31 Jul Mom of the Month: Meet Aviva Lehmann!
To say that Aviva Lehmann is busy is quite an understatement. The full-time working mom just welcomed baby #3 to her brood! Major Kagan Lehmann was born on June 5 and has two older sisters (and two dogs) who adore him. If you’re a regular at postnatal or Baby & Me yoga, then chances are you have seen Aviva deftly managing as only an experienced mother could do. As a mom of three, we wondered how things are different this time around.
1. What has been the most unexpected thing that motherhood has brought you (or that baby has brought you?) the third time around?
At 40 (now 41), being pregnant with my third, I knew that this would be my last time to experience pregnancy, childbirth, the baby phase, etc. Knowing that, I really cherished the experience more than with my first two. With the first two, I complained more about discomforts, I found it harder to be ‘in the moment.’ I found it very difficult to balance (full-time) work and family. With this one, I really did tell myself every day, “Enjoy it, because you will never have today again.” As a result, I definitely feel more in the moment and amidst daily chaos, I find a strange sort of Zen and unique happiness that feels so precious. We are tired, but blissful!
2. If you could go back and give yourself advice as a first-time mom, what would it be? Would you change anything about your new mom experience?
Definitely sleep when the baby sleeps! Seems obvious, but it is the most important point that I can emphasize. Especially if you are breastfeeding—sleep deprivation is REAL! With my first two, I was also an insane fanatic about breastfeeding. I have definitely chilled out, and my sanity thanks me for it. If my husband gives the baby a bottle of formula at 4 am, it is NO BIG DEAL! The old me would have been too stubborn to allow my husband to help me with feedings. You don’t have to kill yourself to prove a point, you know?
3. How was your birthing experience this time compared to the first two times?
I definitely didn’t have straightforward births. Six years ago, with our first, I planned a natural childbirth with a doula. Then I ended up having an emergency C-section at week 30. I was so upset, I felt like natural childbirth was stolen from me. But the experience taught me that we can plan all we want and the universe laughs. You have to just go with it; no judgement. The most important thing to have is good health for mom and baby. Period. With our second daughter, 4 years ago, I was lucky enough to have a full-term vaginal birth. I am still so grateful for that experience. Then with our third, I had another C-section, three weeks early. I was upset but knew by now to just ‘go with it.’
4. How has your new baby affected the family dynamics?
We now have three kids, and two dogs in our NYC apartment. It is chaotic to say the least! The first few weeks were rough, trying to find our footing in this new reality. But we have found our daily pattern. Multitasking is an art that we all must master. But we get it all done. Our oldest struggled with having another sibling at first. She felt like she wasn’t getting the attention she had before. But through continued, consistent love and time together, she has come around and definitely loves ‘her baby’ Major. When I nurse Major, very often I will have all three kids and two dogs on me—my personal space is non-existent these days. But we are all doing well, and loving our chaotic, but wonderful new reality. I know one day years from now I will look back on this time as some of the best days of my life.