Grocery shopping. Woof. When our fridge starts looking bare, I cringe at the thought of going to the grocery store. It's always so busy, my shopping list is lengthy, and you can bet I will forget something on that list. I should have the list memorized by now and yet I always manage to space going down a certain aisle.
Now that I'm no longer working 40 hours a week in an office, I do feel as if I have more time to compile a list of what we need, meal plan, and get organized. When I shop, it's only for my husband and me (okay, so there's three of us if you count the human I'm growing)...but it still feels like we need a good amount to get through the week. My husband eats so damn much. I don't feel bad about sharing this with you because he knows it's true, too. Earlier on in our relationship, he looked at me during dinner one night and said, "Babe, you know how much you need to eat to feel full? Well, I'm bigger than you and I need like..three times that amount." Fair enough. I married the man and promised to support him always, even when he cleans out the pantry.
I often think about how our lives will change in these coming months. As much as I daydream about our labor and birth experience, I think about the postpartum period even more. When I talk to expectant folks as a doula and childbirth educator, there is a lot of focus on birth. I get it-- it's the unknown that is captivating, exciting, and maybe even a bit anxiety-inducing. But what about parenting? Labor and birth is a short amount of time compared to the rest of our lives. Raising a child is big stuff and incorporating a new person into your life *forever* seems a bit more overwhelming to me.
When you have a baby, even the simplest tasks get put off because...well, it's just hard to squeeze it all in. It's challenging to take care of ourselves and take care of another human 24/7. As a new mama, even feeding yourself can be a challenge! And when you're running low on sleep, haven't showered in a day (or 2 or 3? Not judging.. this will be me soon. We're in this boat together, sister), and have only eaten a bowl of cereal and a banana in the last 24 hours...you're going to feel pretty shitty. Plain and simple.
So...when this new person is born, promise me this one thing: that you will eat! Even better: promise me that NOW, when you're still pregnant, you will start planning for the postpartum period, not just for labor and birth. As new parents, it's hard to focus on your needs, but ya gotta give yourself some TLC so that you can be there for your babe. The laundry, the baby shower thank you cards...those things can wait. Nourishing your body is more important!
Keep in mind that two of the most amazing things you can stick on your baby shower registry are a meal train and a postpartum doula. Your doula can help with cooking, remind you to eat a little something, and even run errands for you (like that shopping trip you've been dreading!). There are great websites out there that can help you start up a meal train (to name a few: Take Them a Meal, MealBaby, Meal Train). Send the link to your meal train via email to family and friends prenatally. Folks can sign up to bring over a meal as often as you'd like (every other day, three times a week, etc.). You can include food allergies and limitations, your time frame for dinner, and even how you'd prefer the food be delivered ("If the front door is shut, please leave the food in the color on our porch.").
Aside from meal trains and postpartum doulas, you can also prep your meals ahead of time. Freezer and crockpot meals are a smart option for the postpartum period, and Pinterest makes it easy to collect yummy recipes without aimlessly surfing the web. Below I've listed some of the best recipes I've found on this genius website. I say "the best" because they are healthy, relatively easy, and for some of 'em, you can even eat with one hand. :)
Do you have any quick, simple meals/snacks you love and would like to share? Please post in the 'Comments' section below!
Did you know that October 5-11 is National Midwifery Week?
Of course, we should celebrate the compassion, integrity, and tranquility that midwives provide everyday. But in honor of this special week, if you know a midwife, give her a shout out. Give her a big 'ole hug. Let her know how important she is and how much you value her work.
At the beginning of my college career, I had no idea what a midwife was. I may have been familiar with the term, but the work that a midwife does? I'm not sure I knew about that. When I enrolled in a class at I.U. focusing on labor, birth, and the family, that's when I began to learn about midwifery. Through volunteer work in my early years at BABS as well as through doula work, I put faces to the term "midwife." These women are thoughtful, educated, and fun people to be around. No wonder many women feel at ease in their presence! No doubt, this is important for birth as laboring women need to feel comfortable in order to let go and bring their babes earth side.
Naturally, when we found out we were pregnant, hiring a midwife for our birth was a no brainer. I can idealize what my winter birth could be like: At home, snow falling outside, husband holding me, midwife and doula close by, a cozy atmosphere, birth pool set up in the living room. I get mushy just thinking about it.
But, just as any other life event, sometimes things don't go as planned. I may not get the soft lit room or even want to be touched by my husband. :)
My midwife doesn't promise me those things, but she supports me in knowing it's what I prefer. She understands that pregnancy and birth are normal. She helps me to understand that I have options. My midwife is not just there to "deliver" my baby, although she is highly skilled and very knowledgable. She is there to help guide me and remind me that my body is strong…that I am a woman and am capable of giving birth. My midwife sits down with me prenatally and takes time to listen to me and answer any questions I have. She provides evidence-based care and gives me the information that I need so that my husband and I can make informed decisions for our baby and family. My midwife is hands-on and gets to know my husband and I as people, not patients. She knows that every woman is unique--that each mother's experience is different but always life-impacting.
These are just a few of the reasons why I love my midwife.
I'll admit…when it comes to being a business owner, I kind of dread marketing myself. Then, halfway through the process of editing my website, creating flyers, and what not…I start to nerd out. The product below is a flyer you might spot throughout Bloomington.
As most of you may know, I recently left full-time work as a leasing consultant at Abodes, Inc. to pursue a more part-time position with families and children. I'm currently looking to help folks who are preparing for baby, have just welcomed their babe, or are needing additional support while getting back to their regular work routine.
Please feel free to share the information below with friends and family that may be interested. I am very much looking forward to working in this realm again!