outlook has a lot to do with how you perceive life as being different after having a kid. After having a baby. So I say that with a caveat, because I still find myself feeling incredibly grateful. I mean, gosh you guys. There are moments every single day. I’m trying not to sound too, too cheeseball. But this is from the bottom of my heart.

Every single day, there’s at least one, if not several moments, where I walk in from a different room, and Gray; we call her Gray. Is sitting there with my husband, or with our childcare person. Or with a family member. And I walk in, and I see her, and I think, “Oh my gosh! I have a baby! I can’t believe it! She’s my baby! I had that! My body grew her! Look at her, she’s got this light in her eyes. She’s her own person. She’s so little and cute and sweet and sassy and all those things. I can’t believe that she’s a part of my life.”

I guess I wanted to say that, because that’s the context of my perception. Yeah, there are hard days. There are things that are very different that make an impact, of course, on the ease of my life right now. It’s not as easy to do certain things that I got to do before having a kid.

But oh my goodness. I still find myself so incredibly grateful for just this enormous blessing that has been bestowed. Children are a gift, and she is the greatest gift. So, say that first.

Let’s jump into the nitty gritty. Blah, blah, blah; we get it. You love her. {laughs} Tell me what’s going on. Tell me what’s actually different.

So let’s break it up into categories. We’re going to talk about workouts, wardrobe, food, schedule. Overall schedule. We’re going to talk about sleep. My marriage. Friendships with other people. Body image. And work. So if you're curious about any of those things; what it’s like having a 6-month-old; or 0 to 6-month-old, that’s the experience I can speak from. That’s what we’re going to jump into.

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Alrighty, so starting with the first thing I jotted down; workouts. This is a question I get a lot. How are your workouts different? How are you able to squeeze it in. You guys; if y’all follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me occasionally on Instagram stories say something along the lines of, “This is it!” I feel like I’m in that yoyo of the resolution yoyo, a little bit. I’m sure most people can sympathize. Unless you're a true-blue Upholder; the Gretchen Ruben Four Tendencies quiz. If you don’t know what an Upholder is.

Upholders tend to be very good at upholding commitments to themselves and to others. So unless you're a true-blue Upholder, you probably can identify with this a little bit. You say, “Alright, self. {laughs} We’re going to do this thing. We’re going to wake up, and we’re going to go workout at 5 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Because that is the only time that I think I can actually be consistent in going. We’re going to put the clothes out the night before. And then we’re going to get up and go. It’s going to be sleepy, but we’re going to get it done. And then we’re going to come home. Maybe eat a little breakfast. Get a good, healthy breakfast in. Maybe I’ll shower. And we’re going to do all of this before the baby wakes up.” {laughs}

So, that is still a goal of mine. But I have yet to have a perfect week {laughs} in that pursuit. What I have found has been working a little bit easier; I was not in a rush to get back to the gym right away after having Gray. I really wanted to allow my body to heal. I don’t say slowly as in I didn’t want to slow it down, but I wanted to just let it heal versus trying to hurry it along, if that makes any sense.

Looking in the mirror right now; my body still looks different than it did before I got pregnant. And you know what? It may never look the same as it did before I got pregnant. And I am really ok with that. This body did some incredible stuff, and this is me. And I love this body, and this vehicle for that.

So I was in no rush really to get back into the gym right away. I’m a very active person, so there was still lots of walking around. Baby wearing. Going on lots of walks. I was by no means grunging it up on the couch. But, outside of that newborn phase. Having a baby; I had her vaginally. So anybody listening, or anybody who can imagine that is quite the recovery. So I did take it easy, of course, for the first two to four weeks. And then after that, we were walking around a bunch.

Anyway, workouts, I think I started to keep it in mind. Walking a little bit more intentionally when she got to be between one and two months old. And that’s frustrating because I did enjoy working out. And it’s one of those things; sometimes it’s hard to get to them gym but you never regret going. You know that mindset? And that’s what I told myself. “If I could just go workout, it might help me feel to put just a little extra pep in my step.” Because I was tired, from having a newborn at home, obviously. But I really wanted to remind myself that there’s so many other stressors going on, that I didn’t really want to add that extra stress of going and trying to crush it in the gym on top of it all.

