The intention behind this series is to shine a light on some beautiful, inspiring and connected mamas and what Post Partum looked, or looks like for them.
I feel very passionately about this vital period in a new mamas life so I wanted to shed an honest and authentic light on it by asking a few beautiful mamas to shed the light and sometimes the dark side, on this vulnerable and transformational period in their life.
Meet Carla a new mama to a beautiful boy, A yogi and an inspiring writer. I am thrilled to have her speak so honestly and poignantly about her new journey into mamahood and her ‘Unique Post Partum.’
Name and Age: Carla 36
Children/Infants name and age: Archer 8mo
Relationship to self or another: Married
How has becoming a parent changed you?
It has cracked me wide open in ways I did not predict nor expect. It’s softened me indelibly as well as shown me dimensions of love I didn’t even know existed. It’s tired me out, wrung me dry and filled my cup simultaneously. I’ve become more selfless, devoted and single-minded as a result of becoming a mother.
In those first few weeks Post Partum, what did it look like for you?
It felt fragile and delicate. I was sore, tired and in a beauteous haze of baby bliss. Bulging boobs, sore nipples. Confusion. Naivety. Hushed awe. Immense love. Fatigue and days running into nights running into days. A true love story. Gazing endlessly.
How did you feel?
Like I had been born too, in a way. Shaken. Fragile and a little broken physically. Swimming in hormones. Amazed at my body and it’s capacity to grow, birth and feed a little human – all with its own perfect intelligence. I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility and almost fearful about how much I love this little being. It was a whole new set of emotions to discover.
YOU – Because your presence in their little & big moments is ‘presents’ enough
This A2 sized poster is a beautiful reminder of the simple things.
Did you feel pressure from friends, family or society in general as to how you ‘should’ parent your new baby? If so how did gently handle that sort of pressure?
Oh the pressure is real! I was kind of at the mercy of too much information for a while there. I knew how I wanted to parent – but circumstances often bring about the necessity to compromise or let go completely of your expectations and the visions you had for yourself. A wise friend of mine said to me in the early days, ‘Any port in a storm.’ Meaning that you do whatever you need to do in any moment to survive those first few months (or 12).. and there’s no judgement for it. I loved that quote and have leaned on it and shared it with other mothers. I have taken what advice was useful and effective and quietly rejected what didn’t fit or wasn’t effective. I’ve tried things I wasn’t comfortable with because of the insistance of everyone around me – believing that it was for the best for MY wellbeing- but learned that if I don’t think it’s good for baby, then it’s not good for me either. I’ve accepted that the best way is not always the easy way. That was a good lesson to learn. It took me seven months to learn to fully trust myself and filter out the competing opinions.
What was the transition into parenting like for both you and your partner within your relationship?
Honestly we loved it! We felt closer than ever and very in love with our baby. It was tough, but we really worked as a team. As time wore on we drifted physically as the demands on my body and energy were so intense. It’s a must to make time weekly to connect and be with your partner. Whether it’s a dinner, some cuddle time or some sexy time. It will help ease some of the scratchiness that develops when you’re both exhausted and grumpy.
Did you make time for YOU during your Post Partum period? If so, what was your favourite thing to do to get back to YOU?
I wish I had done more for me throughout this time. Honestly I took a back seat to the needs of my baby and felt so guilty doing anything for ‘me’ especially if I felt it took away from baby’s needs. I realise in hindsight that whatever is good for me is also good for baby! Without the support of family living nearby, I spent most of my days attending to baby 24/7. I didn’t want sitters or childcare as I felt that this time was so precious and I also didn’t really trust anyone and felt super protective of baby. In a way, I created my own trap. One thing I did do was to cook. Every day I made sure to prepare and eat healthy, nourishing home-cooked meals. To me that was the foundation of well-being at a time when I needed strength and a solid foundation to be the Mum I wanted to be. It’s been eight months and I still believe in eating healthy food every day.
Over the months I’ve slowly reclaimed my meditation practice, which is invaluable to my state of mind. One piece of advice I would offer is that you can do anything mindfully. Breastfeed mindfully. Rock your baby to sleep mindfully. Lose your marbles mindfully. And whenever you can, get on the floor and stretch. Even if it’s 10 minutes and you’re exhausted and sore and you’d rather scroll Facebook – just get into child’s pose and do a couple cat cows whenever you can.
I never ever had time for a full yoga session, but I regularly had 10-20 minute ‘yoga snacks’ that really sustained me. It’s different for everyone though. My baby never slept more than 20 minute day naps so my free time was really limited. You’ve gotta work with whatever you get.
If you could go back to your gorgeous pregnant self, what loving, nurturing support would you offer her?
Ah. I loved being pregnant. I’d say ready yourself for a huge transformation – physically, mentally and emotionally. You’re about to learn a whole new set of life skills, and jump a whole level of spiritual and personal discovery. It will be challenging, make no mistake. You will see yourself and the world in a whole new way. Remember that love is a greater power than fear and take refuge in that knowledge. Take good care of yourself and put the scraps of time you get to good use. Forgive yourself right now for every thing you’re gonna stuff up! Know that your baby will still be fine even though you’re imperfect. Accept and embrace being imperfect and please please please try not to feel guilty about stuff!
Eat boobie cookies – they really work.
And you can never ever give your baby too many cuddles – so get in there and treasure those sweet sweet moments.
Post Partum & Infant Connection eWorkshop
Are you seeking a deeper knowledge of what to expect within your Post Partum period? Do you crave a supportive, non judgmental environment? Are you ready to be informed and to feel empowered on your new and exciting journey into parenthood?