So many people ask me, “why did you choose this career path?” Well, here’s my answer…
If I’m going to be completely honest, the postpartum period was extremely difficult for me in so many ways.
* The emotions – love, joy, anxiety, and so much more all rolled into one.
* The new responsibility of taking care of a newborn baby and the realization that there were now limitations on my ability to be that carefree, independent, and spontaneous woman that I was just a few months before.
* The reality that to some extent those things that once seemed really important to me, just weren’t anymore.
To say my life changed over night is an understatement, it literally did.
October 2013 – I was a single woman living alone in Philly. I had a successful career, and essentially did my own thing whenever I wanted on my own terms. I 100% took care of myself + I was super proud of that fact.
October 2014 – I was a new mama of a preemie, with a brand new house, a (relatively) new relationship, and I was about to let go of my successful career to take on a new business…I just didn’t know that part yet.
(The story of how my life made this huge shift in one year is for another post. But, if you’re really interested in it, email me!
Anyway, back to my postnatal experience. Like many of you reading this, while I was pregnant, I put my type A personality to great use by planning everything out…How I would give birth, what the nursery would look like, how long I would take for maternity leave, etc. I was under the (somewhat arrogant) impression that once I gave birth my life would go on just as it had prior to becoming a mom.
And, by that, I mean, I thought I would still have complete control over every aspect of my life. Right now, I look back on myself at that time and literally LOL. Since he was born, my son is the force in my life to remind me that I really don’t have control over Anything. At. All. Surprise #1: starting with his early arrival via c-section following a totally uneventful pregnancy. (again a story for another day)
So, like everything else I planned out, I was going to be back into my pre-pregnancy fitness routine exactly one month after I was cleared for exercise. Again, now I LOL at that thought. There were SO many things working against that ever happening. A few big ones for me:
- The lack of sleep. I knew ahead of time, I’d have sleepless nights. I mean I stayed up all night plenty of times to write papers, catch up on work, or even go to a party. It couldn’t be that hard right. Wrong. This wasn’t the same as staying up all night. This was 30 minutes of sleep followed by a 90 minute feeding session, followed by 30 minutes of sleep all night long…and, that went on for MONTHS.
- My body didn’t feel the same as it did before. No one told me that after pregnancy, my body wouldn’t feel like my own. Even after I was cleared for exercise (that magic moment I was looking forward to when my body would be normal again), my body didn’t bounce back the way I expected that it would. I mean it felt like things were moving in there that definitely shouldn’t have been. You know, like organs and such…
- I was hungry. Like super “I’ll eat anything in sight” hungry because I was breastfeeding. I mean you aren’t really supposed to cut consumption when you’re breastfeeding anyway because you need the extra nutrients for the baby. But, even if I wanted to, this hunger was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I had to eat. A LOT.
So, of course after a few months and a lot of hard work, late nights, and tears, I got the hang of the whole mommy thing. Sort of, at least. I found a new normal, a new routine. I started doing barre with my little guy in his front carrier (it made both of us happy). But, I realized something. I realized that I wasn’t alone in this struggle to regain some semblance of who I was (or who the new me was) during the postnatal period. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way, so I started talking to other new moms and I found out that I wasn’t the only one.
This real-talk with other new moms combined with the real-life experience I had as a struggling new mom gave me the inspiration for my life’s work. I loved my previous career, but it wasn’t until this point in life that I found true purpose in what I was doing.
I knew I wanted to help other new moms by providing postnatal fitness opportunities. This is why I created my postnatal fitness programs – online videos, personal postnatal fitness training, and the BYO Baby Barre™ class. I want to help other new moms like me. You shouldn’t have to feel pressure to “bounce back” after having a baby, but you should have the opportunity to love and take care of yourself–inside and out.