Mama Muse • Stacey Zenzmaier

Mother of three

" biggest challenge was finding me in it all. You rebirth yourself just as much as you birth a child, and navigating who this person is a crazy beautiful ride."

My name is Stacey. I am a mother of two boys 6 & 3, with another baby on the way. I am a Health Coach helping people be their own healers through mindset, connection and breaking patterns. I don't have a lot of 'me' time, but am generally studying something to do with health and wellness.

My journey into motherhood was rather unique. Our first born has Congenital Heart Disease. At our 20 week scan, we found out about his condition and what followed was a wild journey of ups and downs. At 31 weeks pregnant we were told it would be a miracle for him to survive. He arrived, was whisked away, endured 3 open heart surgeries and countless other harrowing experiences across 6 months in ICU and another 2 months on the ward. At 8 months we were able to finally bring him home as "palliative care" and it was a full time nursing job with all his medications, breathing apparatus and feeding tube.

For the next 5 months, we had to help him through his oral aversion so he would eat via his mouth and we could get the feeding tube out. He had a CPAP (breathing machine) to assist resting during sleep for the first 18 months. He is an absolute miracle, defying all odds and today you would have no idea what he has been through unless we told you. At 3.5yrs he was taken off the Palliative Care list. He went from strength to strength and to this day is so healthy, vibrant and oozes love.

My second Mumming experience was much more relaxed. No issues outside the normal things that Mums navigate like birth recovery, learning to breastfeed and doing all the regular things at home whilst managing a toddler as well. I have been blessed with two incredible and wildly different experiences.

What was your favourite thing about the newborn phase?

My favourite thing about the newborn phase is the snuggles and breastfeeding. That feeling that you are their whole world and exactly where you need to be.

What did you find challenging about being a new mother?

The challenges I faced were pretty extreme for a new mother, however like most mothers could probably connect to, I feel my biggest challenge was finding me in it all. You rebirth yourself just as much as you birth a child, and navigating who this person is a crazy beautiful ride.

 How were you supported during your postpartum period and what would you change if you could go back in time?

I was supported in both postpartum periods in different ways of course. I wouldn't change any of it other than to go in much more prepared with how I would like it to be. This is something I am currently expressing and working through with my husband for our next little one on the way. Preparing meals and asking others to contribute where possible. Also asking for help with the siblings. Accepting help has always been a challenge for me and something I continue to work on.

My top 3 essentials for a new mother

  1. Loads of water to help flush anything out post birth and to help with breastfeeding,
  2. A healthy mindset around your expectations of yourself,
  3. Taking moments to just breathe - breathe life back into yourself whether it's the breastfeeding moments or when they fall asleep, just whenever you can consciously breathe and feel into your body relaxing it where you can. All the materialistic things mean nothing at the end of the day, although some can be very useful. I learnt through my journey that you can do without all of them, but it's an incredibly difficult journey if there is no connecting to your mind, body and spirit.
Are there any rituals or practices during your 4th trimester you'd like to share?

For the fourth trimester (as mentioned) being present, breathing, mindfully listening to your body and your thoughts. Create a morning ritual for you where you start your day loving you. It could be 10mins. But just connecting to yourself and practicing gratitude can make all the difference to a good or bad day. You get to write your own story.

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