Becoming a Mother: Managing Expectations

Becoming a mother is a profound journey of transformation unlike any other. Throughout pregnancy, your body undergoes remarkable changes, nurturing and protecting the tiny life growing within you. Then comes the miracle of childbirth, a breathtaking experience that marks the beginning of a lifelong bond between mother and child. In the days and weeks that follow, you'll navigate the uncharted territory of motherhood discovering strengths you’ll never knew you had. Today, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the experience of becoming a mother and the highs and lows that come with it.

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Featured Expert

  • Kayla Phelps

    Kayla received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania August 2017. She then obtained her registered nurse license in October 2017. She has helped deliver more than 500 babies and previously worked at Magee Womens Hospital of Pittsburgh as a Labor and Delivery nurse.

    Read Bio >

Episode Transcript

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

Sunny Gault 0:05
becoming a mother is a profound journey of transformation unlike any other. throughout pregnancy, your body undergoes remarkable changes, nurturing and protecting the tiny life growing within you. Then comes the miracle of childbirth, a breathtaking experience that marks the beginning of a lifelong bond between mother and child. And in the days and weeks of follow, you'll navigate the uncharted territory of motherhood, discovering strengths you never knew you had. Today, we're taking a moment to reflect on the experience of becoming a mother, and the highs and lows that come with it. This is preggy pals. Um, is that a plus sign? Pink or blue hospital? Or homebirth? What type of food should I be eating? I think I just paid myself. I'm pregnant. And I have to exercise what pregnancy glow.

Sunny Gault 0:56
was that a contraction? Gotta fake these pants. kinkle What do you mean, there's more than one, you've got the symptoms. And now you got the support you need for a happy nine months. This is Peggy pals your pregnancy your way. Welcome to preggy pals. My name is Sunny, and I'll be your host today. Now if you haven't already, be sure to visit our website at New mommy, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the episodes we release each week. Another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button on your podcast app. And if you're looking for a great way to get even more involved with our show, then check out our online community. It's called Mighty moms. And that's where we chat more about the topics that we start here on our show. And it's also an easy way for you to learn about all of our recordings, so you can join us live. Now let's meet today's panel of guests. Our expert today is Kayla Phelps. Kayla is a midwife who has also worked as a labor and delivery nurse in both hospitals and birth centers. Kayla also has a popular Instagram where she helps normalize the experience of pregnancy birth and postpartum. So welcome, Kayla. Hello. Hello. And we also have two mamas joining us today we have Kaylee and a daisy. So let's get to know everyone before we start our conversation today. So Kayla, I know I already did a brief introduction. But is there anything else you want to add? Could you tell us a little bit more about your family? Yeah,

Kayla Phelps 2:31
sure. So I have one son, his name is Callum and he just turned 11 months old yesterday. So we are going into that one year mark soon, which is absolutely crazy. I'm from Pittsburgh and actually just moved to Buffalo to start a job here as a midwife. Oh,

Sunny Gault 2:52
wonderful. Well, welcome. We're super excited to chat with you today. And we have Kaile and Kaile is a producer here at New mommy media, but she's also a mama. So Kaile tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Kaile Hunt 3:05
Yes, so I am a military wife. Currently we are living on a Oahu It is lovely. And I had my daughter here, way back in March. And so she is turning a year old very soon. And as I'm reflecting on this past year, it's flown by, but also it's felt like 10 years at the same time. So I'm really excited about this topic. Awesome.

Sunny Gault 3:31
And a daisy, welcome. Tell us a little bit more about you and your family.

Adaeze Woodard 3:35
Hi. Yeah, so my name is Daisy. I'm a mom to an 11 month, year old. Can I say yours? I live in one year old. I don't know.

And what's funny is my daughter actually turned 11 months yesterday, too. So that's funny. Yeah, I'm actually a pediatric nurse. So this will be an interesting conversation.

Kaile Hunt 4:02
Oh, fantastic. I

Sunny Gault 4:03
didn't even realize that. Yeah, this is gonna get interesting, guys. For those of you who don't know, I'm a mom as well. But that was that was a while ago. For me. It's been a while. So my kids, I've got four children of my own. My oldest just turned 13 So I'm officially a parent of a teenager. I can't even believe that. He's a boy. I have another boy who's 11 and then I have identical twin girls who are 10. So I love chatting with you guys because it gets me all excited. It kind of brings up these memories. Because, you know it is such a huge transformation becoming a mom. And I feel like I've been a mom for a while now. So it's been a while but I'm excited to hear how you know our experiences might be very similar, you know so Anyways, welcome everybody to the show. We'll take a quick break and we will be right back.

Today we're talking about the process of becoming a mother and some of the big moments that really defined this transition for us. So mamas, we are going to touch on several topics today. And then with each topic, let's first discuss our initial expectations. And then we can talk about the reality of it all. And then also what we learned. All right, everybody ready? To dive into this? Okay, here we go trip down memory lane. The first topic is childbirth. So I know that's a big topic, right? Did anyone have any real expectations going into this? And if so, what were they?

