#72 | The Winding Road Through Postpartum with Claude Racine-Valinsky

January 6, 2021

You may remember professional dancer and choreographer Claude Racine-Valinsky from episode #28.  Claude came back on the show today to talk about her postpartum experience – the battle she’s having with the body she’s always counted on; the resentment she feels toward the husband she adores; and the knowledge that her son’s physical and emotional wellness has not merely integrated into her life but has taken center stage. Through her forthright language and tears, what emerges in this episode is a woman taking an honest look at her marriage, motherhood, and even her own childhood, with a wisdom and compassion that she didn’t see coming.

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View Episode Transcript

I went through postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and I felt like I had lost control of basically like, my life, you know, my relationship with my husband everything. I feel helpless in a way and I feel confused and I feel like what the heck is happening and it and then the hardest part too is like no one around you understands. And it's not like you're looking for sympathy but you just want people to like, just see me I guess.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.
You may remember professional dancer and choreographer Claude Racine wolinski from Episode Number 28 came back on the show today to talk about her postpartum experience. The battle she's having with the body she's always counted on the resentment she feels toward the husband she adores, and the knowledge that her son's physical and emotional wellness has not merely integrated into her life but has taken center stage through her forthright language in tears. what emerges in this episode is a woman taking an honest look at her marriage, motherhood and even her own childhood with a wisdom and compassion that she didn't see coming.

Close racing Wolinsky, we're really excited to have you back on the podcast. Yay, hi. Hi, the last time we saw you, you were a mom of four month old Nova. And we made a promise to each other that we would reconnect at the end of the year so that you can look back on your first year of motherhood and tell us what perspectives you've gained. So how old is he now?

He is now almost 11 months old.

All right. So definitely a lot of additional perspective, then you have was four months, right?

Oh, yeah.

So what we want to do in this episode is have you talked to us about like, what would you say are the top two key areas of your life that that brought changes you didn't necessarily expect before you became a mother?

So the top two changes, I would say are definitely my health, like what happened physically, physically and physiologically to my body? And also my relationship with my husband.

All right, which one of those Would you like to talk about first?

Let's talk about the body because the other one is endless, isn't it?

It's endless and it feels a little like rougher on the on the soul.

It is I understand. Yeah. So okay, what what did you learn what?

So, I honestly in my head envisioned, Okay, I'm gonna give birth to Nova. And because I've been so physically active my whole life, I've been a dancer, I'll get I'll be able to snap right back into shape. And not only was that false, there's other things that happened with my health that I never imagined would ever be an issue. I've always been very healthy. I've never smoked, never done drugs. I've you know, I've always been just very healthy. And once I started really trying to lose weight, it was very hard. I mean, I was busting my butt trying to lose weight. And the scale was just stayed even sometimes I was even gaining weight. And I was on ultimate portion fix from Beachbody. I was doing nine week control freak, like I was following it perfectly. And so I got really kind of like, defeated and I was shocked. I'm like, What is happening? So I decided to do another nine weeks of nine week control freak and the scale did not move. So then I thought, Okay, let me go find out what's happening. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with hashimotos disease put me on a thyroid hormone, which made me feel worse, so I couldn't sleep you guys. Like I am a bit I sleep like a bear. And I understand when you have a newborn like that's out of the game, but I thought okay, when no one was able to sleep, I'll be able to sleep but 3am every morning I'm like up and they can't go back to sleep. My joints were hurting really bad. I was losing my hair. I was feeling like sad randomly throughout the day, or I would wake up feeling sad and like feel like the life is ending as I know it. And then there's the weight loss problem. So I was Expecting when I got that thyroid hormone for all that to start changing and feel better, but actually my joints started feeling worse, everything got worse. So I got this book called thyroid healing. And he explains that there's actually a virus called epstein barr virus that is attacking the body, as opposed to your body attacking itself, which can make you feel really shitty. Like, why is my body attacking itself?

