The buildup to having a baby is a big one. The wait. The excitement, the anticipation. It’s a life change, a momentous event. And then the buildup to having a baby when you waited years and went through infertility treatments is even more of a climb. Like hiking up a mountain, without water on no sleep, in the dark… sans flashlight. That kind of climb. And then you get to the top the instant the sun peaks over the mountain and illuminates the whole sky. And you feel that accomplishment and warmth in your heart, so strong you know it was there all along.
And then comes… the decent, of hormones. The lack of sleep. The drain on your body and emotions. After the baby gets here, you’d think the worry would stop. You got what you waited for all of this time, now what? Of course it’s amazing, relieving, and meant to be, blissful, fulfilled, heart totally full, and LOVE like you’ve never felt before. Yet it’s still hard. Newborn stage is no joke. But you feel like you can’t be sad or upset or struggle because you wanted this, you waited, you prayed, manifested, created, even paid lots of money for. How could you be even the least bit negative? Or *gasp* resentful. You feel guilty for having these feelings. Let’s say that again, you feel really really guilty for having these feelings.
And when we feel the guilt and shame we tend to hide. It’s almost like the infertility journey haunts us just a little bit. It feels kind of similar. We don’t want to talk about it for fear of being judged. And it seems embarrassing, after all that ‘practice’ making a baby, we can’t even handle being a Mom? And I’m speaking in second person here because I’m hoping someone out there hears me. I know I’m not alone.
There is a whole community of us out there! Of women just like me who went through the fertility journey and are onto the postpartum with those creeping feelings of guilt. And really there is all of us 35 and over, who are dealing with the Mom guilt, the shame and the tough stuff around postpartum and being a new Mom. Because the thing is, we don’t talk about it much. We try to be strong. I know I do. I don’t like asking for help. Especially through the infertility journey. Who wants to ask for help with making a baby? And yet part of being strong is being vulnerable, asking for help and reaching out when we need. Because let’s be honest there is no manual for this one. No one tells you what to expect, what to prepare for, what might come up. And it’s as if the time leading up to getting pregnant was so slow that the time after seems to move so much faster. And we get caught in a spiral. And then add a pandemic and isolation into the mix.
It’s ALL ok, to feel this. To feel your feelings and you are validated in having them. Know that you are not alone, even if it might feel that way. Your feelings are valid, no matter what your journey to baby looked like. And most importantly you are still the best mother that you can possibly be for your baby/ies. Because the best things in life usually ARE hard, they do require work.
Postpartum is stepping into and learning a whole new role and a whole new life. It’s ok to miss the old one a little bit.. the old you. The freedom and lots of sleep. That doesn’t mean you appreciate your current life any less. It actually means you had a great time and a great path to get to this new found love. The most honorable, meaningful and best position you can possible accept. You got this Mama.
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