So, I’ve been really taking my time. Trying to put this in a more concise nutshell. I’ve been really trying to take my time, getting back into a full-blown routine. And I’m going to transition slowly to it. There are some great home workouts that I have been doing in between things. We are, right now; I’ve teased it on social media so I can tell you guys here now. But we; my team and I, are in the process of writing book number two! And I agreed to write book number two, I think four days before Graysen was born!

To tell you what happened, I had gotten caught up with my to-do list. She was past her due date by several weeks. Or almost two full weeks. And I got caught up on all of my work that I never expected I would actually finish before she was born. And the truth is, I was bored. And we were doing another project; I’ll tell all about the details of this project soon. Some of you know, if you're on my newsletter. We released the name to our newsletter subscribers.

But I called up my publisher, and I said; what do you guys think about this? What do you think about doing this book? And they were very excited about it. Saw a lot of potential. And they said, But Cass. You're about to have a baby in a couple of days. {laughs} You sure you want to do this? Let’s revisit after you have the baby. But we were all in. We were really, really excited about this project. Because I think you guys are really going to enjoy it.

So I say all of that, because now that we’re in the throes of writing this book, we are at the very beginning of August, and the book is due, essentially, right now. And I did this last time I wrote a book. And I do this whenever I have a major deliverable. If I am working many, many hours during the day. And it’s high stakes; it’s pretty high stress style work. Chasing an aggressive deadline. Granted, I have a team now, so it’s much easier than it was the first time around when it was just me, begging my mom to come over and help me towards the end {laughs} in those kitchen days.

But I make the decision not to workout during these super stressful periods, because I really don’t want adrenal fatigue. Between having a baby, semi-sleepless nights, being on my feet all day long to photograph and to cook. And then to sit down at the computer and write, and try to juggle all the other aspects of our business; adding the stress of some sort of a workout before I’m actually in a routine. Starting a new workout routine right now; the personal decision that I have made has been to dial it back.

Now, after we get the book turned in, and things lighten up in terms of my workload, then I will jump back into it happily. But I try to look at my total load of stress, and if I can remove something, then I will to make sure that I really just don’t tip that scale into a scary adrenal fatigue direction. That was a very long-winded answer. But as soon as this thing is turned in, my plan is to get into those really early morning workouts.

Because y’all know, for me at least, early morning is the only time I can control. The rest of the day is going to run away. It’s going to take on a life of its own. But I can get to that 5 a.m. class, for the most part. Unless I was up all night long. And if you're listening and you're one of those mamas, and you're like, “But my baby keeps me up all night long.” Then I wouldn’t do 5 a.m. Because at the end of the day, sleep is going to do more for your health than getting up and going to that workout for 30 to 45 minutes. It really will.

So unless you have slept 6 to 7 hours, pieced together. I know that if you have a newborn, it’s very doubtful that you're getting 6 to 7 hours in one stretch. But unless you're getting 6 to 7 hours all put together, and you're feeling rested, then trade in for the sleep. And there have been many occasions that my alarm has gone off on those days that I had chosen to workout, but it was a long night with the baby, and instead I decided to sleep for that extra hour, instead. So I just want to encourage you to take it easy if you're in that stage. Know that bodies will continue to heal, and it’s ok to just be busy and be in this season, and not stress about what you should be doing in the gym.

Alright, next. Let’s talk briefly about wardrobe. This is something that I’ve talked a lot about on social media. Well; a lot. I at least posted one. {laughs} I have one picture up about it. How my wardrobe has changed since having a baby has been a rollercoaster. Because you're out of maternity clothes. And I really didn’t invest in that much true maternity wear. Because I would just rather buy larger comfier clothes than real maternity clothes.

