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A Real Life Guide to Being a First Time Mom

Learn about pregnancy and all the things our moms never talked about in our candid discussion with mom, Kallie Swenson. Every pregnancy is different and brings new experiences. Let the Checkable team be in your corner and answer some of your biggest questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting through your body changes during pregnancy
  • Tips and tricks to help your body through pregnancy
  • Feel encouraged to ask your doctor questions
  • How often to expect to see your doctor during pregnancy
  • The benefits of taking parenting classes with your partner

0:00:00.3 S1: For the pregnancy process, what was the biggest surprise for you, what happened that you just didn't expect or that you thought it was extremely weird. Hey, this is the Wellness Wssentials podcast. We for sure, the WE Podcast is all thing health and wellness, a place where women like you can come to be their authentic self and be a part of a community that supports them in their health journey, and every stage of life. This is the podcast for engaging Health and Wellness entertainment with actionable steps you can take into your every day life. No topic is off limits when it comes to health and women's lifestyle.

0:00:48.4 S2: Let's face it, being a woman comes with all sorts of fun. Hear real raw conversations and teachings from experts and everyday women who have been in your shoes and get inspired to make things happen and have the tools to do so.

0:01:03.3 S1: This is the WE Podcast. Hello, this is Lora with Checkable Medical and today I am excited to talk with my long-time friend, Kallie Swenson, who is a mom of two beautiful little girls, and today we're gonna be talking a little bit about what it's like to be a first-time mom and preparing for motherhood. And all the good things that come around with that, so I’m going to let Kallie just tell us a little bit about herself and then we'll get started.

0:01:46.1 S2: Well, thank you for having me. Like Lora said, I am a mom to two little girls, Olivia and Everly... I guess I'm part of the two under two club since Olivia is 20 months and Everly is two months. So yeah, I'm a full-time stay-at-home mom, but I also do some collaborating for alocal blog, and I also have my own blog, been married for three years, and we actually live in a pretty small home, 980 square feet, but it's been challenging and wonderful for us as we are growing our family.

0:02:17.9 S1: Awesome. Kallie, did you always know that you wanted to be mom?

0:02:22.7 S2: Yeah, it's funny because whenever people would talk about their dream wedding, I sometimes I'm like, I didn't really ever find myself daydreaming about that much growing up, but I absolutely thought about being a mom, and my mom did daycare growing up, and so I was around a lot of kids all the time, and I have two younger sisters, and I just feel like it was something that I always knew. If I were able to have kids, I would absolutely love that. So yeah, I knew that that was something I wanted.

0:02:55.2 S1: So you've always been kind of a natural caretaker with having little ones around all the time.

0:03:00.9 S2: Yeah, I think kind of being the oldest of three, you sometimes find yourself almost like a second parent, kind of being the oldest in helping with the younger siblings, and then with my mom doing daycare, it was just kind of always around kids and helping out with that, so I enjoyed it. I feel like that's kind of part of my personality is enjoying and being nurturing and that kind of thing, so... Yeah.

0:03:28.4 S1: Well, first came love, and then came marriage, and then came babies in the baby carriage, after you kind of settled into your life with your husband, did you find that there was something that said to you, now is the time that I'm ready to have babies.

0:03:46.8 S2: We both talked a lot about in our dating where we definitely want children and we always said We want an even number of children, so two or four... I'm fine with three... also, for some reason in our heads, it made sense of two or four, so we're at two now, but we knew shortly after we got married, we really wanted to start trying and see if that were something that would be possible for us.

0:04:14.3 S1: Did you do anything mentally, emotionally, physically, to help prepare yourself for pregnancy... Yeah.

0:04:22.8 S2: Physically I wanted to be at a healthy weight, I actually put on a little bit more weight than my baseline, I guess, and so physically I kind of maybe prepared that way, I started taking more vitamins and by more vitamins I mean taking a multivitamins because prior to that, I was not great at doing that, and I actually tracked my... Well, first of all, I don't know how TMI you wanna go, but I would track my cycles. There’s no TMI here, anything goes. I feel like there's no such thing as TMI when you’re talking about being a mom or pregnancy, it’s just kind of out there. 

