Congratulations. You have grown a baby. The 40 or so weeks of waiting are finally over and you are wondering what on earth to expect now. While your body is no longer housing a tiny human, something still feels off. The fog has not lifted. Your energy is low, your hormones are whack, and your stamina is half of what it used to be. Life seems to be filled with endless feedings, swaddling, burping, soothing and not sleeping. The days are blurry and the nights are endless. You have officially entered the fourth trimester. These next twelve or so weeks are a completely different marathon. Below are 6 tips that I felt helped me transition into motherhood with grace and kindness towards myself and my baby.
1. Take it easy the first few weeks. You will be back to “yourself” eventually but right now, your body is healing. Healing from pregnancy and birth. It will not feel “normal” anytime soon.
2. Never say “no” to someone offering help. People, in general, want to know how they can help. Let them cook meals, buy you Starbucks, clean your house, hold/feed your baby, carry your purse… anything. You don’t have to do it all. Even ask for help if you need it. You are not weak if you ask. You just made a human. That’s pretty damn strong.
3. Do not put pressure on yourself to get that pre-pregnancy body back during this trimester. It will not happen and you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Things are a little more shifty and squishy. It is ok. No one is judging you and if they are, you don’t need them in your life.
4. An hour or two goes by VERY quickly. Especially realized when a newborn baby is eating that often. At the end of the day, if you are wondering where the day has gone, know that you kept your baby fed. That is a big feat in itself. But everyday, try your best to do at least one thing for yourself. Eat a cookie. Walk slowly around the block. Ask for a massage from your partner. Take a bath. Read something (googling articles about your baby doesn’t count).
5. These first three months are all about SURVIVAL. Forget ALL. THE. RULES. and trust your instincts. If you hold your baby all day for him/her to nap, fine. If you get take out for 12 weeks straight, great. If you rock or nurse your baby to sleep, job well done. There is no “right” way to parent. Your mama instincts are powerful. You have everything you need inside of you to care for your baby. Silence the judge-y noise.
6. Believe the saying “the days are long but the years are short.” Although it feels like you’ll never have poopless days, you will. Try your very best to enjoy the little moments of sweetness. The coos and giggles. The messes and madness. These times are tiring times, but bound to make our hearts and lives oh so full.
You got this, mama. I believe in YOU!
“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” –Robert Browning
“So what do you do?”
“I encapsulate placentas.”
Conversation just got awkward.
It began around April 2016 when I was 27 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I had absolutely no idea what motherhood would entail, however, knew for certain I did not want to experience what I had heard referred as “postpartum depression.” That just sounded horrific and being the planner that I am, I knew I had to gather my knowledge and referrals and come up with a proactive strategy. That is when google led me to consuming my placenta. WHAT?!?
So I thought on it more, talked to my skeptical husband about it, polled my mama friends and decided to try it.
I stumbled upon The Nurturing Root after only a few minutes of searching via the web. I mean, what on earth did our parents do without the internet?!?
I called Carmen (in a public place) then realized that this conversation is probably best suited for the privacy of my home. So I whisper inquired about her services.
She was incredibly easy to connect with over the phone and my due date was put into her calendar. BAM! It was set. I would have my placenta encapsulated days after the birth of my baby girl.
She came. We connected. She encapsulated. She left.
I took the pills. I never experienced postpartum depression and was able to successfully breastfeed for 14 months. I had energy and felt like myself.
Fast-forward to 2017 when I found out I was pregnant again. Obviously, I would encapsulate because why change something that unfolded so beautifully.
This time, my best friend was able to encapsulate for me through The Nurturing Root because she was now an encapsulator herself! Again, this postpartum period was beautiful. I had energy. My milk came in successfully. And most importantly, I felt like myself.
Today, I am 4 months postpartum with my second and just completed the training on placenta encapsulation.
I am a firm believer. While it may not be the best dinner conversation, I am confident in my ability to give mamas a tool to help their body, mind, and spirit recover from such an earth-shattering shift in their lives.
And that is the end of the tale. A public school teacher turned placenta encapsulator.