We all experience postpartum differently; some of us feel happy, some of us feel sad, all of us probably feel tired, and I felt a little of both.
The little BobaBaby just turned 4 months old and it seems like so long ago that I held him for the first time. I miss his newborn size, how small and light he was, how comical it looked to have such a cute little leach attached to my breast, and I miss the milia that speckled his nose like a constellation.
If I had the chance to do it all over, there are a few things that I would do differently, a few pieces of advice I wish I would have been given.
Life after baby consisted of me hardly ever leaving my room. BobaDad did all the laundry, walked and bathed the dog, made dinner, spoon fed me, etc etc.
My first bout of tears came as I sat there, breastfeeding BobaBaby, admiring how beautiful and precious he was. As I stared at him, all exhausted and drained, I started thinking about single moms and dads and how overwhelmed they must be doing this all on their own. I tried to imagine myself doing it all on my own, without my husband, and I couldn’t even picture it. It would have been impossible, I would have felt so alone. And I cried, uncontrollably.
Despite my best efforts to hold it in, I still whimpered, and the tears still fell, and my husband still noticed and asked me what was wrong. It wasn’t that I was sad. I was actually very happy. I had a healthy baby in my arms, a baby that up until delivery I dared not be too excited about due to fear that he may be taken from me like the first one I lost. I shared my feelings with my husband, and he too got misty eyed and agreed. Parenthood is hard. It’s draining, especially in the first few days or even weeks as you try to figure everything out or find a pattern. Combine that with inexperience, uncertainty, hunger, sleep deprivation, fear of SIDS, the desire to do everything right, the weight of responsibility for another human life, and you’ve got the most demanding job in the world in which failure is not an option. It’s really sink or swim, but even if you feel like you’re sinking, I want to remind you that you are not. You are swimming, and you are swimming just fine!
It’s really moments like these that everyone discovers there’s no limit to their potential.
I also thought about the new parents who could not take it easy and had to go back to work right away in order to pay the bills. Usually they have help, someone to watch baby as they worked. But what if they didn’t I thought, then how would that even work?! I imagined myself in these difficult situations and it just made me cry more, I felt grateful for what I had, and I felt sad for anyone who wanted to but wouldn’t have the choice to spend these beginnings with their new babies. Imagining myself in these positions, I don’t think I’d make it, and that’s the moment I started to realize just how much my parents did for me and my sisters. They had no one, and they didn’t even speak the language when we came here as kids.
In those moments I also developed a brand new respect for all parents I knew. I’ve always known they had a lot on their plate, but until I experienced it first hand, I really had no idea.
To all the parents out there, I salute you! You are amazing and you should know it!