But by the time you get; for me, at least. I had an enormous belly. And towards the end; and it was winter time, I could only really wear maybe four or five things. So when my enormous belly went away after having the baby, I wanted nothing to do with those four or five outfits. I was like; please get those away from me! And what I wanted was something that was comfy still. That fit my body better.

Now this is all, of course, not during the recovery phase. During the recovery phase, two to four weeks, I wore a lot of pajamas. A lot of stretchy pants from target. But, outside of that, I went through a phase. And it’s kind of frustrating because my maternity-wear I didn’t want to wear. I didn’t want to wear my maternity jeans, but I did not fit into my old blue jeans that I wore when I first got pregnant. I still don’t think I could squeeze into them right now.

So it was a little frustrating. So what I did, when Gray was about 2.5 to 3 months old. And I say go sooner than this. Go before I did. Because it was really instrumental in changing my outlook about my body, and making me feel better. Because what I realized, I was not happy about my body because I couldn’t find something to wear. It was that simple. My pants were too tight. And my maternity-wear stuff was too big. And I just was frustrated that I did not have something to fit my body then.

So, my mom and I packed up the baby. We went to the mall. I couldn’t order stuff online, because I had no idea what size I was. I had no idea what would fit this new body shape and what I would feel good in. So we actually went to the real-deal mall, and I tried on things. I bought a bra that fit me. I bought; this is getting a little personal, but I bought brand new underwear. I bought blue jeans. I’m wearing them right now. Athleta makes the blue jeans, and they market them as so stretchy or comfy that you could do yoga in them. They’re so comfortable. And they run a little large. So go and try them on to make sure you get the right size.

But man, it just makes a huge difference. All of a sudden I at least had a few outfits, which I have grown steadily since then, that fit this new body. And it changed my outlook. It became less about hating the fact that I couldn’t button up my old blue jeans. Now I look forward to getting dressed again. Because its fun to be able to dress yourself, for Pete’s sake. (That’s a terrible phrase.)

Next up; food. How has my food stuff changed since having a baby? You know, again. I am decidedly not being a hero with getting my body back, whatever the heck that means. I’m just enjoying where my body is at. Letting it do its own thing. Letting it recover at its own rate. And being very active, and eating the foods that I normally ate. I stay away from gluten-containing grains, because those give me migraines. I definitely have a sensitivity to wheat gluten. I try to stay away from a lot of processed foods. So pre-packaged cookies and crackers. I stay away from that stuff. We eat real food at home. A lot of vegetables across the colorful rainbow spectrum. I eat a lot of grass-fed meat, pastured chicken.

So I just ate. And I’m nursing Graysen. She’s still, right now, exclusively breastfed. We’re going to play with real foods very soon. But I’m her only food source. I didn’t want to do anything nutritionally that could compromise my supply. So I have been trying to really stay on top of making sure that I’m fed and hydrated. And that has really been my primary thought focus. It’s not been, what can I eat that will help my body slim back down. {laughs}

Because I know, after years of disordered eating, before I started my blog. I know what to do to change my body composition. But I also know what an impact that can have on hormones. And you know what; we want to have more babies. Why would I do something that would compromise my hormones for the sake of a different body size? It just didn’t make any sense. And that’s not the season I’m in, any more. I don’t necessarily value that like I did back then. I’ve really healed my relationship with food. I’ve healed my relationship with the image of myself.

So anyway. My food choices have still been usually three square, large meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I try to make sure that there are some healthy fats represented, some healthy proteins. And I do not skimp on the starch. If you all know me well, you know that I’m pretty pro high healthy starches. I think they really have a presence. Especially for ladies who are of child-bearing years. Even ladies who are not of child-bearing years. I would encourage you to consider adding healthy starches into your rotation if you are, for all practical purposes, well.

Hopefully that was semi-helpful. I can talk more about food later. The next thing I want to talk about is sleep. How has sleep changed? Having Graysen; this is going to be a little controversial. And like I say with all things baby related, I’m going to share what works for us. This is not an invitation. Me sharing is not an invitation for criticisms, or opinions, or really anything like that. Because parenting, pregnancy, baby rearing. It’s all such a personal decision. And the right fit is going to be different for every family. So I encourage you to keep that in mind as I share things about what we do as parents. And also take a deep breath; because even though you may do something different, I’m not saying that you're doing anything wrong. If you're doing something that works for your family, that’s all that matters.

