Dear New Mama Gwen,
You did it! You made it through pregnancy and had your baby. She has only been in the world one week. You thought this would be the happiest time of your life but you were so wrong.
No one told you that you may try for weeks and never get to directly breastfeed your child. No one told you how much recovery from child birth would suck. You knew it would physically suck but no one told you the darkness that so many woman face (which is a story written and will eventually post). No one told you that you would cry yourself to sleep because you hated your life so much or that you would be angry with yourself for not connecting with your baby. No one told you even though you may not feel connected, you would hate it and have extreme anxiety when most people held your baby. No one told you that you would feel alone and abandoned. You will even feel like a monster for not attaching for a long time to this precious baby but now pretty much 80% of moms you meet will tell you they went through a similar darkness.
And then things will improve. That moment at 5 weeks when you are having middle of the night cuddles and your sweet Novee looks up at you with the biggest eyes and your heart will explode. You will actually remember that exact moment and feel lucky to have your beautiful November. You will feel a glimmer of hope that you actually had the capacity to love this sweet bundle. It is still unbelievably hard but the love you have for her will make things a little easier. Then at four months you will change her diaper and she will smile and for the first time you feel like a mom.
You would slowly become yourself again. You will still listened to rap music in the car and commercials that have kittens in it won’t make you cry anymore. Your sweet girl will let you get in a full 8 hours. Even though darkness can and will often creep back in, your love for your child will still have the ability to override most of those feelings enough to make it through the day. Eventually you will start feeling like a mom and life will become normal.
And normal is a wonderful thing!
Yes your “normal” won’t look like typical “normal” but it will still beautiful! Your heart will melt every time she squeals when you walk into the room. You will be a puddle when she is teething and can’t sleep and only mommy’s snuggles in the rocking chair will do.
Even your marriage will go back to normal. Actually it will turn out to be better than ever because you need to consciously and constantly be working on it. You will learn if you don’t think about it, the mom life will consume you and you will forget what it’s like to be a wife. The most beautiful thing you will ever see is watching your husband care for your child will make your love grow deeper.
She is now 11 months and the first year has flown by. You thought you would be sad that she isn’t an itty bitty baby but you are not! You love every phase more than the last. You love seeing her kind personality and teaching her compassion. You love that she can crawl into your lap and climb you for a hug, you love learning all of her little quirks, and you love seeing the world through her big brown eyes.
You have a lot of anxiety about the future and what that looks like but I promise it will be okay. It always works out even if it doesn’t work out the way you plan. Just try to enjoy the moment, grow your marriage, stay close with your tribe, and embrace your beautiful baby because she is growing into a sweet and beautiful young girl.
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself,
“I’ll take your bad days with your good, walk through the storm I would, do it all because I love you”
Thanks to my friend Shy who followed us around in the woods while Rob and I made out and did ridiculous antics to make our baby smile!
My sweet girl! Meet Purple Bunny, she goes everywhere with us now!
We could (and do) kiss those cheeks all day!
This girl adores her Daddy and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Floral Crowns: @hello_darling_co
Mustard Dress: Lularoe from my local representative Kalynn Warren