My baby girl is almost 2 months old now.
Look at her smirk!
She's my 5th ... and I have not had a post-partum experience like this since ... wait, since ever. And it's not just because it dropped into my lap and I "got lucky" (although I do thank G-d everyday for this experience, and for how I feel, both emotionally and physically). It's because I set myself up for this.
You can read about some of my previous experiences with post-partum depression in my other blog posts.
Honestly, I wondered if it was even possible to have a baby and not go through post-partum-purgatory. But I was determined to do MY part.
I've always been passionate about moms taking care of themselves, and especially post-birth. I even thought I was doing all the "right things" to create a baby bubble in my previous post-birth experiences.
Only, now I know what I was missing, and how to create an entirely different experience.
SO... here's some things I did/didn't do:
1. I turned off my phone for six weeks. Yes, you read that right. No calls, texts, whatsapps, facebook, emails etc etc etc. (I can practically see the question running through your brain BUT HOW? HOW DID PEOPLE REACH YOU?) So, I had a spare phone with nothing on it and no one knew the number. That way, my husband could reach me. As time went by, I shared the number with close friends and family. But only whatever I chose to have enter my baby bubble.
Here's what I learned: We're not that important . No, really. The world still went round. When I turned on my phone, other than it being flooded with all those little red icons of numbers of all the notifications, I realized that I had missed nothing. Really, nothing.
2. I was not responsible for ANY cooking, cleaning, errands, household chores, carpooling, morning-insanity, bedtime-craziness. Sometimes, when I felt like it, I pitched in. Or I hung around and just loved on my family. But I wasn't in charge. (Ok, I see your brain again asking for the HOW!) So, people made my family meals for two weeks. My mother came for a week. My mother-in-law came for three weeks. My husband took over A LOT (like a ton) of my usual responsibilities. AND I trained my housekeeper in cooking etc. And good 'ol instacart.
Here's what I learned: When we take a proper baby bubble break and rest, then we can re-enter the world, our families, and our responsibilities with excitement and eagerness and we don't fall apart.
3. I didn't leave the house, except for about 4 times in 6 weeks (for birth certificate and doctor appointments)
Here's what I learned: When we let our bodies properly rest and heal, we are way stronger afterward. When we run ourselves into the ground, it takes a lot longer to recover from anything (so in the effort to "do more" you actually lose out and end up "doing less.")
Ok so that's what I didn't do. Now you want to know what I did do (other than nurse, change diapers, eat yada yada):
I read books
I cuddled with my baby and took pictures and kissed her up
I listened to my affirmations (to help ward off the guilt gremlins!)
I listened to podcasts and audio classes
I was 100% present with my family in a way that I have never been before
I was 100% present with my mind and my body and in tune with myself in a way that I have never been before
Here's what I learned: We are constantly being bombarded with "stuff" from the outside world. Messages, texts, news, advice, pictures, opinions ... you name it. AND - we can CHOOSE what we allow into our space. You know those gorgeously curated Instagram feeds? (Not mine! I have an account but haven't used it in ages, but you know what I'm talking about) Ok, so those are pretty fake BUT, you can CURATE your life by CHOOSING what you allow into your space.
SO - whether or not you're in a post-partum phase, you can still do this. You can still intentionally decide what you're allowing into your space. Do it.