Pregnancy was rough. I am still shocked by how weak my body became, yet how much it was capable of doing even in that state. I'm really glad to be on the other side of it now.
I wish more women would talk about the post partum experience honestly - not just with their close friends but publicly because women‘s issues really are human issues, and we’re not going to help each other by keeping things hush hush. It takes your body a long time to recover physically and mentally.
I‘m a very confident person, and always have been. Part of it comes from being independent at a young age, but most of it comes from knowing that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. It‘s probably one of my best qualities and I do my best to encourage other people to recognize that we don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be happy with who we are.
Post partum is tougher than pregnancy because your body goes through rapid changes. I lost 20 lbs in a week, and I was so insanely happy to have my body back. I was thrilled that it didn’t take too long, and I felt much healthier and balanced. However, I quickly developed an obsession with my weighing scale. When your body expands so quickly, it’s easy to attach your worth with weight. I was reminded of my college self and how self-assured I felt being what I deemed thin. I‘m glad I recognized my unhealthy obsession early and was able to develop a healthy relationship to exercise instead of a negative one.
Walking on the Monon during my maternity was my saving grace. Motherhood is a roller coaster. Everyone wants to see the baby but very few want to respect your needs as a new mom. This is one thing that I wish the West would learn from the East - the community does such a good job of making sure moms are well taken care of too. You’re constantly tired, famished, and still trying to keep it together for your little one. Having a good support system is vital but so is doing things for yourself. Taking care of myself helped me regain my Self. If there’s one piece of advice I can give another soon to be mom, it’s “Go outside. Take your kid with you, and just enjoy the moment.”
I promised myself I would do one thing for myself each week of my leave. Here's how it turned out:
Week 1 - Got a manicure and pedicure
Week 2 - Read one chapter of a book that wasn’t about parenting or babies
Week 3 - Didn’t go to the tech event I signed up for but I grabbed lunch with R instead
Week 4 - Started walking on the Monon and shopping for myself
Week 5 - Saw a lactation consultant in person
Week 6 - Took Mico to a Linking Indy Women event
Week 7 - Introduced Mico to coworkers
Week 8 - Went to a health screening and started physical therapy
Week 9 - Had brunch with college friends, and started checking in at work occasionally
Week 10 - Threw a party for Mico
Week 11 - Attended a free Intro to Coding class at Eleven Fifty Academy #babieswhocode
Week 12 - Took Mico to work again for his big reveal in the company onesie before visiting an art museum for the rest of the afternoon
Week 13 - Started working full time again
I've noticed some people have a very limited mindset of what a new mom should look like, and how they should spend their time. So, I've been challenging that perspective by taking my baby places and still doing things that are healthy for me as an individually. I definitely want him to have a broad understanding of the world, and see both men and women being happy by simply doing what they love professionally and personally.
Lastly, I'm glad I have a mom who moved oceans so I could go back to work 100%. I'm also grateful to have a mom who's done a lot with little means because it gives me the confidence to do the same.