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New Mom and Health Coach… a balancing act

HELLO!! It’s been some time since my last post, mostly because – as life would have it, I was thrown a major curve ball in my life plan. I had a baby! Full disclosure, he was not exactly “planned”. I mean, we were not NOT trying to have a baby… but we definitely didn’t expect to be expecting.

As excited as we were to become parents it sent us both into a whirlwind of “to do’s”. I still had 3 months left at IIN (The Institute of Integrative Nutrition) and I was just beginning to roll out my coaching business. I wasn’t sure where this was going to go, and my plan was just to have this business grow organically. However, the first trimester put a major halt on those plans. I had morning sickness ALL DAY from 6 weeks til about 16 weeks. Which just so happened to coincide with my wedding. Oh, did I mention we had to move up our wedding because I refused to have a bump in my wedding pictures? (Spoiler alert: I STILL HAD A BUMP.) In retrospect, it didn’t matter. It was a beautiful day with family and close friends and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Anyway – pregnancy, especially the first trimester sent my established healthy routines out the window. All the foods I had come to love I either couldn’t have anymore, or made me sick. I lived off of frozen pizza from Trader Joes for almost three months. This was NOT the pregnancy I had envisioned. I felt like a fraud most of the time, preaching about how to curb your cravings while asking my husband to go get me Taco Bell because I needed artificial cheese. I wondered if the healthy lifestyle I had curated for myself would just disappear. As time went on, I became more relaxed with myself. I ate healthy, I took my prenatal vitamins, I went to yoga, but I still enjoyed a fast food trip. I ate more processed food in my pregnancy than I have in the last 5 years since starting my journey in 2013. After the new year rolled around, the only thing on my mind was having a healthy and safe labor. I wanted so badly to have a natural, unmedicated labor. I tried all the wives tales about having a natural labor. I read books. I upped my yoga classes, I went for walks, ate dates and pineapple until my eyes fell out. I basically became obsessed with having the birth I wanted,  that I stressed myself into having the exact opposite.

 

Finally on February 28th, 2018 my son was born. After over 36 hours of labor, I was rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section. My body went into shock and I thought for certain I was going to die on that operating table. In that moment, I closed my eyes and let the heavy doses of oxygen and epidural take over as I surrendered. I closed my eyes, held my husbands hand and just let go. A few moments later I had my sweet baby boy. He was nearly 10 lbs and two feet long. (Thank you, Taco Bell) When the doctor pulled him out, I heard his cry and instantly I started to cry. My life had changed forever, and I will always remember the magnitude of that moment. The nurses yelled “OH MY GOD HES A TODDLER!” …Not exactly what you want to hear during that post surgery haze, but it was no worse than my husband telling me “he looks kinda weird” The first comments about our son, forever ingrained into my memory. Soon after he was kicked out of the room with our child because I was losing too much blood. After about a half an hour, we were reunited, and I finally got to meet my precious little bundle of joy.

Recovery was much worse than I had expected. My core was completely worn out and I had a bit of depression that comes with being a new mom. I felt useless and lonely. I felt as if I had completely abandoned my ambitions of being a health coach and helping people. Anything more than a walk around the neighborhood exhausted me. I needed physical activity to keep myself from going insane, but I could barely find the time or the strength. I began to stress out over losing the 60+ lbs I had gained in pregnancy, which did not help with my postpartum depression. Ever the optimist, and learning from my recent labor experiences I decided to just let it all go. I let go of all my expectations for myself and just let myself enjoy those first months as a mom. It wasn’t always blissful, but it certainly was the best decision I could have made. Eventually, I started feeling better. I naturally started going back to my old habits: Lemon water in the morning, with a side of meditation, Stretching and list making. Before I knew it, I had started to adapt to my ‘new normal’ and felt even better than before. I am still adjusting to this “new life” as a mom, but in truth – not all that much has changed. The best piece of advice I received was “Remember: the baby is coming into your life. You don’t have to change everything about yourself in order to raise a baby.” That really struck me, and has been the basis of my new balancing act as a mother and health coach. Above all else, I want my son to see me as I am: Flawed, but happy. I want him to grow up watching me live authentically, and loving myself as I am, and not struggling to fit into some whacky idea of what society thinks a mom should be. The rest, will all fall into place.

 

our little family

So here we are, over a year later and I am starting all over again. Re-launching my coaching practice but with a whole new outlook. I have no expectation, I just want to share my life with you, and hopefully bring you content that will inspire you. I want to reach people who don’t know where to start and give them a road map of easy, manageable ways to incorporate healthy habits into their life. That is my only goal. If there is anything specific you want to see, please, let me know in the comments! In the meantime, check back for more blogs, recipes, and other anecdotes on how to live a happier, healthier more balanced life.

with love,

Steph

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