Are you talking Anthony William afeni. Williams book? Yeah, yeah, yes. And a friend had recommended that to me. And of course, like, I'm just kind of like, what? I've never had any issues with my body, like, this is really frustrating. And I'm still till this day, like trying to accept it. And I'm just kind of pissed. I'm like, wait, but why? Why as if pregnancy wasn't hard enough, and birth and raising a baby. And now you're telling me that my body is like, fighting itself? And so I'm literally in the process right now of figuring out okay, well, what is the best way to heal what is happening to my body and Anthony William, he suggests, you know, obviously, through diet and food, so I've eliminated gluten, and I've eliminated all dairy, all the things that I love, and what's not happy to part with, you know, 39 years later, so I do feel better, but I still feel like I'm transitioning. So I'm still eliminating whatever toxins were there for so long. And I'm actually seeing another doctor today. He's like an Eastern medicine guy to see what his opinion is. Because apparently, most doctors don't know about the EBV virus or like it can't it doesn't come up in your blood work. So they don't spot it. They just go, Oh, you have all these antibodies. You have hashimotos your body you have autoimmune take this thyroid. And apparently, according to Anthony Williams, that's not the case.

He says the body is never fighting itself.

Right? It's always protecting you from something.

So for you, it's like this emotional journey of always feeling like the one thing you had down in your life was your body. You just felt like I've got this great body, it works for me. You're a professional dancer, and choreographer. And suddenly, you feel like you're hearing these mixed messages. One doctor is saying it's attacking itself. And Anthony, William comes along and says, you just have all this stuff you need to eliminate and it involves completely changing the diet. How do you feel emotionally with all this, like what's going on? I know, like, I mean, like, I'm, it's like, hard to say, but like, I'm actually pretty devastated about it.

The one thing I had control of my whole life was my body.

And then, I've always been like, in control of my life, like I followed my dreams, I became a professional dancer, like, everything always went, like, well for me, because I worked hard for it. And so after having Nova, it was like, I went through postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and I felt like I had lost control of basically like, my life, you know, my relationship with my husband, everything was like I was, that was controlling me. And then I thought, okay, at least, I'll still be able to, like, work out, have control over my body. And then I lost that. And now and now it feels like no matter how much control I do put in, it is still controlling me. So I feel helpless in a way. And I feel confused. And I feel like, what the heck is happening, and it and then the hardest part too, is like no one around you understands. And it's not like, you're looking for sympathy, but you just want people to like, I don't know, just see me, I guess. If you know, people are like, well just maybe think positive, or, you know, it's your mindset and this and that. And you're just like, you know, I used to think like that, and that used to work.

And it's not working. That's so easy.

No. Um, so there's that part to it. You kind of feel I feel a little isolated and alone. And you know, it's a huge, the biggest shift, the biggest change in my life I have ever had to deal with.

And that was something you had certainty over and suddenly you have uncertainty around it.

Yep. Just so so much of it.

We have no idea. We just have no idea entering motherhood, what kind of changes in our life or how they're going to feel what they're going to be it is such a turning in the car Over experience, like everything dumped out, and you've got to pick up the pieces and put it all back together so differently. Yeah, and not in a way that we expect. And often, often, it's the opposite of what we anticipate.

Yeah. And I think that's the hardest part is envisioning, like what, how something is going to turn out. And, and I'm always such a, I've been an advocate of, okay, have a plan, but just go with the flow, because usually the plan doesn't work out exactly how you've planned it. But you know, my mom is very thin, she's been thin her whole life. She had my brother and I so eat motherhood was very easy for her. I never heard her complain about it. She got her body back like that. And my friends who are dancers, same thing, you know, I'm scrolling on Instagram, and these girls are like, they just never had children. And I in my head, I was like, oh, that'll be me. No, it was like code, you're gonna be fine. You know, all my friends, I'll code you'll bounce right back. And so now that I'm not, it's like, I don't even know if it's embarrassing. But I was in the beginning embarrassed about being around people, because I was at my heaviest. And I didn't want anyone see me like that. Um, but yeah, so I just had such a different reality in my, in my mind about how all this was going to turn out. And then I, you know, you question like, well, is, What lesson Am I supposed to learn from this? Or, you know, how did I manifest this outcome?

What have you come up with so far?

To answer that question, if you Yeah, if you could answer if you could guess what you would say, in five years, if you could see yourself in five years looking back and saying I didn't know it at the time. But that was the biggest blessing in disguise of my life. And what would be the explanation for it, I think this is like, the ultimate let go and stop trying to control and accept. And I'm still working on it. So it's hard. I'm squinting as I say. But, um, I think it's the mitt, my friend told me, she's like, you need to just accept it, let go of trying to control it. And, and so I think that in five years, I'll go, man, if I were to just let go a little and not been so hard on myself and accepted, where I was at, I would have healed probably a lot faster.