Adaeze Woodard 5:43
Oh, I don't, to be honest, I don't know what I expected. I remember like googling what did what do contractions feel like? Like, several times, pregnancy. And I still just couldn't, I had this fear of not being able to tell whether I was in labor or not, which obviously now looking back, there was no way I was gonna miss that. But I just had this like fear of not being able to tell what what it felt like, like, what if I stay at home too long, I didn't know when to go to the hospital. Like I didn't know who could be in the hospital room. Because at this time, it was like COVID had just ended. So they were opening up everything. So I visitors cannot come. And I gave birth at Kaiser here in California. And they would only let like, one person back at a time. And I was thinking like, Okay, well, what if I give too much time to my mom, and not enough time to my mother in law. And you know, I don't know, I just had, like, I didn't know how everything was supposed to look how it was gonna go down. And I was just very concerned about like, keeping everybody else satisfied, which is actually crazy to say now looking back on it, but it was all very new. And I was just very anxious about the whole thing. Remember that?

Sunny Gault 6:58
Now, was your experience different than what you thought? Like, give us some of the highlights?

Adaeze Woodard 7:03
Yes. So I actually gave birth naturally. I was assuming that I was gonna be in labor for a very long time, and I wasn't. And then I also thought that like, I also thought that it was gonna be kind of like, I was gonna kind of ease into it, like, Okay, well, you go into the room and you sit down and okay, here's the ball and you breathe and Yoo hoo, hoo, ha, ha, and then bang becomes Hey. Like, um, I remember hitting seven centimeters, and just thinking that my legs my body was ripping in half. I remember that for sure. And I just, like, like I said, like, I didn't know what to expect. So the pain was a little bit more than I anticipated. And I remember looking to my husband and being like, I can't do this. I can't do this. I'm gonna give up like, I can't do this. But then, you know, a couple minutes later beam was here. So I just think I expected it to go a little bit smoother. I don't know. I don't know what the word is for it.

Sunny Gault 8:11
Maybe faster? Well, like,

Adaeze Woodard 8:15
yeah, maybe faster, maybe faster. Like I thought I was just gonna show up and then babe was just going to be here. And that's it. But no, you have to sit with that pain for a very long time. Yeah, how

Sunny Gault 8:25
long were you in labor for?

Adaeze Woodard 8:28
Um, it was like 12 hours.

Kayla Phelps 8:31
Not super long, but not too bad at all, actually.

Adaeze Woodard 8:35
But yeah, I didn't anticipate it being an all day thing. I guess,

Sunny Gault 8:40
way longer when you're in pain. hours is a lot a lot when you're your body's dilating. Okay, so who else? Who else has some ideas when it comes to childbirth? Does anyone have any big expectations? And then, you know, what you experienced was way different.

Kaile Hunt 8:57
Can I hop on and say, um, my experience was the opposite of a daisies. So I expected along the labor. That's what the childbirth classes told me. I remember I was Googling at like 20 weeks when I was pregnant very early. And so I signed up for two different you know, child and delivery courses. And my birth was so fast I forget exactly what it's called. But from first contraction to having my daughter it was four hours. It was very fast, very rapid. I remember getting to the hospital getting checked. And I told my midwife who checked me I was like, Don't tell me how dilated I am. Because I was afraid it was going to discourage me. And she was like, Oh, honey, no, you're pushing now like we need to get this going. And so yeah, yeah, very fast. And so I prepared for a long labor I prepared with the ice chips in the comb and the the yoga ball and I didn't get any of that I remember. Yeah, first contraction all the way to having heard it was so fast. So for me He that was kind of I had to wrap my mind around. Wow, this wasn't the birth I planned for it. It was a lovely birth. And I'm very happy with it. I'm very, extremely happy and at peace with it. But it's funny because I really anticipated for a very long drawn out birth and labor in that that's not what my body gave me, which is very funny, which I'm thankful for. Because I hear other women going through hours and hours of pain trying to dilate and my body just blew her out so quick. Like, here you go, kid. Yeah, very funny. Yeah. So I feel like that just goes, you can prepare and your body is going to do what it wants to do. You know, it knows what to do. And it's gonna just Yeah, yeah, so true.

Sunny Gault 10:46
Hey, love. What about you? Yeah, so

Kayla Phelps 10:48
I had a very interesting perspective going into birth because I was a nurse and I was finishing up midwifery school. I graduated midwifery school when I was about six months pregnant. So I had been catching babies for, you know, those six months of pregnancy. And I had attended, probably around 500 births as a nurse at that point. So I had seen a lot. And I was very adamant about not going into birth with big expectations of what was going to happen just because I knew that it could go like a million different ways. But, you know, I had had the knowledge on my side of being like, okay, it's my first baby, it probably will be a longer labor, I'll probably take a while to push. You know, I probably will go over my due date, like those are all very, you know, statistical things. And, you know, in reality, my labor was pretty textbook it was about it was 24 hours from the time I actually went into labor to having him. But the pushing part of my birth story was the most intense, I ended up starting at the birth center, and ended up transferring to the hospital and got an epidural and then pushed for four hours. It was a, it was a big thing. But I had my son, and it was it was a crazy, surreal experience to be on the birthing side and not on the midwife side or the nurse side of it.

