“Having a baby is hard.” I can’t even begin to tell you how sick I got of this phrase over the nine month period of growing my sweet baby. Everytime I got that, I smiled, nodded, and said, “oh I’m sure it is,” mostly just to get whoever was talking to shut up. You will hear it all.. I was told how hard breastfeeding would be, how long my nights would be, how sore and tired I’d be, and– that I of all people would really struggle with postpartum depression. To be honest, everytime I heard people tell me those things I got angry. I would always wonder why nobody seemed to be genuinely happy for me. Why did everyone constantly tell me how hard my life was going to become? They all had kids, most had more than one, so obviously it wasn’t that bad. I began to actually think it was an issue with ME. Did they think just I couldn’t handle it? Maybe I was going to struggle with depression afterwards. Great, now all I wanted was to stalk up on good food and movies, enough to hide in my bed for the first 6 weeks because it wasn’t sounding like I’d even be able to function!
Well time went by, I got uncomfortable, nights became so bad between bathroom breaks and my huge sumo belly not wanting to cooperate, that I felt like I didn’t sleep once that entire last month. Not to mention the effort from trying to get out of bed. Sitting on a hard surface–sitting at all– became more painful and more ofa nuisance than the back pain from just standing. Heart burn became a daily struggle no matter what I ate (thank goodness he came out with a whole head of soft fluffy hair). My wedding ring wouldn’t go on. I couldn’t shower without getting light headed. Don’t get me started on the waddle I swore I’d never do! The list goes on and on and on….
But then after all of that and possibly even more depending on your experience with delivery, and you are looking into those wide, dark, curious, beautiful eyes of your little one. It all goes away……. Okay. NO. Don’t ever believe anyone who tells you that! It doesn’t go away, BUT it all becomes so incredibly worth it. There is a short moment where everything stands still and you realise your worth because God sent one of his (the most perfect one) children to YOU. You are his mom. And nothing anyone told you is going to stop you from enjoying every bit of this.
Then it hits. The emotions, the soreness, the regret because you actually felt anger at your innocent little one for a split second, the tiredness, everything crashing down at once. On top of that, you still look pregnant…. WHAT? But instead of a cute tight baby bump, it’s a wobbly flabby mass that bends in wierd shapes when you sit down.
It will go away. All of it. And to be honest, even postpartum recovery will not weigh as heavily on you as the feeling of joy you get from being a mom. You will have moments of crying about absolutely nothing, it will hurt to sit down still, you will still waddle, and have a hard time getting out of bed (only for other reasons). Your wedding ring still may not fit for a while, etc. but now at least there is an end in sight. And you have a beautiful baby that you are proud of. You will be exhausted and that’s okay, because pregnancy made you champ at the no sleep thing. You will be sore but life goes on, and it’s not as easy to focus on the pain when you are focusing on the sweet little blob snuggling up to you. It’s like having a built in snuggle buddy, literally.
You will feel moments of deep deep sadness. You will feel depressed. Things will hurt. The tiredness will come over you. But don’t get that confused with postpartum depression.(unless it lasts more than a few weeks give or take). That my sweet, exhausted, emotional friend, is just being a mom. Remember all those things people were telling you, that just made you mad? They were telling you, hoping you would hear enough between your forced smile and nod, to know that you are not alone. You’re not broken. It is hard! But you’ll survive. They all did. It’s normal to feel like you just had a baby… Because YOU JUST HAD A BABY.
So here is my advice. Take it easy, ask for help. Hold your baby whenever you want. Don’t hold your baby whenever you want. Take some YOU time. Find a friend who just recently had a baby, reach out to them, they still remember everything pretty freshly and they can help you to know you are not alone. Eat yummy food. Sleep when you can, I know people say it’s hard to find time for sleep, and it is between feedings, visitors, nourishing your body, and trying to make sure you don’t smell like you have lived in a dumpster the last 6 days, but even if it’s only 10 minute of resting your eyes it helps take the edge off. Get a good pillow. Make some padcicles. Kiss that sweet babe. And relax. It’s just postpartum. It’s not the end of the world like everyone made it sound like…. It’s actually the beginning 🙂