this is my postpartum

since taking my postpartum doula training i’ve been contemplating how my own postpartum period would shake down. i’m going to be honest and state that i’ve had high hopes for this time period. this is probably my last baby and i feel i didn’t treat my postpartum with darla with the sacredness of which it was worthy. i did the typical first-time-mom thing of trying to prove that i would be good at motherhood by getting up on my feet and back in the game.

well, that didn’t work out so well.

so this time around we’re doing things differently. i’d like to document it for these next 6 weeks, maybe longer, in hopes that it’ll give others some insight i didn’t have for my first go-around. and if no one is in need of insight these posts will just be here for the internet to entomb for-ev-er.

get ready for some cute overload and postpartum tips:

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^^^ life! let’s do this ^^^

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^^^ herbal bath for momma and baby ^^^

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^^^ with big sis’ help ^^^

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^^^ i spend almost the entirety of the day reclining w/ some part of baby daphne all up in my face ^^^

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^^^ sometimes it’s toes ^^^

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^^^ sometimes it’s nose ^^^

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^^^ but more often those toes are peeking out from under a blanket during a nursing ^^^

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^^^ and everyone is tryingt to focus on rest and relaxation…except maybe darla ^^^

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^^^ she keeps herself busy helping to hold and snuggle daphne ^^^

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^^^ and helping the midwife with measurements ^^^

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^^^ and beautifying our space. “one is for you and one is for daphne, mom.” ^^^

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^^^ we’ve been lucky enough to have tons of help in the food department ^^^

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^^^ and both daphne and i are taking most of our meals in bed ^^^

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^^^ along with my placenta capsules! ^^^

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^^^ but most of my time is spent just staring at this lovely little human and snuggling up close…and changing her bountiful diapers. seriously, this girl can poop. ^^^

so, what else do i want to say about this first week of my second daughter’s life? i want to say that this experience feels right. i wanted to be kinder to myself this time around because i wanted to then in turn be able to be kinder to my family. i wanted to sit around and do nothing but mother my new little one. to be able to do that means i had to welcome in the help. i had to welcome in the care. this was something i was not good at the first time around. with darla we had a great network of friends but i think i was still trying to prove that i could do this on my own.

but doing it with help is sooooo much better!!! and we’ve been really blessed to have help coming from many, many directions. really an overabundance of help that leaves me feeling quite unworthy. but i’ll take it. and i hope i’ll let it grow within me and beside me and my family so that i can pass it on in the future.

so the theme of this first week of life was rest and recuperation. and that would be my advice for families desiring a nice start to their postpartum.  just stay in bed. just rest with your babies. gather your tribe around you and welcome in the help, welcome in the care {with appropriate boundaries, of course} and just be. everything else can wait.

and i have to send out thanks to everyone who has dropped off food, my parents, my doula, our midwives, neighbors, family near and far who have helped us out in this first week. and a thank you to my husband and first born. it’s really astounding how much love and generosity we’ve received from you all and i want to tell you you’ve made all the difference in the world to my family and my second experience with motherhood.

sincere thanks and love vibes. wish us well with week two!

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gratitude adjustment

sunday is the day e’rybody’s gettin’ spiritual, right? gratitude is an important part of my spiritual path within this world. here’s my weekly list:

{1} I’M THANKFUL FOR MY BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY BABY GIRL DAPHNE JOSEPHINE. {that one deserves all caps}

{2} i’m thankful for all our friends and family and all those sending us love and support from near and far.

{3} i’m thankful for my birth team – our midwives, doula, my husband and daughter – for being by my side and helping me have the most wonderful experience of my life. they’ve all continued to be by my side through postpartum and i feel so propped up during this major life event.

{4} i’m thankful for my parents. they’ve given us so much love and support over these past few months. my mom is currently making me biscuits and bacon…enough said. so thankful for their example and presence in our house postpartum.

{5} i’m thankful for a strong and capable body, mind and spirit. yes, i’m thankful for myself. i can say that proudly. it’s a gift from the universe to be happy and comfortable with thyself.  i’m thankful to be me, experiencing this life.

gratitude adjustment

sunday is the day e’rybody’s gettin’ spiritual, right? gratitude is an important part of my spiritual path within this world. here’s my weekly list:

{1} donuts

{2} my husband and child for procuring said donuts

{3} the kicks, jabs and punches of a strong, healthy little babe

{4} our pillowtop mattress gifted by my mom and dad.

{5} our midwives and the midwifery model of care that sees the value of a flexible birthing window. i’m thankful to let my body do it’s thing, my baby do his/her thing and trust in the natural process of life.

gratitude adjustment

sunday is the day e’rybody’s gettin’ spiritual, right? gratitude is an important part of my spiritual path within this world. here’s my weekly list:

1. i’m thankful for technology. yes, i love technology. everything from ultra sound machines, to iphones to crockpots. i’m thankful for it all this week. we live in a technological marvel world.

