As I am laying on my floor watching Chloe, my youngest, build with blocks while my two *somehow again* sick boys watch tv downstairs, I am first of all so thankful. I really am. I genuinely don’t know how we are somehow a sick home yet again but here we are. And it’s exhausting to be completely honest. The kinder-plague is so real and so brutal. Any other kindergarten mommies out there? PHEW, this has been rough. We do the vitamins, the Zinc, the elderberry tonics… and it’s just not doing the trick this year. Womp. And yet, even as sickness is temporary, in a very big picture way I can see that every bit of me who has been sacrificed over the last 6.5 years to have THIS is so worth it. This snowy cold day with sick kids for the literal tenth time in the last few months… worth it. The pizza finger prints on my cream bar stool cushions… worth it. The near hole on my stair case wall now after somebody threw the Vespa down it? Worth it. The broken toilet because they just can’t seem to use the right amount of toilet paper?… lol. Worth it. My brain that has become literal mush with each pregnancy? Worth it. I really do mean that. When we had Chloe, we had decided together it was likely our last and for a lot of reasons. Although, let’s be real, there’s always a piece of you that wonders what other cute humans you could create. In the same way you never feel “ready” to have your first, I don’t know if you ever truly feel “ready” to be done. It’s almost like how I hear people describe going for more tattoos. Once you start, it feels a little hard to turn off the need for more. Even when you feel deep within you it’s time, I think there’s always a piece of you that longs for those baby lips and scrunches once more. What would just one more look like? What’s one more, right? I am already tired… hehe. I bet you mommies know just what I am talking about.
But when we started to say we were done, the factor leading the decision most for me was finally getting me back to be the best mom I can be for my oldest, Knox, as he is 6 now. I think it’s important as he grows up and is starting a season of life he will remember when he’s older… that he remembers me in my right mind. Not the postpartum mind that can make me aloof, tired, short tempered, angry, and a myriad of other things. I want my son to have the best of me, not a slice of me. And so, unless God pulls a funny on us like he did when I somehow got pregnant with Blakely, I am done. And if he did, it’s ok. I know I would have another dose of grace for that season and we would be alright. But, as I can see it, I want to be done for this reason. After Chloe, I started to focus on how to not only heal from this postpartum season but also start healing my body in full from 4 pregnancies, 1 loss, and 3 babies this side of heaven in a short 6 years timespan. Nutrition, health, products used in our home, and other key changes have helped me truly start to feel and see Hannah peep through.
If you’re on the journey of postpartum, be it your first or your fourth, I hope this list helps you heal your body, mind, and soul from the inside out.
- Chiropractic care.
I have been wanting to see a chiropractor for ages but didn’t know who to go to or where to start. I saw somebody for a short bit that I didn’t like, so I gave up just as quickly. Then we had a couple who owns their own practice start coming to Cadence, and it felt like a perfect starting line for me! They are the perfect combination of the gentle approach but also who “cracks me good” as I say hehe. And y’all. My results are undeniable. To be honest, I didn’t know what I expected or hoped for, but this has far exceeded anything I could have thought was possible. By my first cycle just a couple weeks into my care we noticed I wasn’t hunched over from cramps for a week. I was immobile for three days each month after Chloe prior to getting care. And that was just the beginning. My mental clarity is far better, my ability to cope with anxiety and stress is better, and my overall anxious state is far less. I can’t say it enough… it’s changed me in so many ways. I started a plan for 6 months to get my body at neutral and then I would start just general upkeep. But I have been going twice a week since August for my initial care, and my body honestly craves it. My initial scans showed that my body was in a state of fight or flight survival mode. O_o Nobody was shocked haha. I scanned over a 200 for energy output (100 is a perfect score) and I was all out of whack. My last scan showed I am at a far more manageable state of overall energy (160) and I can’t wait to keep seeing that number go down. With every tick down, I gain more patience and better perspective as a mom and wife. I have a slice of me back.
- GO NON-TOXIC.
I have shared before that we have slowly but surely swapped things out for *truly* clean products over the years. Not just a “green wash” clean, but a for real clean. And while I still have some cleaning products for my white tiles and grout, we’ve swapped a lot of toxic out. Far from perfect but a lot better than where we were before. From the scents we use on our skin to hair care, my make up (you can see it here!) our home supplies. Everything has been chiseled away at to help our bodies function better, process information better, and operate closer to the ways they were designed to.
- FIND THINGS THAT ARE FOR YOU
Whatever makes you feel like you, do it. And fast. That’s pretty much what I tell every new mom after their first and it stands my own best personal advice four pregnancies later. I remind myself of it often. I am a better Hannah to my babies when I feel like Hannah to begin with. This is obviously going to be a different version of Hannah. The mommy Hannah who is 100% sacrificing being full herself for the next 18 years raising her child. BUT, she can co-exist. For me, that’s listening to an audio book every day. It’s waking up to pray and read my devotional. Although, in other seasons its meant sleeping more because I needed it desperately. It’s getting in a 30 minute workout during morning nap. It’s finding girl’s nights without my kids to be silly with my best friends. It’s vital to being the mom you want to be and it’s vital to healing.
Maybe today you just need to hear it is okay to want to be you again in the middle of the beauty that is motherhood. So this is me screaming it from the rooftops: It is. Do it. Figure out ways to see you in the middle of this version of you. You’ll never be the same again but you can invite your favorite parts of the former you into this season. And guess what? She will somehow be even better. I promise! But, being healthy and healing your mind and body after pregnancy/birth is so key. I saw just today that it takes 2 years for a mom to feel “herself” again after birth… 10 years for her body to fully replenish the nutrients lost during pregnancy through the postpartum phase. TEN. You guys, that’s WILD. Give yourself grace and figure out ways to help that process in whatever ways you can. These three are the ones I truly believe are key and can say have worked for me!
You can do this mama.