0:05:01.0 S1: Right

0:05:02.2 S2: Yeah, I started tracking my ovulation to kinda understand that part, and then mentally, and I would say relationally, I just wanted to make sure Jordan and I were again, on the same page, I think we had a fantastic dating life, we got to do some traveling and even our honeymoon, we went to Hawaii, and so I felt like we had kind of had some time together before having kids, which I think is kind of important and might help lay the foundation for when you get to that point, just to make sure you two are on the same page. I think that's really important. So I felt like we were at a good place to... Yeah, even though right after marriage, we got pregnant shortly after, it felt like it was a good time for us or the right time.

0:05:50.5 S1: Yeah, I love that that you guys had some time as a couple before you had time as parents, I think that's always a nice thing to have. Can you tell us a little bit about how your pregnancy went? We really wanna help maybe people that are thinking about becoming a mom, know what to expect, because I still think that there's a little bit of stigma around talking about the whole pregnancy experience and what women go through physically and emotionally during that. Absolutely.

0:06:21.9 S2: So whenever people ask me this question, I don't wanna be negative or too scary, but I feel like it's important to be honest, and I feel like there were some things I experienced in my pregnancy that maybe I was surprised by, so I kinda like to lean into that 'cause I think that that's important that moms know that it's normal, so what I'm talking about is, I felt like you hear about the glow and being pregnant, you're just gonna be like... I don't know, I had this expectation I'm gonna be feeling the glow and feel so radiant and feel like a super hero woman who's making a baby, and I did feel some of that, but I also went through these body changes, I was very sick with both my pregnancies I had a lot of weight gain with both my pregnancies and nothing where it was necessarily concerning, but it was hard for me mentally, I think, to come to terms with that 'cause I felt like I was supposed to experience this like transformative. I don't know how you would explain it, but I felt like I was doing it wrong. In my mind, I was like, Oh, I thought I would feel one way and I totally feel differently, so I had a lot of fatigue at the beginning, I think that just really giving yourself a lot of grace when you're...

0:07:47.1 S2: Especially in those early weeks, and you might experience some fatigue and nausea, and some people do feel great, and I'm jealous of these people sometimes, but know that it's normal if you don't feel your best or you don't feel like you're necessarily experiencing the glow. I hope that's not too negative, but...

0:08:11.3 S1: No, no, and I think it's important to be real because I think people should know what to expect in pregnancy is not this small thing, maybe it's not that transformative thing, but it's... Maybe it's an important part of the process, and I think if we can help prepare women for the beautiful things in pregnancy and childbirth, and also the things that our moms never talked about.

0:08:37.7 S2: Yeah, yeah, and I think too, going to bed at 7 PM, it sounds lame, but it might be normal in that time, and the other thing too is I think with my first pregnancy, everything felt like it was lasting forever, like the morning sickness, which is not actually just in the morning, I think that that's funny. They call morning sickness, but it didn't last very long in the grand scheme of things, but at the time it felt like it was forever. Especially in getting a third trimester and you're feeling heavier, baby is moving around a lot, it might feel like you're just never gonna sleep again, but you do recover and you do get through it, and so it is kind of short-lived in some aspect, but it's also very normal to feel like it's lasting forever as you're going through it.

0:09:31.8 S1: Did you have any tips or tricks that you picked up during your pregnancy that you would ever share with other moms?

