Monthly Archives: September 2012

Becoming a Mom, round 2

My aunt used to tell me that you need to see someone (something) in all it’s seasons. I think at the time this was her dating advice that I needed to be with someone more than two months before declaring it was true love. But I was in high school and time felt long. However, there is something to be said about Round 2 and how the second time going through something is less scary. Even something intense, like labor, or completely transforming, like pregnancy, the element of the unknown is drastically decreased and it just makes it less scary. It also helps that I was trying to get pregnant 🙂

When I gave birth to my daughter in the summer 2012 after a long labor and another unplanned cesarean surgery, she came into the world gorgeous, big eyes, loud voice, healthy and a sweet smile. Breastfeeding felt familiar and comforting to us both. Even the pain in the incision of all seven (or so) layers having been cut through and stapled back together was familiar.

It’s amazing how by taken out the fear of the unknown: will labor hurt? will I have a c-section? will I know how to hold the baby? Feed the baby? Will I know how to help him/her latch on? Change a diaper? Give a bath? Fasten a carseat buckle? Install a car seat? Put on a onsie? The list goes on….

By taking all of those questions out of the mix, I was able to be really present for my new girl. I was able to take her in as she is, without the expectations or assumptions that came with the first time around based on what I had read or thought or been told. My mama gut instinct was with me to guide me in my interactions with doctors, nurses, family and friends. This time I knew that I knew how to be a mom, I knew what kind of mom I want to be, and that now I just needed to get to know my daughter.

It’s huge, I think, to realize how hard it is to be becoming a new mom and learning who that person is at the same time as getting a baby in your arms and learning who that person is. It took me less time to fall in love with my new baby, not because she was better, but because I already knew who I was. I am Mama.

~jibean

Becoming a mom, round 1

Babies are scary. That was one my first reactions to giving birth to my son in the summer of 2010. After a long labor, long pushing and an unplanned cesarean surgery, my son was born healthy, beautiful, bald and loudly screaming to the world how strongly he felt about being in the birth canal for 36 hours.

It was new to me, being a mom. I felt vulnerable, insecure, uncertain and utterly unprepared for this new role. I had read books, taken classes, talked to friends and family, yada yada yada. It was like being Alice falling through the hole into Wonderland… only it was Mamaland. My son felt like a stranger to me and I was afraid of making a mistake. I wanted to be the perfect mother.

During my pregnancy I had the typical experiences of unsolicited advice, personal questions and generally feeling that others were invading into my private life. Pregnancy is a rare condition where people can see it and sometimes want to touch it. My pregnancy wasn’t planned and so the first few months were not spent in a pregnancy glow, but rather nausea and anger. People want to be happy for you when you tell them you’re expecting and it’s kind of a bummer to tell them you’re pissed. However, this was learning for me. I was already growing my mama gut instinct in those months because I was veering off the path of other’s wishes and guidance. I felt bombarded with people wanting me to eat and drink some things, not others; wearing certain things; birth a certain way; feed the baby a certain way; what they wanted the baby to call them; how we’d handle visitors and hospital guests, etc.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t well received by some that my husband and I were doing things based on what we wanted for our little family and that I was going to do pregnancy and birth my way. In fact, during my second trimester, I had a huge rift with a very dear family member to the point at which I didn’t think we’d ever have a relationship again. I assumed they’d never know my child. This rift raged for months, anger, hurt, tears, nasty emails, harsh words via telephone. Though eventually we worked through it all, it changed the dynamic of our relationship.

And it changed me. It was the beginning of my strength in myself, in truly trusting that I knew what was best for me and my family. And also standing my ground. I was no longer the child, sister, cousin, or patient. I was the mother. I was Mama. This important lesson has continued through my time in Mamaland; learning to trust, listen to and follow my mama gut.

~jibean

Hello world!

My very first blog post and it has me a little nervous. I’ve felt compelled to start a blog for a while and now it felt like the time to share my thoughts, triumphs and struggles on being a mom, a wife and a woman, a fitness professional and yoga teacher. What I really plan to write about is how becoming a mom taught me to trust myself, rely on my “gut instinct” that I’ve cultivated in the short years that I’ve been a mother. I want to write about the ways I’ve had to stand up for myself and my kids and my parenting, to politely say no to advice and to humbly ask for help. I also want to write about the effort that goes into reclaiming my body and my abdominals as my waistline was gutted by a cesarean birth twice.

Hence, The Mama Gut! My gut instinct and my stomach gut, both results of being a mama! Becoming a mom is the opportunity to move with strength in a new direction. It is my hope, my intention, to walk through this transition with grace and purpose.

Welcome to my world! I hope you like it here.

~jibean

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