Long time no see! I know it’s been awhile, but if you follow along with me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see that I took a blogging hiatus. Partly because I’m pregnant and the first trimester kicked my butt! But partly because I just needed to stop and re-evaluate my goals and desires for my life and this blog. I’ve loved blogging and sharing so much with you guys, but it’s not easy being vulnerable to so many strangers! I’ve also been mindful of how it affects Charley (now 2). In the end, I’m going to make the decision that benefits my family, but for now, I’m still here and will share styles I love and any mothering advice or wisdom I can! My goal with this space is to help other moms and whether that is by sharing a cute cardigan or by sharing some of my experiences so far as a mom, I just want to be an encouragement to you and help make you feel less alone.
One amazing benefit to blogging is that I’ve formed connections with some amazing mamas. We took a break over the summer, but I’m so excited to let you guys know we’re back!! Hannah from hannahreneeblog.com began this wonderful collaboration between some of us mom bloggers and Kacie from elementsofellis.com is continuing the tradition. The “Let’s Be Honest Mamas” series is so wonderful because we discuss relevant topics to moms and I appreciate the honesty. It’s so encouraging to read everyone’s responses to these questions. This month’s theme is postpartum and I couldn’t be happier to discuss this topic! I think since becoming pregnant, I’ve been extra interested in all sorts of baby topics: pregnancy, labor & delivery, and postpartum! I’ve listed the other mom bloggers who are participating this month at the end of the post, so take a quick second to read their responses, too!
- Did you deal with the baby blues or postpartum depression? If yes, how long did it last and how did you cope? It’s been about 2 years now, but I’ll try to remember my postpartum experience with Charley! I didn’t deal with depression, but I definitely felt the mood swings and there were times I felt very blue. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge how you’re doing by yourself, so I always ask my husband if I was depressed or had major baby blues! He says I was fine, so I guess I wasn’t TOO crazy! It is a very common thing, though, so I’m glad more women are sharing their experiences. It’s not something to be ashamed of and I know that the transition from 0 kids to 1 kid is incredibly difficult. The “first time mom” experience is extremely stressful. I think I did a lot of crying, a lot of praying, and a lot of FaceTiming with my mom. My really good friend would come over sometimes and she was a safe place for me to cry or share my feelings of inadequacy. Lots of deep breathing & reminding myself that ‘we would all get through this’ helped.
- What are your must-have products for postpartum life? A belly band? Pads? Certain types of clothing? I lived in nursing tanks & cardigans & sweats! I definitely tried to “get dressed” more as time went on, but in the beginning, there’s no need! I don’t really like bikini style underwear, so since I had to do pads because of the postpartum bleeding, I stuck with sweats and joggers. Later on I switched to yoga pants. My girlfriend shared some underwear she loved postpartum that didn’t show a panty line in her yoga pants, so this time around, I’m definitely trying them! I’m also interested in trying a corset of some sort. It may or may not help with shrinking my waist, but if nothing else, it’ll provide some great stability for my core.
- What is one thing you wish you would have been more prepared for postpartum? Gosh, this is a hard question. Honestly, it’s hard to plan for having a baby, because you don’t have any idea of what to expect. Listen to me when I tell you that NO baby is the same. I know we gloss over this (or at least I did), but if we can remember this one nugget, we’ll feel less aggravated and stressed. Not every baby is a great sleeper, not every baby is a great eater. Each one is unique and have their own personality from day one. My son is a FOMO (fear of missing out) baby and he’s been like that since he came out of the womb. That made for lots of difficulty in the sleep arena. I have so many thoughts running around in my brain right now but I can’t pinpoint just ONE thing I wish I would have been more prepared for postpartum. (Pregnancy brain and/or mom brain is really getting the best of me these days!!) Okay, I guess I wish I had been more prepared for how hard it would be to eat. Making meals and cleaning the house were SO hard to figure out as I was adjusting to being a mom. This time around, I’m asking for more help with meals (gift cards to restaurants or something like that is one of the best gifts to a new mom!) and I want to hire a cleaning service for a bit. One thing having a baby taught me is that I can’t do it alone. And I have to get more comfortable with asking for help. I can’t pretend to have it all together and do it all on my own. That’s the biggest myth out there – that moms “do it all.”
- Share your favorite postpartum recipe…an easy meal, lactation cookies, etc. As I just mentioned, I struggled with meals postpartum! But I did find a recipe for some delicious lactation cookies! It’s so good & my husband even liked them! So guard them with your life 😉 They are best fresh, but the rate at which I ate them, they never went bad…ha! I made these so often months 4-6 postpartum to help with my milk supply. I tried so much to get my milk supply back up! (So frustrating when I started out with an oversupply…then my menstrual cycle came back and I struggled with my milk supply from then on!!) I could seriously talk about milk supply/breastfeeding/pumping/going back to work and pumping/etc forever, so if you ever have any questions or just want to vent, reach out! I could probably write like 10 blog posts on it. It’s seriously a full time job and not many people understand how stressful and all-consuming it can be. Especially to a stressed out new mom.
- What do love about your postpartum body? Such a great question! Honestly, I have struggled with loving my postpartum body. I never had a belly and my stomach just never looked the same after having Charley. Turns out I had diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). It isn’t a severe case, but it explained why I wasn’t able to get my strong core back. There are some movements and exercises to avoid which can make the separation worse, and I found some exercises that help heal the separation, as well. I shared more about it in this blog post (scroll to the bottom, it’s the last paragraph). But I guess what I love about my postpartum body is the inner strength I discovered I had because of going through an unmedicated labor and delivery. It was both intense and magical. I knew I could do it, but coming out on the other side and actually birthing a baby made me feel SO strong. I think it prepared me for motherhood in that it let me know I can get through anything. And it’s amazing what breathing can help you accomplish! And to be honest, when my milk came in, I loved my boobs. I’ve never had big boobs and so this was entirely new! Now my breasts are sad and feel empty after breastfeeding, but oh well! I love that I nourished my baby and was able to continue to breastfeed him until he was 18 months old. I never could have dreamed that would be possible. Mothering is a very sacrificial act. It’s taught me a lot about humility.
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Now head on over and check out these other mom bloggers who participated this month! xx