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A postpartum year in the life of a postpartum doula: Intro

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Avery’s first Santa Clause Parade – 9 days old

I have decided to write this blog during my maternity leave with our second child, as I work towards completing the certification process to become a certified doula, for two reasons. The first being that there are just too many sayings that point to the fact that we (humans) tend not to be great at “practicing what we preach”. “Do as I say, not as I do”… “doctors make the worst patients”, etc. I have also have heard similarly from friends who work in the healthcare field, and especially those related to birth and the postpartum, that in particular, it is a topic you think you can know so well until it is YOU who you are trying to relate it to. YOU who is the brand new mummy with sore nipples, YOU who is worrying about baby’s weight gain or sleep or how long a “cluster feed” can feel like it is lasting (dayssss???), YOU coming off of the wondrous birth hormones to an overtired and emotionally fragile state. We can know what the textbooks say, or have helped other mums through it, but it is very different to be experiencing it yourself.

Take the above photo for example. I told myself I would attempt to rest for two whole weeks this time, yet then I research Santa Clause Parades for Hannah, our 3 year old, and find out that we missed nearly all of them that don’t span her nap time. So on day 9 we trek to Richmond, stand out the cold while Avery starts rooting and I slip into Subway to nurse him (have not yet mastered nursing this little chomper while baby-wearing), go back to the community centre to watch Hannah dance up a storm and enjoy some chilli. NOT in my postpartum plan!! Would I tell another mama to make sure she is resting and listening to her body? YES. So what better time to inform my future practice of supporting mothers and families through this journey than to journal a personal version of it so that I don’t forget anything!

Segue to reason number two – which is the very simple fact that mommy brain is a real thing and I know that I will forget all of the trials and tribulations of these early weeks and months. I want to keep a record of all of the valuable things I realize in my mommy ah-ah moments, and all of the links for incredible local resources I bookmark and then never think to look at again. To be able to recall this time, to better support the mothers and families I hope to support one day is incredibly important to me.

I don’t guarantee that I will blog weekly, or at any regular interval for that matter. As much as a weekly check in seems so organized and a great way to look back on where I was each week, this is our second child so I know that the busyness of today morphs wonderfully into a new kind of busyness each week, month, and year. I won’t set myself up for that kind of strict deadline. When I do make a post I will include in the title what span of time it covers just for reference, and be sure to tag all of the topics covered.

Thanks for joining me on this journey this year. I promise to both cherish my likely last personal postpartum, while also very much looking forward to joining you on your journeys once the official allotted time to focus on myself is up. That said, my true belief is that we are forever and always on our postpartum journeys from the moment we learn the life-changing love that we hold for our children.

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