Sunny Gault 12:26
What about healing? Did anyone have to do any real healing afterward, whether through tearing or anything like that?

Kayla Phelps 12:34
Hmm, I did. So yeah, so I didn't have a massive tear or anything like that it was a second degree tear, which is pretty normal for first first time moms. But I had something called granulation tissue. So that's just where a little bit of the tear did not heal. And your body kind of gets like stuck in that stage of healing. And it leaves this like really raw, tender, red, kind of inflamed piece of tissue, and I had to go and get it. It's called Silver nitrate. They like kind of freeze it off with silver nitrate several times. And it was like a big thing that was an issue for me, up until about six months postpartum. And I ended up doing about six months of pelvic floor therapy to which was extremely helpful. But other than that, my body other other than my vagina, my body did pretty great healing, I feel feel pretty thankful to be in the place where I'm at now.

Sunny Gault 13:39
Kaile in today's age, you guys have to heal at all. I

Adaeze Woodard 13:42
feel like my healing went by pretty fast. I was only wearing those, you know, the little hospital paintings or the pad things for like a week. And after that, I was kind of good to go. So nothing crazy.

Kaile Hunt 13:56
I also have some themes here too. So yeah, I didn't tear at all, which is shocking with how fast she came out. But um, yeah, so I didn't tear but I bled for a very long time for like five weeks, where I had to wear a pad every day and actually talking about it out loud in the first two weeks, even though I didn't tear it maybe Kayla there's a word that you would use in the medical world but I had burning when I peed for like two weeks and no one prepared me for that although I did not tear where I needed stitches. Obviously I had little you know, stretches cuts from when she came out. And that was really hard because you know, you're I'm I chose to breastfeed my daughter and so I'm hydrating and then it was like a battle to pee. You know, everyone talks about the first poop after you give birth and no one prepares you for that first key and then it would it was just days of just you know, burning and it went away eventually. So for anyone worried about that, it goes away. It's okay. It's not as bad as childbirth, but it It's not fun either. And I felt like no one told me about that at all. Oh

Kayla Phelps 15:04
my gosh, Kaile, I have a very similar experience. I was three days postpartum middle of the night, I had to pee so bad because I was drinking so much water and breastfeeding and like my milk was coming in. And I remember going to the bathroom and I couldn't pee because it hurts so bad. And I like was filled with like a cold washcloth back into the bedroom and I was like crying and my baby was crying. And then I like wake up my partner. And I'm like, I can't pee late, but we ended up like I had to pee in the bathtub for like days. Yeah. Cool with water in it because it hurts so bad.

Kaile Hunt 15:40
It's so random. Yeah. Yeah. Not fun.

Kayla Phelps 15:44
Not fun at all.

Sunny Gault 15:47
All right. So Kayla, you mentioned breastfeeding. And that's a huge topic, guys. We could do a whole series just on breastfeeding and the challenges. In fact, pregnant pals does have a sister podcast called the boob group. So if you guys do want to go into, you know, just learning all about breastfeeding, and some of the challenges, but then the UPS the downs, all the good stuff. I encourage you guys to check that out. But for our ladies today, what expectations did you have with breastfeeding? And you know, for those of you who did did everyone breastfeed or or did you? Yep, yep. Okay, awesome. Is everyone still breastfeeding their babies? Yeah, yes, yes. Okay. All right. So this is very fresh in your guys's. Alright, let's talk about expectations. Who wants to go first?

Adaeze Woodard 16:30
I thought it was gonna be easy. I thought it was just natural, like the baby will automatically know how to breastfeed. And that wasn't the case. I remember when they wheeled in a pump into my room after I gave birth, and I didn't know how to use it. And there was nobody there to kind of teach you how to use it. And then they always give you like the standard. What is it the 24 Falange? Oh, yeah, it was huge. And I remember like not using it now. And I just kind of like, didn't know the purpose of that, you know. And then I feel like that's kind of why I had a delay with my milk coming in when she got out of the hospital, because I hadn't been stimulating. Like, I didn't even know how to collect colostrum. Because I just thought like, the milk will just come up, I don't know. But then I remember actually trying to latch her. And I believe she had a lip tie, or a tongue tag, she had a tongue tie. And I didn't know that was a thing, like and I just remember staying up late at night and just hearing her cry, because I know she was hungry and not being able to latch her. And it literally took like half an hour just to try to latch on to it. It got so bad to the point where I was like, I'm just going to let her cry and get upset because I know when she gets upset, then she's gonna really latch like, I don't know what it was. But like, it was a certain point in her frustration, where she was like, you know, a little head nod thing that they do when they're trying to latch you know what I'm doing in the mirror, as if you guys can see me on camera. But it's like the little handbag that they do when she lashes. I had to wait until she got to that point. But I remember it was like a good maybe two, two months, almost three months of me not really knowing how to breastfeed her. And I used to have to use like a syringe.

