Postpartum Week 12 by Teresa Palmer
How big is baby
What’s something new this week
We started using a Summer + Storm amber teething necklace and call me crazy but his drooling has lessened?! Is that a thing? He has been gumming so much, really crunching down on my fingers, I can’t imagine he already has a tooth coming through at 3 months? Bodhi didn’t get his first tooth until he was almost a year old! We have given him a few toys that he can really chew down on and he has been loving that!
Most challenging moment
This hasn’t been a very challenging week, aside for Forest’s 2 poo explosions in a row?! Poop all over the car seat, up his back, on his toys, as he was just smiling at me blissfully unaware! it was more funny than anything.
Mark and I also got on each other’s nerves this week for a day or two, although we are so quick to resolve things that it wasn’t a big deal (took us 4 years to practice healthy conflict resolution!) we were just irritable with a lot going on and we were miscommunicating, making assumptions and taking things personally! It’s always from one of these places that we get in to conflict. I packed the car for our road trip and he re-packed it, I wanted the dogs to go to a boarding facility while we were away and he wanted a house sitter, I wanted Bodhi to have his morning at preschool and Mark wanted to leave earlier for our road trip etc. Mark has a huge premiere of the film he directed this week, it’s opening at the SXSW film festival in Austin (hence the epic road trip!) it’s called Flesh and Blood and its the most important film Mark has ever made, it speaks to the fabric of who he is. This film is an incredibly open and vulnerable piece of art starring himself and his real family (he grew up as a homeless kid on the streets of one of the most notoriously dangerous neighborhoods in America) so there’s a lot of complex emotional weight there, it’s been really important to remind each other of that during our interactions. I’m so proud of him and this film is going to make some super important and impactful waves around the world.
Something you loved this week
Our ROAD TRIP!!! I’m actually writing this from the road, we are in Arizona right now and are headed to Austin, Texas. The first night we drove from 7pm-midnight, stayed at the Best Western in Needles and then this morning we left at 9am to hit the road again, it’s now 9pm so today has been especially long! It’s been so much fun, listening to music, chatting, coming up with future baby names (got it squared away) and we want 3 more kiddos (!!!) so that’s 5 kids that we have together plus Isaac! We will have to get a mini van and our kids will be sharing bedrooms which is one of the things I actually wished that I got to experience growing up. Today we also stopped off at a great organic restaurant in Flagstaff, Arizona which was a highlight. Shout out to Morning Glory Café for the yummy food and the gorgeous hand painted onesies that we bought Forest.
Forest seems to be sleeping at the perfect times on this road trip, right when we are about to stop for a pee break/food break! He wakes, breastfeeds, I change him, we have a snuggle and then he is back in his car seat playing with his toys until he falls asleep. Shout out to my friend Sarah Brougham who reminded me about the mirror trick in the car seat, it’s been helpful! Bodhi has been great too, he was excited to look outside and see all the cool roadside attractions, the rocks and the snow capped mountains, he only watched 2 shows on his iPad the whole day and was very happy to draw “skeleton bones” on himself, look at books, listen to music and play with his toys.
A lot of the time we don’t have reception so Mark and I are talking a lot and brainstorming ideas for a tv show we want to do together, chatting about lots of different things, our favorite is looking at the cars around us and thinking about where each driver is going to, what they’ll do when they get there, and who is in their family! It’s so incredibly refreshing to use your imagination and to have all this space and time just to connect and get creative. LOVING IT.
This whole trip has felt like Mama time! It’s been completely recharging. I’m going to start reading my book after I’ve finished this update (Liane Moriarty- Truly Madly Guilty) and then meditate as the kids go to sleep tonight.
I also had a great amount of Mama time on the plane on the way back from Paris (I attended the Valentino show) Forest is such a great sleeper now that I got to have time for myself, I watched Allied and Jackie, they were both great. I also had some SUPER therapeutic, deep and inspiring conversations with Annabelle my best friend of 16 years and my stylist who accompanied me on the trip. She is one of the few people in my life that I can get super philosophical with really quick. Her and her partner Kai and Mark and I always get together and have these super existential conversations, it’s really recharging and I was certainly craving chats like that. I always leave hang outs with them wiser, with new perspectives and things to process.
What am I eating?