Ok. So, for sleeping. We keep Graysen in our bedroom with us. We started her off; we have her in a cosleeper. So it sits right in between me and Austin. We have her in dock a tot. And it has been; we do have a bassinet next to us. One of those swivel halo bassinets. And we’re going to keep it, because maybe a future baby will like it. But with Gray, the first night I put her in that swivel halo bassinet, even though she was still right there within arm’s reach, I cried! {laughs} She was too far away from me. I was like; I can’t! She’s so far away, what if she needs me? It’s going to take me a half a second longer to get to it. It was very irrational. I was very sleepy that day.

But, we keep her between us. And to be honest, that has really helped with our sleep. Because if she gets hungry, she does not have to fully wake up to cry to get us to wake up, and then go and feed her in her room. So that was a decision we made to keep her close by.

And sleep, honestly, has not been hard since having a baby. There have been a very small handful of nights. I could probably count them on two hands, where she maybe cried in the middle of the night and really had a hard time. But those have been pretty few and far between. Because she does sleep between the two of us, if she starts to grunt or something like that. Austin and I are not necessarily extremely light sleepers. I can sleep next to a snoring baby with a snoring dog on the floor {laughs} you know. So it really didn’t bother me. I know that can disturb some people’s sleep, because babies are very noisy sleepers. There’s lots of sounds.

It’s kind of like sleeping next to a piglet. It’s just the darn cutest. And if anything, it gave me more joy than it took away from sleep. But it really hasn’t been that bad. And that’s, I think, largely because we have her with us in bed.

Ok, my schedule. How is that different? Well, things are different. You have to think; for example, I knew I wanted to build up a supply of breast milk. And I might do a separate post on this entirely, because I get a lot of questions about pumping and how to increase your output. But my schedule is totally different. Because it revolves around Graysen and her needs. She needs a diaper change regularly. Depends on what’s going on. Maybe it’s 30 minutes; maybe it’s an hour, hour and a half. So making sure I stop what I’m doing.

I used to be able to sit down and have a solid 2.5 to 3 hours to just work. I would drink something. And maybe I might get up to go to the bathroom really quickly. But I didn’t have to focus on anything other than my work. And even if I got up to fill up my water cup, I could still be submerged in my thought process of what I was doing before. And now, that’s just not an option. Because if I want to sit down and do a chunk of work, if I then change Graysen’s diaper, or I go and I feed her. Or whatever it is; because she still is breastfed. So if she’s in the house, I like to do all of her feedings. Then all of my attention; even if someone else was holding her. All of my attention goes to her. In a great way. That’s the way I want it to be.

But it breaks the thought line. So my schedule is very different. I feel like I’m living my life in 2-hour increments, for the most part. It’s just different. It’s not good or bad; it just is what it is. I think about first thing in the morning when I wake up. I wake up a little bit earlier than I might have before so that I can go pump. Because your supply is just better in the morning, and more likely to replenish. You're more likely to refill. So I like pumping in the morning because I have a better output. And that changes my day.

I pump, and then I make myself a coffee. Because for stored milk, I personally don’t want to have any caffeine in my system for stored milk. I really don’t have a good reason for that, it’s just one of those tics that I have. Then the day is spent feeding her. She still eats about every 2.5 hours. And it’s sweet, but the schedule is different.

Evenings are very different, because we have a bedtime now. And it changes Austin’s and mine’s day. Austin and I used to have dinner together at 7 o’clock every night, around there at least. And we’d hang out on the couch. We’d watch a show, or we’d play a game and talk with each other. And now, we have dinner. My work day is wrapped up by 5 p.m. Hard stop. If I’m having a work day that day. And then I make dinner. And we sit down to eat dinner at 5:30. Which works for us, because it’s just nice to kind of have it out of the way. And then Graysen gets her bath at about 6:15, 6:30. We give her bath time. It’s really sweet. First we clean up the kitchen before bath time. And then I just snuggle her, and I nurse her, and she falls asleep. And she’s out by 7:15, 7:30. And then our night is quiet from then on.

