Indra River has officially been with us for a week. Best week of my life. The healing and integration process has been beautifully intense. This post will likely be enjoyed most by those to whom the postpartum process is near and dear. Also, anyone working through healing of any kind or an interest in early human development.
When I woke up the morning after Indra’s birth (His first name is sticking quite a bit these days.. 🙂 Post on that coming soon!) I had the swift realization that I was officially in full-on rehab mode. This has been my first experience with bodily trauma. Aside from a routine wisdom teeth removal, I have never experienced a surgery, injury or major illness — nothing near the level of post-birth. I had some minor tears (no stitches) and a standard, healthy birth. As my organs return to their normal size and my body sheds excess blood and fluids, I am again left humbled by the birth process.
Healing feels like a dance with rest and rejuvenation. There is definitely a level of pure rest that has been non-negotiable. I felt myself cross the line of too much effort once or twice and for the most part I have been honoring that edge. At the same time there’s still a level of effort necessary to stimulate my body and mind. Meditation, gentle breath-work and a general commitment to staying engaged with Michael and others (while also being present to the babe in my arms) has been key for me. In addition to the following..
The top 4 things supporting my healing process;
- Herb baths 2xs/day – first thing in the morning, last thing at night. It is also a really meditative time for me while I focus on feeling comforted and refreshed. Also, for connecting with little man — he loves bath time! I make sure to nurse him at the end so that Michael can take him and give me extra space for self-care rituals. Abhyanga, self oil massage, is a favorite. Just a couple extra minute to braid my hair or put on earrings makes all the difference in the world, too.
- Daily tinctures of Nurtured Mother (from Birthsong Botanicals), Chlorophyll and Turmeric. Along with a ton of fluids all day long. All necessary for strong blood, inflammation and hydration. Chanting to myself healing mantas as I consume. I am healing, I am healthy, I am happy.
- Breastmilk. It’s magic. Those tears I mentioned, breastmilk almost numbed them. Also, kombu! It’s seaweed — feel free to message me for more info 🙂
- Last, Michael’s food. If I could only have one thing from the list, this would be it. Healthy, intentional meals are key. Great news is he’s offering a meal service. If you’re nursing you have to try some of his lactation bars. Amazing.
The first few days I was waited on hand and foot just to accomplish the above. Michael was back and forth between the kitchen and bonding with the babe and me. My Mother supported him with cleaning and all other household management. Michael and I have been able to give this little man so much direct love and energy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Indra’s development has been amazing. He is such an awesome little member of our family already. He is sleeping soundly in 5hr+ stretches in the night, solidly nursing throughout the day and clearly communicating with us when he needs something. All this in addition to being supremely healthy, interactive and a sweet cuddler.
The top 3 things most supporting his development right now;
- Skin-to-skin Contact. As much of it as possible. He’s either in our arms, laying in our laps or in a Boba wrap on Dad’s chest. He still has yet to wear anything but a cloth diaper and socks. All of these things are helping him stay calm as he feels loved and cared and connected to the world around him 24/7. He is also able to utilize his muscles more throughout the day and build a stronger sensory interaction with the world than he would in a bouncer or swing.
- Continuous Communication. We are talking to him all day long about what we’re doing: What the plan is for the day, what we’re doing in the moment, explaining noises he hears.. When we go to pass him off, there’s a clear “Daddy’s going to take you. Ready? 1,2,3 ..” You can watch his body tense up right between 2 and 3 as he prepares for the transfer. It’s so freaking cool. And totally contributing to his comfort level with the world.
- Instant Need Fufilment. When he asks for something, he gets it. As quickly as possible. We’re watching his mouth for signs that he’s ready to nurse. Or adjusting him if he’s obviously uncomfortable. It takes a high commitment to presence with him and it’s so important to us that right now he builds that trust in life right now. That he has a basic feeling of ‘I get what I need from the world around me’. There will be a time in which I am interested in teaching him about processing emotions like fear and frustration. Now’s not the time for that. It’s happy baby, happy momma. And it is a beautiful, blissful time.
I have a lot more to share! Including a recap of my experience with the placenta smoothie (yep, I saved it) and I’d like to write a whole post on my emotional and spiritual process of this week. All coming with time. Please share with the mommas you know and keep feedback and thoughts coming! Photos below of Indra River’s documentation process earlier today! He is now official in our man made world.. Pales in comparison to the essence of existance ❤