0:09:39.7 S2: Yeah, so I guess Unisom and vitamin B6 were both very helpful to me with the morning sickness, peppermint or gum or other hard candies really helped kind of taper off being nauseous, and then the other thing that I felt really helped me was at the very end, well, kind of second to third trimester was having a really good belly band for when your stomach is kinda starting to grow and take some of that pressure off your back and have a belly band, I felt like those were kind of like the gadget things or the tools that really helped me feel more comfortable, and I think that that does make a huge difference if you can find things that are working for your body and of course, talk to your doctor and figure out what those things are, but those are what really helped me. Oh, and we had a fetal Doppler with our second pregnancy, and I think it's important, I didn't know anything about this before I was pregnant, but understanding the position of baby and then your placenta, so I had what's called anterior placenta, which means it was in front and it makes it harder to feel baby kicking.

0:11:00.4 S2: So I was really worried because they say in your second pregnancy, you're gonna feel baby kick sooner and that wasn't the case, so I was actually really worried and we had a fetal Doppler, which helped, but it was kind of spotty still, so just understanding more about your body and how everything is working. And don't be afraid to ask questions. I would ask my doctor things and I would be like, Sorry, I feel like I should know this, but she was great, she just kind of made me feel normal about it and said A lot of women have questions, and again, just ask the question and go for it 'cause that's only gonna help you...

0:11:37.1 S1: What's the medical portion of pregnancy look like? How do you know when to go into the doctor and how often do you see them? What do you do with them during those nine months?

0:11:49.8 S2: Yeah, so it's kind of weird because when you first get pregnant, my experience was you call, ask a nurse and you're like, Hi, I'm pregnant, and I'm excited. And what do I do now? And what's kind of scary is, unless you're experiencing maybe bleeding or something along those lines, where there might be a concern with Olivia, my first, I was told we're gonna wait till eight weeks to go in, and then with Everly, they waited till 10 weeks for my first appointment. And although that sounds maybe short, when you're only a few weeks, then you kind of feel like that's a long, long ways away before you're gonna see anything, 'cause at that point, you're not feeling kicks and you might not even be experiencing any nauseous-ness or anything like that so things just kind of feel the same, and in a way that feels concerning, because you don't really have anything indicating to you that you're still pregnant, so medically, I would just say be prepared for that first appointment to feel like it's really set far out. After that I believe they meet with you once a month until... Oh gosh, I wanna say it's somewhere in your second trimester, I would have to look it up again, but then eventually it goes to every other week, and then I think it's at 30...

0:13:14.4 S2: I wanna say 36 weeks. It goes to every week, I would have to double check that.

0:13:19.8 S1: Okay, yeah, I have no idea what the experience is like, so I was just curious about how often you’re seeing the doctor, what they actually do with you when you're in there...

0:13:31.4 S2: The other thing too, that they'll do is each appointment, they take your blood pressure, ask you if you have any questions, concerns, the second trimester too... They may do an ultrasound at 12 weeks, so I thought for sure they were gonna do an ultrasound at eight weeks, and I went in, and that was that first appointment, and Jordan and I were both so disappointed because we thought all we're gonna do an ultrasound, we're gonna be able to see the baby and actually, they didn't do it at my first appointment, I was like, I cried in the car because I had waited all those weeks to see my little spot on the ultrasound and get my picture, whatever... It didn't happen, so be prepared that that might not happen, they may wait til, I think it's 12 weeks for sure they'll do your first ultrasound. And then they do the big... I call it the big ultrasound, around 20 weeks, so the full anatomy of Baby, which is kind of the special one, when you get to see maybe more of baby’s features and find out the sex if you want to. So that one's really, really exciting and that's smack dab in the middle, and then as you get to the end...

0:14:39.9 S2: Yeah, it's pretty much every week, and things change quickly because Olivia was breech, which means feet down first and they want baby head down, so the last couple of weeks, I would just expect things to change and try to be flexible, if you can be flexible because... Yeah, things are... Baby decides how they're gonna come and what position they're in, and you just kind of revolve your world around that at the end, especially so... Right, and as a person who likes to plan, that's very difficult... You kinda wanna know what to plan and who's gonna watch the other children.