So our schedule is very different. And it revolves; but it’s very good. It’s different but not bad.

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Cassy Joy: Ok. Let’s go quickly through the last of these. Next one is marriage. How is my marriage different since having a baby? You know, I feel like Austin and I had a really strong relationship before baby. We were married for 2 years, 2.5 years about when we found out we were expecting. I think it was about that long. Now I can’t remember. We were married for a little while. But we’ve known each other for close to; when did we meet? 2008. Oh my gosh, what year is it? 10 years. {laughs} We’ve known each other; no before that. We’ve known each other for almost 13 years. I met him when I was a freshman in college. 14 years.

So we’ve been friends for a very long time. We had a really good foundation. A really good base. We dated for 3 years seriously before we decided to get married. And I say all of that, because I thought that our relationship, we had arrived at this knowing of each other. I carry with me a sense of humility. There’s definitely a whole lot of stuff I don’t know I don’t know. And I know that’s true with relationships, as well. Especially with a relationship, such an important one like a marriage. But I have been really touched in a good way by how much growth Austin and I have even seen as a couple since having Graysen.

The way we communicate; we’re communicating about things that are really substantial. And they’re very important. How do we raise a human? Howe do we responsibly raise this tiny soul, or set up life so that this tiny person can grow up and be exactly who she’s supposed to be? Right? How do we set up life in that way? How do we support her? How do we support each other in that journey?

It has allowed us to have really hard conversations. Some of them were really had, because I’m a postpartum mama, and for a couple of those days I was sleep deprived. And when a baby is crying, you're not sure what to do, how to get her to stop. I definitely, he saw me at my worst. But it’s given us the opportunity to love each other through it. And if anything, it’s really strengthened our marriage.

How are friendships different since having a baby? I would say that the majority of my friends, there really hasn’t been much of a difference. Austin and I were not partiers before kids. So our idea of a good night in; or a wild night in, was maybe opening up an extra bottle of wine while we continued to play an extra round of dominos; boys versus girls. You know; best 5 out of 7. That was a wild night for us. So there really hasn’t been a huge difference in that regard.

We might go out to dinner a little earlier. We plan outings a little bit further in advance if we’re going to get childcare, but that’s about it.

Body image; I feel like I’ve touched on that pretty well. And the last thing I’m going to talk about is work. How is work different since having a baby?

This is something that you don’t hear a lot of people talk about. Or at least, I didn’t. I knew; my goal with starting a family and building this business was I wanted to hustle as hard as I could on Fed and Fit before we had kids because I really wanted to be able to grow it and build it as stable as possible before we started a family so that it could sustain any dips in my attention.

And a part of that included bringing on really fabulous team members. Amber, who I talk about a lot. Really, she’s my right hand at the company. She’s just an integral part of the team. And when I needed to step away because of my maternity leave, Amber and I worked together before Graysen was born. We built a 3-month maternity leave.

And what’s funny is that owning your own business; when you have a maternity leave, it’s not like you just get to tell your boss; hey, I’ll be back. I’m going to go take my maternity leave on X date. Because when you are the owner of a company; I couldn’t tell my team members, “Hey guys. We’re all going to take a break for 3 months and then we’ll resume work again.” You can’t do that. You have to build work to bridge that gap. But I still wanted time home with the baby, just in case.

We had no idea what to expect with Gray. And she turned out to be an extraordinarily easy baby. But it could have gone in any different direction. I wanted to make sure I had 3 months of time that I could just focus only on her.

So with work, that was a huge part of kicking this off. Building that 3 months’ worth of content for podcast. For the blog, recipe wise. Programs, newsletters. And then also, it was making sure that Amber and team were really well supported and answering questions and knowing what to do in my absence. And they did a fabulous job, spearheaded by her. By Amber. So that was a huge part of it.