Sunny Gault 18:14
And then what happened? Like how did she just kind of figure it out one day or did something

Adaeze Woodard 18:20
Something just clicked and I remember having to stop her and like, pick her up and bouncer and be like, You know what, it's okay, that you're frustrated. We're gonna get through this, you're gonna learn and I will tell her that, but really, I'm telling myself because I'm also frustrated. I'm also frustrated that I can't feed her, you know, so I remember having to like, give, give us a little pep talk. Yeah, eventually it just kind of sorted itself out.

Sunny Gault 18:50
Just participating. All right, who else breastfeeding expectations.

Kayla Phelps 18:58
I had some very interesting expectations going into this too, because I have certification in lactation as well and of course helped lots and lots of moms breastfeed. So I went into it thinking it was gonna be really hard, because I saw a lot of people struggle and a lot of people, you know, have a hard time with breastfeeding. But, you know, I feel so thankful to be able to have breastfed for the last 11 months and really have no big issues. I did have oversupply and still kind of lean towards an oversupply, which was a little bit difficult to navigate in the beginning. But overall, my experience was felt pretty, I mean, pretty easy from the get go.

Sunny Gault 19:44
That's awesome.

Kaile Hunt 19:48
I definitely struggled in the beginning. I did so much research before I gave birth. I was pumping at 38 weeks because I have PCOS. Um, so I was concerned that I wouldn't have adequate milk supply because that's something that's common with women with PCOS. And so I was like, Okay, well, let me collect colostrum. And then, you know, my daughter was born and she was slouching in the hospital and everything was great. My milk was coming in. However, it was very painful for me. Very painful. And I feel bad because my birth was not very painful. It was so fast. I don't think I had time to register. But for me, breastfeeding in those early weeks, I would say was more painful than my labor. It was just, it was so painful. I remember crying while she was latched, and I was nursing her and I had an oversupply. And I think it was because I did pop it 30 weeks until she was born. And so I definitely had an oversupply, and she was a littler baby, she was born just shy of six pounds. So she had a really small mouth, and I went to three different lactation consultants at the army hospital that I gave birth that and they all said that her latch was good, no lip tie, no tongue ties. My nipples looked good. They never really got bleedy they were cracked, definitely. But I had pain for nine straight weeks. I remember, at the two week mark, when I was nursing, her Googling, like after two weeks, you know, you should feel better about nursing, it shouldn't hurt as much after four weeks, it should feel fine. Six weeks is kind of odd, you know. And so it didn't get better for me until nine weeks. And then it just I think she was getting bigger, she was growing. I had a little bit of an oversupply. So I would pump and then you know, Topper off at night with a bottle. And then it got I don't know, it's something just switched around nine weeks, and everything just got better. And so those early days were really rough for me and she was fine. My milk was fine. It was just the pain for whatever reason, it was just not going away. So very odd, but still nursing her now. And I'm very thankful that I didn't throw in the towel at nine weeks. And I really pushed through. You

Sunny Gault 21:58
know, one of the things that I recall, obviously, I've been through this a few times. So for kids, but three pregnancies because you know, of my twins. By the time I got to my twins, I kind of figured out how my body worked when it came to breastfeeding. But you know, every child, every pregnancy is different, right? So with my first I had no idea what I was doing, and with my body, right after I gave birth, for the first few nights, I would just gush breast milk, but my body, it's like, if I didn't do something with that, if I didn't actively pump, then I would I wouldn't completely dry up, but it would pretty much come down to like a trickle. It's like I had a window of opportunity to nail this is just my body. But it took me a few kids to figure this out. And so by the time it got to my twins, I was like dead set. I was gonna breastfeed my twins, and I wanted to do it for a long period of time. And so I remember right after they were born, I was just a pumping machine. Because with the first two kids, I was like, Yeah, you know, when the baby wakes up, I'll just breastfeed and you know, meanwhile, my shirts like soaking wet, I could raise it out, you know, but with the twins, I was like, No, I am I got up like every three hours and pumped, you know, and then I would put stuff in the freezer or whatever. Because again, you know, babies are so small, they can't take all of it. But I feel like that was really key for me in my body to successfully breastfeed my twins, and I did it exclusively. I breastfed exclusively with them for about 18 months, but I breastfed them up to three years just when they wanted it. I know that's kind of weird for some people. But it was a great bonding thing for us. But had I not done what I did in the beginning. Like I have proof from my first two boys where breastfeeding didn't turn out the way I wanted it to that Yeah, but like I said, Everybody's body's a little bit different. But sometimes it takes, you know, just kind of getting used to things in the beginning you have no idea. Like I said, it took me until my third pregnancy to be like, Oh, this is what my body does. Okay, let's pump. But yeah, I definitely found that that helped a little bit. Let's talk a little bit about baby sleep. This is another one of those topics I'm sure we could talk about for forever. But does anyone have any expectations and experiences that are quite different from each other when it comes to trying to get our kids to sleep?