0:15:20.4 S1: And it was all up to this tiny little being... Yeah.

0:15:23.6 S2: And they could come on their own or you might have an induction or c-section, so you might have that scheduled then that could change, which is what happened to us.

0:15:32.7 S1: How did you feel it was to have your partner be a part of all of this leading up to labor?

0:15:39.5 S2: Yeah, I'm a huge advocate for the more you can be educated as a couple, I feel like that's just a better starting point when you actually meet baby and are starting your journey into parenthood because there's so much stress that does come with having a baby, and so many wonderful things to having a really good partnership and being on the same page again, so the ways you can put that into practice is a lot of hospitals will offer parenting classes, and I think a lot of them are online now, but they might go specifically into breastfeeding, they might talk about car seat safety, there's a lot of different ways that they break it up, but do as many of them as you can with your partner, because there's just a lot of information that... I feel like sometimes women are expected to be the ones to know all of that, and I think that trying to do that on your own when you're fatigued and trying to nurse and learn all these other things is just kind of daunting. So having a good partner, I feel, is very important. One thing they told us in the breastfeeding class is, have your partners come to this because baby might not latch and you might not remember everything from class, but your partner might...

0:17:04.1 S2: So it's kind of funny 'cause there were times I struggled with nursing with Olivia and Jordan would just come in the room and be like, Oh yeah, I remember she has... You have to sandwich your boob this way, it sounds weird or... remember that position, they showed us where she has her legs back behind you instead of in front... I just think that being in that together is special and it kinda takes the stress off of having just one person be responsible for all that, and really think of it as being like a team in it 'cause... Yeah, it is hard. But it's also wonderful.

0:17:40.7 S1: Yeah, I love that. Just kind of like you said, it's a team and fathers shouldn't have to wait until the baby is born to be involved, and I think it's also good for men to learn more about what a woman's body goes through during pregnancy and birth, 'cause it's a lot and I think we could use some empathy from our male partners during the pregnancy and birth process.

0:18:03.2 S2: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. And just the other thing too, is understanding postpartum depression and anxiety and what that looks like, 'cause they're actually... Well, similar but different. And so if your partner can have a lens for that when you may not be able to quite see what's going on, or again, your fatigued or you're experiencing some things that just aren't normal for you, having somebody who can really keep an eye out for that, I think is just, I don't know, I think that that's again important and gonna help you together in the end and help your little one.

0:18:42.5 S1: Yeah, I totally get it. It's all about that teamwork and having that shared mentality for the parenting and the work that goes into raising tiny little humans.

0:18:55.2 S2: Yeah, we worked out a partner system, too, where... Not our agreement, but just sort of worked out is I would nurse at night, especially at those early stages, you’re kind of  nursing every two, three hours, and so I would nurse and then Jordan would take Olivia or Everly and then do the diaper change and if I had to pump after nursing, then he would go wash all the pump parts and come back to bed, and that was nice to that I'm not up even longer doing those things, you know, I can feed baby and then pass her off to him and we found that to be a really good system. And I've heard that from other moms too, that if you can work out something like that for nighttime feedings, that might help both of you.

0:19:37.5 S1: Did that kind of understanding work itself out organically, or did you guys sit down and say, I think this will work best? 

0:19:46.6 S2: For us, it just kind of happened, Jordan's pretty intuitive, so I feel like he just kinda knew if she's not gonna sleep, it's gonna really... He understands that that's... He's seen how that would affect me maybe after... Yeah, I would say that it mostly worked itself out organically that we just kind of fell into that rhythm, and then when we had a second baby, we were like, Oh yeah, that system really worked well. Jordan's a big systems guy. So he's like, is this most efficient? Yeah, let's do this. But not everyone thinks that way. But yeah, I would say either sit down and talk about it together or just go through it, see what's working, talk about what's not working. Those kinds of things. The team at Checkable Medical is famously fussy about what goes into their bodies.

