Getting ready with a Newborn (an oxymoron?)

The shortest and longest marathon of the day- trying to look and feel like a human being as a new mom.

I’m a brand new first time momma and I am learning a whole hell of a lot and sleeping little. I’ve perfected my one minute getting ready strategy and although I am mourning my ritual of leisurely getting myself beautified, I am grateful to have back a little piece of myself. I didn’t put makeup on or change out of pajamas for the first two weeks, it was needed. But I have to say that I feel a bit more like “Jenna” buying a few nursing clothes with style and figuring out how to get ready for the day with little J fussing by my side.

Step 1: Get little J ready first. Fed, burped, changed, face-washed and in a happy/satisfied mental state.

Step 2: Put little J in the swing and attempt to pacify with the aaaaamazing wubanub.

Step 3: Tinted moisturizer YES- I use Olay Total Effects

Step 4: A little bit of setting powder to mask the sweating I will no doubt do during the day because of hormones, general new-momma stress and attempting to breast feed in public. I use Bare Minerals Foundation Matte in Fairly Light.

Step 5: Blush! To offset the dark circles under my sleep deprived eyes. I use Nars Orgasm.

Step 6: Finish off with curling eyelashes, mascara (I am just using a generic drug store brand at the moment) and a bright lip stick!

* Factor in between 2 minutes and 2 hours to complete this look depending on how often you need to pick up baby, soothe baby, nurse/feed baby, peek on baby to make sure he/she is still breathing, sing to baby, rock baby in the swing and pop the pacifier back into the baby’s mouth.
** It looks like I’m not wearing make-up but believe me, I did NOT wake up like this.
*** Please note, I do love my baby, a lot.IMG_2338
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Radio silence on the first month postpartum 

Everyone likes to talk about the pregnancy, but no one talks about the first month of motherhood. 

Maybe because it’s a haze, maybe it’s to protect other new mothers and not fear-monger, or maybe there is a lot of stigma that lies in being honest about how tough those first hours, days, and weeks are. 

I truly believe I had disconnected from my body the first couple days of Jasper’s life. My labour and his birth traumatized me. It went completely off the rails and not according to plan. I wanted a natural birth under the care of my midwife but I ended up being induced under the care of an ob/gun with multiple interventions for pain and a vacuum delivery. I remember hearing in prenatal class that you need to “go with the flow” during labour because all that matters is the safe delivery of baby, so that’s what I did. But I didn’t realize that I needed time afterwards to heal and mourn the plans that were lost and guilt I felt. 

The first couple days were dark. I was weepy, exhausted, sore and overwhelmed. My emotions would change minute to minute, weepiness and weariness consumed me. The rational side of my brain understood the change in hormones and the enormous burden of becoming a parent were normal to be felt, but I could not drag myself out of the fog. My partner, the supportive, patient, loving man that he is took care of our son and myself for the first couple weeks and he encouraged me to connect with my therapist by day 3. It made an enormous difference to have my feelings affirmed and try to categorize my fears and worries into what is real and what can be solved. 

The experience of working my way through the baby blues and first month of parenthood has taught me so much respect, reverence and love towards new mothers. In some ways I wish I had this experience before working with the young parents I did before my maternity leave. It has given me so much perspective of the struggles and the importance of a network when becoming a parent. I don’t think I would have made it through without my partner, my parents and in-laws who live near by, and the calls and texts from friends who also recently became parents who sent messages of reassurance and reality.

I talk about how terrible and joyous the first month is because I believe that when I share part of my story, it also gives permission for others to share theirs. I feel as though some of my friends who shared their postpartum journeys would have not shared their struggles if they had not known I was in a dark place. Which is human, to avoid vulnerability unless you feel like you might find belonging and understanding. I hope to become a mental health practitioner and friend who can be as open and vulnerable to help others during this crazy time of life. 

I still struggle in the day to day. We we only one month in. J and I are still learning so much about one another and trying to find our groove. But I’m learning to slow down, savour the moments more and google much less! 

I’m a temporary vegetarian

Well, I’m 16 weeks pregnant this week and still cannot stomach meat/eggs. At first I was pretty angry about that because eating a ‘paleo/primal’ diet was the basis of how I ate and I knew it was what made me feel good. Eating paleo is how I managed to lose and keep off more than 70 lbs over the past two years; it was manageable and reliable and made me feel like I was doing something good for my body. As an eating disorder survivor, having some sense of control over our diets and bodies can be pretty important for wellness. I quickly realized that I needed to get over this mentality and eat the food, even if that meant that eating a carb-heavy diet for every meal at first. I also realized that despite losing some muscle from not lifting weights, my weight has not changed more than a pound or two, so I guess my body is taking what it needs for the baby and using the rest of the energy.

I also quickly realized that it is really difficult to find tasty, ready to eat vegetarian meals. I really struggled to find anything with vegetables that was easy to heat up! We couldn’t find veggie pizza or lasagna. So I jumped on pinterest and began picking out some recipes for my husband and I to try. And by that… I mean, I found the recipe, prepped the veggies and my husband cooked it. I’m learning 🙂

We made this vegetarian pot pie last night and it was quite the hit. There is something about warm and buttery puff pastry that makes it the perfect addition to a cool and windy fall day. The only thing I would change is that I think I added too many potatoes. I used a bag of small mixed fingerlings instead of three large potatoes so I just eyeballed it. I think if I used less potatoes the roux would have been a bit more liquid-y as it was pretty thick! Overall, filling and hearty and makes 6 large servings!

Here is the link to the recipe: http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/moms-vegetarian-pot-pie/