The other day as my husband and I were walking around a local baby store, we ran into a super sweet couple and their adorable daughter. We didn't know them, they didn't know us, but we started talking about babies, siblings, Columbus, and everything in between. Once we started discussing siblings and life with three, it didn't take long until she asked about how we all adjusted when we brought home Baby E while having two busy kids already. It went something like this..
"How was it adjusting to life with a baby while having two at home?" - Kind Stranger
"Ummmm.....well....you know what, let me put it this way, we may survived solo but with the help of our postpartum doulas we thrived" - Me
I meant every word. You see, our biggest support systems are either a two hour car ride or a two hour plane ride away. The distance isn't always so bad but during major life events it really sucks. Flat Out. There is no other way to put it.
We knew that welcoming our third child into this world was going to take some serious planning. I wanted to make sure that we had our oldest two taken care of and life ran smoothly for them while I was in labor, recovering, and bonding with our new baby. We had family available to watch them while I was in labor but after that we were on our own. We relied on our trusted babysitter for a little bit while I was in the hospital and I reached out to my friends at Columbus Birth and Parenting to get some professional assistance during our first few days home.
Leah and Catie matched me up with two of the sweetest women I have ever met. Seriously - LOVE THEM! Debbie and Anna were such blessings to our family during that first week home. They helped us maintain balance, structure, and playtime in our home while we were adjusting to being a family of five.
We had the Welcome Home Package - 3 five hour shifts and 1 overnight shift. This package is only for your first week home to help you really recover, bond, and adjust. I was able to have more bonding time with my little girl because our Doula was helping with the dishes, laundry, my older kids, and so much more. What truly made our time with the Doulas from CBP special was their gentle approach in all that they do, the absolute no judgement state of mind, and their expertise in all things newborns and recovery for mom. They held my baby so I could shower, play with my older two for a little bit (because oh how I missed them), nap and so much more. They also supported us emotionally. I felt comfortable crying and sharing my fears with these professional women who showed me unconditional love and understanding.
Having a baby is NOT easy. You need time to recover and you need the best support so you can recover properly. Debbie, Anna, and CBP gave me that (as well as my awesome husband, of course). My mom lives out of state now and wasn't able to be home for the birth of Elizabeth, and that was really hard for me - but it wasn't until Debbie was in our home that I realized how hard it was not having my mom there. Debbie made it so much easier. I can recall one moment vividly, I was sitting on our couch holding Elizabeth and Debbie sat down near me to ask how I was doing, and to see if I needed anything. It was an hour later when we finally stopped talking. What I NEEDED in that moment was for someone who understood what I was going through to just listen to me. She didn't judge, she didn't try and stop me, she just let me talk and she let me ask her questions. She shared stories of her own family and after I felt really connected and happy. It was then that I realized how much I missed my mom, but I was also so thankful that Debbie was there to be such great support to me in a delicate time.
I really need to tell you this story because it really meant the world to me...Baby E had a moment that had the doctors and I a little on edge. She had lost 12% of her birth weight (they should only loose 10% max). I felt like I had failed her, I was nursing her all the time but she wasn't interested in eating and she was loosing weight. What am I doing wrong? How can I make this better? She just won't eat!!! My very first call after that news was Catie and Leah. I knew that they would be able to point me in the right direction. Catie happened to have some time in her schedule so she immediately got in her car and came over to help me. I am tearing up thinking about how amazing that was of her to drop what she was doing to be there for us when I needed help. Catie was able to help me figure out a plan to get Elizabeth to stay awake and nurse for longer before falling asleep. We were on the right track for weight gain. With Catie's tips and the schedule she gave me I was able to get Elizabeth's weight back up and she is currently a healthy 2 month old baby wearing 6 month old clothes. :-)
I am so thankful for the support of all of the women at Columbus Birth and Parenting. I have never met such an amazing, supportive, group of women in my entire life. I cannot recommend them enough. They also offer parenting classes so if you are past the baby stage still follow them on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to day on all of the classes they offer and the super fun and educational blog posts they share.
Columbus Birth and Parenting helped us THRIVE.