Like many moms, Jewish and not, I struggled heavily both emotionally and physically following the birth of my first child. I knew I’d need help the second time around. Almost immediately after I found out I was pregnant with my second this past spring, I did some research, got a few names, and ultimately booked a postpartum doula.
Doula: /ˈduːlə/ noun 1. a woman who is trained to provide support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period following the birth.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share my gratitude for this incredible woman.
To Margaret, who has been my caregiver/partner/mom/mentor/nurse/best friend for the past six weeks:
Thank you for easing the worry that comes with bringing home a preemie.
Thank you for doing our laundry every single day.
Thank you for making bottles, cleaning bottles, and sanitizing bottles.
Thank you for taking my toddler to the park on warm days so she could get fresh air while I stayed home to recover.
Thank you for reassuring me that my mental health is more important than pumping breastmilk.
Thank you for telling me to nap.
Thank you for cuddling with my baby girl, keeping her swaddled tight, and clearing her nose out like a pro.
Thank you for walking our bored-to-death dog who will surely miss your daily presence almost as much as I will.
Thank you for feeding us. All of us.
Thank you for answering all of my questions about lactation, baby’s sleep, diapers, c-section scars, and sex.
Thank you for cleaning my kitchen countertops and sweeping the floor.
Thank you for teaching my toddler how to eat go-gurt, stir mac and cheese, and collect the prettiest fall leaves.
Thank you for having open and frank conversations with me about postpartum anxiety and depression.
Thank you for tidying up the playroom each day.
Thank you for sharing your loved ones with us. We are so excited to have your daughter babysit!
Thank you for providing me with the kind of help and support I didn’t know I needed the first time around.
Lindsey Garelick Tjernlund is a writer, former teacher, and stay at home mom to two adorable little girls. She was born and raised in the Twin Cities suburbs, but has since relocated to the country. For more of her thoughts, stories, and poems about parenting, follow her blog at: countrymousemama.wordpress.com