Giving Birth During a Pandemic
Our Instagram feeds have gotten a lot cuter lately, all thanks to the arrival of Sarah Nicole Landry’s little one Lemmie. And not only has it gotten cuter, it’s also gotten a lot realer too.
Honest as always is @thebirdspapaya— sharing a genuine, straightforward, joyous yet often messy glimpse of postpartum life. Sore nipples, newborn poop explosions, and adjusting to back to work life, Sarah has really bared it all— both educating and encouraging us all at once.
We were so excited to catch up with Sarah last week to check in on how she’s doing, and how she’s navigating her new chapter during the pandemic. So throw on your Papaya Leggings and read more about Sarah's postpartum experience, and learn about what she's proudest of so far.
Hi Sarah! What are 3 things you wish you knew before giving birth during the pandemic?
I wish I knew that even though the pandemic had created SO many changes for us, we could still have a beautiful birth and an experience that we loved.
I wish I knew that both life and a pandemic are truly unpredictable— so try to not have a mental “end date”. You’ll set yourself up for potential disappointment when things change and you don’t get an opportunity to do X,Y or Z.
I wish I knew that there would be grief for the things that WOULD have been if it weren’t a pandemic. And that grief is very okay to have.
Has your postpartum experience been different because of it?
It’s been hard to not share Lemmie in person with people that we love. But being at home more really did lend itself to our own time as a family to bond, and gave me an opportunity to heal. I feel like I recovered better than I would have otherwise.
What are some ways you were able to find community during this time?
Online community is amazing! I have never been more grateful. I never felt alone. Not for a minute. I found birth podcasts and talking to those who gave birth in a pandemic were so, so valuable to helping me grasp what was ahead.
What's something new you've learned about your body recently?
At my last midwife appointment, I was asking about certain things that still felt off about me— things like stiffness and soreness. She told me (and I learned) that pregnancy and birth recovery is not just a 6-week journey. It’s actually more like a year, so that definitely made it feel less daunting. It felt like, “I’m okay, I’m doing what I’m supposed to. My body is too”.
From our Life After Birth Project, Sarah reflects on being postpartum: "It took almost a decade to stop feeling ashamed of my softness, my stripes, my scars. And to start seeing and owning my strength, my power, my worth"
What are you proudest of right now?
I think I’m just incredibly proud that as someone who ended up with really difficult prenatal depression, that I sought help. I fought for my mental health and honored my feelings through changes in physical health during my pregnancy— even when it was difficult. I’m really glad that I let myself feel all the feels and didn’t just try and brush them off.