So first I should explain that Jessica is my niece - the daughter of my sister Julie, who I’m super close to, we all actually hang out often and know pretty much everything that is going on in each other’s lives. We all live within a couple of miles of each other. Jess came over today and agreed to let me interview her about her nest time.
me: Hi Jes - tell us something about yourself first
jes: This is really weird. Um…I’m 27. I am a mother of a 15 month old boy and I’m able to stay at home and be with him all day which is nice
me: Thanks - ok…tell us a bit about your birth
jes: My birth was a planned homebirth. I knew I wanted to have a homebirth for a couple of years now. And it went just as I had imagined.
me: How had you imagined it?
jes: I imagined low lighting, peaceful sounds, minimal people. In the water. I guess that’s a good enough description.
me: Looking back on it, what was the best thing about your birth? Or, one of the best things.
jes: Feeling comfortable in the environment I was in. Not feeling vulnerable
me: You felt safe?
(interlude to tend to children…..pick up dropped cookies…etc.)
me: So, we were talking the other day about how common it is for most women to have a really hard time the first few weeks after birth.
jes: Yea, they are hormonal, vulnerable, and may even go as far as depressed when it’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life…well, one of them.
me: And then I asked you, what about your time after you had Xander and you had said that it went pretty well.
me: What would you define as “well”?
jes: Well I was happy. I didn’t feel too overwhelmed. I didn’t feel over stressed or very tired. I mean of course you’re going to have some tired times, but…
me: Looking back on it, it was a really nice time?
jes: Yes. A very nice time.
me: Ok, so why do you think you had a nice time when most of the other people you know about don’t?
jes: I think its because I had a really good suppport system of friends and family that I trusted and relied on.
me: Did you create a nest before the birth?
jes: I had it planned out and I knew - I fixed my room the way I wanted it but I did little tweaks after - I would say this - that I procrastinated because I thought I would go into labor later than I did but I had planned to have it set up before.
(Jes had gone into labor a few days before her due date)
me: And you thought you’d go late because your mom and I both told you that you would probably would
jes: Yea, basically.
me: Which is interesting that you went early because all the women in our family always go late especially for the first baby.
me: Ok so, what had you planned?
jes: As far as the nest?
jes: a co sleeper
a breakfast in bed tray
a nice bedside table
what do we call the basket of all the things you need for diaper changing, cord care?
me: Let’s call it the “Nest Basket”
jess: Ok, that. Because it is huge, that basket thing - I used that constantly. Also,
lots of towels
baskets within throwing distance, for laundry and trash
a chair for people to sit on so they would not be sitting on my bed in the room.
I guess your nest can be anywhere - it doesnt have to be your bedroom - it can be anywhere you can spend all day - that you would want to spend all day - close to a bathroom and a kitchen because you don’t want to be walking too far and away from your nest. But you need to be comfortable enough to sleep well too.
me: How long was it before you left the house for the first time after your birth?
jes: well, it had been a week and I walked outside with him - it was a nice day and I thought it would be nice to get some sunshine. But, drove away from the house? I would say it was at least a month - month and a half and at that rarely for the first 3 months did we go places.
me: I remember this time last year we went to lunch with Gramma - and I picked you up. How old would Xander have been then?
jes: 3 months
me: And I remember it was a super big occasion because it seemed like the first time you had left the house. It was the “I just had a baby lunch”!
jes: Other than going to the store, it basically was.
me: So you really had like a 3 month nest time?
me: Looking back on it - on that time, now a year later….does it feel like it was long time? 3 months?
jes: Awww - Zara just farted - it’s really bad..!!
(laughing…as Jes goes to get Xander out of the toilet…)
jes: Ok, that I was nesting? Not really but it felt like ENOUGH time. I was ready to get out a little bit and to show him off.
me: Well, he is so cute, he should be shown off…
ok, so it felt like just enough time? the 3 months
me: How was the food?
jes: Good. I ate whatever people brought me - everyone brought really good food and I had people get me what I wanted too.
me: And you were really clear with them?
jes: Yea and the frozen lunches were very helpful too
me: Oh? Where’d you get those?
jes: From you
me: What was your favorite?
jes: The Butter Chicken
(Jes and I are both “foodies” and love Indian food)
me: You’re still addicted to that after all this time too - you make that at least once a week now don’t you?
jes: Yea - and grasshopper cookies - I had alot of them
me: We also talked about putting Xander in the car for the first time
jes: Yea -
me: What was that like?
jes: That was not fun and he was at least a couple weeks old
me: It’s cool that there was no interruption for you and Xander between the birth and the going into the nest and how big that is looking back on it
(at this point, the babies demanded our whole attention and we had to stop…look for more conversations with Jessica later….)