It’s been a busy few months with the holidays and so I’ll be combining Gracie’s 6 and 7 month update in today’s post, I hope you don’t mind 🙂 answering more of your questions down below. We got to celebrate Gracie’s first Christmas with family and it was magical! I’m so grateful for the memories we made. She’s been changing so much, rolling over, sitting up more, giggling, putting her feet in her mouth – all the sweet little milestones I am just cherishing. I can’t believe it’s been over half a year with her! 2021 was a lot about holding grief and joy simultaneously and 2022 has started off pretty odd and rocky, but I am more than ever grateful for this little girl who lights up the darkness in this world and keeps me hopeful for the future. It’s been a lot lately, but even just taking time to write these posts brings my happiness because I remember the days I prayed for this girl and I never take it for granted.
A snap from our first Christmas as a family… 🙂
How is feeding going? Are you combo feeding? Are you starting solids?
I still breastfeed Grace and then we supplement with formula. We’ll be starting with purees first as Neal and I feel like we need to do that before we enter solids with Grace. Do what you’re comfortable and trust your intuition, you know your baby!
When did you start purees? Which foods did you start off with?
We’ll be starting them soon! We have been practicing putting Grace in her high chair so she can get used to holding herself up, but she still tilts a bit to one side, so we want to be safe and ensure she’s really ready. She loves to roll over, which means she doesn’t like to spend too much time on her tummy (tummy time helps them support their neck and head). She can sit up and hold her feet but not without falling over after a few seconds, so we really want to work on this before beginning to avoid choking when foods are introduced. I’d like to begin with purees and starting with foods like sweet potato and avocado. I am so excited to begin, but I realize every baby is different and we’re just taking our time easing into this. We are however seeing a physiotherapist to help her with balance and strengthening 🙂
New favourite activity items?
Grace is all about sitting up or wanting to “stand” up, so she has been loving this SKIP*HOP activity gym my sister gifted her for Christmas.
What high chair did you choose?
We went with the Stokke Clikk high chair and seat Gracie in it everyday to practice sitting up with her toys on the tray. She loves it! It’s a great size for our condo as well and looks easy to clean.
What’s Grace’s nighttime routine?
We do a bath every other night, a nursing feed or top up of some formula or pumped breastmilk at the end of her awake window to keep her extra full throughout the night, book, singing and zzz 🙂
Some of our favourite products from the last two months…
Car Seat Cocoon (essential for Canadian winters with baby) // Set of Bows (hard to find cute ones in this many colours) // Clikk High Chair by Stokke // High Chair Toy // Daisy Bodysuit // Stardust Playard (we used this for Grace to nap at my parents for Christmas and it’s amazing, also great for playtime) // Bodysuits // Activity Gym // Hello Bello All Purpose Surface Wipes
Have you dealt with postpartum anxiety or depression?
I definitely have had anxiety postpartum, with everything going on in our world it’s hard not to, but especially where we live in Ontario. The whole situation has been very hard on my mental health and just mothering through this time, keeping Grace safe and protected, I never imagined this would be the world when I had my babies, but here we are. Trying to hold on to my faith and lean on support. I also just had anxiety as a first time mom about all the things, worrying about Grace etc. Again, so important to lean on your village and support system (I would reach out to my therapist, doula and doctor when needed). Thinking of all the moms and first time moms especially in these times. This verse has given me strength that I don’t have to mother alone (of course I have Neal as my partner) but I get to do this with the Lord…
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that have young.
How has your body changed?
It took me three full months to really recover and stop bleeding (I was spotting on and off) and my pelvic floor was in a lot of pain (I did push for three hours in labour, lol). I am definitely softer in the middle area of my body and that’s totally fine. I haven’t done regular workouts, but I do walk outside every single day which is important for my mental health too. I’d love to tone up a bit, but it just hasn’t been my number one priority. I make sure I move my body and eat well for my health (this is of course a top priority in my life), but I don’t focus on getting back down to a certain size again on some timeline. I also realize my body carried another human and it has changed and I’m okay with that! I got my period at around 3 months postpartum and it’s changed a bit length wise but it returns every month so my hormones are still kind of all over the place as I am still breastfeeding as well which can affect that as well.
