By Angela Potter
Where do you call home?
Lake Oswego, Oregon
How many kids do you have?
What was one of the hardest changes for you physically during your postpartum journey?
Not being able to "do" as much as I did before. Having to sit to nurse so often was hard. I wanted to be able to move about more.
What was one of the hardest changes for you mentally/emotionally during your postpartum journey?
Like I mentioned above, not being able to "do" as much had quite an effect on me. Not only did it affect me physically, it also drained me emotionally. I felt like I wasn't enough, or valuable because so much shifted in my life. It's taken me nearly 2 years to finally make progress in this area, but it's worth pursuing.
Additionally, during the first month of or so postpartum, I felt CRAZY! I know many women suffer from postpartum depression. I wasn't depressed, but I felt hormonally crazy. I had thoughts that I never would have ever considered thinking before. I am only saying this because I felt so alone and isolated, and feared telling anyone what I was thinking because it sounded so crazy, but I hope it can help someone else.
What surprised you most about the postpartum time?
How isolating it felt. I had people come visit, but when they left I was home alone with a baby who needed everything. I couldn't do things that helped me find my identity. There are ways that I wanted to give back to the world and things that I longed to do, but with a baby at my side, it was near impossible.
What has been your greatest joy in motherhood?
Watching my daughter learn. To see the learning take place right there in the moment is magical. Hearing her string words together in a sentence that make sense. It's unbelievable to be able to communicate with her now.
What is one resource that felt invaluable to you during the postpartum time?
The book Bringing up Bebe was a HUGE help for me.
I had a text thread with a few moms where we'd share questions and concerns, or stories. It helped me feel less alone.
I was/am also part of the Facebook group Mama-Mia which was a great resource for asking questions where I didn't fear mommy judgement.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to pregnant moms in preparation for their postpartum journey?
Just read one parenting book. Or if you're going to read multiple, make them align philosophically. You'll drive your self crazy with the multitude of opinions on every issue.
Each way of doing something works for some mom out there. They aren't all wrong! But you will constantly question if you're doing it wrong if you allow yourself to read all these opinions.
At least wait until you've got your feet under yourself and you're feeling confident as a momma before you start venturing into the land of other opinions.
Katie is the Executive Director of a youth development and empowerment organization, Ncompass. She loves cooking, and creating. She and her husband, Randy, own Intentional Espresso - which caters exceptional coffee around the Portland area. They have been married since 2010, and have one daughter, Madeleine.