Kaile Hunt 24:17
I read this is funny. I really was shocked at how little and how difficult it was to get a baby to sleep. I feel like in movies and media even talking to older generations that was never talked about to me and so when I you know had one night at the hospital and the next night we went home and she slept relatively okay on her back in the hospital. And then you know, she was we contact nap with her the first few days because she's a new baby. We love her. We're so excited. She's out. And then she just I just was shocked at how difficult it was to just put a baby down in their bassinet. I did not expect that at all. Um, and now there's so many gears and gadgets and shows that you can try like sleep music sounds a machine that I've probably tried all of them. And so we ended up co sleeping up first. So she's in the bassinet right next to our king size bed. And then eventually sometimes coats or bedsharing, I would pop her on the boob and do the seat curl position and then put her back when she fell asleep. But yeah, that was that was really shocking at how difficult it is to get a baby to sleep. And then just texting and messaging other moms who are kind of in the same boat, I realized that we all kind of have the same kid they want to contact Matt, they want to sleep next to us. And I'm just was shocked that that wasn't something I've anticipated was how difficult it was to get a little one to sleep

Sunny Gault 25:46
a little but they can make so much noise.

Kaile Hunt 25:48
And they just don't sleep they wake up every 14 Are my daughter would wake up after 14 minutes in her bassinet during naps during the day and every two hours at night. I just I really was not prepared at all. That was the one area I didn't know research.

Kayla Phelps 26:03
I feel the same way.

Sunny Gault 26:06
Yeah, Kayla, tell us a little bit more about your experience. Yeah, so

Kayla Phelps 26:08
I also did not prepare myself well enough for baby's sleep and was really taken aback by it. I kind of also didn't have anybody tell me their experience in it being hard. And like my mom didn't give me anything. And, you know, everybody was like, Yeah, you just like put your baby down and they sleep. Well, that is is to this day, not my baby. I, you know, brought him home from the hospital I did at ko sleep in the hospital, which is naughty. And of course, people told me not to that I I am one to tend to do what I want. So I did that there we came home I had like a bedside bassinet. And I think he was in that bedside bassinet for a total of 15 minutes of his entire life because he would not sleep in that thing. So we then transitioned to bed sharing in a king sized bed and you know, made that a safe situation. But you Gosh, it was like so difficult to get him to take naps. And I just remember like pacing and pacing and pacing and bouncing and babywearing, like he needed a lot of contact and a lot of movement to sleep. The nighttime wasn't as bad when he was a really little baby. But around that like four months sleep regression stage things at nighttime started to shift in not great ways, either. But just now I would say at 11 months were like starting to get better sleep. But it was it's hard. I mean, baby sleep is like something that I talk about a lot on my Instagram page. And so many people are like, yep, that's us, too. And I'm just like cheese. Like, why didn't I know this before I had a baby.

Sunny Gault 28:08
Yeah, this is where I feel like breastfeeding and bed sharing really help because I don't know about you guys, but I would just roll over you know, I'd wear like a loose fitting top or something like that. And I would roll over and then just be like, Okay, here you go. Here's a boob. We're both gonna go back to sleep.

Kayla Phelps 28:24
To this day, that's what we do. That's

Adaeze Woodard 28:26
kind of how that's kind of how I got by to I feel like the first couple of weeks out of the hospital are a little bit deceiving as far as baby sleeping because they're just so tired. The whole process. I remember being able to sit my daughter down in a bassinet, and she would sleep for hours, like maybe like the first two weeks, and then it got pretty difficult around like two months to try to put her down or do anything. I couldn't even swaddle her and then come to find out she actually had a broken collarbone happened, the birthing process. So it was really difficult for me to swallow swaddle her and put her down and her startle reflex would like cause her pain, you know? Yeah, so we ended up bed sharing and breastfeeding. And I honestly can't complain too much about the sleep that it has. The only thing I will say about the sleep is that it affects me and my husband and like intimate time. But other than that I am a night owl anyway, so it wasn't really too much about me losing sleep. The main reason that sleep was kind of an issue for me was because me and my husband, we couldn't get any alone time. And I'm sure any of you guys could attest to this from bed sharing. The minute you move or breathe, they're waking up. It was like if I didn't have my boob in her mouth at all times, she wasn't going to sleep. So there was a couple of times where I was able to kind of sneak out. But I think like Kayla said it's not until now at 11 runs that I'm able to really leave her for like an hour or so. I'm watching her on the monitor, of course, to where that I can kind of get some me time and stuff like that. And like I said her having a broken collarbone definitely affected a lot of what I could and couldn't do in. I don't know, maybe bedsharing wasn't the best as far as her collarbone goals, but I feel like in retrospect, sorry, she loves to.

Sunny Gault 30:25
She's on the podcast, too. But in retrospect,

Adaeze Woodard 30:27
I feel like she just needed a lot of that nurturing and love at night. So it ended up working out for us in the long run. And I always sleep when she sleeps. Even now, she's taking a nap. I'm taking a nap too. So it hasn't affected me too much in the sleep aspects, mailing and the intimacy aspect.

Sunny Gault 30:46
Yeah, people tell you that. I don't know if you guys got that before you had your kids. But people would all always tell me sleep when your baby sleeps. And I think that's really sound advice if you can, like I know. See, the temptation is, oh, well, the baby sleeping could get so much done. Which is a misnomer. That never happens. Right? But that was some of the best advice. I got just sleep when the baby sleeps. And you know, because you need as much sleep your body is going through so much. Right? So okay, well, we're gonna take a quick break, guys, when we come back, we're going to tap into the more emotional side of becoming a mom, and also how motherhood changed or other relationships with you know, I know Daisy was just starting to talk about that. She just teased it for us a little bit. But we're gonna talk more about that right after this quick break.

