Postpartum is hard. No matter where you are, who you are with, or the particular circumstances; the postpartum challenges to your mind and body are intense. It’s also hard for the loved ones of the mother, as they try to cope with the changes and provide support and love in the best way they can while often being overwhelmed by the challenging circumstances themselves.
Even now I’m having trouble finding my way through this post as mixed emotions gurgle to the surface and confuse my focus.
The past year has been very difficult. Somehow, my second baby is approaching his first birthday. And yet, where did all those days go? Many hours were spent in an exhausted survival mode with feelings of resentment, disappointment, shame, and despair. But I also have been working on myself and knowing that things will improve with time and with effort.
Infertility and phases of depression put an extra stress on my relationship with my best friend and husband, Rodney. The postpartum challenges we faced in isolation, in our apartment during the covid pandemic in Cuenca, Ecuador, thousands of miles from our support network, brought us down to our lowest point as a couple. I wasn’t doing well. While not every moment was terrible, I wasn’t enjoying our children and family as much as I wanted to. I wasn’t enjoying life as much as I wanted to. I wasn’t feeling loved, and I was not loving Rodney well. Our communication faltered from healthy and supportive to almost non-existent. I won’t dwell on the past and on the negative, but please reach out to me if you need support or want to hear more to connect and not feel alone.
Recently, Rodney and I have taken bigger steps towards improving our relationship and ourselves as individuals. I am using an online counseling service for myself and we just started relationship counseling on a related platform.
For myself, I have given up wheat and coffee as they both seem to interfere with my body functioning well- we’ll see as time goes on. I am using intentional breathing to relax and reset my mind and body, as well as a very simple mantra: “Breathe. Relax. This too shall pass.” Two giant, exciting, challenging changes started today: 1) Mommy goes out to the officina to work instead of Daddy, and 2) I begin the Wim Hof Method 10-week fundamental course.
As I take over some of the time in the office, I will be working on me (meditating, writing, etc) and towards income-making pursuits. Rod and I are putting effort into sharing various workloads more equitably. Soon, I’ll add a link to more info and posts on the Wim Hof Method work that I’m doing.
My overall goal is to be the best me that I can- a me that I can be proud of. To enjoy my life, my family, my surroundings, no matter the circumstances or the weather. I want to love more and give more. I want my body to feel great so that I can make the most of each moment. I’m side-stepping out of my current boggy track, into one that where I tackle challenges, I persevere, I ask for help when I need it, and I feel stronger and healthier in my body and mind.
I just want to finish by saying that Rodney has been instrumental in all of these steps and has shown incredible generosity, strength, and thoughtfulness. This morning he gave me the encouragement and support I needed to take the plunge and start Wim Hof TODAY … not on some idealized better day that might never arrive. I am forever grateful to him.
Now, I will go be momma and wife with my family for awhile. Remember:
You are MUCH stronger than you think you are!