Colleen came to my most recent Mothermoon Workshop which is all about preparing for the postnatal period. She's shared her mothermoon story and lots of great tips about how she prepared for welcoming baby number two and how having a mothermoon helped her, her husband and their son adjust to life with their newest family member.
The Mothermoon course was great for really making me realise the lack of help new
mums have in our culture compared to others, and also how odd this is. It's something I already knew, but I think we always accept the environment we grow up in and rarely question it. Especially when we see others (and celebrities) getting on with things.
I was determined to take things easy after this birth, and repeatedly told my husband that I would be staying indoors for two weeks to recover. He questioned me a few times but seemed happy enough to go along with my plans.
He also mentioned a few times that he probably wouldn't be able to take two weeks off work. He's self employed so if he doesn't work he doesn't get paid. I am also on statutory maternity pay, so not having a proper income for two weeks is a concern for us.
However, I felt confident enough to say that money wasn't as important as this time together. Not just for me, but all of us as a family. I wanted time to recover and heal, for my husband to have quality time with the baby and also for him to help out with our two year old so he wasn't stuck in front of the tv.
The other thing I took away from the course was,
that like birth, I could prepare for this time.
I bought a water bottle (as I know breastfeeding is thirsty work and wanted a drink to always be on hand), I asked me Mum tobuy me a slow cooker instead of a baby gift (she thought this was odd but I explained how much it would free up my time for the baby) and I stocked up on Disney DVDs from charity shops (my back up entertainment for the two year old).
Being prepared helped me feel less
nervous about juggling two children.
So many people would ask me when I was pregnant whether I was excited about the new baby - and honestly I wasn't that excited! Yes, I wanted to meet the baby, but I love being pregnant and I know how much hard work newborns can be. (My first baby was a terrible sleeper so the first year was a sleep deprived fog).
Luckily, I had a very fast and straight forward labour. It was 40 minutes at home, so my recovery has been really fast. I felt physically well after a few days and ventured out of the house on day six postpartum. This was much sooner than I anticipated, but for me it felt right. I was missing quality time with my two year old so we went to play group just for an hour. Afterwards we all had lunch together and then all went for a nap.
Daytime naps aren't something that I did after my first pregnancy but I am fully embracing them this time round! I've learnt that to be a happy Mum I need to be a bit easier on myself, and actually with this attitude I'm being more productive.
I've relaxed and followed my on intuition a lot more. For Sydney I had a breastfeeding app to tell me how long he'd gone
between feeds, but with Robyn I haven't bothered. If I had a bad night with Sydney I would stay up with him to make sure he'd go back in his Moses basket, but with Robyn if she's unsettled I just put her in bed with me so that we can both get some sleep.
Colleen is also a hypo birthing teacher offering both private and group classes in Dartford/south east London.