When I was pregnant with Hudson, I felt like I had a vague idea as to what to expect postpartum, or really just a lot of preconceived notions about what "postpartum life" would be like.
I had some sort of idea about how my life was going to change, but I was very intentional about making sure the baby fit into our life, and not the other way around.
I knew I would be tired, pretty busy, but there was no way I could of ever prepared myself for exactly what life was going to be like. I knew my body was going to be a little different than it was before pregnancy. I knew that postpartum depression was a possibility and I knew breastfeeding was hard for some.
Reflecting back now as we are quickly approaching Hudsons first birthday (I can't believe it) I realize how clueless I really was going into the whole parenting thing. The truth is: having a baby is really one of the most incredible blessings that life has to offer, it's fun, exciting, beautiful and truly has provided me with the most happiness in the world. I feel blessed to have Hudson in our life, to have had the opportunity to birth him and to have the privilege to raise him.
Here is another truth: having a baby changes everything.
In amazing, blessed, difficult and challenging ways.
Anything that you assume about parenthood before having a child will be flipped around and turned upside down. What you thought your baby will like, will in reality be the opposite. I am certain that you will reflect back on what you thought postpartum life would be life and just laugh, like I do. The reality is, how could we have known right? We only set the best of intentions.
Hudson is a miraculous little boy. He is a wonderful sleeper and has been since day one. But the truth is even with a baby who is a wonderful sleeper, those first six-eight weeks they need to either wake or be woken up to eat. So you are still not getting anymore than 3 hours of sleep at most, at a time. And when Hudson got the okay from the pediatrician to let him sleep longer, Mama still needed to wake up every three hours and pump so my breasts didn't get engorged.
You will experience a level of exhaustion that you did not know was possible.
He was very easy to nurse, but he wanted to nurse 24/7. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY can prepare you for what life is like when nursing your little babe. Despite how time consuming and challenging it can be at times, I would never have changed my decision to nurse Hudson and I still intend to nurse our next baby. That being said, cluster feeding is no joke. I can remember days on end, nights on end even weeks on end where 4 o'clock would come around and it was time for Hudson to eat and he would stay on my breasts for nearly 8 to even 10 hours. I didn't see the dinner table most nights during that time because I was on the couch nursing him.
Your body will change, and it will in more ways than one. But that is OK. You may have stretch marks, and you will have some loose skin for a little while. You may decide that those tiny itty bitty bikinis that you once rocked no longer make you feel comfortable. Again, that is OK. You will still look six months pregnant for a few days (or weeks) after you have your baby because your uterus takes time to return to its normal size, but things will go back to the way they were. Every woman's body is so unique and so different, with this incredible capability to grow another human being inside. To create this beautiful life inside our bodies... Really think about that... it is SUCH a gift. Dealing with a little extra skin, or a stretch mark here or there is such a small sacrifice for the beautiful beings we bring into this world.
Your emotions will be all over the place and I am not saying that you will have postpartum depression, but you will feel overwhelming feelings of happiness, sadness, isolation, being overwhelmed and everything in between. It's ok to not feel ok. But if you do sense that you have some postpartum depression, that is OKtoo, and it is so important that you talk to someone about it and get some help. It's ok to need help.
You are about to experience a love that you have never imagined before. You will be absolutely consumed by and in love with your baby. Your life will change to accommodate that child. And yes, you’ll find ways to fit the baby into your word, but more likely you’ll find yourself navigating this strange new terrain for the first time WITH your baby. You will create a new world together. It is such a beautiful experience.
Postpartum life is full of a love that is so overwhelming and beautiful that you will not remember how you ever existed before it. It’s full of late nights, rocking your baby and forming a bond that can never be broken. It’s about going through a transformation, becoming a new person. You are a MOTHER. It’s going through an incredible, wonderful metamorphosis, and looking back a year later and thinking, THIS is who I was meant to be. It’s about learning so much about yourself and about what really matters in life.
It is about feeling incredibly accomplished when you cook a meal, finish the laundry or get out for a walk with your baby. It is about bursting at the seams with excitement every time your little human accomplishes another amazing milestone. The joy that I get from Hudsons amazing little accomplishments outweighs any joy I have ever felt before. His first smile, his first foods, his first steps, his first word...
Those newborn days are hard, and you will feel like you are in a fog. But let me tell you mama, that fog will clear and before you know it your baby will grow more and more independent by the day. You will sleep again. You can do this Mama. You are not alone.
You are embarking on life's most beautiful journey, motherhood. Embrace each and every little moment, and know that time has a way of picking up speed, and you don't want to miss a moment.
Katherine is a native Cape-Codder and mother to her beautiful one year old little boy Hudson. Katherine is a full-time mommy and entrepreneur running two local businesses. She works along side her father, John Perkins, at Bay State Merchant Services, where she is the Northeast Sales Director, working with local businesses and helping them save money on their credit card processing services. When she is not managing BSMS, she is inspiring other like minded individuals to think outside of the box and sharing the opportunity that Arbonne International has to offer: premier health and wellness products and an exceptional business opportunity. She is passionate about helping other people and has worked in the health and wellness field for over ten years, helping hundreds of people achieve their personal wellness goals. She loves empowering people to live their best life.
Katherine is an outdoor enthusiast. She loves spending her summers on the boat, riding her bike and competing in local races, paddle boarding with her Husband, participating in sprint triathalons and road races, but most of all spending time outside and enjoying the beauty of Cape Cod.