When I did come back; I actually came back a little sooner. About 2 months is when I started to get a little twitchy. I watched a few too many Gray’s Anatomy episodes, and I was like, “I need to do something. I need to produce really good work. Because I’ve consumed so much fiction.”

So I stepped my toe back in a little bit. We started working on more things; blog stuff. And then we really jumped into the book writing process together. Brought on another team member; Jessica, is a part of our team now. And I also made the decision; Austin and I talked about this well in advance. But this was another goal of mine. I wanted to be able to have a business that allowed me to afford childcare. And I wanted childcare to be at home.

I really wanted to have somebody that could come to our house, and be there with Graysen, right next to me. It’s not so much a babysitter as it is an extra set of arms. The best term we could find is a mother’s helper. If y’all have a better term besides babysitter or mother’s helper, I’m all ears.

We invited this young lady, her name is Kaylee, into the house. And she is Gray’s helper. She’s there. I still nurse Gray about every two hours. But Kaylee helps make sure she’s got really great attention. We’re there in the kitchen, and we’re all working together. But Graysen is able to get really focused attention in those hours that we’re working.

And sometimes, in this season we’re in right now with the book, that is way more hours than it will be after we turn it in. But it’s currently about three to four days a week for an average of 6 hours a day that we bring in help. Child care to help with Gray. And it’s great. And Graysen’s mine.

I am not a great multitasker. So if I don’t have childcare, I really don’t work. Of course, if my husband is there, and he’s hanging out with the baby, which he does a very, very large portion of the time. He’s an incredible dad. Then I might be able to get a thing done here or there. But I really like to try to keep my work time to the hours that I have got hired childcare. Because it allows me to really segment my day. I’m able to have a version of focused time on my work. And then when we don’t have childcare, and the team is not here at the house working on something, then I’m focused on family time. I’m focused on tidying up, maybe doing laundry, maybe cooking. And then playing with the baby, and going on adventures.

I hope this was helpful! And kind of a random episode. But like I said, it’s something that I would have wanted to know back in the day. Life is great. It’s been challenging. There have been some ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can’t wait for an even noisier household. Graysen is getting to the point where she’s really starting to chatter. And it is just so much fun. It’s just so much fun. I’m glad we’re turning in this book now, because I know that once she starts becoming mobile, and talking more and playing with food, I’m going to want to spend more and more of my day with her.

And on those days, so you know my plan. My plan after this book is turned in is, yes, to get back into about three workouts a week. I’m going to try to workout early in the morning; especially because her sleep is normalizing now and it’s going to be much more realistic that I’ll have a good 7 hours of sleep at night. Broken, because I do nurse her a couple of times at night. But that doesn’t usually wake me up fully.

So workout three times a week, probably CrossFit. And then I’ll probably try to squeeze in at least one yoga class. I love yoga, particularly ashtanga yoga. I get back into that. And then we go on a walk every day, at least one if not two walks every day as a family. About a mile and a half. So there’s a part of that. As far as activity goes.

And then for my work schedule, my plan is to bring in childcare probably three days a week for probably between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the schedule and what’s going on. And during those hours, I will either duck away to go to a coffee shop so I can really focus on something. And let Kaylee give Graysen some expressed milk. That’s, of course, if she’s home alone with the baby. That’s a true babysitter. {laughs} But that’s what she’ll do. Or I’ll be here and just work upstairs in my office on those days.

So it’s a wild ride, changing every minute. And I’ll bet I have more updates and modifications to this in the future. But that’s what’s working for us! Thank you so much for listening. Again, I hope it was helpful. And as always, we’ll be back again next week.

   

One Response to “Ep. 168: Life Since Baby!”

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    Eleanor Wohlposted August 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I really loved this podcast episode!! They’ve all been amazing!! You asked recently for us to comment, I really really enjoy your reverse interview podcasts. They’re so interesting!! But they’re all great- thanks for sharing 😀

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