During my last postpartum period, also called the 4th trimester, I did everything wrong. At least I did it wrong for me.
I thought I needed to start walking (like around the neighborhood) too soon because other people did and caused myself to have trouble healing. It wouldn’t have been a big deal had I not had a large baby come out sunny side up with little intent to actually evacuate the premises. Even at 10 weeks postpartum, I couldn’t stand through an entire worship service at church without feeling like my pelvic floor was ripping away from my body.
I also didn’t speak up and express my feelings about things; other people controlled situations.
We had guests galore. My normally social self couldn’t handle any of this in my 4th trimester. It just stressed me out on so many levels.
This time, I plan to do a few things differently, regardless of how it makes others feel. Because at the end of the day, I am the one healing from a very traumatic physical incident.
1. No visitors until I am able to get around on my own comfortably.
During the first week, I couldn’t even get out of our bed without my husband’s help. On top of that, there were visitors constantly and I was barely bathing and wearing only pajamas. I was a mess and had no time to heal. I felt pressure to get out of bed to see people. I also felt pressure to not lay in bed and cuddle our new baby because other people wanted to.
2. I won’t be working out in any fashion until I feel well.
With my last postpartum journey, I was out attempting to walk around the block and could barely make it. I was in immense pain. This time, it’s not happening. I’m going to rest and take a cue from other cultures that “lie in” during the first several weeks. My maternity leave will be just that – rest and recovery.
3. I’m cutting ties with the meal train.
When I was first at the age when friends were having babies, I was so eager to get meal trains set up for everyone. Even up until having my first, I was still the first to sign up on a new mom’s meal train or even be the organizer for it. But something about having people in and out of the house just stressed me out last time. So what are my feeding the family plans? I’ll be hitting up Costco and Sam’s Club and stocking up on frozen meals and even freezing some of their fresh meal options. Pre-prepared is the name of my game this time. I’m not even making freezer meals ahead of time; I just don’t have it in me to double cook at night and freeze a batch. Plus … my husband is totally capable and can cook for us.
4. I won’t be breaking out the breast pump early.
Something in me snapped with our first baby, and I felt that the first week home I had to start pumping to get a supply. Wrong. What I caused was an oversupply and a whole host of issues. Instead I’m jumping on the Haaka train and collecting my let down milk for when it comes time to introduce a bottle and prepare to go back to work.
5. I plan to sit in our recliner and just cuddle and nurse our new baby.
I think I alluded to it before, but the old “let me hold the baby” won’t in fact get me to hand over the baby this time. In fact, I only have 6 weeks of maternity leave and I work full time … so I’ll just be sitting here holding my own baby. You can watch, or hold your own. The best bet for holding the new baby is actually doing it so that I can shower or eat. But I will not under any circumstance watch someone else hold my baby while he/she is hungry or crying and not pass it back. You’re not me and not the mama … so go play house elsewhere.
Too mean? Oh well.