Feb 14, 2011

Mother Dear

I want to give thanks for all my mommy friends, for my own mother and my husband's mother. When I was in labor with my son I came to the realization that as a doula I only partially understood what birth was about. Now that I'm a mother I can say that while I always loved and appreciated my own mother, and the mothers in my life, now I more fully understand the depth of love, concern and strength that mothers posses. 

In all honesty, being responsible for a tiny life has brought out my own insecurities as a parent. I have read books that claim to have the answer to parenting, and here is what I've learned. Mothers have been mothering for eternity, long before books and through passing fads and parenting theories. While there are good ideas that I have utilized from these books, I think I'm ready to venture out on my own as a mother. With my supportive husband, my own mother, and a collection of strong mother friends to lean on and watch as they raise their children, I think Porter will turn out alright. So, on this Valentine's day I give love to all the mommies out there, doing their best to be good at what they do.

Here is a video of Porter taking some floor time to work out, happy Valentine's day!

Feb 5, 2011

Life After Birth

Two of my good friends came over today to meet Porter over lunch. After sharing my birth experience (which is coming in a future post) one friend asked if I had any postpartum depression. When I said no, she replied that with the pregnancy, birth and postpartum I had had the perfect experience. That got me thinking that, yes I had a pretty near perfect experience. Everything went as planned, my family came out of the birth experience happy and healthy and I've almost made it to a month with a brand new baby and haven't had issues with depression. What I will say is that for the first two weeks of my new life after baby I did feel a little crazy. With hormones raging, being closed into my house, being sleep deprived and figuring out how to take care of myself, my baby and husband, I think a little insanity is okay. I'm not doctor or therapist, but there are a few things that I attribute to my (mostly) positive attitude in the last few weeks:

1. My husband and I planned to have a baby and were thoroughly prepared to deal with this new life.
2. I was highly educated about the kind of birth experience I wanted to have and took every measure to make that experience happen.
3. When something went differently than planned, I tried to roll with the punches and did fear clearing hypnosis.
4. My baby hasn't left my side since the moment he was born, not even to be measured and weighed. We were skin to skin immediately following birth.
5. Breastfeeding. It's not easy and hurts like crazy sometimes, but the hormones released and the bonding that happens make it all worth it.
6. Super supportive husband, family and friends. Luke was extra supportive of our birthing choices and breastfeeding and wants to be as involved a dad as possible. I had friends who helped cook and clean for 2 solid weeks after the baby came, and my mom came for a week when Luke had to go back to work the third week.
7. Walking outside. After the first 2 weeks it was obvious that I had to move my body. I bundle up the baby and we walk every day, even if it's just around the block.
8. Talking with people made a world of difference. Especially people who have been through and survived having a new baby. Hearing how they dealt and what they dealt with brought me back to reality and made me realize that this crazy time would soon pass, and evidently I would miss it. We'll see about that one.
9. I was aware of postpartum depression and tried to stay vigilant about whether I was experiencing those symptoms, or just normal new mom anxiety.
10. Finally, back to the fact that I'm pretty average and acknowledging that women have been having babies since FOREVER and continue to do it around the world, hundreds of times everyday, and still manage to survive. This means that my chances of survival and general well being are pretty high and I can count on the crazy parts passing and rest assured that what I'm experiencing is NORMAL.

There it is. My top 10 reasons why I think that I came through this pregnancy, birth and post birth without diving into the pit that is depression. Again, I'm not a doctor or therapist and I don't want anyone to think that this list is a cure or a guarantee, but I'm sure they helped me get through this first month of life after birth. And now to take you out, some tender pictures of Porter at 1 month.

Here's a video shot by our friend Danny at our Friday night dinner. Luke and Shaun are jammin' and Ashley is holding Porter.
Going for a walk

Porter the visionary

The "yeah right" face

Happy Porter

Cupie Doll Porter

"I told you so."

Life is good Porter

Porter's workin' out a deuce face, sorry TMI

Feb 2, 2011


Here is Porter! We've had a pretty crazy 3 weeks adjusting to our new life. I have to give BIG thanks to our friends, especially Sarah (who even mopped our kitchen) and Chelsea who fed us for 2 weeks straight. Also to my mom for spending the week with us so Luke could go back to work, and for ensuring that I managed to get square meals for one more week. Porter loves his Gramma, she's got that magic touch to sooth his fussy moments and remained cool when he peed in his ear. Thanks to everyone for your wishes, gifts and visits, it definitely helped make our transition much smoother.

We are settling in at home and Porter is already spending time taking in the world around him. I sometimes have to remember he is still a newborn, despite his large size. His favorite activities are eating, being held by momma, and making googly baby eyes and sounds at just about anyone, and sleeping (preferably in momma's arms). He hates outfit changes and cold wipes on his bum, so is life! I haven't been very good at taking pictures, but my friend Ashley came by and did a photo shoot when he was a week old. Here are some pics from the last 3 weeks.

 Hangin' with Gramma

 Porter LOVES the Moby
Ready for a walk outside, brrrr!