Every so often it’s a good thing to pause and tell our loved ones how we feel. This is all about Mike, my husband and father of our two kids and a whole bunch of reasons why I think he’s an awesome dad and husband.
It started long, long ago before we had kids, before we were married, about 15 years ago when I convinced you that we should leave our jobs and go on a road trip across Canada and the northern United States in your crappy K-car. It was on that trip, somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania that I turned to you while you were driving and said, “I wanna have your baby some day.”
Years later, after loads of crazy adventures & experiences I realized that you were truly my rock. My mom died. Your patience and unwaivering devotion and support during my epic grieving…. I knew you were a keeper.
Then we decided to multiply. And you came to 100% of my prenatal appointments and you supported my desire to have a homebirth with midwives and you supported my wish to have a doula present. You did the research. You read the books. Knowing that while this was the birth of OUR child, this was MY body’s experience and my deep, deep desire to envelope the birthing room with positivity and trust in my ability to give birth. Thank you for helping to make that possible- twice.
Then when breastfeeding really sucked for a while there, you stayed by me, supporting me in my wish to breastfeed our baby. You knew I could do it, even when I wanted to hand you the baby and run far, far away, yelling, “Good luck with that!”
So I’d like to thank you, for putting family first, for taking night time wake-up calls from the kids (unless breastfeeding is required or there’s vomit involved- those are my jobs) for taking time off work to help me prevent post partum depression the second time around, for reading to the kids every day, for playing road hockey with our son when you’d rather be vegging on the couch after work, for being a human trampoline for hours on end with our two little monkeys and for wearing a feather boa if that is what our daughter requires of you.
You are my hero and an inspiration!
Happy Fathers Day!
By: Shirley Broback, Producer of the Vancouver Island Baby Fair
When you are pregnant, it can feel like it’s open season for unsolicited advice & birth stories from other parents.
In the end of my pregnancy with my daughter (see photo below) it felt like I was as wide as I was tall. I was huge! Everywhere I went there were stares. Everyone wanted to know how a short woman like me could give birth to what seemed would be a gigantic baby or made comments like “looks like you could pop any minute!” Although these comments started when I was only six months along.
Yes, I knew I had another big baby. (My son had been 9 1/2 pounds)
When the midwife palpated my belly she knew too.
But she was pretty confident in me based on my previous “uneventful” birth experience. (Right, like giving birth can EVER be “uneventful”!)
So all we could do was wait and see. And try to surrender to the labour that awaited me.
When people see a pregnant woman, it’s tempting for some to feel the need to warn her or provide their detailed stories whether she’s interested or not. It is likely that her birth experience will be much different than yours, regardless of the “helpful” advice you provide and even the best of friends might have different fears or make different choices about their birthing options.
Decompressing and sharing our birth stories is a really healthy, natural thing to do. It’s a life-changing experience we have just been through and most women want or need to talk about it, especially in the early postpartum days.
However, I think it’s important to not flood a pregnant woman’s thoughts with our own stories in those last couple months of her pregnancy. She is busy getting ready for her own experience, physically and emotionally. This is her journey right now.
In the last trimester of pregnancy we need to plant the seeds of confidence in women. Share your own amazing moments & perhaps some good tips- if she’s interested- but save any epic battle birth stories for later during mommy bonding coffee dates.
A friend gave me a little pin to wear that said, “Happy birth stories please. My baby is listening.”
So your little bundle of joy has arrived, and the weight gain you were hoping was mostly water and baby has not disappeared overnight. What’s a new mum to do? First, relax and give your body time to recover. Your body has gone through incredible changes during the nine months of pregnancy; don’t expect to be back to your pre-baby self in a few short weeks.
Right after baby arrives, kegel, kegel, kegel! This often neglected exercise engages the pubococcygeus (or PC) muscle, helping to prevent urinary incontinence and uterine prolapse. Tighten your front and back passages, feeling a gentle squeezing and lifting in the pelvic area. Practice several times a day, varying the amount of time holding the squeeze, e.g. doing ten kegels, holding each for a count of three, then doing ten kegels in quick succession. Another important post–natal exercise is the pelvic tilt. Lying on your back with your feet on the floor, contract the PC muscle, imagining that your pelvis is a bowl filled with water that you are trying to spill onto your chest. In the starting position, you should feel a space between your lower back and the floor; as you tilt your pelvis, your lower back should be flat to the floor. Hold for a count of three, relax and repeat. Try three sets of ten repetitions to start.
When you feel up to it, short walks with baby are a great way to gradually reintroduce exercise into your daily routine. Each day, walk a little further and stimulate your body’s “feel good” chemicals, endorphins. Research has shown that exercise can reduce the risk of post-partum depression. Exercising with your baby is a great example for your little one, and the rest of the family!
The information provided in this article is of a general nature. Consult your health care provider before starting any post-natal exercise program.
Article written by Anna Wessell, instructor for Core Essentials’ Baby Stroller Boot Camp in Nanaimo, BC. She can be contacted at 250-390-3160, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Core Essentials is an exhibitor at the Vancouver Island Baby Fair in Nanaimo, June 5 & 6 at Beban Park Social Centre.