To start…I have to acknowledge that it has been a long time since making this blog a priority. I say that for myself really and not the small handful of friends and family who read it. Mainly because I feel sad about ignoring this space for so long. There are of course the usual things in life that have taken my attention away like work and my social life. But moving back to Seattle, starting in a new-ish role at my company and being pregnant all required so much energy and attention I was left short when it came to this little creative outlet of mine. I have a small back stock of fun posts to share one day once I can sneak away for some me-time that doesn’t mean showering for the first time that day, but for now this one felt important to share for anyone navigating the world of parenthood and in search of some grounding.
I did it. I have kept a tiny human alive for 40 days and am still standing to tell the tale. My new little guy is happy and healthy and I am healing and feeling more like myself with every passing day. Am I anywhere close to having my shit together? Absolutely not. But that’s ok. I’m at peace with that. And I can honestly say the only reason I am at peace with letting this recovery take it’s time is this book, The First Forty Days, which teaches the art of nourishing the new mother.
I received The First Forty Days as a baby shower gift from my girlfriend, who obviously knows me well…a book about eating beautiful food to aid in post baby recovery?…I was instantly hooked. Based on my experience with food as it relates to my autoimmune condition I was familiar with the power the right foods at the right time can have on our bodies. I went into reading this book thinking I would come away with some healthy recipes to make ahead of baby’s arrival and in turn be able to eat the way I wanted to without the stress of being in the kitchen with an infant to care for. And I did get that…special shout out to my mom, sister and hubs for helping fill the freezer with nutrient rich foods that helped to nourish my depleted system after the intensity of childbirth.
The biggest eye opener in reading the book however was the stressed importance of rest. Yes, it seems ironic telling a new mom getting little to no sleep to rest but it really is more than that. Rest means taking your time, your space, your energy to heal and connect with your baby, shutting out the pressures of the outside world and all the things and people that come with it. I had NO IDEA how intimate and personal the entire experience of giving birth and bringing the new baby home would feel. Had I not read this book I know my normal ‘get things done’ personality would have led to major feelings of guilt for the long days I have spent inside, shades drawn, in my jammies (let’s be honest, boobs out, milk everywhere) not checking a single thing off my to-do list and maybe not even getting around to brushing my teeth. I also would have been inclined to instantly see guests. Yes!, absolutely come on over…come meet our sweet babe…come visit…we still want to be social! No. Just no. I didn’t want any of that. It is insanely overwhelming to be home, hormones high as a kite and trying to navigate your new normal. And again, it felt so personal. It isn’t like me to not want people around but I really just didn’t and I am so deeply thankful I felt justified in taking the space I needed.
Everyone is different and at the end of the day I think the two most important things are to listen to your body and your doctor. You can’t downplay the importance of nutrient rich foods that help to nourish a depleted system after going through the intensity of childbirth. But I can now tell you on my fortieth day that it has been such a gift to allow myself the mental break from the outside world to just be. No pressures to do anything but focus on my new baby and heal.
Click HERE to check out the book on Amazon if you are curious to learn more.