I mean, isn't that the the challenge in life, whenever anything changes, is, you know, we are all resistant to change, we all like to keep on our set path that's comfortable and familiar. But being quite a few years down the road, in parenting from where you are taking that advice. But you just giving taking that advice that you just stated is, the sooner you can accept that in practice that the better and easier things will be because it doesn't change as our kids grow up. It's all it's all the same. It's still having to accept all these things about who you thought your child was going to be who you thought your daughters can be who you thought your son was going to be. And they're different from that, and you don't understand it, or they, whatever it is, it's just, it is so much when the transition to motherhood and Parenthood is this total process of surrendering to the new way into these new beings, these new people, and whatever they bring into your life.

Yes. And I think like as far as Nova goes, I mean, I resisted him for a very long time. I was like, my mom kept saying, like, you need to just accept that he's here. And, like, even still now, like, every day, it gets easier, and I accept him more and more, and I feel more and more like his mom. Whereas before, I didn't feel like that, you know, I just felt like, Okay, well, this thing is here, and I just have to keep it alive and keep it happy. And make sure he grows up to be like, sane. But now I finally see Nova I'm finally feeling that bond and that connection with him. Whereas for the first like, six, seven, even eight months, you know, he was here and I love him and he's cute. But I it's so hard to explain. But I finally have accepted him in my life and like someone that I get to hang out with and connect with and a new person that's with me every day.

I think it takes time for a lot of mothers to step in to feeling like the role is authentic that Yeah, first it feels like we're just sort of role playing. It's like oh yeah, here's this baby like I'm you know, playing house like I did when I was a kid. And then after a while, slowly but surely, you know, you you ease into the genuine feeling of being a mom. Yeah.

And I never really thought about being a mom. I never wanted to be a mom. It was never like, a thing in my head. So when I became a mom, and we plan Nova, I didn't want to be a mom until I met Noah. And then he made he was like, he changed something in me and I thought we were having a kid with you would, is something I would want to do. So Nova was definitely wanted, but the actual I had the hardest time being like unclothed a mom, I'm a mom. We had no idea. Like, it just did it. It didn't connect. But now I see that like being a mom, does it mean I have to be a mom, like what I always envisioned? A mom was right. And I'm learning every day. What that can mean for me. Yeah.

So tell us a little bit about how becoming a mom has changed your relationship. You guys have, you and your partner have come from a place of being very connected through just the way you fell in love, as well as the fact that you work and create together. So tell us what it's like.

Well, it was definitely a shock. I would say like the fourth day after Nova was born. I was like, man, we're never gonna get to cuddle again. We're never going to get to sit on the couch and just watch TV together again. Okay, so those were my fears then. And then as it progressed, and Nova goes to bed every night at 730. We get like three hours together, we eat dinner together, we watch TV together. Then the issue became, well, he, he gets to kind of go do whatever he wants, like we used to do jujitsu together. So now he still does jujitsu, but I can't necessarily go I have to stay with Nova. And the thing with me is, the things that I enjoyed doing before Nova was born were things I got to do with Noah, my husband, so he's always like, go do this, like find something that you can and I'm like, Well, I'm like a homebody, I've been a homebody my whole life, the things that I enjoyed doing were with you, and you still get to go ride your bike, your motorcycle, I don't know how to, I've taken a class, but I'm not going out in LA riding a motorcycle by myself. I like going with you. And now I can't. And, um, you know, that part is a little bit hard for me, because I feel like my freedom in that area has been taken away. But also, you know, dealing with postpartum and dealing with all this stuff. Like it's hard to feel, for me feel sad, and like, down and defeated and be around other people, because you don't want to put that on them. But at the same time, you want to be honest with how you feel. And I think it's definitely taken a toll on on him. And I don't think a lot of people look at Oh, well, how is this affected the dad. Um, but there's just a lot of like, new stuff there that we don't, we're just figuring out, he's done the best he can to be there for me. But sometimes I feel like he'll never really understand. And I think that women are I was thinking about this this morning. Like, maybe this is just my experience, but our emotions and things we go through have been ridiculed for so long. Like, oh, they're crazy. Women are crazy. Women are so emotional. And I honestly used to think like that too. And actually tried to avoid being those things for so long. But now that I'm a mom, and I'm going through what I'm going through, I can't avoid it, I have to confront it. And, and now I'm like, we shouldn't be ridiculed a we're freaking superheroes for doing what we do. And be like, This shit is very real. And everyone can look at you and say, you know, you got to get this under control. You just think positive just it's your mind. And you can feel crazy. And so I did for for a while with Noah it was you feel like you I felt like I had to pretend like I was okay. So that I would avoid like any weirdness with him. Does that make sense? And Totally, yeah. Then you bottle it up and then that creates a a sort of a separation between you two because I'm essentially lying.

