My name is Caitlin Minnick. In 2015, my husband and I moved to Richmond so he could go to graduate school just six weeks before I gave birth to our first daughter. We had no friends in the area, and our closest family was in Philly, four to eight hours away, depending on traffic.
After Haddie’s birth, I settled in to being the mom of a really easy going little girl. I didn’t have any milk supply issues, no diastasis, no traumatic birth experience to overcome, no postpartum depression, or even baby blues. But as my daughter grew I realized I was painfully lonely. I was home, alone with a baby, without local friends, and after that first week or two, without any visitors to talk to all day. The worst days were when it rained. When I would get all ready to go outside and the sky would open up. There was a week in the fall when it rained every day. Haddie was only four weeks old. It was so hard.
Once it stopped raining I started looking for new places to walk around. After two weeks of watching me load my stroller into the car, my neighbor suggested I try “baby and me yoga.” I couldn’t imagine that was for me. The thought of doing something for myself when I had been given such a gift of staying home seemed…wrong. I knew yoga was expensive, and despite my husband’s full support, I already felt like I wasn’t doing enough. But I looked it up, Nurture Baby & Me Yoga was a donation based, pay what you can program. I could get behind that!
I started going to yoga every Tuesday. At the beginning of each session we shared details of our lives: how old our baby was, any pain or discomfort we might be having, anything going on in our lives. I loved yoga. The program provided the space to meet new friends and talk with other parents who were experiencing the same issues I was. My husband immediately noticed a change: I was more relaxed and happy. Rainy days still were bad, but not so bad on Tuesdays.
A few weeks ago, as yet another line of fall storms rolled through through Richmond, I drove past the location where I’d attended Nurture yoga for the first time in years. As the rain poured, I recalled our rainy day yoga sessions, when we all knew we would be trapped inside for the rest of the day, but at least for that hour we were with each other, talking, learning, laughing, and even sometimes crying. I immediately burst into tears. Nurture’s yoga program changed my life. I learned about self-care. I felt confident, empowered. It helped me find my community. As I learned how to nurture myself, the act of nurturing began to trickle into my other relationships.
I decided early on that I had to give back for everything that yoga had given me. First, I got involved with Nurture’s Program Committee, then served on the Board for three years, guiding the development of our annual Birth & Baby Fair, which connects childbearing families with local resources. Recently I transitioned into a part-time Development role, and now lead Nurture’s fundraising efforts, hoping that others may experience the same kind of support I received at a critical moment of my life.
If you have participated in one of Nurture’s programs, there are so many ways you can help us keep the circle of nurturing moving forward.
- Share your story of how pregnancy, birth, or early parenting has impacted you.
- Make a donation in any amount
- Got a skill that you’d like to share? We are always looking for volunteers!
- Follow and share our posts on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
- Sign up to support Nurture through AmazonSmile or Kroger Community Rewards
Your support helps connect new families to the resources that they need in order to thrive.