Jenny Hamilton, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I have two amazing children. Caleb was born in 2013 and Olivia joined our family in 2015. They entered this world completely of their own accord and not at all in alignment with my birthing plan! Caleb was an emergency cesarean section and Olivia was a planned cesarean section... both very different experiences. The biggest thing I've learned about becoming a mother, is that some things are out of your control, even if you're an extreme type A personality like myself!
My son, Caleb, did not sleep. It was exhausting, frustrating, beyond tiring, and depressing. I explored every option to try and understand why Caleb was waking every one to two hours regardless of anything I did to try and change this pattern of behaviour. I read every article and book on sleep I could get my hands on, talked to friends, met with my doctor, etc. It wasn't until we hired a sleep consultant that I could finally see the light side of life again - hiring a sleep consultant forever changed our world!
I also struggled with breastfeeding Caleb; things did not come easily for us and it felt like a constant uphill battle. Add this to the extreme lack of sleep I was experiencing, and my feelings of despair only intensified. I thought motherhood was supposed to be blissful! Again, I reached out to the resources in my community, and after weeks of constant struggle, Caleb and I finally hit our stride. The lactation support we received was the key to our success. I thought I was prepared before the birth of my second baby, Olivia, but as we quickly realized, all babies are completely different! It turns out none of the skills or tips that worked with Caleb worked for her, and we were back to the drawing board. After three weeks of intense struggle and many tears on both sides, Olivia decided she was much happier taking a bottle. I pumped every couple of hours for over three months until switching her exclusively to formula. This was the best decision for our family, and thanks to the support and non-judgement of my friends and loved ones, it was a smooth, guilt-free transition for all.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
Choosing nursing as a career has been one of the best decisions of my life! Growing up, I wanted to be an accountant - far from nursing I know. I took a few years off after high school and travelled around Europe. Some of the most amazing women I met were nurses. They had the kindest hearts and the most hilarious stories - I was sold!
I started the conjoint nursing program at the University of Calgary in the fall of 1999 and never looked back. I have worked all over Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Mexico in a multitude of different areas. Most recently, I spend my working time at a private infusion clinic (infusing and case managing clients), as well as casually in the NICU and as a Transition Coordinator at our local hospital.
I found The Mama Coach through a dear friend of mine. Having struggled with both my babies - sleeping, breastfeeding, postpartum anxiety - I was very interested in the idea of supporting women to help avoid my same challenges.
I knew the moment I watched Carrie's video that I was meant to bring The Mama Coach to the Peace Region - this is my passion and mission - to make motherhood easier!
Amazing!!!! My son's 4 month sleep regression was brutal. Sleeping in our house was almost non-existent, and I felt like my toddler and husband were be neglected. I called Jenny. She responded very fast and together, helped create a plan to get my family back on track. We quickly saw so many positive changes. Along with that, she was so available to help out with any problems, questions or even to listen to a crazy sleep deprived mom's rant many times. Honestly, I was not sure how I felt about sleep training but Jenny taught me the value and importance of sleep, she has provide information for the future and how to attack new milestones and she helped me to be able to enjoy being a mom again!
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
1. It's only a problem if it's a problem for you!
2. Follow babes lead to gently reach mamas goals!
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
They are only little for such a short time! Try to let go of your idea of what you 'think' motherhood should feel like; be in the moment and actually experience what it 'is' like for you! It's okay to not love every moment or every stage. It's okay to mourn your life before kids. Your baby chose you, and YOU ARE PERFECT!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
I have heard people say that if you make work your passion that you will love showing up every day - I LOVE what I do! I love working with mamas and helping them meet their goals!
We speak a lot about filling your cup first so that you are able to give to others - be selfish in a good way - you are important! My cup is filled when I spend time in nature, when I practice yoga, and when I commit to date nights with my husband!
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I am so glad I found Carrie and became a Mama Coach! This is my passion, my life's work, and my mission - to help MAKE MOTHERHOOD EASIER!
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