0:20:39.7 S1: Optimal health at every stage and every age is key to living a life you love. Choose better supplements, with superior ingredients and simple, easy-to absorb formats that fit into your daily life. Feel your best would Checkable Wellness. If you're ready to get started, check out, checkablewellness.com for more details. Your healthcare begins at home. For the pregnancy process, what was the biggest surprise for you? What happened that you just didn't expect or that you thought it was extremely weird?

0:21:13.7 S2: From being pregnant? Oh yeah. Those first few kicks are... I always thought it'd be like I would be walking somewhere and I'd feel the first kick and I'd know what's the first kick, and again, it would be magical or something along those lines, but it was more like Huh? Was that gas or was that something else? And then you realize over time, it's not just gas, and I know that that sounds silly, but I think again, it's kinda like when I was first sick, I was like, Oh, am I just... Did I eat something bad? Or is this gonna be sticking around for a while, so I think sometimes just trying to just pay attention to your body and again, ask your doctor if there's anything you're experiencing that you're not sure if it's normal... There are a few times where I wouldn't feel baby kick and I was really worried about that, so I would call and ask, and they'd walk me through what to look for, what to do, so yeah, I think that that was surprising, just things happen to your body... And you kind of feel like it maybe would be more defined, but it's kind of like, Oh, what is this?

0:22:23.6 S2: The same with my pregnancy, actually, actually finding out that I'm pregnant. Again, we knew we were trying, so we knew kind of how many days we had to wait after conception to look at... Or take a pregnancy test. And so when I looked at my pregnancy test, it was the faintest pink little line, and I honestly couldn't tell... I was in the bathroom, squinting, Am I pregnant? Am I not pregnant? I can't really tell. And I had to go online to these forums or other women are posting their pregnancy tests... Can you see the line? So I think there's so much as you're going through pregnancy, you're like, What is this... Is this what I think it is? So knowing that you might be surprised as you go along that that's normal. So yeah, there was a lot of surprises, I think, along the way.

0:23:11.3 S1: So would you feel comfortable telling us a little bit about your birth story, how did it start? And how did it go? And ins and outs of that. Sure.

0:23:21.7 S2: Both girls were induction, so I can kind of speak to how things are the same, but different. With Olivia, I had gone in, I knew that I wanted to try and remain flexible, it was important to me that I try and have a natural birth, which means un-medicated, I felt like if I could go all the way without any sort of medical pain management that I would feel good about that. And so I did, I started off the day with the injection, they do pitocin to get things going, and I didn't really have any intervention, so they started at 8 AM and I really didn't have any intervention until 8 PM and... My thing about this is that, again, if you can just remain flexible, some people are really adamant like, I'm gonna do it this way, and that's fine, again, whatever works for you, but I got to a point where I was just incredibly fatigued, I started to really have more intense contractions to a point where I was feeling faint, and so for me, I was like, you know what, I can't continue like this or... I don't know, I just felt like I was not well, and so I was like, You know what, we're gonna do the epidural, I got the epidural, and then things kind of...

0:24:37.4 S2: I don't wanna say progressed quickly from there, I was probably from 9 PM to midnight, things are progressing well, but not far enough, and then she didn't come till 3:45 in the morning, so between that midnight and three is when things kinda got really intense and I pushed for two hours, so I feel like I got the epidural late, it only worked on one side for me the first time, and so again, I'm glad I did it because it got me kind of further along faster than I think it would have if I hadn't had any intervention. Yeah. And then with Everly, same thing, start at 8 in the morning, and then I actually knew I wanted to... I went into the day like, Yep, I'm gonna do the epidural this time, I'm just gonna be at peace about that decision, and I think I got it around noon, and then I started to progress pretty quickly after that, but I was surprised because shortly after I got my epidural, my blood pressure dropped, and so they had to help me out with that because I did not feel well, I felt really sick and faint and not quite sure what they gave me, but it helped me recover from that, and then things progressed really quickly I went from...