Welcome back to preggy pals. Now before the break, we were talking about some of the big challenges that many new mothers go through. And now in the second half, we're gonna chat more about how this impacted us emotionally. And also how it changed some of the relationships that we have with other people, including our partners, perhaps our friends, I'm sure you guys don't go out as much as you used to. So we're gonna, we're gonna tap into all of that. But the first topic I wanted to dive in and talk about is your confidence. So I think there's a couple different ways we can look at this, we can look at this as confidence in general, we can look at this as your confidence and being a mother. Or maybe it's kind of the same thing. But when I say confidence, how do you guys think, you know, did this change for you? And if so, how? I

Kayla Phelps 32:29
felt a Well, I would say now 11 months postpartum, I'm starting to feel that like confidence and like, okay, like, I kinda know what I'm doing now. But those first, I would say, 678 months, I'm like, every day is different. The Sleep stuff changes the way that he you know, is starting to take solids, you know, there's so much changes, and it's just like something new, you have to navigate almost every day. And you know, I've never done this before. And I don't know what I'm doing and motherhood and life doesn't come with a guidebook, so you're kind of just making things up as they go and making decisions that make the most sense for your family and, and your kid and, yeah, you just kind of are doing your best. And I think that it's taken me a long time to get comfortable with that. And just knowing that there's like no right way to do things necessarily. And you just kind of have to navigate day by day and, and just feeling to what feels good for you. You're

Sunny Gault 33:38
absolutely right, you can develop confidence and not really knowing exactly what you're doing. But knowing that, hey, I've been in uncomfortable positions before. And everything turned out okay. I remember thinking that went because I would do some traveling. So we have family that's on the other side of the country. And they'd want to see the kids, you know, and so when my kids were a little bit older, but still in diapers, we would travel right and I was oh man, my husband I we would kind of have little panic attacks every time you know, we would get on a plane or whatever. But I got to the point where I was like, you know, even if there is a poop explosion on a plane, I have done this before I have a backup of this. I've got this in my diaper bag. So I almost started to just feel comfortable being uncomfortable, if that makes any sense. And just knowing that whatever comes my way, it's not going to be the end of the world. If someone in you know row ac 27 hates me because my baby that's okay, you know and never gonna see them again. And then you just kind of get more confident and just being you and being a mom with a baby that can handle anything that comes your way. Yeah,

Adaeze Woodard 34:48
um, before getting pregnant. I used to be really big in the gym and working out and stuff. And so after having my daughter I was like the heaviest I've ever been, which I'm sure I'll A lot of us can relate to. And I didn't realize I would have to like relearn how to use certain muscles, like even now, like, bending down, I still feel like my pelvic floor isn't where it used to be. And just like, I just have to, like rebuild my confidence in the way I met now and my body composition now. It's taken a lot of like rewiring, you know what I mean? And obviously, my body's not going to look exactly how it used to before. But I'm just telling myself that this is this phase of my life where I'm supposed to be a mom, and you know, kind of give myself in that in that aspect. And, you know, I have my husband now. So it's not like, I need to look good for anybody. No, I'm kidding. But yeah, just I just had struggled with some confidence in that area, just being bigger, not having any me time not really having any hobbies for myself, because motherhood kind of consumes you. At least it did me for the first like eight months. And so I'm only just now at 11 months, kind of getting back to what I used to, like, as far as working out and reading and getting outside. And, yeah, it's definitely been a lot of adjustment. And I didn't expect it to take so long. Once I when I first had my daughter, I was kind of like in awe, it was like, I was like in a dream. But the first thing was, I don't know how to explain it. But I didn't really suffer for any postpartum depression. But I feel like it all kind of hit me around like five months where I started to feel really down and depressed. And so it took a while I had to go to therapy, to kind of get back to where I felt good about myself, but I'm here now. So hopefully, with next baby, I'll have a little bit better setup as far as, like, emotionally like, I think I want to start therapy earlier, like while I'm pregnant. And so hopefully, it'll create a space for me to not be hit with some of the insecurities that I had as a first time mom. Yep.

Sunny Gault 37:15
Okay, so, Kaylee, what about you? How has your confidence changed either confidence in general body confidence, confidence about being a mom, how's that change.

