Congratulations on that beautiful baby. Right about now, you’ve probably stared at it obsessively in complete disbelief that you even MADE that thing. I know, I did it too. They’re just so perfect and so small and so…ALIVE. It’s amazing and terrifying at the same time.
Right about now your body also feels like a train ran over it. Your breasts feel stiff and about to explode, your belly and/or vagina feel RAW and sensitive. Your body feels awkward and almost not yours and also more yours than it has in the past 9 months. You are moving slowly and with spouts of pain. Breastfeeding is fucking HARD as natural as it’s supposed to be. It’s okay that you feel like you’re doing it all wrong, you will get the hang of this, everyone feels the same way.
You aren’t failing your baby because they aren’t putting on weight fast enough, or because they’re TOO big, or because you fed them formula, or because they’re crying, or because you’re losing your patience, or because YOU are crying, or because..or because… you are NOT failing.
You are becoming mother.
Becoming mother is as beautiful as it feels disastrous. It’s as completing as it can feel disemboweling. And it’s as profound as it can feel humiliating, at times. This is becoming mother. You are doing everything right.
You aren’t alone. We’ve all sat up at night unable to sleep even after our child has been fed overcome with anxiety and concern. We’ve all mourned our old lives while simultaneously becoming more in love with the little thing we made. And many of us did not just love our children right away…for some it takes TIME.
No postpartum experience is right or wrong. It’s only yours.
Be gentle with yourself. TAKE the rest when offered. Take the help when extended. Don’t feel the need to jump back into your life. Cry if you must. Let the clothes pile and the dishes pile. Take care of YOU.
You’ve got this. And every day you will be stronger. Every day you will become more mother. Every day you will find a patience you did not know you had, courage that was asleep prior to now, and love that makes your entire being feel like it’s going to burst.
It’s full of tears and blood and more tears and blood. And poop. LOTS of poop.
But in the end, you will thrive. So will your little. So will your life. And when you look back you will have wished you were more present, less impatient with yourself, more self nurturing, and more slow moving.
I saw you today checking me out at the grocery store. You had a four month old at home, you told me. In your eyes I saw the lonely despair of a new mom who questions everything. In your voice the inflection of pride and grief. “You’re doing a great job,” I told you. “It will get easier, you will find more patience, and you will grow wiser,” I finished. “Thank you” you responded.
And I felt it.
You’re welcome, girl. You’re welcome.
PS. For support on your post-partum journey with your fitness and nutrition EMAIL ME and let’s chat. I know it was precisely at four months after my son was born that someone helped me and THAT forever changed my life. <3