In my last blog I shared how I came to be passionate about mothermoons and supporting new mothers after the challenges I faced after the birth of my first baby.
It was while I was pregnant with my daughter that I came to realise I wanted something different this time around. I wanted what I now refer to as a mothermoon.
When I thought about my mothermoon it was important for me to:
- ensure I was well fed
- prioritise bonding as a family of four
- simply life as much as possible
- practice self care
The photo above was taken about three weeks after my daughter was born. The difference between this picture and the one I shared in my last blog speaks volumes to the difference a mothermoon can make.
Instead of a traditional baby shower, this time I opted for a mother blessing. Instead of bringing gifts for the baby, my friends were asked to cook and bring a dish that I could put in the freezer. The result was a freezer heaving with delicious food ready to be reheated and enjoyed after our daughter was born.
I also batch cooked a load of food from Ou's The First Forty Days, which was my postnatal bible of sorts. Between the dishes that my friends had made and the batch cooking I had done myself, there was no shortage of food to keep us nourished.
I once again planned a home birth and nearly got my wish but decided to transfer to hospital shortly before my daughter was born. The birth itself was straightforward but unfortunately my placenta became only partially separated which was removed in theatre while I was under general anaesthetic and lost a significant amount of blood in the process and required a blood transfusion.
I was now recovering from another physically challenging birth and looking after myself was critical.
I credit the care I gave myself for helping me to recover.
I knew ahead of time that I wanted to limit visitors in the first few days and weeks. Our families live abroad and we asked them to hold off for a few weeks before coming to visit so that I had time to rest and we had time to start to find our feet as a family of four.
When we did have visitors, we were clear about when they could come visit and how long they could stay for.
I also didn't leave the house unless absolutely necessary in those first few weeks and treated myself to lots of lovely herbal soaks in the tub.
These were just a few of the things I did to make sure I was prioritising my own rest and recovery in the first few weeks and the result was that I healed remarkably quickly and I also experienced a lot less emotional trauma when arguably, my second birth was more serious.
I remember one of the last thoughts before being put under was 'am I going to die' and one of my first thoughts on coming to was 'am I alive?'.
To come out of that without any lasting emotional trauma is pretty significant and I credit that to the support I had around me and how I looked after myself.
I was also able to cope a lot better with the lack of sleep. This was one of my biggest worries while I was pregnant. I was very much a sleep when the baby sleeps kind of person with my first and was worried that because I wasn't going to be able to do this because my eldest still needed attention I would really struggle to cope.
It was experiencing for myself the difference that motivated me to become a postnatal doula. I am passionate about doing whatever I can to ensure that women don't experience what I did after the birth of my first child and that they have the start to motherhood that they deserve.