Kaile Hunt 37:26
So it's changed a little bit, I had pretty low expectations as far as postpartum body. I do know that with breastfeeding, some women told me that, oh, you're gonna lose the baby weight so quick, which wasn't the case at all. I held on to it for about six months, which I know in the grand scheme of things is pretty good. But I just thought breastfeeding, I would lose the weight so fast within two to three months. And it's funny because I was about five months postpartum. And I was like, Okay, I need to buy new jeans, my old ones are not going to fit, I need to just throw them out. And I was okay with that. I would prepay. And then of course, shopping for nursing tops is always fun to make sure you can pull a blue bow out if you need to, and no halter tops. No jumpsuits anymore. So I would say as far as confidence goes, getting a new wardrobe is definitely key. Whether you're breastfeeding or not, and just having fun with it, I like to shop. So this was kind of fun for me. I do miss wearing dresses, especially, you know, with breastfeeding so long. But overall, I feel pretty good. And then I mentioned in the beginning of the episode, that my daughter is about to turn one. And I have unhappily able to say that I lost the baby weight, you know, which I didn't think was going to happen. If it doesn't happen. For other women. It's totally okay. But my body just after that six month mark six to nine month mark, I really just it the weight just kind of fell off. And so I'm at the preconception weight again, so feeling pretty good.

Sunny Gault 39:16
What about personal identity? Because when we become a mother, you know, we're a mother 24/7 And for some of us, the struggles are a little bit more intense for others. And you are the soul. I mean, you know you might have a partner to help you parents friends or whatever, but as a mother, you are everything to that little baby and it is it is so easy to get caught up in that. I remember sometimes thinking even like with my first kid like who am I again? What am I doing because it starts to feel like Groundhog Day. Some days. You're like feed the baby you know, you know change the baby, let the baby's sleep, you know try to get the baby to sleep, all that kind of stuff. So How did your guys personal identity change? Did you kind of go through a little bit of what I had where I, you know, woke up? And like, what happened in my life?

Kayla Phelps 40:12
Yes, I still feel like I'm going through that a little bit. Yeah, I mean, you literally are just surviving, I feel like for a big portion of those first few months of when the baby's here, and you don't really have a lot of time to do things that you did before the baby was here, or even, like, take a shower without a baby crying and needing you, you know, it, literally every single part of your life looks different after you have the baby. And so there's a really big identity shift. I feel like just now kind of like around that 1011 month mark were like, kind of finding our footing and getting in a groove. And I'm starting to do things that I used to do prior to having him and, you know, it feels like I can actually do that now, like, before, it felt like I was just too exhausted to even try. You know, not just sleep wise, but just like exhausted from constantly having to be on and like taking care of somebody else. And like trying to survive myself. So, you know, it's, it's, it's big. And I think that the real honesty of it is that it just takes, you know, probably longer than most of us expect to, you know, feel a little glimmer of who you were, again,

Adaeze Woodard 41:41
postpartum. I'm kind of in the same boat, I'm one thing I didn't anticipate is how much babies want to be held. So it was like, even if, even if I had the time to do something like say she wasn't eating, or she wasn't sleeping, or I didn't need to change a diaper. I didn't have the hands to do it, you know? And, yes, you could always babywear. But sometimes, I don't know if sometimes you just want to have that autonomy as far as just being by yourself and doing something you used to do, like I used I love reading. So I used to read all the time, I've written a book before. And so I remember a time my husband kind of asked me like, what, what do you even like to do anymore. And I was like, I don't know, you know, because you're just so exhausted and tired of thinking about another human at the time that you do get, you just kind of want to blank your mind. And I remember telling my husband like, the times that I want to do something, I can't do something, because she's eating or feeding or sleeping or something. And then the times that I have free to do something, I don't feel like doing it. So it was kind of like this ongoing cycle of not having free time and then not feeling like doing anything. And then I think like Kayla said around, for me, it was around like nine months, I kind of got back into my hobbies and doing the things that I like to do and but it was definitely rough. It was definitely rough in the beginning. And the change is so drastic, like one day, you're your normal self. And then the next day you're not. And I remember, like feeling like it was almost unfair, because it wasn't the same case for my husband, you know, he can still go on and do the things he normally does, like play the video game or go to the gym or whatever. And he can relatively do it on his time. But my time was the baby's time. And so the free time that I got, I just kind of wanted to do. So yeah, I'm just now like I said, just now barely getting out of that. So it was definitely an adjustment that I had to make.

Sunny Gault 44:00
Yeah, you mentioned the relationship with your partner. And that's what we're going to talk about next. So that was a really good transition. Because it does you're right, it changes overnight. Not only are you changing, but then your relationship with other people is changing, especially your relationship with people that don't have kids. That is like night and day you're like in a you're on a different planet than them at that point. Right. So let's talk a little bit about partner relationships. And that may kind of blend over into other relationships. But what did you guys experience overall? I know it can be a really big challenge. I remember feeling the same way that wow my whole world is upside down and you Your world is a little different. But you know, especially getting up with the baby in the middle of night and doing all that kind of stuff. So my husband had a regular wasn't nine to five but it was a standard job. You know, he had to leave and you know, go do Earth his thing. And I was working from home at the time. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh, like, I'm thankful that I could work from home. But at the same time I was managing my job. And being a full time mom and not getting enough sleep and all this other stuff. So, so what was your guys's experience when it came to the relationship with your partner? So

