Just a few updates before I try to check out for a while and do some serious #hygge'ing with my little family......
1. You can follow Welcome Mama on facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. I'm loving the IG Buffalo community vibe. There are so many stellar holistic leaning Buffalo mom bosses to follow and support.
2. Also! Please check welcomemama.com for updates in the new year. I'm still trying to figure out how to transfer the domain name! Yep. Since day 1 Welcome Mama has been welcomemama.com. Silly Mommy bought a domain name through squarespace then couldn't figure out how the heck to create a website on SS (while nursing a toddler and sleep deprived) so I reached back to 2008, back when I knew how to do this stuff and BAM, I'm lame and using weebly. But have no fear. This kid is going to sleep the night this year! Or I'm going to rent a room somewhere twice a week..and I will make Welcome Mama unlame....maybe. :)
3. So anyway: Know a Reiki master who helped during your pregnancy? How about a homeopath? Are you seeing a therapist who's trained in other alternative modalities? Message me right here with your recommendations. I want to list them for other families to peruse.
4. I have an awesome guest post coming out soon on a topic near to my heart. Katie Ward seriously knows more than most pediatricians on the topic of intact care. She'd the current NY State director of Your Whole Baby. Her post will be hitting you with some great suggestions for the New Year.
5. If you have a sweet mom-friendly vendor fair coming up locally, I'd love to be there to give your guests more information about Postpartum Resource Center of New York and the work that they do.
6. I'm still trying to figure out how to manage my time between "Momming" and focusing more energy here on Welcome Mama. I hope there will be more great things to come in 2018.
If you have a story to share, I would be honored if you felt compelled to share it here.
*****TRIGGER WARNING: though details are not graphic, perinatal mood and anxeity disorders are discussed. ***********
I wrote the following as part of an application to volunteer with the Postpartum Resource Center of NY. You too can volunteer with the resource center, share your story, or participate in the WNY Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder Task Force. Just message me here, email me at email@example.com or sign up right here.
In 2011 I was 34, newly married and had unexpectedly gotten pregnant with my daughter Lena. I sat in my doctor’s office being informed about the possibilities of postpartum depression. I had struggled with depression and anxiety since my teens and had previous suicide attempts. What the doctor didn’t properly explain was that I could experience symptoms pregnant. It had been almost a decade since I experienced intrusive thoughts, so my symptoms came from left field. No one around me understood why I was so unhappy pregnant. I was older, educated, picked a great partner and still felt like my world was imploding from this surprise pregnancy that I referred to as the “f-----g baby” much to everyone’s horror. One of the happiest times in my life was, without a doubt, one of the darkest.
I wasn’t getting the care that I wanted from my doctor, so I decided to hire a doula, fire my doctor, and switch to a midwifery practice. The midwifery model of care seemed so much more sensitive and intuitive to my needs. Still no one knew of any local resources. I had an initial consultation with a therapist who didn’t take insurance. I spent $150 and 50 minutes sobbing through a session focused on my somewhat traumatic childhood, then had to drive off to work and act like I was coping. I couldn’t afford $150 per session and didn’t really know how I was going to be able to keep it together after every 8AM session, then go do my job as a high school teacher.
Our wedding day, pregnant and swing dancing. The pics came out great. No one knew that I didn't sleep but two hours the night before. It was the beginning of my pregnant insomnia. We spent our Portland honeymoon arguing. My waistline was increasing while my patience and energy was quickly decreasing.
Luckily I found an empowered childbirth class offered through our local district’s community education. I knew my feelings weren’t normal and when my instructor talked about PPD and local resources there were only 2 options available. One was a support group almost an hour from my home and the other was another mom working on her masters degree and specializing in postpartum depression. Her name was Amy Creamer. She helped me through my postpartum period, offering services for free and making sessions baby friendly. She encouraged me to nurse and change poopy diapers while discussing my feelings and my new unplanned job change as a stay at home mom. She helped me, for the first time, grapple with my pre existing mood disorder and empowered me to figure out how to cope with the symptoms through mindful awareness. I had never even heard of the words, let alone knew what it was.
By the time my well-planned second baby came around, I did things completely different from the get go: planned a home birth, hired a doula and a midwife, and sought out a therapist who specialized in my mood disorder. I thought I had everything covered when my husband lost his job with a month to spare until our baby’s due date. There we were: a couple in their late 30’s with a mortgage, a 2.5 year old, a baby on the way and faced with a new journey through social services. WIC, SNAP , and Medicaid were our new best friends. It took me a good week to figure out how to apply for all of it. I had helped students maneuver the system, but never had to on my own. It was daunting, but we managed.
I've been working on (finally) writing a piece about my experience with having antepartum depression and anxiety for my first baby. When I started the process of looking back at how I felt in 2011, I was worried that my memories were fading. I was so happy to learn that I had written about it extensively on my personal blog back then. I keep forgetting the thing exists.
Last night I spent hours reading posts from a time now gone. I wrote,
It was emotional and hilarious, reading the thoughts of my 34-year-old self, first-time mom and newlywed. We went through so much in such a short amount of time. And now looking back at how we handled ourselves I feel so proud of our clarity and openness to feelings that could have otherwise been pretty tragic. Take a look at what I posted in December of 2012, our first Christmas as a family of 3.:
I think we should write a real Christmas newsletter.
Are you finding ways to document your motherhood journey? Is it in a journal? Instagram? A blog?
photo by Thousand Word Photography.
A stunning photo of a mom in black panties holding her baby randomly popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. It was posted by 4th Trimester Bodies Project, the groundbreaking and breathtaking photography project by Ashley Dean Wells, that has traveled around the globe in search of families willing to share their real bodies and authentic stories. I commented, asking how we could get Buffalo on the list of locations they visited. They responded with simple requests: 10-20 families committing and a location.
I could do that.
We have a ton of location options and I KNOW there are women out there in WNY who would be interested in doing this. So here's the deal: can you contact me on fb or through Welcome Mama if you're interested in participating? This project is awesome and inclusive. All interested families of all ages and sizes are encouraged to participate. If you aren't familiar with 4th Trimester Bodies please go check it out on fb or Instagram. It's a remarkable project and I'm so excited to get them here in B-Lo!!
Looking for breastfeeding help or just a place to talk to other nursing moms? Check out our breastfeeding page or our local support group listings. We're constantly updating and improving Welcome Mama, making it your go to for all things birth and early parenting with a holistic slant. If you know of a class, support group or professional that we haven't included please feel free to contact us right here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi. I'm Lindsay. Daughter, sister, wife, mother and collector of useless (and useful) information.