It's inauthentic, right? You're not being authentic. Right what you're feeling?

I think for me, like how I was raised, and I do not like blame my parents like they, they're amazing parents and they did the best they could, but there was like a, like I was talking about before, like a ridicule on like women and their periods and PMS. And you know, I have to deal with that. I'm like, you have to deal with that you poor thing, all trade places with you any day, dude. Okay. And I think there's just a lack of acceptance in that area. And I have been my whole life trying to not be that that like, for me, I didn't even feel guilty or have those thoughts of like, well, I wanted this, like, we both wanted to be parents. My thing is, like, why can't I rise above? What is happening to me, like mentally or emotionally? Like, how can I? You know, I mean, well, you're not supposed to This is, uh, you know, I don't know, if you, you wouldn't know this. But when I was listening to you talk, I literally welled up with tears. And I literally got goosebumps on my arms, because I didn't see that coming. But it was so beautiful listening to you, you were saying that you admitted that you used to just kind of disregard the emotional side of women, and maybe not take them so seriously. And the analogy came into my mind of how women started really entering the corporate workforce in the 80s. And the clothing style in the 80s. They had women with huge shoulder pads and long neck ties, and suits, because it was like, how can we be more like men? Because the assumption was men are doing it right? And then that transitioned into everything else. Like how can we do life? Right? Be more like a man don't express Yes. And you know, what's happening for you? This is the definition of growth. This is the basis of wisdom. And this is the wisdom that's going to be the mother who raises your son.

Yeah. Yeah, it definitely just went crack, open, close. And here we go. let you know. And I and I have men in my life, obviously, my dad, my brother, they're, they're amazing. But there is a lot of like, oh, women are so emotional. I can't handle all this emotion, which I remind them every time they say that I go, do you understand that anger is an emotion and you get angry about 50 times a day. And, and I have to also deal with your impatience and your anger, but somehow that's like, more accepted and more Okay, then our crying and our, um, I don't I don't know our ability, humility, all of it, that it's a perceived weakness when it's a strength.

Yes. 100%. And so I, for a long time, was trying to hide that. And no, I didn't know like, I wasn't, I didn't know what was happening. Like two weeks after I had Nova. And I had like, the worst anxiety I didn't want. No, I did leave because I was afraid to be with Nova by myself. Like, I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle him. If he starts crying, like, I needed Noah in a way that I had never thought I would need him when it came to that. And after two weeks of that, Noah was like, Alright, quote, like, you got to get it together. And I remember being like, Oh, God, I gotta get it together. And then but you, you really can't get it together. But you have to pretend like you have it together so that you don't make that person mad. I mean, there's so much crap, he finally understood me. I had to look at him with it and tell him like, Listen, like I've thought about this is going to be very graphic, but I have thought about shooting myself in the head more times than I ever would like to admit. Okay. And I don't want to even admit that to myself. And I'm telling you, and he finally I think saw me and like how dark that could be. But then the minute that I started acting like I was like happy and Okay. Then people go up, she's fine. It's it's an interesting, it's, it's giving you guys I will be honest, I am learning to be very, very compassionate towards others. And they're suffering. We're in the, in the past. I would be like, that same mentality of You got this, you'll get over it. It's just your mind. And now I'm like, No, I have I have way more compassion and empathy for people and their suffering. It's insane.

You're having a truly transformative experience. Like the other head becoming a mother is a transformative experience in itself, but the way you are experiencing and what you are going through the depth of darkness that you Felt like the becoming a mother on top of going through one of those. What do they call them? Dark Nights of the soul or start working like, yeah, your whole world just changes in you it is a it is an opening, it is a cracking open and you see and feel others experiences so differently after you've been through something like that.