Kaile Hunt 45:19
my husband, he is in the Marines. And so he works at a navy prison. He's a brig operator. But I remember when he went back to work, he has to stay fit for his job, it's part of the requirements. And I would slowly resent that because not that I even get to work out. But you got to not only go to work, but he also got to go to the gym he paid for. He got to, you know, still hang out with some of his co workers. And I chose not to return to my job that I had after having my daughter. And so that was a little bit of a struggle for the first early months. However, I just feel like communication is just so important. And so key because for him, he distresses by going to the gym, and for me to de stress and binging email tracking TV or reading. And so with compromise, we were able to you know, I had my own time to read or take an extra long shower, which was needed, and he would bounce our daughter to sleep some nights. And so I just felt like talking and communicating was really important. In the early days to kind of establish once he did go back to work, you know what worked with both of us? Yeah,

Kayla Phelps 46:37
I feel very similar to that. Kaile. Yeah, we, our relationship dynamic changed big time. I mean, you just, I mean, let alone the fact like, by the end of the day, you're both exhausted. And then, you know, I was co sleeping. And I, when my son went to go to that, I would try to go to bed and then like, well, what time does that leave to talk with your partner about like, even half a day went to, you know, what needs to change? You know, there's so much limited time whenever you're in those early days. But yeah, I feel like communication with your partner is super, super, super important. And trying to find those small spaces or gaps in time when you're able to do that. And if you have family close by take advantage of any sort of support that you can reach for to just get even a moment to yourself can benefit your relationship with your partner. But yeah, even to this day, I mean, I feel like we're still like trialing and airing what works for us and like, how can we balance here, and you know, what feels unbalanced there. It's just such a work in pot in progress. And

Sunny Gault 47:58
I think that continues, like the older your kids get, just when you think you have something figured out, they get they change ages,

Kaile Hunt 48:05
they go through another change.

Sunny Gault 48:07
I have these same conversations that you ladies are talking about, I have these same conversations with my husband. And again, my My oldest is now a teenager, you know, he's 13. And we're still going through that. It's just it just looks a little bit different at each stage. When my husband, I want to have a conversation, that's really more of an adult conversation, you better believe that one kid is going to come screaming through the door needing something and you're like, oh my gosh, remember when we could just talk. Now when your kids are really little? It's you needing to provide something for them specifically, right that, you know, they need change, they need to be fat or whatever. But it just changes you know, they they still have needs. So unfortunately, it you know, it doesn't go away. But this is one of those things, again, that you can adapt, you know, and the needs change. But, you know, you're always a parent, you know, so it's, you know, you're there no matter what.

Kayla Phelps 49:07
Yeah, just to just to piggyback off of Kaile's story, too. I remember being I was like two weeks postpartum, and my partner was going to Target and I just about lost my mind because I really wanted to go to Target without a baby. And I was like, I can't even like go to Target anymore. It was like a whole thing.

Sunny Gault 49:31
It's funny like what you know, you consider to be like a getaway, like a break, going. And you're like, No, I get to go shop. Whereas before, you're probably Ignite, you do the shopping, I'm gonna do whatever it is that you want to do. But yeah, you learn real quick that just getting out of the house without a baby attached to a child. You know? And like I said, it's the same thing as your kids get older. You know, me being able to go to the store by myself without anybody. It's like a vacation.

Adaeze Woodard 50:00
cuz that's how I feel about showering, taking showers without just by myself. I just need because you know, like in the newborn side, you try to take your shower as quick as possible. I love, love, love, like an everything shower, like I'm washing my hair, I'm shaving my legs, I'm washing my face, like everything. And that requires at least 20 minutes. So if I could get 20 minutes to myself without a baby without a husband just asking me for something. Oh my god, I'm gonna have it. And so vacation.

Sunny Gault 50:28
I love it. Awesome. Well, you guys, that wraps up our conversation today. I appreciate all of you guys, you sharing your stories, the ups and downs and all the in betweens. And hopefully for everyone listening, you know, this was helpful, right? Everybody's experience is a little bit different. And, you know, we have sometimes we have these expectations going into motherhood. And it's completely different. Sometimes it's not, you know, but I think the key here is to be flexible. And that no matter what advice you get before you have your baby, your experience is probably going to be different than that. And that's okay, because all of us are different. But thank you guys so much for being us with us today. Appreciate everyone that's listening as well. For more information about us, you can go to new mommy That's where all of our podcast episodes are. We also have some videos for you. We've got an active blog over there, that covers a lot of other topics and much more.

And that wraps up our show for today. Thanks for listening. If you love preggy pals as much as we do, please consider checking out the amazing businesses that sponsor our shows week after week. And we'd also love for you to tell another pregnant mama or maybe she's not pregnant. You know, a lot of the women on the show today, nobody's pregnant, right? But tell someone else about it. You know, we would love for you guys to share this resource. Of course it is absolutely free. And if you want to check out some of the other podcasts that we produce I mentioned earlier in today's show, we have the boob group, but we have other shows as well, such as newbies, that's for moms right after having their babies. We have parent savers, which is more focused on parents with toddlers. And we have twin talks. So for those of you like me who happen to be a parent of multiples, that is a whole other ballgame. And so we've got a podcast with that as well. And again, all of that information is on our website at New mommy Thanks for listening to Peggy pals, your pregnancy your way.

Disclaimer 52:28
This has been a new mommy media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of new mommy media, and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider

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