We're so excited to share another unfiltered chat with you from a fellow mama - Shianne Hummel! We hope that these words bring you encouragement and helpful insight into your own motherhood journey, and serve as a reminder that you're not alone.
What was one of your greatest challenges in motherhood?
One of the greatest challenges for me has been figuring out how to find time to do “everything” I did before. Taking care of myself especially but also spending time with my husband, giving our sweet pup attention, keeping up on the house, and taking care of the baby. I have had to give myself so much grace and realize that it’s just not possible and whatever I can get done in a day is a win and I’m doing the best that I can. For that, I am proud.
What was one of your greatest joys?
One of my greatest joys has been seeing my husband become the best dad to our babe and watching myself transform into a person that I never thought that I would be. The love that we have for our baby is unexplainable as I’m sure you’ll understand if you are a parent. I didn’t always long to be a mom – we were content just the two of us and our dog. When we decided we wanted a baby it was honestly scary. But now that he is here, I couldn’t image life without him.
Tell us about your postpartum journey. What caught you by surprise? What was your greatest struggle and how did you work towards overcoming it?
My postpartum journey started off a little wild. Baker was born 6.5 weeks early so I spent my days and nights in the NICU for the first three weeks. I don’t even think I realized I was going through postpartum because I was running on fumes and never slowed down – like I didn’t even have time to think about it, I just wanted my baby strong and healthy enough to come home. When we got to bring him home is when it all set in I think. Some days you feel like you aren’t even living your own life. I am very lucky in the sense that I didn’t struggle with postpartum depression, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard. Having a new baby can be lonely and isolating and it’s very exhausting yet wonderful all in one. Add in crazy hormones and some days are just messy. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but what caught me by surprise most was how lonely some days could feel, I really didn’t expect that and I think that might’ve been my greatest struggle. Every day my husband would leave for work I just felt so alone and it’s the worst feeling. That, and you just don’t feel like yourself. Your whole world just changed, your body is different and you’re exhausted. It’s a lot and overcoming it is a work in progress but each week seems a little better and a little easier. I have made sure to continually talk about my feelings to both friends and my husband. I make sure to take time for a long hot shower a few nights a week when my husband gets home. Taking time to myself is important and I always feel refreshed afterwards. It’s okay to ask for help or to let your husband take over – they are more than capable too, let them!
Tell us about your breastfeeding journey. Something you learned, something you struggled through, something you loved?
I have exclusively pumped since our baby was born and I quickly learned that that in itself is like a second job. It was important to us that my husband would be able to feed him too, especially in the evenings and before he leaves for work in the morning. He loves that time with the baby and I love it for them, too. Feeding from a bottle is what works best for us. The biggest struggles have been the early days of working through clogged ducts and sore nipples while I was getting used to it, and constantly washing pump parts – it’s exhausting! But, it’s all so worth it and every ounce I pump makes me very proud.
Have you heard of the benefits of breast massage and did you give it a try in your breastfeeding journey?
I have been a big “breast massager” since the beginning of my pumping journey. I struggled terribly with clogged ducts for the first few weeks so I massaged my breasts almost every pump session and still do from time to time when I feel I may have a clog coming back on. I would like to think that it has worked in keeping them away.
What one piece of advice would you give to new moms?
To breath and give yourself grace. You are doing an amazing job. The nights are long and you are exhausted, but this time goes by so fast so do your absolute best to enjoy it – the good, the bad and the messy. They will never be this tiny again, hold them for as long as you want to. Ask for help and make sure you allow yourself a few long hot showers every week – you deserve it.
Follow Shianne HERE!