Shawnie's Postpartum Story
Two Different Postpartum Journeys
My postpartum journey with each of my babies was quite different. As a first time mom with my son, I prepared for labor and birth as best I could, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I did not put much thought into preparing for postpartum, aside from taking a class on breastfeeding. Much of my first postpartum is a blur, and between learning how to ‘mom’, learning how to breastfeed, and changing diapers, little time was left for me to eat, sleep, and focus on my own well-being. I often wondered if I was doing ‘this’ right, or doing ‘that’ right. I questioned whether I was enough for my son and if the things we were experiencing were “normal”. I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained, and as much as I loved the newborn bliss, I felt unprepared.
With my daughter, my postpartum journey was much better. Having an idea of what to expect, and a little more confidence than before, I was able to better prepare myself for what was to come. I did not take any classes this time, though I did spend more time reading and researching postpartum specifically. I created affirmations to read during the highs and lows of each day. I prepared nourishing meals for my freezer that way I would not have to worry about what I was eating in the days and weeks to follow. I set up what my husband refers to as my “nest” for the long days and nights I spend nursing, complete with water, snacks, breast pads, a book, etc. I could not wait for my littlest love to come Earth-side. And now that she is here I am embracing every moment, the good and the ugly, (none of it is bad.)
Preparedness & Expectations
For me, the two biggest factors that influenced my postpartum journey with each of my babies are preparedness and expectations. Preparing my mind and my heart as best I could, both mentally and emotionally, made a big difference in how I felt and how I mothered as a result. Having realistic expectations is a significant aspect of my postpartum as well. More so with my daughter I did all I could to slow down and allow my body the time it needed/needs, (as I am still in the midst of postpartum,) to recover. I am not concerned with stepping on the scale, (not that I ever have been, to be honest.)
I am giving myself grace and am so in awe of what the female body is capable of. At 5 weeks postpartum I am carrying a few extra pounds and I am a-okay with that. My body grew life, and is currently sustaining that very life by producing breastmilk to feed both my baby and my toddler. That in itself is incredible. I look forward to the days when I can return to the gym again, but until then I am too busy loving on myself and my babies.