It’s been a minute, but I am so excited to be teaming up with the Lets Be Honest Mamas crew again to talk about motherhood and all the sticky beautiful messes in between.
Kacie Ellis of www.elementsofellis.com (which by the way is so awesome) put everything together and asked me to join this month and I am so so excited. You might think I am a little weird for being excited to talk about postpartum, but I have been wanting to talk about it on the blog for a while now, but just haven’t been able to form my thoughts into a full post I thought would make sense.
I think it’s so important to be honest with other mamas about some of the struggles of motherhood. I’m not talking about complaining every second you get, but talking about a real, honest conversation about things that actually happen, and encouraging one another to rise above something that can easily brings us down.
With Cove, I dealt with people who weren’t honest with me at all and made me feel vulnerable and lacking for not having it all together. On the other end, I’ve dealt with people who complained about motherhood so much, I wasn’t actually sure if they really loved it or not. I think there is a fine line, so I hope to meet that mark today with you all.
Full disclaimer: I don’t have it all together, nor do everything right. This isn’t about perfection, but instead, banding together to help one another.
1. Did you deal with the baby blues or postpartum depression? If yes, how long did it last and how did you cope?
Yes, I definitely had postpartum depression after my first. I didn’t realize exactly what it was, because hormones are very real and I couldn’t tell the difference. After a few weeks of crying every day, uncontrollably for no reason, and feeling sad more than I should, I talked to my doctor. I guess I had already heard about baby blues but never thought it would happen to me.
They hit about three days after I had Cove and didn’t completely go away until about eight months later. I was offered medication, but couldn’t bring myself to take it so I opted for things like B12, Vitamin D and pushing myself really hard to get out of those funks by memorizing scripture and forcing myself out of the house even if I didn’t feel like it.
I never wanted to hurt my child, and I never stopped loving him, I was just sad a lot for no good reason. I will say it didn’t help to have a baby in the winter, when you already struggle with seasonal affective disorder, and then quitting the job you loved a few months after trying to go back. There were a whole lot of life changes being thrown my way while already dealing with a huge one, so I think that definitely factored into it.
For moms who are going through postpartum or have gone through it, DON’T beat yourself up. Just because your best friend had a baby and acted like nothing changed at all doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom or there’s something wrong with you. More moms struggle with it then they actually let on.
At the end of the day, I am thankful to have walked through it so I can tell other mom’s there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it does get better. Get out of the house even if you don’t want to. Read verses that push you to think on other things. Talk to someone who has gone through it too. Don’t give up on yourself. You are one tough mother and you’ve got a beautiful child to break through for.
2. What are your must-have products for postpartum life? A belly band? Pads? Certain types of clothing?
I started with a belly band, but it was so uncomfortable, I ended up only wearing it maybe a week after I got home from the hospital. I will say a good pumping bra goes a long way, as well as good nursing bras. You want to invest in those bad boys because it’s important to feel comfortable. I am a die-hard fan of Mustela products and still used my belly lotion after I had Cove to help my stomach firm up.
When you are in the hospital, and the weeks following, I suggest picking up some witch hazel pads to line your pads with, stool softener (you’ll thank me later) and some ice packs to put down there to help with healing or discomfort, but don’t wear the ice packs too much because it can cause nerve damage.
Invest in some pajamas that are comfortable and cute and don’t worry about changing for people when they come to visit, or feeling like you’ve got to put on a pair of pre-baby jeans for someone bringing you a meal. They will understand. I loved modal pajama sets and robes. Since it was winter, I also lived in these Felina Leggings and long tunics or t-shirts.
I will link some of my favorites down below.
3. What is one thing you wish you would have been more prepared for postpartum?
I think the hormones. I mean, I knew I would probably cry more than I normally do, but I didn’t realize all the other things hormones could affect. Massive mood swings, eating habits, how you think, your body parts, skin – the whole nine yards. I think it will be easier the next time around, because I know what the worst could be, but baby blues are totally a thing and I think I blew it off more than I should have.
Also, I think I should say that I didn’t prepare myself for how different I would be compared to my friends. I am so lucky to be around a village of young moms. So many people had babies within three years of us and almost 10 people had babies in the same year! All of us recovered differently. Some people bounce back so fast and they seem to nail motherhood, and then people like me really fumbled around for a bit and mostly still feel like I am. You can’t look at the mom next to you and feel bad. God allows us to experience things for a reason. Give yourself grace and pass that on to the mom next to you, because you might think your shoes are the same, and they very well could be, but some people walk better in stilettos than others, am I right?
4. Share your favorite postpartum recipe…an easy meal, lactation cookies, etc.
I wish I would have known about HelloFresh when I had Cove, because it’s genius for whenever you meal plan runs out. Meals are usually quick and easy and you don’t have to worry with the grocery store. I also loved pre-making breakfast and lunches. Whenever I take a meal to a new mom, I try to include something like banana bread or I will do all sorts of deli meats, bread, and fruit. Dinners are great, but when dad goes back to work and you don’t have time to make yourself food while you’re trying to breastfeed or sleep, having something you can throw together fast will be a lifesaver.
Recipes that are easy to make ahead and freeze that are not a Lasagna:
Not freezer meals, but a great healthy meal to bring to someone + they can eat on for lunches too:
- Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
- Crockpot Green Chicken Enchilada Soup (I’ve posted about this one before)
5. What do love about your postpartum body?
Hmm… That’s so hard. Don’t hate me, but I don’t have stretch marks. You can ask me again after this pregnancy with our second, but my favorite thing is probably knowing how amazing God created the human body to be. I can grow and nurture a human all with body parts He gave me. It’s really a miracle!
I hope this post totally didn’t freak you out if you are not a mom or are about to be a new mom. Motherhood is so beautiful, but I like to be real about it too. Just because things are messy sometimes, doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful. Be sure to check out all the other beautiful mamas and their answers.
Be sure to check out all the other beautiful mamas and their answers. These are some of the sweetest ladies and I love getting to do motherhood with them.