Kats blog, https://livingwhatyoulovewithkat.weebly.com, is focused on sharing her journey of attracting abundence into her life to inspire you to do the same. She will work with you to help you achieve your ideal life and optimal health through business development coaching, personal development techniques, wholesome nutrition and mindfulness practices. Her hope is that through your readings here, she will leave you with a little inspiration, a new workout to try, maybe a delicious recipe or a good laugh from her silly adventures with her boys.
"True success is when you reach back and bring someone along with you."- Joel Osteen
Check out more about her businesses here:
My summer flew by and I had little opportunity to Blog. I spent most of my summer with my kids in Orleans taking part in the Rec swim lessons at the lake, going to library programs, spending time at the beach, crafting and doing summer reading. Now it is back to school for the kids; my daughter started first grade today and my son starts junior kindergarten on Thursday. It will take me most of September to organize and put the house back together again but with both kids in school I will have time. I am looking forward to going to The Drool Baby Expo next week! So look for my Blog posts in the next few weeks about Drool and organizing tips and progress. Also please use my code MHUBNER5 for $5 off your ticket to Drool Baby Expo!
How was your summer? What do you plan to do now the kids are back in school?
By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
I recently gave birth to my second child and it has given me the opportunity to relive the stages of language development first hand! I remember when my daughter was born it was so nice to be able to see all the milestones I had read about in my speech/language development classes and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to experience it again.
Here are 5 things you can do starting at BIRTH to help promote speech/language development in your child!
1. Use Motherese – Motherese is language that is simple, repetitive, rhythmic and often spoken in a high pitch and at a slower rate. We often use motherese instinctively when we use “baby talk” with our children.
2. Watch for your child’s early communication milestones – even right at birth we can start to notice our babies trying to communicate. Crying, cooing, smiling and eye contact are all part of the early states of communication. Watch for these milestones so you can start to learn what your baby is trying to tell you.
3. Talk to your baby – it may seem silly to talk to someone who can’t talk back. However, your child is hearing and learning language right from the start! Don’t be afraid to talk through your day and “narrate” what you’re doing for your baby.
4. Respond to your child’s communication attempts – if your baby says “coo” and “goo” to you, say “coo” and “goo” back! When your baby hears you respond it will encourage more “talking” and will let your baby know he is being heard!
5. Sing! – It’s time to break out all of those repetitive children’s songs you remember from when you were little. The Itsy Bitsy Spider, If You’re Happy and You Know it, etc.. These simple and engaging songs will draw your child in and promote language through song.
6. Get silly! – Don’t be afraid to let lose. Make noises, sing songs, make silly faces – these things will draw your baby to watch you and your face and will promote communication.
I hope these tips help you think about ways to engage with your infant and promote speech/language development starting at birth!
To schedule a screening or assessment please contact Golden Speech Therapy today.
Golden Speech Therapy
Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
"Dooowwwn Dog!" I sing in my universal key of B Minor and suddenly my daughter, who is 11 months old, bends at the waist from a sitting position towards the floor, until her forehead is actually touching the carpet! She pops up with the most accomplished grin on her face. I melted. Again I sing "Dooowwwn Dog!" and there she goes, leaning towards the floor. This time I demonstrate. I sing "Dooowwwn Dog!" and come into Downward Facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana myself. I do it one or two times and as she watches me, she rises to her feet, bends at the waist and comes into the most perfect Down Dog I have ever seen.
Suddenly my life felt complete...as funny as that may sound to some. You see, I am an Itsy Bitsy Yoga instructor and a proud 1st time parent to my little Delaney Mae. There is a huge sense of pride when any of my students come into a pose knowingly for the first time on their own. It's a feeling of accomplishment, combined with the joy of seeing a parent's face when their little one not only masters a pose, but does it during class, for all to see!
As moms we know first hand how your perspective changes the minute you become a parent. There isn't an exact way to describe the change within yourself, but it happens, naturally and it feels good. It feels right. For me sharing yoga with other is natural. It feels good. It feels right.
My daughter and I began practicing Itsy Bitsy Yoga when she was just six weeks old. We went to class weekly and put the poses to use at home. We used Apana (In and Out) often for relief when she had those squirmmy moments of gas pains. Then we used Corkscrew to aid in digestion when she began to eat solids. Sure enough, not long after a few circular movements of her chunky monkey legs, a rumble in her diaper would bring a smile to my face, as well as hers'. I raved about Itsy Bitsy Yoga. We practiced almost daily, whether it was doing actual poses or singing a yoga song. It naturally became a part of our lives, almost as naturally as you will see a child "do yoga" in their everday movements! They are natural yogis and now I aim to bring it out in all of them! IBY opened the doors to a whole new array of tricks to use in everyday life, whether it was to calm and sooth, to get us through a long wait at the doctor's office or simply to get moving and be active on a cold, rainy day. In fact, I fell in love with Helen Garabedian's Itsy Bitsy Yoga program so much, that I knew shortly thereafter that I must share it with others.
This past summer I became trained in Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Babies, Tots and Tykes. I am able to offer yoga to children from the age of 3 weeks to 4 years old. I love this because I will be able to watch my students flourish over the years, not just as yogis, but as little humans! In a recent interview I did for a dance magazine I was reminded how special IBY is, as it is the one of the only programs where a child can begin at such a young age, which allows moms on maternity leave to participate in an activity with their newborn before returning to work, if that is the case.
Babies can begin IBY at just 3 weeks and modifications of the poses are made to accommodate their tiny, new bodies. I strive to be a healthy role model for my daughter and my students and I encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for children of all ages. A healthy baby equals a healthy tot, which equals a healthy tyke, a healthy adolescent, a healthy teenager and inevitably a healthy adult. So come join us, meet new friends, learn something new and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle for your little ones. It may even inspire you to practice.
Cape Cod Moms