Square bars are back yew! SO much popcorn (always eating popcorn!) vegan quesadilla, veggie burger made from these great Beyond Burger patties that actually tastes and looks just like meat made from pea protein so it’s very high in protein without animals having to suffer yay! Erm lots of French fries haha, yummy salads, pasta and truffle pizza in Paris mmmmm
The colic relief hold is working really well! It’s Forest’s favorite position to be held, if he seems windy or gassy I always put him in this hold;
It’s funny this is actually a paparazzi shot but it perfectly shows how I hold him to help the gas pass, he falls asleep in this position too. It’s our go-to calming position.
Also toys in the car seat has been great too and has been really helpful this week, he loves the crinkly noise and the little mirror and the rattle the toys make. So it’s been easier in the car for him and all of us!
No complaints right now, I’m feeling really great, I could definitely do with a bit more rest but what mother out there really feels completely well rested? I’m trying to eat a lot to ensure my milk supply doesn’t drop down, if I get too thin it can start to affect my milk, breastfeeding can have that affect on me, so it’s been carb and cheese city at my house!
It’s funny to think years ago (2009-2011) I would have avoided pizza, cheese, bread and pasta! I’ve come to such a healthy place with my body and just appreciating it for what it is and what it can do. When I was in my early 20’s I was so hung up on “clean eating” that I got far too skinny, my face broke out in pimples, I lost my period and I was exercising 6 times a week consistently.
This picture is of me in 2010 on a charity trip to Kenya;
I was never raised to to think about what my body looked like or how many calories were in foods I was eating, but then I came to LA and that quickly changed. I signed with a big agency and soon enough a female agent saw a paparazzi picture of me in a bikini and mentioned that “you could do with some sessions at the gym” oh god. I cringe now thinking about my poor young self, all alone, new to LA and hearing this. Words can be so damaging to a vulnerable young person (or any person for that matter!!) soon, being “healthy and fit” was all I thought about but as I got older I quickly realized that in fact my intense focus on the nutritional value of any food I put in to my mouth wasn’t healthy at all and it was having an adverse impact on my wellbeing. I developed IBS, I had elevated mercury in my system from the huge daily orders of sashimi I was consuming and I really just needed some heartier foods. Most importantly though, I needed to cease being so focused on the food I was eating, I yearned to not think about my food choices every day, I wanted to go back to the time where I just had a simple relationship with food and didn’t give it a second thought.
This picture is my very first trip to LA for auditions in 2006 with my step mum Kaaren, blissfully unaware of the challenges that lay ahead;
In 2012 after 3 years of being so focused on what I ate, I met Mark, fell in love and just came to the decision to listen to my body and eat whatever I craved without the overthought, I was equipped with the knowledge of what served me nutritionally and what didn’t and knew I could find a balance. I also cut down on exercise. Then, a funny thing happened! My body finally looked and felt the way I had wanted it to! It was well nourished, I felt really fit, my weight didn’t fluctuate and my body settled in to where it should be organically AND I was enjoying all the foods that I loved. There was no food I wouldn’t eat which was so nice for a change. For me there was a mental blockage stopping me from living in line with all that I believe in. Now I don’t think twice about the food I eat, I thoroughly LOVE eating food and eat whatever speaks to me and feels good. It’s one of my favorite parts of life and it is completely liberating. Sometimes I wish I could go back to 22 year old Teresa and say “don’t listen to anyone else, you’re enough just the way you are” thats really what I needed to hear but I’m grateful for the experience because through the challenges there are great lessons and I’m truly glad it’s one I learnt. At the source of discomfort there is a gift, even if it’s not always so obvious.
I just want to say that I hope that if you are reading this whilst navigating through feelings of guilt, obsessiveness and insecurity surrounding body image and the food you are eating, that you can take something away from ny story. Please don’t get in your own way, love yourself, listen to your body, treat it with respect, it’s your home. Don’t ignore your desires, don’t deprive yourself or waste time on anything other than being kind to yourself and each other. Let’s connect on that. Let your intuitive voice be the greatest one you hear. Keep shining and let that great life force you have, serve you.
So here is my last Postpartum update! Wow. It has come about so fast and I’m having some big feelings about saying goodbye to this weekly journal and to you all. I have felt very connected to you and love sharing our lives, I’ll be writing updates periodically though and will still love chatting with you all via Instagram. I love feeling a part of a conscious collective. In our experiences thus far with this blog I can honestly say that we haven’t heard or seen anything negative, judgmental or combative amongst our community, what we have seen is so moving. So many mothers giving of themselves, sharing their lives, offering comfort, words of wisdom and support. How beautiful is that? Grateful to all of you for making this experience so pleasant, thanks for the company. Give those babies, kiddos, bellies and bodies a big hug from me. I love you, keep going!