0:25:56.1 S2: There's all these numbers and things you learn as you're going through labor or just before. And so I went from a six to an eight, which is important 'cause 10 is complete, and then I went from eight to a 10 within. So 4 o'clock, I was a 6, and then I think it was 5:30, I was an eight, and then like 20 minutes later, I was like... I told Jordan, I'm like, I need to push. Like I'm a 10. He's like, No, they just took... They just measured you. You're only an eight. No, go get the doctor. Sure enough, they came back 15, 20 minutes later, and I was pushing and I pushed for 15 minutes and she was here, which is much different than pushing for two hours with Olivia... I'm not really saying whether or not one is better than the other, but medically, I guess those are kind of the things that happened along the way, and then seasonally and all that kind of stuff, like Olivia was born in the spring, and then Everly was born in the fall, so it was kind of fun having different experiences seasonally too, so when we looked out, it was kind of special because we went into the hospital and there was snow everywhere when we had Olivia and when we left the hospital four days later, all the snow had melted and it felt like we were actually entering the spring, and it felt like this really wonderful seasonal change, I was really...

0:27:22.3 S2: I don't know, it was kind of neat. And then with Everly, she was born in October and we were only there for a day, so we got discharged like 24 hours later, so we weren't there for four days, so... Yeah, so two totally different experiences with some similarities, but again, just be prepared to ask a lot of questions if you need to, and then be prepared, you might be there for longer than you think because with Olivia, we weren't prepared for that. I think we were gonna plan to be there for two or three days, and we were there for four due to some of her... A little concerned about jaundice. So whereas Everly, we were able to be discharged right away.

0:28:06.1 S1: Labor for someone who's never been through it, could you explain... I don't know if there is a way to explain how it feels, but the physicality of it, what would you compare it to for somebody who's never been through it? Gosh.

0:28:21.0 S2: I always love seeing those videos when they hook up a man to a machine and they’re like Here’s some labor pains! I'm like, I don't need to hook up... I love my husband, but he has a cold, I think he thinks he's in that much pain. I'm terrible, I love him, but I was like, No, no, no, we don't know. Okay, here's something I compare to. I love running, and I had done a couple of half marathons before, and so what I compare to is sort of like a race, maybe you start and you're just kinda at a particular pace for the most of the race, and then you get to the end, and for me, whenever I got to the end of race and you could see maybe more people lining the streets towards the end, I equate that with the pushing part, so for me, it's just kind of like things are going along and it felt like, Okay, when is the end coming, I'm just kinda like, it hurts, and I just kinda wanna see the end, but then when I got to pushing, I got really excited. Both times I was like, You know what? It hurts a lot.

0:29:25.7 S2: But for me, it was sort of like, this is what I showed up for. This is what we're gonna do. And actually nurses come in, it's kind of awesome, it almost is like a race because these nurses come in and they're like, Come on, Kallie.

0:29:37.5 S1: Push! You got it!

0:29:40.6 S2: There's people encouraging you, you really are like... For me, my eyes were shut a lot of the time, so you don't even know who's in there and you're just kinda like in your moment, and so for me, I guess I really enjoyed pushing even though it hurts and it is difficult and your body is like full force doing this thing that it's designed to do, and for me, I thought that that part was actually better than pre-pushing, so I don't know if that would help anybody, but I think a lot of the times we're told like, Oh, it hurts, and oh, you're gonna tear, Oh, you might poop or you're kind of almost afraid of it, but I found it actually really empowering and kind of like the grand finale to all of this, 'cause again, I struggled with enjoying pregnancy, and so knowing that we're literally in the last few seconds, was like, I don't know, I really, really liked that part. And then really, you don't really know what's going on right after birth, you also birth your placenta afterwards and they're possibly... We're gonna go TMI, but they might be switching you up or there might be things coming out, you really don't pay attention to that, and I know that this might sound cheesy, but you really do kind of forget all that when you are finally holding your little one.

