This is Postpartum

So… you’ve pushed your bundle of joy out so the hard part must be over right? Wrong. Welcome to postpartum, my friend!

Postpartum doesn’t look at all like in the movies. It’s not glamorous by any means. There’s a lot of joy, but there’s also a lot of other feelings – sadness, jealousy, longing for the past. It’s hard as hell.

Motherhood is hard as hell on your body. You’ll feel like a ghost of who you were. A bloated, heavy ghost. You leak… everywhere. Your chest goes crazy. You have the longest, strongest period of your life. Your eyes are red from constant tears. You’re sore in places you never thought you’d be sore. You might have pushed so hard that blood vessels all over your body have broken. Remember the nights of 8 hours of sleep? Those are long gone. You’ll find a 5 hour night “refreshing” now. You can’t think straight anymore – you’ll reread e-mails you sent and hope people overlook your lack of grammar. Also… no one warns you about post-labor contractions. Those hurt like a mofo. You’ve given yourself to your baby for the last nine months, but it’s not over. You are now responsible for sustaining them with mother’s milk.

Motherhood is hard as hell on your emotions. You find yourself going through every emotion in the book within minutes. You’ll question if you’re a good mother. You’ll second guess everything you do. You might get down, for an extended period of time, and wonder if something is seriously wrong with you. You’ll feel alone and lonely. You’ll then feel guilty about those feelings. It’s a cycle that hurts your heart.

Motherhood is hard as hell on your relationships. If you’re like me, and you don’t have many friends who have kids… you might feel isolated. You might feel left out and long for your “old” life. You’ll see your husband in passing and have energy only for a head nod. You’ll miss them… a lot. You’ll wonder if you’ll ever sleep in the same bed, or share a laugh together again. You’ll bicker about small things that don’t matter.

Motherhood is hard as hell, and so is the postpartum period. Pregnancy takes a toll on your body. Childbirth does too. But it’ll all be worth it. You’ll look down at your baby, and your baby will look back up at you and you’ll know it’s worth it. It’s worth the tears and the pain and the loneliness. You’ll realize that these moments are precious and that your baby will never be this little again. One day, they’ll grow up and not need you and you’ll long for the newborn days.

My newborn and I, embracing the postpartum experience.

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