What's Changed One Year After Having a Baby | Mentally, Physically & Emotionally



Here we are - my baby is 1!


And in true motherhood fashion, we didn't have a fancy party. We didn't have many presents. Nor did we have professional photos to mark the celebration.


We weren't expecting to move to Colorado before the New Year, and there we were packing, shipping our belongings, and traveling for our interstate move from San Diego to Denver... right before the holidays.


We were welcomed to the state with Dylan catching the flu and starting to feel sick right before his birthday on Christmas Eve. Tyler and I had long since decided to make it easier on ourselves and not worry about doing anything big this year since we were moving.


We were focusing more on surviving - haha - because we weren't exactly thriving.


And yet, Dylan turned 1 anyway.


I made him a chocolate cupcake that didn't have gluten, dairy or sugar (he's going to love having me as a mom!). I sweetened it with banana and made two cupcakes out of it. With not feeling well, it did brighten his spirits!


When I think back to where we started - trying to conceive only to find I had a slight (but serious) cycle issue (low progesterone) that would have made having children hard, to fixing it within 2 months - to getting pregnant only to lose that baby a few weeks before telling our family and friends. To getting pregnant with Dylan a few weeks later and still needing to supplement with progesterone and going through pregnancy and birth, it's all been a lot to process over the last two years.


So it does feel like a big milestone to watch Dylan turn 1. His journey earthside just makes me take a minute to think back on his path to get here.

This past year I've found myself on a new path of womanhood after becoming a mother, getting to know another side of me. And feel like I have so much to share on the mental, physical and emotional journey after having a baby!

At the very top is to give ourselves grace and let go of our expectations. Kids come with their own agenda and it has taken me quite awhile in getting use to (Dylan makes me check my structured, Type A nature!).


There have been many highs (all the baby cuddles, watching Dylan laugh, learn to rollover, crawl, and on the verge of walking) and so many lows (postpartum anxiety attacks, so tired all you want to do is cry, and how to restructure many elements of your life to accommodate the new schedule children bring).


When we often see one year updates, we tend to lean on the physical.


...did she bounce back?


...how?


We want all the quick fixes (spoiler - there aren't any. The female body just doesn't work that way). But rarely do we ask how the new mom is feeling, like really feeling.


This post will certainly share the physical changes I've noticed, because I was curious too, but I also want to share the not-so-talked about postpartum topics we need more of - our mental and emotional health.


Becoming Dylan's mom has been the greatest joy. When I think about the low moments this past year, he has never been one of them. He's always been the light through what felt difficult.

MENTAL CHANGES

Our brains change when we have children. It literally gets rewired when you're pregnant.


You also naturally see your priorities more clearly and set boundaries on your time and energy.


You have so much to give your child, that for me, in those early months and even as we got to the six month mark, I couldn't be all in in the other areas of my life.


From friends to work, my family was at the center as I learned how to create a new foundation while caring for a baby.


This process wasn't easy for me and it was all brand new.


It often felt like the hardest transition.


I'm still stumbling to find my way.


The struggle was balancing work and my home life. On the back of my mind was always work. I could feel the tug between taking time with Dylan to taking time away from him to work.


But every time I felt that guilt, I reminded myself it was good for me and healthy to take space. It was also important for him to know he has a wonderful father and extended family who also love him.


I feel like it also took at least six months to feel more like myself after he was born. Which is something my mom said after having my sister, her first child.


There's so much that changes in your daily life that it took a lot of time, consideration and practice to get a handle on it. You'd often find me up most nights googling baby schedules and filling notebook pages to what Dylan's schedule would look like, mine, Tyler's and how we could fit in work, fitness, alone time - all the things.


Like I said, I'm Type A and feel more grounded with a plan :)


I was very grateful Dylan was at home with us the whole time and we could figure it out together.


Mentally I've changed by having all my thoughts center around making sure Dylan has what he needs first.


Then I've had to practice layering on what I need for myself, work and household, which are also very important.