0:31:03.9 S1: To your baby girls, did you get to hold them right away or do they take them away for a minute... How does that work? I did.

0:31:10.4 S2: I did. So you can... Before you go into... Generally, before you start the day, or if possible, before they kinda... When they're triaging you, you go through your birth plan with them one more time, a lot of the times, weeks before you meet with a coordinator and you say, these are my wishes, this is what I want to happen or not happen. And that's helpful because there's sort of a plan laid out as best you can, and so with us, we said we wanted delayed cord clamping 'cause there are some benefits to baby with nutrients and stuff, so we waited for the cord to be clamped and then Jordan cut it... So I didn't hold her right right away, 'cause they kind of set her on your chest, but they might be waiting to do that, and then after the cord’s cut, then she was... Both times, both my girls were kind of nestled up close to me, but my experiences were different between the two because with Olivia, I could see her face right away just with the angle they laid her on me, but Everly, I actually couldn't see her for probably the first half hour or 45 minutes, and so it was special, but I actually didn't see her until I was able to kind of lay her down in my arms and then start nursing her, and then I got to see her face.

0:32:23.7 S2: Whereas Olivia, I saw it right away and not that that really matters, I was enjoying my cuddle with my girls both times, but I kind of felt this magic in seeing Everly... After I was able to lay her in a different position, so don't be afraid to move your baby, I think I was scared to... For some reason, I felt like I can't move her from how she was, but as long as their vitals and everything are good, a lot of the times, they'll encourage skin to skin, so they'll want baby and you to be skin-to skin together. Yeah, and take as much time as you need. I think we have an hour or two where I was just holding her and nursing her, and even Jordan didn't even hold or either girls, I think for at least an hour or two after they were born, 'cause we were just kind of having that time together. Mom and baby.

0:33:18.7 S1: So you go through the big finale, you gonna finally meet another one, what does the care look like for your body after you've gone through that process? Yeah.

0:33:32.0 S2: Again, if they don't tell you, you should ask if you had a tear and what kind of additional care you might need for that... Again, we'll just go right into it. Olivia, I had a tear with Everly, I did not. And so my recovery was quite different, I think for both, and so just asking those questions and then the hospital will equip you with what you need, so if you need pads and the different kind of mesh underwear, a lot of the time they will provide that for you again, check with your doctor and your actual hospital, but for me, I took a lot of the stuff from the hospital home, but I know... I think it's FridaMom makes a lot of a postpartum kit for moms, and my sister also recently had a baby, and she found that to be helpful with just different... I think there was like a kind of similar to what comes from the hospital. I did make something called “padsicles” ahead of time, so you literally lay out pads and you can put aloe vera, witch hazel and I think you roll them up again and freeze them and then when you're home, you can use those and that will provide a lot of comfort and relief again, I needed that more with Olivia then I did with Everly. And then take it easy physically, because I thought I didn't tear, I’m in the clear...

0:34:55.9 S2: They do tell you to wait six weeks for a reason, because I did try to do a light yoga practice, I think it was four weeks postpartum with Everly... And I really thought I was like, Oh, it won't be a big deal, but I did have some additional bleeding and I was sore a little bit after that, so really do take it easy, don't be in a rush to get back to either working out or even being up on your feet, cleaning and all that, whatever stuff, just really take time and bond with your baby and rest, that's all you need to do afterwards, so... Take it easy.

0:35:31.8 S1: Did your body feel different to you after having your first child, after being having one and then going nine months with somebody in your belly and then all of a sudden gone.