2. i’m thankful for these crazy wonderful temps. this is one pregnant lady who is grateful that we’ve been hanging in the low 80s and even dipping into the 70s for most of this summer. mid-july in ohio could be soooooo different so i want to shout some gratitude to the weather patterns.

3. my husband’s music collection and investment in making music a part of our life. without his influence i think i would let myself get too busy with the day-to-day doings and neglect my music intake, except for the 90s channel on satellite radio.

4. i’m grateful for 4 pool days in a row!

5. and lastly, i’m thankful for our cosby show dvd box set. watching episodes in honor of Bill C’s birthday, curled up with my fam was a highlight of my week.

gratitude adjustment

it’s been a long time since i’ve sat down to write out a weekly gratitude list. sorry to have neglected you, old friend. let’s see if we can revive this spiritual exercise. the older this soul gets the more tending and nurturing my spirit will need, me thinks.

1} i’m thankful for an absolutely gorgeous week of weather that has allowed for extra time out-of-doors and allowed me to stay active. this body, this baby needs me to stay active. i’m thankful for the cooler temps that have allowed windows to stay open and breezes to be felt.

2} i’m thankful for the extra hours this weekend. extra hours with my husband. extra hours of letting darla stay up without worry. extra hours of alone time. somehow, time stretched out and the universe fit some extra hours in there. the world didn’t seem in such a rush. we had many invitations over the holiday weekend but not many solid, obligatory plans. when we were able to be flexible and say “ok, yeah, we all feel good enough to attend this” then everything worked out perfectly. it was a nice reminder to loosen up and stay flexible.

3} i’m thankful for lots of social interaction these past couple weeks. i can often get very overwhelmed with keeping up with life but i’ve been trying to be gentler with myself and give up the guilt trip of how often i see people, or how often i call, or how long it takes me to respond to a text. it all works out as it should in the end and enjoying the time you have with people face-to-face is the only thing that matters.

 4} i’m thankful for my parents and the support they offer up freely from both near and far.

5} i’m thankful for this body of mine for growing a body of not-mine. these uncomfortable last days of pregnancy require a conscious effort to stay in touch with how well my body is doing while growing this person. and i’m thankful to have another little body, that my body grew 5 1/2 years ago to be my partner in that effort. darla has been wonderfully engaged and marveled by this body transformation and i am crossing my fingers that it will carry forth in her own life and leave her with a positive foundation for whatever role pregnancy may play out in her own life.

weekending

 donuts make me go nuts birth without fear baby bellyallard lowenstein ribbons in her hair garden plots darla help breakfast artifacts

all the frustration from last weekend over arrested productivity melted away this weekend. it’s hard not to feel enthused about a weekend that begins with donuts. and it’s hard not to feel productive during a weekend that you’re hosting such helpful visitors. my parents are such a support and a help to my growing family. i was very thankful and happy to have them visit us this weekend. months ago, when we had just moved into a new house and i subsequently found out i was growing a person, i felt a little at loss at how i was going to pull everything together.

and to be truthful, it’s not all together but it’s getting there. i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. and i’m feeling like we MIGHT just have a good deal of life progress completed before we settle down to meet this new human. i’m not quite ready but i’m feeling confident that i will be soon. which is more than i can say for when i was expecting darla.

i remember mike and i having a conversation on the way to the hospital for my birthing time with d and discussing how we hoped it was a false alarm. we were not ready. there are days that i’m still not ready for the force that is Darla in my life but this moment in time feels…bear with me for this analogy… like the effects of a shot of warm liquor*. it spreads through you reaching to the tips of your toes and fingers slowly until you’re warm all over and you have this calmness that says “this is right and this is good.” that’s what the conclusion of this weekend feels like. i’m feeling right and i’m feeling good.

and i wouldn’t be in this mentality if it weren’t for all the helpers and support i have in my life. my parents, my husbeau, neighbors and friends and even my little helper that helped {somewhat, sometimes} getting projects accomplished this weekend. my weekend even consisted of helpers i’d never met before since i attended the birth without fear meet-up on saturday. it was an inspiring day and it helped me put a finger on some of the things i’m working through with this pregnancy.

oh gawd. you know you’re in your 3os when you are looking back at your weekend and are excited about the gardening and painting instead of the parties and the concerts.

but it was fulfilling and it was progress and i am thankful. and i am in my 30s. so this is right and this is good.

*ok, so disclaimer: i haven’t had a shot of warm liquor in YEARS. a more accurate description of this would be what it used to feel like when my body could tolerate that lifestyle more. a shot of warm liquor would probably feel A LOT different now, not nearly as poetic. in case i forgot to mention this…i’m in my 30s now.

gratitude adjustment

sunday is the day e’rybody’s gettin’ spiritual, right? gratitude is an important part of my spiritual path within this world. here’s my weekly list:

5 Things I’m thankful for this week:

1. fleece lined tights. they’ve changed my world.

2. chorizo tacos.

3. visits from my mother.

4. mike’s family for feeding us on thanksgiving. sub category: i’m thankful for stuffing and gravy.

5. my parent’s willingness to host a visitor of their own while we get some stuff organized at the new homestead.