I’ve had a ton of friends and social media followers ask me questions on what my postpartum journey has been like- so I figure why not blog about it!
Kaia is almost 10 months old now, which means I have 10 months of postpartum adventure & experience to talk about! It’s been amazing, but it’s also been tough at times.
The moment Kaia was born, was (besides marrying my husband) the best moment of my entire life. Kaia has the most beautiful, bright, and happy heart. She’s the happiest, smiley-est baby I’ve ever been around. She’s already taught me so much and opened my eyes to a whole new realm of love. The amount of joy I’ve experienced since she entered the world, has me SO excited for tomorrow, the next day, and all the rest of them.
Kaia was born on November 1st- in the middle of football season. Because of this, Rhett would be working more than full time, and we both decided to hire a night nurse to help out during nights until football season was over.
This was an absolute life saver. Newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours around the clock, which is super tough on an already exhausted Momma!!! Also, Rhett’s Mom/Angel flew into town for a month to help out. The term “it takes a village” is 100% accurate. I know some Mommas are single parents, or don’t have the option of getting a night nurse, or don’t have a family member or friend who is able or willing to help out, or all three – and those Momma’s deserve a trophy and all of the hugs!!!
From 7pm-7am I would try to sleep as much as I could. Every 2.5 hours, I would meet my night nurse and Kaia in the nursery, feed Kaia, and then try to go right back to sleep. The night nurse would then change her, burp her, and get her back to sleep, until another 2.5 hours would roll around and Kaia was ready for another order of “the house white, on tap.” On top of having help at night, during the day, Rhett’s Mom would help out around the house and make us meals.
I remember at first, I was against the idea of having anyone help out, and I was especially against the idea of having a night nurse. I was dead set on doing everything myself. The thought of not being able to do it all made me feel like I’d be less of a wife or less of a mother. Ughhh man, do I regret this. I think it’s important for all Mommy’s to remember we aren’t invincible. We are human.
I only allowed the night nurse to come 4-5 times a week instead of all 7, and on Thanksgiving day (despite my husbands suggestion of ordering food, or having someone else make us food) I ABSOLUTELY INSISTED on making a full Turkey dinner with ALL of the sides and desserts ALL BY MYSELF. Why? Because I had to prove to myself I could do it all. (currently laughing out loud and shaking my head). Kaia was only 3 weeks old!!! If I could only go back in time and lovingly punch myself in the face.
In all reality, as a Mommy you don’t HAVE to do it all! Accepting help and love from others, whether it’s a night nurse, a family members help, a meal from a neighbor, or even a visit from a friend, doesn’t make you any less awesome or capable! The sole fact that you just birthed a baby, is dang remarkable! The lesson I learned here is: Accept help from those whole are wanting to give it, and LOVE YOURSELF.
Once football season ended, and the night nurse was no longer there, I convinced my husband that I should be the only person to wake up at night for Kaia. Since I had to be up multiple times during the night to breastfeed her anyway, I’d rather be the one to also burp, change, and rock her back to sleep instead of him. I wanted my husband to get as much sleep as possible and not have to wake up at all. Why? There was no sense in having BOTH of us be sleep deprived zombies. While I was taking care of Kaia all night long, Rhett was taking care of me all day long. I got to take naps during the day and there was always food ready for me when I woke up. It ended up being such a great decision!! *Teamwork*
The hardest part of my postpartum journey was the emotional and mental rollercoaster I experienced the first few months after birth. I consider myself to be a very positive, upbeat person. But once the high of having a newborn wore off (right around the time I came home from the hospital) I often found myself crying for no known reason.
Suddenly I’d be ugly crying at the drop of a hat and I had no idea why! I had this beautiful, new, tiny, little, angel baby…and I was crying?? I didn’t know what was happening to me! My husband continually and consistently encouraged me to talk about my feelings. He let me know I should cry as much as I needed to, and that if I needed to talk to a professional, I absolutely should and that there is no shame in doing so. No matter what, he was always there to listen to me, love me, lift me up, and let me know that I was 100% normal and okay.
Did you know that from 0-3 MONTHS of pregnancy, a woman is gaining all of the hormones she will have for the rest of pregnancy? Did you know that within 3 DAYS of giving birth, her body goes back to the same level of hormones it had BEFORE she was pregnant? No wonder I’d burst into tears after watching a dog food commercial! My hormones were literally out. of. control.
After 3 Months, I started to feel more normal- THANK GOODNESS. When my doctor cleared me to start exercising again, I did. I hit up the treadmill, and took Kaia & the dogs on walks as often as I could. I was so happy to be working out again, not because I could start losing lbs, but because the endorphins released during exercise would be good for my brain. And it was. It really was.
Right around the time Kaia turned 9 months is when I started feeling almost 100% normal again. Almost all of my energy came back. I finally felt mostly caught up on sleep (but let’s be serious…as a Mom, I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% fully caught up on sleep…for probably the rest of my life lol). I was back to running errands, making dinners, dancing to Prince songs in my living room, and even modeling here and there. But it took 9 months to get there…which makes sense, because it took 9-10 months to grow a baby! The lesson I learned here is: PATIENCE. Never underestimate the power of patience. It’s going to be hard- embrace the struggle- don’t fight it!!!!