Monday, June 28, 2010

Graduation Day

Twenty-one weeks ago I began a weekly tradition.  Every Monday, Baby S and I would pack up some toys for him, a lunch for me and head to the New Mom's Group run by the hospital that I delivered at.  The group is run by a fabulous woman that can only be described as a "postpartum goddess".  She is a postpartum doula, postpartum doula trainer, postnatal educator, lactation specialist, and maybe most importantly, a mom.

If you have never been to a New Mom's Group, the purpose essentially is to provide a venue for new mom's to ask questions related to their new baby, socialize with other new moms, and provide much needed support through the trying first few months of being a new parent.  Our postpartum goddess ran our group like this: each week we would sit in a circle on the floor playing with (and/or nursing/feeding) our babies while taking turns updating each other on that prior week's developments, asking any questions we may have, and if we happened to shed a tear or two (or 5 million) someone was there to hand you a tissue and tell you that you are in fact going to live through all this.  Every so often we had a presenter that would share with us a variety of baby related things.  We had visitors from Baby Boot Camp, Gymboree, a local naturopath, and a lawyer come and talk to us about wills and trusts...something all new parents need to think about.  Whether we had a presenter or not, I left every week feeling like I learned something new.

In fact, I really can't even imagine what the last several months would have been like had I not joined this group.  Sure, I could have called the pediatrician's office with my questions, but they never would have made me feel completely normal about using a breast shield like these women did, many of them telling me that they had to use one too and that they struggled with it as much as I had, nor could the ped's office commiserate with me when nursing was a struggle and my supply was diminishing.  They certainly couldn't have helped me through balancing my roles as mother and housewife or learning how to appreciate all the things I do accomplish in a day (even when it feels like I accomplished nothing).  Nor would they have been able to give me the details about Mommy Matinee or story time at the local library or where to get the best baby gear.

But sadly, today I had to graduate. Why? you ask.  Well the group is for moms with babies up to 6 months old and when your baby reaches that 6 month mark (or you have to go back to work), you graduate.  I don't like the term graduate because it doesn't really adequately explain what is happening...which is simply that you don't get to come back.  It isn't like I have some how mastered the art of parenting in the last 6 months or that I don't have any more questions left to ask...I just have a baby too old to go any more.

Thankfully one of the long lasting benefits of this group is that our postpartum goddess helps us form our first playgroup.  I now have a wonderful group of women, that have had babies between October and February, that will continue on this journey with me and for that I am extremely grateful.


Mommy C


Jackie H. said...

Enjoying your blog. It relates well to my life. We went through unswaddling lately too. Anyway, I have an award for you at my site. check it out!

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