Sister Birth :: Support + Story
Grand Rapids, MI doula and birth photographer

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a walk with a sister :: kim (part 2)

I've found this to be true for myself, and for lots of other mamas, too, it seems: that with each baby, we get a little bit better at postpartum. Especially for those of us, like Kim, who have been voraciously reading amazing books like The First 40 Days and The 4th Trimester, digesting their concepts and wisdom, discussing it with her partner, and committing to doing her best to honor this transitional sacred space for all that it is meant to be. 

Theis first set of photos were taken at 3 days postpartum. She is rooted to her bed in a nightgown. Food and flowers are being brought to her. She hasn't been down the stairs a single time yet, nor will she be for several days after this. Her husband is managing the house on his parental leave, and the kids are being occupied downstairs or outside, or sometimes sent off to VBS or a neighbor's house to play. They come up to visit mama and the baby several times each day. This is the center of the home right now, the light to which all gravitate. When I came to visit, I sat on her bed we and talked about her experience with her birth, how is nursing going, is she getting everything that she needs? I'd set up a meal registry for her and it sounded like she was indeed getting lots of food brought over. I'd brought her a GF/vegan brownie, which she ended up sharing with the kids (#momlife) and cut some peonies for her garden for the bed stand. I think these immediate postpartum visits are about just offering space for any/all feelings and reflections that surface in the wake of birth and the haze of life with a brand new baby. 

This next set of photos was taken at almost 3 weeks post partum. Her husband had returned to work, and Kim had only recently begun venturing downstairs (and putting on clothes and doing simple meal prep). She's still going slow, giving herself grace, lowering the bar, and keeping baby very close to her around the clock. Her older kids are adjusting pretty well, and don't seem to mind the stripped down simplicity of this life season. In fact, I brought my kids along with me and they all played together on the slack line and in the trees while Kim and I sat in lawn chairs sipping sparkling soda and checking in about her adjustment to mothering four kids alone without her partner home during the day. She's resilient and centered. She's totally got this.

I'm really looking forward to compiling her prenatal, birth, and postpartum photos into one beautiful keepsake book to commemorate the journey of becoming Salem's mama. It's been SO rich, and because she's been so attentive to it, yielding to the process and embracing it on every level, I know she's changed. Childbearing is so transformational, and we're so lucky to get to do it, sisters.