Yeah. You your example of as soon as you start seeming like you're normal again, or at least let's say like highly functioning again. People are thinking, Okay, she's good. And we we had an episode, a roundtable of moms who experienced stillbirth and the same things, people are just looking for the sign that they're functioning. And then they're like, She's good. We don't ever need to talk about this again. And they never want to stop talking about it. That's that that's their, that their nightmare is for everyone to act like it never happened. But you made me think of another really funny little anecdote from one of the postpartum groups. Were exactly in line with what you were just saying about as soon as you seem like you're fine. Everyone's like, Oh, god, she's fine. We had a woman in the group whose husband played golf, God help her he played golf. So like Saturdays and Sundays, he would sometimes be out of the house for just, you know, you hang out or you wait till the end of the week, to like, maybe share a little bit more of the parenting. He would just disappear for the entire day. And her resentment was off the charts. And there was a weekend where he was like, You know what, this weekend? I'm not going to play like, this is his big thing to her. Like, I know you're exhausted. I know you're up every night. I'm not gonna play. And when we start our group, we usually say what was your high and low of the week, and she said my high was Saturday because my husband didn't play golf. And I took this three hour nap in the afternoon. It was amazing. And then the next day, after another sleepless night, she was irritable with him. Of course, her needs weren't met instantly. By the next day, she was tired again. She was exhausted again. And he turned her and said, I don't get it. Where's all this coming from? You had a nap. It's just like, how, like you an afternoon. You might you might over it, you can expect of a mother that you have any sense of what she'll be feeling from one day to the next because her needs are changing day to day as well. Like, yeah, it was almost comical. So she had this crash on Sunday when he said that to her because she just said how do I even explain to you I need that. I need that every day and I'm not going to be getting it.

Right. And that's also to its you know, Noah is he's super hands on like he did not neither of us have a nine to five. So we're both here doing raising Nova together, you know, so it's very 5050. But what I found is I am still micromanaging. You know, I still am the one that says, okay, it's 945 time for his bottle. nap at 10. And then hey, can you feed him lunch? Okay, well, what should we feed him? You know, it's it always goes through the mom filter.

And that will not change. I'm like, that will not change.

Why? Don't Understand? Just know.

Just know. Yeah. Now someday it'll be Wait, what time? Do I pick them up from basketball? Wait, what time? Do you want us to see where today?

And then I just feel like the job is double. As opposed to having someone who is helping you with about thinking about half of the things. I'm thinking about 100% of the things you're just helping me do the action, if that makes sense? Well, now I'm managing you if that we see this, you know, it's called the mother lode that you have to keep the mental management of everything going on. It's Yeah, yeah. I don't want to be that buddy. But at the same time, I'm not going to deal with the consequences of if I'm not that person.

You know, and like Cynthia said, this this is it just goes on and on and on. No, even when you have incredibly helpful partners like Cynthia and I both do we you know, have husbands who are highly involved. But for example, just last night, my husband put my son to bed. And what did he do, Tony, you know, it was great that you put him to bed because I was working on something too late and he took them and put them to bed. I woke up this morning got out of bed. He's still wearing his clothes from yesterday. But yes, I swear to God, how did neither of them realize this? It's one thing when it's like a one year old and they were nine he's nine and and he thinks it's awesome when he doesn't have to change in his clothes at night. So he was probably thrilled. But it's more. It's like the husband like how how many times have we had this discussion about like, change of clothes, brush the teeth? I mean, put the chat the bed, but this is what I mean by Michael it's the mental Yes, that goes up. Had I happened to just walk by them around that bedtime hour, my mind immediately would have kicked in and like, Hey, I see you're still wearing the same clothes, change the clothes, pajamas. See the thing? You know, it's like, there is a background wheel turning in a mother's mind 24 seven, that just will never be in a man's mind. Never. I don't think their brains are wired that way. So I don't know if we can fault them and they are not the quickest learners.

Many Honestly, I don't know. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna go there. I'm not gonna I could not the quickest harness. Fine, say that. But I don't want to say that. I don't want to say that I don't like, No, no, it's not You're right. They are different. Trisha, I'm not disagreeing in that respect. I'm afraid to give that any excuse me legs. Because because a lot life is very different for let's say, in an opposite sex marriage life is very different. For a man whose wife has it all together, he really can rest a little bit more true. But if we go away for two weeks, you know, a part of his brain is gonna fire up. They are they have such a deep security and assurance subconsciously, that we have everything ultimately totally under control. And we will get their attention if they miss anything.

