Postpartum Pointers

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So, I just discovered a memo I wrote to myself (yes, I always, always write my future self memos. Lots of them.)after I gave birth to Charlie, entitled “Postpartum Pointers” I am so glad I dug it up today, I really needed it! Thanks, ‘past’ Annemarie… ‘present’ Annemarie is grateful.

Anyway I thought I’d share it, just in case there’s other mamas out there who might need it too!

 

Postpartum Pointers!!

  • After you have the baby you will, I promise you, think one or all of the following:
    • We have too much stuff
    • Our kids are so badly behaved
    • We will never have peace and quiet again
    • Our house is too small
    • I can’t see the floor
    • How are they ever going to learn how to read
    • We eat so unhealthy
    • We don’t have a routine anymore
    • Is it really so wrong to lock myself in the bathroom this much

      Say it with me: Candy canes and TV, so I can breathe and go pee pee! Congratultions. You just survived postpartum-hood.

      Say it with me: Candy canes and TV, so I can breathe and go pee pee! Congratulations. You just survived postpartum-hood.

  • By 2 weeks postpartum, you’ll will feel a tiny grip on life coming back
  • By 6 weeks postpartum, you won’t remember why you were so upset and you’ll be picking out names for the next babies. (aka the fog starts to lift)
  • Go outside. Breathe in through your nose slowly. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Even if you can only step out for one minute, get outside at least once a day. Stick your head out the window if you have to! Just get some fresh air in your lungs.
  • Cry! It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to cry over everything. And you will cry a lot. Remember that there are lots of hormones entering and exiting your body during these next few weeks. Give yourself permission to be emotional. You are not going to psychologically damage your kids, this is completely normal.
  • Let the house get messy. Give yourself permission to be ok with it temporarily. Don’t put added pressure on yourself by needing the toys to always be in their proper place, or all the laundry to be done, or every dish to be washed at the end of a day. Just do what you can, if you can, and be ok with that. Keep telling yourself a house can only get so messy and it’s only temporary.
  • On that note: LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. ALOT. This applies to: everything.

    "Oh, you don't have a baby in there anymore? Ok. Horsey rides. Back to work, lady."

    “Oh, you don’t have a baby in there anymore? Ok. Horsey rides. Back to work, lady.”

  • Sit down! It seems impossible but you must sit! Give your uterus a chance to repair. If this means watching more tv for awhile with the older siblings, it’s ok. You know that a month of tv overdose is not going to change them, you’ll be glad you did.
  • Follow the baby’s cues. It’s less work for you! Don’t come home from the hospital waking them up every 2 hours to eat. If the baby is hungry, he will eat. But if junior is sleeping…take that as a gift and rest up or spend time with the other children. No baby ever went hungry from sleeping too much. They’ll naturally set up a routine, one that they are accustomed to from the womb.
  • Buy prepared meals. Let it go for once and just stock up on them. These first couple of weeks, you are a slave to that baby, and nursing isn’t quick! So again give yourself permission to indulge for this temporary phase and keep frozen meals in the house, and for pete’s sake just order in a couple times! You’ll be glad you did.
  • Nobody ever died from sleep deprivation. It’s quite possibly the worst part, but it’s not going to last forever. Seriously. Keep doing your Lamaze to get through these days. Breathe and pop on the tv. It will be over soon.
  • Yes!! Relax, the older kids know you love them. Stop worrying yourself to death about how neglected they are from your attention. The best thing you can give them is a smile every day. Make sure you verbally affirm them and kiss them when they are near. Stop apologizing to them, they are learning sacrifice from watching you tend to the baby. They will be better individuals from learning to wait their turn, and put someone else’s needs ahead of their own.

    Numero uno. K, boss?

    Numero uno. K, boss?

  • No guilty feelings allowed! You can’t possibly give yourself the expectations of “the way things were” now. Things are different! You are different! Your family dynamic is completely different. Take this time to adjust, to change , to adapt. Stop giving yourself unreasonable parameters with your love life, parenting, and friendship skills. You cannot expect yourself to keep up with your old you. Thank you phone calls are ok instead of thank you cards!  True friends will not count the days you haven’t called!  Family won’t be disgruntled over unreturned phone calls. True love will not want you to feel guilty, it will understand the changes you are going through. A good parent starts with appreciating ourselves, and allowing ourselves to adapt, not stay the same.
  • Change is good. You are growing, the kids are growing, your husband is growing. You are all learning something new from this new child. You are all growing deeper as a family by embracing this new life.

    Totally worth it, though.

    Totally worth it, though.

  • Un plug the phone! Who cares if you miss a call. Take a load off, there is enough on your plate to think about and your attention is divided enough.
  • Up your ‘fats’ while nursing! Eat avacados, coconut products, REAL butter, whole milk… more fat = fatty breastmilk=baby stays satisfied longer (read- SLEEPS)
  • Wear an abdominal wrap. No, we know nobody cares about the pooch… it’s to help force your uterus to contract and get rid of any remaining tissue or clots. Do it, because your muscles are weaker then they used to be an they need the extra help! Plus, it will help you slip on a pair of jeans. (for that one time a month you leave the house)
  • Hug your husband. Bury your head in his chest and sigh deeply. His arms are stronger than yours to support you, to lift you up when you can’t go on. Lean on him, rely on him, derive your strength from him.
  • Talk to other moms for support. Re-tell your birth story, over and over again to appreciate the amazingness of what you did! Be real with other moms about how you are feeling. It’s ok to admit that you are tired or overwhelmed. It’s actually freeing to admit the truth!
  • Ask for help! Get over your pride and just do it. Help is always there.
  • Don’t put everything on your shoulders. It’s ok to ask the husband to do a wash (or, um… all of them), cook a meal, or help you find extra burp cloths at 3am. The baby is his, too! You know, he’s the one that’s always fertile… keep reminding him.
  • It seems like it lasts forever, but take everything one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Stop thinking about how you will feel/look like tomorrow or next week. You will get depressed or crazy. Just think about the present, because that’s all your brain space can handle right now.

    Eh, they'll adapt. Or something, right? The way I see it: "Look! God sent you another kid to play with!" Charlie aint so sure.

    Eh, they’ll adapt. Or something, right? The way I see it: “Look! God sent you another kid to play with!” Charlie aint so sure.

  • It’s ok to not leave the house for the first month. Or only when husband can take you. Stop giving yourself unreasonable goals. Who cares what the tabloids say about the Kardashians? You feel like wearing your pj’s all day and sitting on the couch for a month, then do it. You just pushed a baby out… you get to call the shots. It’s not lazy, it’s called recovery.
  • Priorites! Shower or feed junior? Well…you are last. Keep that in mind.
  • Use your shower time to reconnect with God. Don’t stress out about prayers, just talk to him, tell him your concerns and ask for grace! Shower time is a great chunk of prayer time if you think about it! It is also probably the only peace and quiet you will get for a long time. So lock the door.

    Adapting to the new expanded family! And Charlie giving Max CPR.

    Adapting to the new expanded family! And Charlie giving Max CPR.

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2 thoughts on “Postpartum Pointers

  1. A-to the freaking-men! This is great. The only thing I would add is for me,3 months is when the fog lifts and 6 months is when I feel like I’m back on my game. It’s important to know how things are for you and not compare to the mom who seemingly is back on her feet instantly. She’s not, she just has a different time frame than you do. And LOL about husbands being the always fertile ones. You would, Am!

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