Pre-pregnancy Contract

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sisi is 2 1/2 now, and we finally have that urge to start trying for another baby.  If any of you remember, I had a really hard time adjusting to motherhood.  I may have had undiagnosed Postpartum Depression (or else a really intense and long-lasting case of the baby blues).  In planning for another child, it's not necessarily the childbirth part that freaks me out (it was brutal but also exhilarating, and I am confident in my birthing abilities!)  I'm more freaked out by the thought of those anxiety-ridden newborn months.  I also worry I will feel major guilt for bringing a baby into Sisi's world.  I know a sibling will be good for her, but I do fear the growing pains that come along with it.

Knowing full well that I may refuse help and take on too much in those fragile first months, I've made a contract with myself to accept help.  I drew this contract up now while I'm clear-headed.  I asked Joe to sign it as well, just so he is on the same page :)

My terms:
1.  I get to see an in-home lactation consultant pretty much immediately.  Last time, my doula and midwife thought Sisi was nursing well, but I was in horrible pain and had cracked, bleeding nipples. Turns out, she was sucking me like a bent straw and barely getting anything.  So next time, I'm going straight to the expert to check and make sure things are good in the milk department.

2. Housekeeper will deep clean the house every 2 weeks.  This is a must!  I like a clean, serene environment, especially when my life is chaos.

3.  Babysitter (could just be a family member, friend, or teenager from the neighborhood) will play with Sisi whenever I need a break, or just want one-on-one baby time.  Likewise, I want to be able to spend one-on-one time with Sisi, too, so a loving grandma to watch the baby regularly would be swell!

4.  This time, I won't quit therapy just because my schedule is crazy and unpredictable.  Squeezing in a 50 minute skype or phone session every few weeks is non-negotiable.

5.  Last time, I lived on eggo waffles and frozen yogurt, hardly paleo fare (and hardly conducive to healthy breast milk!) I wonder now if my poor eating contributed to my mood and anxiety issues?  Next time, I'll hire a paleo meal service to bring meals if I'm too worn out to cook.

I realize that these conditions might make me look spoiled or weak, especially to older generations of moms who were able to handle handfuls of kids without much help.  But, I know myself and my limits.  I regret not being able to enjoy Sisi as a sweet newborn because I was so miserable.  If there is anything I can do to help prevent that, I sure will.

But seriously, I look at pictures like these of my precious baby girl, and how could I not want another one??? Such a blessing!


megan August 28, 2013 at 9:27 AM  

You don't look spoiled or weak! I think if I had the courage to do something like that I would be a lot more inclined to make the leap to have a little one.

sk August 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM  

I love that you did this! I think it's a great idea. And you are NOT spoiled or weak! Our culture tends to be unsupportive of new motherhood. We, as new moms, are basically expected to be back to functioning "as normal" a few weeks after giving birth- and fitting back into our pre-pregnancy clothes by then too! It's silly. I'm so glad you're planning to get help in all of those ways. That will give you the space to be present and bond with your little one-- the most important thing in the world!

Angel @ August 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM  

I fully support this contract, and I am dying over how cute you are making it handwritten in pink and blue. ;-) xoxo

Marysia Boeckman August 28, 2013 at 7:15 PM  

I love this contract! I'm going to copy and use it for myself for our first pregnancy.

Freckles Chick August 29, 2013 at 6:57 AM  

This, ALL OF THIS!! You're not weak or spoiled at all! In fact, I think it's a sign of strength & selflessness b/c your ultimate goal is to be the best mama to Sisi & baby B #2. Only now am I hearing from friends that they did so many of these things on your contract post partum (even w/ the first kid). No wonder they were so freaking happy ;-)

I had such a severe case of the baby blues, I should've gone to therapy. I do remember reading back thru your post partum posts & finding solace in knowing that I wasn't alone. So I can't thank you enough for that.

Best of luck in trying for Baby B 2.0!!

Rachel August 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM  

Um, I'm pretty sure that women in previous generations could count on more help and more community/family/church involvement. Just observationally, the trend seems to be to give parents more space, which is great for letting them come up with individual parenting styles, but not so awesome for providing support, maybe? You aren't weak! We live in a different time and we need some modifications. Getting help is the smartest thing you can do!

Janette Ocon November 1, 2013 at 10:21 PM  

Actually if you look up mothering the mother and post partum care you will find that previous generations especially in other longer standing cultures have/had A LOT of help. There is nothing weak or wimpy about anything you've laid out, when you do in fact conceive again you should consider discussing this with a very close relative or friend to help keep you accountable for receiving help : ) Without knowing anything about you I really recommend looking into placental encapsulation, I was totally turned off by it until I did the research. Don't isolate yourself, we all need a support system, it's great that you are taking action to make a plan for next time : )

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