Yep. And, and I and my brother is a single father. He has like, raised his son, basically by himself since he was, I think, like four months old. For the last like few weeks, six years, I think has had him most of the time. And that's how I know that a man is capable because my brother is the one that has to think about. Did he brush his teeth? Did he eat? Did he take a shower? You got to do you know, now you got to do your schoolwork. And I watched my brother manage all of this on his own he they were just staying with us for a week. And so I know that it's possible. But I think Cynthia, you nailed it on the head by saying like, they know that we have it under control. And so they do relax. They know hey, clubs thinking about it. I don't have to. And we went to Vegas last week. And on the way back on the way there. I sat in the back basically the whole time and then I fed Nova his lunch in his car seat. On the way back. I'm always kind of waiting, like is Noah gonna offer? Because I'm sitting in the back. Hey, babe. I'll feed him his lunch. But no, and then unlike, so you're going to sit in the back and feed him his lunch now. Right? And he was like, Oh, I really don't want to and I'm like, but you're okay with me doing all of that, again, while you sit in the front and relax. Like that kind of stuff to me. It?

I don't know, it's insulting. I've said it this way. If you don't want to do it, or if you opt not to do it. By default, that means I must do it.

Now. I mean, yeah, I'm not set. Do you think I want to be in the back, feeding him his lunch like, like, one piece of avocado getting everywhere. Like, I would like to relax and eat my salad in the front, too. And when Noah does acknowledge that I feel like okay, you do see me because it's not just the stuff that you see out here. It's like you as we're saying 24 seven. Like, if we have to go on a trip, like I'm the one making the list of all the things that we have to bring. And I'm the one thinking like, Okay, well, we have three hours to like, wake up, and no one's like, Oh, we have plenty of time. You're Hi. Like, we have to start we have to feed Nova, he's probably gonna poop, then we have to change him. That takes some time. And then we have to like there's a million things that I feel like men are just like, it's gonna be fine. Okay, well, he has to nap at 10. And then, you know, I feel like I get a little bit of slack from people in general about my schedule with Nova, his sleep schedule. Like, why are you so like he has to nap at 10? Well, are you the one that's going to deal with him the rest of the day when he doesn't get his nap at 10? o'clock? But like, can't you just like relax? No, I don't want to relax. Because if he doesn't go to sleep at 10, I will be more stressed. And, and that's something too, that I feel. I would love for people around, you know, my brother and stuff like that to just understand. Don't question it. It's already hard enough. You know? And also, these are things like I don't know, and I don't want to chance like there are things that I have learned with, you know, sleep has been a huge trigger for me with baby baby sleep. And then there are some things that like went awry sometimes like maybe he didn't get the full amount of daytime sleep he needed but he still slept through the night. And once that happened, I relaxed in that area a little bit or Oh, he can sleep through that amount of noise. Because in the beginning, you're like, Don't wake him up. And people would be like clothes, just chill. Like just please stop telling me to There's a reason why I feel like this Just let me be if everyone would stop paying so much attention to like how someone is parenting and what they're doing, and just focus on like, how they're feeling, how they're feeling how they're feeling, because everyone wants to feel not only supported but like seen and appreciated. Yes. For what they're doing it because the big the thing that's so unfair is when one person might say to that mom, like when her partner may say to her, Oh, you were made to do this, but you're better at it than I am. It's like, no, don't you dare. Not that I disagree. Don't get better. Don't you dare imply This is like as fulfilling to me. As next thing. I do this out of love. I do this out of like all the love in me I do the work. I may not feel like doing. Because I'm so responsible. I'm so loving. Hard to do this. Yes. But don't don't let's not even pretend that I'm doing this because it is necessarily fun or fulfilling every minute of this. This is very hard anxiety inducing work a lot of the time.