0:35:45.2 S2: Yeah, yeah, you do kinda miss... Again, pregnancy is difficult, but the thing I did love is I get to sleep on my stomach and sleep was a little more comfortable, which was wonderful, but also, you know your body is so different after birth and it's still changing and your [uterus], I didn't know this, is actually still shrinking and moving down and going back to its original size. And so that takes time, and so you're gonna have a lot of bleeding and you're still gonna have a mom, you might still look pregnant quite honestly, and that is so normal, and it's okay that that happens and it's okay you look different. I call them tiger stripes, like I'm empowered by them, but I have a lot of stretch marks that I didn't have before, and I think just knowing that your body really has done this miraculous thing and you've birthed a human and be grateful to yourself, because for me, it was hard to get out old clothes and be like, Okay, I'm gonna fit in these again. That might not happen postpartum, it might not happen. Or it may happen, I guess everybody's bodies are different, but just expect that things take time and it's okay, and it's important that you take care of yourself mentally while you're kind of going through the journey of becoming a new mom.

0:37:11.2 S1: Your two experiences, it sounded like one, you were in the hospital for a couple of days with Olivia, 'cause of jaundice things. And then with your second baby, you sound like you're in and out pretty quickly. Is there things that you would recommend to parents to one, like if they are gonna be there for a couple of days, what they should have in their to-go bag, things that they should prepare for the hospital before labor?

0:37:36.5 S2: Kind of going back to how your body changes, I brought a bunch of pre-pregnancy leggings that I was like, Sweet, I'll wear those. No, for me, it was like, I should have brought more maternity clothes, and I know that sounds silly, but again, you need to give your body like room to kinda do its thing. So for me, I brought a lot of maternity clothes when I was in the hospital with Everly, just in case we were there for a few more days because of the... With Olivia, we were there and things are very restrictive and it was hard to feel comfortable. Bring nursing bras, because if you do choose to nurse, you wanna be able to just do that comfortably and quickly, there's nurses who are coming in and out, they might have a lactation consultant on site who can help you, and so if you can just be able to nurse comfortably and quickly, that is nice to have those handy. So a lot of the times I tell moms: nursing bras, comfortable maternity pants, a lot of the times they're gonna provide... They even had a hair dryer there, so you don't really have to worry about that, they'll have a shampoo, conditioner, some of the toiletries that if you are like, I'm going into labor now, I don't have anything, I can comfortably say, at least in our situation, that the hospital provided a lot of those things, but again, consider what you want and then...

0:39:01.2 S2: So our hospital provided a really big water bottle, but if they don't, then I would suggest getting a really big water bottle because again, if you're nursing and just recovering from birth, you're gonna wanna be drinking lots and lots of fluids, so make sure you're drinking water when you are postpartum and stay on top of that, 'cause your body again, it needs it.

0:39:24.4 S1: Yeah, well, we're getting up to close to the end of our time here, I almost feel like we need to do a part two about those first few months as a mom, but did you have any other last words for any moms about the pregnancy or the birthing process that you would like to impart your wisdom on?

0:39:45.6 S2: Again, just give yourself grace, try and ask for help. That was hard for me my first time, but just know that again, it's normal to ask questions, it's okay to feel like you're maybe not enjoying pregnancy as much as you had hoped, or birth or postpartum. There might be parts you enjoying, there might be parts that are hard, and so just really lean into the community around you, talk to your doctor if you need to find somebody, like a counselor or a therapist to talk to afterwards again, try to do that. It's very accessible nowadays with... After going through covid, I feel like online platforms, it's a little easier to meet with people if you need to, whether it's a friend or again, a professional, but just try to have community around you and give yourself grace and rest. I think that those would be kind of the three things I would say to a new mom.

0:40:45.1 S1: Awesome, well, thank you so much for joining us and imparting some of your wisdom, and I think we will have to probably do a part two, 'cause I think we just barely touched the tip of the iceberg, and there's so much more we can learn about those first few months as a new mom. But thanks again for joining us on the Wellness Essentials Podcast. Thank you for having me. We hope you enjoyed this episode of The WE Podcast as much as us. If you want more wellness goodies, head over to the wellness essentials Podcast dot com for show notes. Links and resources mentioned in today's podcast, remember to subscribe on your fa