During my pregnancy, I thought a lot about being pregnant, being a new mom, what he would look like, how labor and delivery might go, and if I would have enough time to finish his nursery. It’s funny how a lot of thought tends to go towards those things more than the postpartum healing and recovery. I was definitely surprised to find that when the doctor said it would take six weeks for me to recover that it would really take those entire six weeks. I had mentally prepared myself for little to no sleep and the challenges of caring for a newborn but never really considered that I would also need to be cared for and give myself time to heal after giving birth. I think I had this mental image that I would be back on my feet within a week feeling like I did before getting pregnant…how very wrong I was! I realized quickly that this time with my newborn was not just a time to care for him and get to know him, but also a time for my body to mend, rest and heal.
I think the surprise of this fact took its toll on me emotionally, but at the end of the day, holding and caring for a healthy baby boy made everything completely worth it.
Learning to let myself heal was such a huge lesson during those weeks. I learned to allow others to help me and be ok with the fact that I truly needed the help. I learned to be patient with my body’s healing process. I learned that it was okay to wear PJs daily for weeks on end. I learned that there’s nothing better than the loving support and encouragement from my husband and family. I learned that Hulu and Netflix can make for hours of endless entertainment while nursing late into the night. I learned that it is okay to have accomplish zero to-do’s for the day, because being a wife and mom is enough. I learned to let myself cry when I needed to and laugh when I needed to. I learned that women are extraordinary and absolute rock stars for bringing life into this world.
It’s wonderful to be nearly on the other end of the recovery physically. Although these first weeks have been full of challenges, I can’t help but look back on them with fondness and thankfulness. I can hardly wait to continue learning in this new role as a parent. :)