Real Talk About the Transition into Motherhood
Many mothers dream of that moment their baby is born. After the hard work of labor and birth, no matter what type of birth you have, snuggling your baby, skin-to-skin, is the ultimate payoff. It’s almost as if nature immediately begins the important work of helping us forget the challenges of giving birth. Time stands still and nothing else matters.read more
Time is really flying now as I am 37 weeks pregnant. Our second child could join us at any time. People often ask me if I am ready and my response always starts with a pause. I feel so much more ready to have this baby than I was to have the first, although I thought I was ready to have her. At the same time I know what is behind door number two. I know it will be several months of having a baby attached to me for the better part of most days. I know it will probably be a year of frustration with how infants sleep (even though I know not to expect her to sleep like a grownup). I know it will be a series of moments in which I think about all the things I should get done and feel frustrated that I can’t seem to get anything done.Yes, I know what having a newborn is like, but what I don’t know is what having a newborn and a toddler is like.read more
You ask me to read to you, and I have to pause every few minutes to soothe the tired baby.
You gasp in excitement as I come downstairs with him in the morning, barely able to contain yourself as you hug and kiss him.
For the birth of my first child I bought a couple large maxi pads, some nursing bras, and stocked a few meals in the freezer. That was about it. There were so many little things I felt like I was missing in the first few weeks. Luckily my doula came by with a little bag of goodies that helped me care for myself and recover from birth. This time around I am trying to be mindful of what I used the first time and what I wished I had on hand.read more
There’s no escaping it. The postpartum time period is hard. My postpartum adjustment this time around has been simultaneously challenging and lovely. Challenging are the moments when all three of our children need something and there are only two sets of adult hands to help. Challenging are the middle of the night wake-ups when I’m on my own to feed and change the baby’s diapers. And challenging is the baby’s struggle to learn to breastfeed and my tired back and shoulders from his need to be held almost constantly by me.read more
I am currently awaiting the birth of my second daughter – joining us earth-side some time in late June. I think I might be in the nesting phase of pregnancy because I am thinking a lot about what my birth and postpartum experiences will be like this time around. For the birth of our first daughter we did a lot of birth preparation and very little postpartum planning. I’ve turned that eqI am currently awaiting the birth of my second daughter – joining us earth-side some time in late June. I think I might be in the nesting phase of pregnancy because I am thinking a lot about what my birth and postpartum experiences will be like this time around. For the birth of our first daughter we did a lot of birth preparation and very little postpartum planning. I’ve turned that equation around this time. I’m much more focused on planning for a peaceful postpartum experience. Equation around this time. I’m much more focused on planning for a peaceful postpartum experience.read more
My third baby is 4 weeks old. That makes me 4 weeks postpartum. I still feel like I’m living in that characteristic hazy in-between of postpartum. I have so much to say about these past 4 weeks and so much I want to write about. There is his birth story to write, thoughts on our older kids’ adjustments to adding a new family member, reflections and gratitude for all the support we’ve had this past month, my own postpartum healing process, and thoughts on some of the challenges we’re experiencing.read more
The other day my partner and I were on a long drive with our daughter. We were trying to keep her happy in the car. She asked for a snack and demanded I give her the whole bag of crackers. My initial response was, “no, I don’t want a mess all over the car.” My partner suggested just giving her the bag in order to avoid a melt down. I relented and gave her the bag and it was fine – no huge mess in the car. It brought up a pretty big issue for me, though. Not so much my partner disagreeing with a limit that I tried to set, though that is annoying, but how our current parenting approach requires a lot of change on my part.read more
What comes to mind when you think of the postpartum period? I think of roughly the first month to three months after the baby is born. I think about my body healing and my baby adjusting to life outside the womb. When I think about adjusting to motherhood though, the timeline is much longer.read more
I met a mother of a 6-month-old recently. We were in a group of mothers, talking about postpartum adjustments as well as birth experiences. It was a safe space for sharing stories openly and honestly. This mama told her birth story and she bravely ventured into a place of deep vulnerability to share what she is experiencing now. As she spoke about the anxiety she felt at the moment of her unexpected cesarean, checking on her baby 9 times a night, waking nightly from 1-4AM unable to fall back asleep (despite her baby sleeping pretty well), and fear of leaving her baby with anybody else, she looked as if she was discovering something that not even she knew about herself.read more