How to deal with fear of childbirth (first time mama over here)?
Before I got pregnant and during pregnancy I worried about this as well and I prayed about it a lot. So many things I heard from others and everything you watch about childbirth is associated with pain in the media. To be honest, no one had much of anything encouraging to say about it and that bummed me out! Birth can be and is so beautiful. Of course, there are circumstances that are so unknown and there are very difficult/traumatic births but not every birth is like that. I focused my attention to positive birth stories which were so encouraging, so much so I found a beautiful community of women who had these empowering, incredible births. I think back to my birth of Grace and smile, I want to actually re-live it all the time (does that sound weird, he he).
I hired a doula which was the best thing for empowering me for my birth experience. She offered emotional support and taught me all about informed consent and the choices I had even if it lead to a C-section. Society wants to make you feel like you’re doomed for pain (and yes there are parts of childbirth that are painful, but they serve a purpose and it wasn’t the kind I thought about when I had fears). I felt peace going into birth and ended up having such a positive experience I am so grateful for. I was happy to give birth, literally laughing as I was pushing, crying tears of pure joy, it was such a surreal event in my life and I felt God’s presence the whole way through. I also listened to the Christian hypnobirthing app consistently and highly recommend giving them a follow on Instagram for more empowering stories of birth. Birth is beautiful! I am so excited for you!
Any tips for time management (first time mum at 3 months PP)?
First tip is “grace” mama! Have grace for yourself if you’re not getting all the things done. Honestly, I barely check off my to-do list over here. Just to give you an example, I’ve wanted to work on side projects, update my website, create content daily for my socials, organize my a million cupboards in my condo, be on top of my laundry, get back to emails not to mention other life obligations, social life, marriage stuff, etc etc etc. It just cant all be done in a day and I’m having to just be okay with that in this season and let go. Grateful for the Lord’s gentle leading. Grace is the first priority and that’s how it has to be. Neal and I trade off awake times and try our best to support one another, having him home with us everyday has greatly helped me in this season. I also try to have my mama here once every other week to help out around our home or watch Grace/walk Lucy so we can get some shoots done. Leaning on the village is so essential in getting anything accomplished and even then, there are just so many things that won’t get done in this season. Know your capacity and don’t push it in this time. Take care of baby and nourish yourself and the rest is a cherry on top. I hope this relieves you of any stress/pressure because I sure don’t have it together over here!!
Anything you would do more of/less of when you were pregnant?
We were basically in lockdown my whole pregnancy so I wish I would have been able to get out and live more to be honest. A lot of time and memories feel robbed from all of this. I was just grateful to be healthy and to have a healthy pregnancy/baby and to finally be pregnant, so I really didn’t complain or pity myself/experience but it is a little sad to me that’s how it was spent, I’m not going to lie. I would google things less and just directly speak with your midwife/ob/doula so that you don’t add extra worries to your plate. I had a very triggering OB who fear mongered me a lot, gave me unnecessary stress and distress and I wish I had switched care providers sooner. In the end she wasn’t present at my birth (thank God) but this is your beautiful birth experience and if you don’t feel supported by your healthcare provider you ALWAYS have options. You can switch at any time and you don’t need to subject yourself to negative energy in your pregnancy, this when you should be the most supported and the least stressed! Advocate for yourself in any situation, you have two hearts you are looking out for now.
How are you doing? Are you starting to feel a bit more like yourself?
All things considered, with the times we are living in, I’m okay. It’s hard to really think of the future or plan fun things because of just how uncertain everything has become. We are living in yet another lockdown here and it’s exhausting. I am just keeping myself in prayer and focusing on Grace, nothing else really matters to me lately but trying to keep my mental health well, raising Grace and taking care of our family. It’s basic stuff over here. I want to thrive again and it just feels hard to in this time, but I am holding on to hope and focusing on what matters most.
That’s my honest self at 7 months postpartum. I am the luckiest mom in the world to have Grace. When I say she is my light, I mean that with all my heart. She has kept me holding on in this time and I am forever grateful she came at this moment, I just pray the world heals as she grows up. Thinking of all of you mamas, you’re all doing an amazing job. Hold on to hope! xo