Yes. And I am always putting him Nova before me like, you'll never see me packing my lunch first, or you'll never see me Get dressed before I dress him or pack for me before I pack for him. Like, I need to make sure that a little dude is taken care of. And then I can take care of me which that selflessness too. I feel like maybe men aren't as wired. And what's funny is before Nova was born, I would tell no, everyday, you're going to be the best mom and I'm going to be the best dad because he is so nurturing. He likes to take care of people. He likes to help people be there for them. He needs something to love and nurture. But even still, like the amount of work that it takes with a baby, emotionally and the patience that it takes it, I just I was wired for that. I didn't even think I had that in me. And once you become a mom, it just awakens. I don't know how else to put it because I never imagined I would ever be that nurturing and this and that. But there it is. It's my responsibility to make sure that he is okay. In every aspect emotionally, physically, that he's fed that he sleeps well, that he's feels loved and that he feels safe. Like that's on me. And, and he doesn't know. I know. And and that, like I have such a admiration for little babies and little kids more than I ever did. I always loved kids, babies not so much I was never around them. But now I just go oh my god, like I I could cry about it thinking of the mistreatment, sometimes of kids and how they're suppressed. I don't like how I was suppressed as a kid. So all of those things, I just look at novago Man, I don't want to do any of that to you. I want you to feel free and safe. And that's on me. Like, I have to do that for you. No one else is gonna do it for you. Like he doesn't even feel like I say this to people like he's not he's not mine. You know what I mean? Like, I am the vessel that brought him here. But like, he's so his own little dude. That I just I go, Okay, I trust you, dude, like, go to you. I'm gonna keep you safe. But man, I trust you. And I'm not here to like break you and make you into what I want to make you into. I'm here to guide you into just figuring out who you are. And like that responsibility right there that that supersedes anything else that's going on in my life. Like for real?

I just saw darn good parenting right there.

Thank you. Talk about wisdom. Have you heard of Kahlil Gibran? The Prophet?

Well clothed you just somehow tapped into some enlightenment there. My mother read this one at our wedding. This is the one that my mother read or wedding This is one little. There's a beautiful one on on marriage. And it has to do with like the pillars that can't be too far apart or the structure will crumble. But if they're too close together, so too, it will crumble. It's just beautiful. But look at this little phrase about children. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

Oh, I'm a prophet al you're a prophet you are.

Oh my God, that's beautiful. So weird. Like I feel like I'm I have I'm really it's Nova is the easy part. You know, it's easy to be wise and to be healthy and to be patient and to be present for him. It's so easy. Now the work is like how Do I do that with me? How do I accept all of that and be that gracious to myself? Because the change is so drastic. And I and I was holding on to the old code for so long, and I was holding on to my relationship with Nova Noah. I'm like, No, don't go. And I think not I think I know that accepting this new me and the new relationship with Noah even accepting, like the hardships because we're just figuring it out. There's a new thing that does that requires so much attention from me and from him. And you know, let's not even talk about like, Hello. I and I felt so much better when I read this about the epstein barr virus, it can lower your libido. But for a long time, I was like, like, I don't want children.

Yeah, but like, Are you kidding me? I'm not thinking about sex right now. I don't even like my okay. I don't like my body be I feel crazy in my head. See, I'm freaking exhausted from the day. And I don't I'm not complaining. I'm just saying like, these are what this is what's happening. And now I'm supposed to, like exert some energy and like, get be sexual with my husband, oh, my God, like I just like could not get myself to like, fake wanting to do that. And thank God, like Noah was so patient, and very understanding about that area. Like he's one of the most understanding people I think no one will ever really understand the way that we want them to. Because they don't they haven't experienced it. So there's just so much around me that's about accepting, like you said, This, Trisha, like, accepting that men unless they like have to like my brother. Maybe they they don't think like that. They're not detail oriented.

That that is that is it is true that Oh, females brain is hardwired to multitask. And, and romance is not like there are a whole bunch of other connections that go on between the two sides in the brain and a female brain.

And I do want to reiterate, like, instead of fighting it, you know, resisting? Why is he like that? or Why can't he think of it like that? Why can't he think about it the way I think about it, but you know, I think like my, what I'm coming up against in all of this is like acceptance and accepting that he will and may not ever think that way. But that's okay. Maybe this is my responsibility as a woman and as a mom in this lifetime.

If you enjoy our podcast please take a moment to leave us a review on Apple podcasts and share a favorite episode or two. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @downtobirthshow or contact us and review show notes at downtobirthshow.com. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and  as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

You know what I'm thinking?

We should keep interviewing you every six months.

Watch how it evolves because it really is a journey and you're gonna keep having new perspective changing. You're gonna say, Oh, I don't feel that way anymore, but this is what's going on now. Mm hmm. Would that be fun for you?

I love talking to you guys. And I love getting to like share this with women who understand and also hopefully, women who listen and go, Okay, well, I'm not the only one that feels like shooting myself in the head or like I don't want to have sex with my husband, which are topics that no one wants to say out loud or even admit to themselves.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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