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:
Postpartum depression can strike any woman, any time after birth. Some women suffer from the baby blues, a feeling of sadness after giving birth, but postpartum depression is much more severe and it can last for a much longer period of time. Postpartum depression can be a long journey, but one that doesn't have to end in sorrow.
The signs of postpartum depression include:
· Feeling restless or irritable.
· Feeling sad, depressed or crying a lot.
· Having no energy.
· Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart being fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing).
· Not being able to sleep or being very tired, or both.
· Not being able to eat and weight loss.
· Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
· Being overly worried about the baby.
· Not having any interest in the baby.
· Feeling worthless and guilty.
· Being afraid of hurting the baby or yourself
· No interest or pleasure in activities, including sex.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, which can also include loss of appetite and anger, seek medical help. Admitting you need medical help can be scary, but it is also the first step in helping yourself.
A support network is also crucial to beating postpartum depression. Be it a group of friends, family, or an online forum, a support network can help educate the woman who is going through PPD. The support network you choose should begin with your medical professional who can point you in the proper direction to find groups in your area. He or she can also offer brochures, books, and other information regarding postpartum depression.
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