Lindsay is our Mama Moments “Spotlight Mama” for July 2022!
Here’s what’s really cool…Lindsay and I were friends in college, overlapping at Salve Regina just for a semester and through social media and my To Mama site, we reconnected and we recently spent a lovely afternoon chatting all things motherhood.
Lindsay and her husband welcomed their son E. last August, so her little babe is almost one! He’s a cutie with a big smile and Lindsay described that his smile, seeing his joy and hearing him laugh are some of the best things about being his mama.
Lindsay and her husband Chris were surprised at how quickly she became pregnant and had initially believed it would take them a lot longer. When I asked her, what gave it away…she said her period was late and she was experiencing period symptoms. After a friend’s suggestion, Lindsay decided to take a pregnancy test and was truly surprised when it was positive.
Lindsay said her family was really excited with the news of her pregnancy and her family’s first grandbaby!
Lindsay shared that she had a really healthy pregnancy. Her blood pressure was always perfect and she tried to eat as healthy as she could. She experienced some nausea in the first trimester but by the second trimester she was hiking, working out and felt great! The summer heat started just as she was moving into her third trimester and Lindsay said she began to feel swollen and moving around/hiking became more of a challenge.
Another symptom Lindsay experienced in her third trimester was slight carpal tunnel syndrome in her hands and wrist. This is really uncomfortable! A wrist brace usually resolves the feeling while pregnant and carpal tunnel syndrome (when related to pregnancy) usually disappears after giving birth. Although it wasn’t immediate, Lindsay said that this pain did go away in a couple weeks following the birth of her son. Phew!
Pregnancy cravings is always a favorite topic of mine and Lindsay shared that she really enjoyed frozen fruit and smoothies…especially when she felt nauseous in her 1st trimester. She also really enjoyed pickles and quite the opposite, ice cream! Lindsay (like me) described how she could eat ice cream almost daily and said this craving heightened during her pregnancy.
Baby is Born!
Lindsay’s birth planned included giving birth naturally. However, as she got closer to her delivery date, her doctor found a band in her cervix…making a natural birth difficult and dangerous to have because her baby could get stuck. When her water broke and she went to the hospital, she was presented with the option (and strong suggestion) to have a c-section so that her and her baby could be as safe as possible.
Lindsay described that in this moment, she was scared and devastated that she wouldn’t be able to deliver naturally, as she had hoped and planned. She also felt really thankful that both her and her son would be healthy and safe at the end of her delivery. In these moments, Lindsay described that her husband helped her stay as calm as possible. He was a really great coach and listed all the positives of having the c-section instead of sticking with their birth plan. He was empathetic and supportive and a great balance to how she was feeling.
When Lindsay held her son for the first time, she said she broke down. She felt overwhelmed, she cried, she was so happy and still really numb from the procedure…she said it was the strangest, most wonderful feeling.
Lindsay’s parents were at their house when Lindsay and her little family came home from the hospital. They were so excited to meet their grandson. Lindsay described their first night home together as daunting and really great. She said it was daunting because she was recovering from her c-section, trying to breastfeed while taking care of herself and her son. It was great because he slept well and they were happy to be home.
There is so much newness in those first couple of days, nights, weeks and Lindsay is super thankful that her husband was able to stay home for the first 3 months after their son was born. Lindsay described that her recovery from the c-section was brutal, doable and manageable but really tough.
Lindsay describes herself as an independent woman and like many of us, can be reluctant to ask for help, until help is absolutely needed. Recovering from the c-section and setting up her space to breastfeed, getting comfortable while breastfeeding and even walking up a flight of stairs and moving around were complete adjustments for her and at times, she had to rely on her husband for help.
All of these activities became easier as Lindsay became more independent as her body healed from the procedure. As a new mama, all of this is a lot to process and it can be hard to change our expectations that we have of ourselves.
In spite of these challenges, Lindsay said that she is the mama she pictured she would be. She’s overjoyed when everything is going well with her son and he’s happy, she’s happy…family is happy. And at the same time, she can be pretty hard on herself if things are more difficult.
Lindsay described that she can be particularly sensitive and easily overstimulated to her son’s crying and fussiness after he had really bad acid reflux from 2.5 to 4 months old. Although this is a health condition that is now resolved, Lindsay shared that sometimes his crying can make her impatient because of this association (crying = acid reflux).
If we all had a superpower and could go back in time, Lindsay openly shared that this is an area she would change. She said that his crying would really stress her out, especially in those early months where it was constant and her son was so uncomfortable.
In the same breath she shares some really valuable advice for new mamas. Lindsay shares that we should let go of the expectation you have of yourself, let it be and see what happens. Everything can be really consuming and overtake your ability to think clearly and realize what they (baby) really need. Try to be in the moment. Let yourself be uncomfortable and feel what you’re feeling.
It was a true honor and privilege to connect with Lindsay and spend time hearing her Mama story! We are looking forward to connecting again and catching up some more in the near future. If you have questions for Lindsay, you can find her on Instagram @linds_hennessy !