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  • Writer's pictureMeg Henderson

Turtle Tracks

We are almost to summer! If you have little babies or are expecting, I know this doesn't hold much weight for you, but for the mamas with school-age littles... I see you! We have been to all the parties and field days, sent in the projects and t-shirts, Venmo'd all the precious parents who volunteered to do things you didn't want to do, taxied kids to all the practices, and put together all the teacher appreciation gifts - because lord knows these teachers are basically saints. And now, we can almost breathe a sigh of relief in a loosening of the "schedule". Our family (Henderson's) will head to the beach for the summer - if you're in Charleston - you can find us out on Edisto Beach. Not to worry - I will still be seeing patients on Tuesdays!

Some blog posts are full of educational content and others are more thoughts... so this month, I wanted to share a post I wrote last July inspired by the mama sea turtles.

Here we go...

I have to remind myself DAILY how fortunate we are to be here because having little kids ANYWHERE, even at a beach house, is just plain HARD. I’d say we are at a 30% crazy rate at this point – 70% awesome, 30% mom’s losing her @#%$!

Despite the heat, I am sticking to my routine of running every Sunday and this morning I headed out super early to catch the sunrise first. On my way back, I noticed fresh turtle tracks! This might not seem like a big deal, but it got me thinking… if you know anything about sea turtles, you know the mamas have this internal navigation system that brings them back to the same beach they were hatched on. When the time is right, the mama sea turtle lumbers herself up and out of the ocean toward the dunes to look for a "just right" nesting site that will keep her eggs safe for about 2 months before the hatchlings are ready to dig their way out of the nest and scramble back to the ocean.

Ok, but why in the world are you telling us this story and what does it have to do with PT?

Because birth is amazing! These mama sea turtles swim oftentimes thousands of miles, possibly injured even, to come back to the beach, then haul their giant bodies out of the surf where they can swim weightless, dig for

3ish hours before depositing their eggs in the safest place they can find, kick sand back up all over the nest to disguise it and then haul back to the ocean – not even on the same path as the one they came in on. They are damn impressive and incredibly resilient.

Mama, you are incredible AND resilient.

While our births aren’t quite equivalent to that of a loggerhead, there are plenty of similarities. We often don’t know exactly what’s going to happen during our births or afterward during recovery, for that matter. We might go in with a plan, like the sea turtle aimed at a certain part of the beach. But what happens when that plan goes awry? When the sand is too hard, or there’s a hole leftover from kids playing the day before… we have to shift and deal with the circumstances we are dealt.

We don’t have to go it alone.

Mama turtle doesn’t know it, but there’s a whole support team of volunteers who walk the beach watching for tracks, ready to check for an actual nest, count the eggs, and move them to a more secure location if needed so that those turtle babies have the best chance for survival.

Mama, there is support for you too if you need it.

Our healthcare system doesn’t let you in on that secret, though, most of the time! You don’t have to figure it out alone. The transition to motherhood, whether it is a 1st baby or 3rd, is different every. single. time. And it’s HARD. Kind of like the lumbering sea turtle on the beach, it can feel like an uphill battle every single day, with moments of joy and brilliance sprinkled in. But becoming who you are meant to be as a mom in this new body can be challenging especially with social media highlight reels out there and a lack of postpartum guidance for moms in general.

All this to say, we are walking this journey right alongside you. We will be your "turtle patrol" lifting you up and supporting you along the way, in whatever capacity you need that will help you become the mom you want to be.

We are rooting for you!

If you have questions or need support of any kind, please reach out! 843.410.8113.

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