It has been 6 days of pure newborn bliss, mixed with Baby Blues irratical hormones, and periodic sleep. I will admit, with each baby, this peroid, though busier, gets easier. Emmitt sleeps most of the day, he’s on a good 3 hour feeding schedule already now that my milk is in, and I’m too busy to pace and worry about each little noise like I had with Aubrey and Poppy. So far the adjustment to 3 kids has been natural and I already cant picture our family without this baby for everyone to coo over and surround all the hours of the day.
One thing I find that is different this time around is my body. I’ve done this twice before, so I know what to expect. The bleeding, the extremely soft jiggly belly, the sore, swollen breasts, and those crazy contraction like cramps you get with each feed ( they are from your uterus shrinking back to its regular size). But, mentally, looking at my post baby body gets harder each time. We can blame it on Instagram, with all its perfect baby bumps and then those mamas going back to a size 0 as soon as the baby is out. But just like supermodels, less than 1% of moms are actually that fortunate. For me, I judge it on my previous pregnancies and that also is a big problem. With Aubrey, I became pregnant at 25 and at the height of my gym obsession, the fittest I had ever been going into it and stayed extremely active in the gym until 32 weeks pregnant. All the while working a job that required me to be on my feet for 9 hours a day. So obviously, the bounce back was insane. With Poppy, having suffered a misscarriage, it was the total opposite, I wasnt very fit when I got pregnant and was scared to lift a finger the whole 9 months. So, the post partum journey was hard on me, and long. but I was busy with an active toddler and lived where I could walk him to daycare and back each day. Which helped with bouncing back.
Now, here I am, 32 years old, 3rd baby delivered, pretty active my entire pregnancy besides the last 2 months, and for some reason, even though I know better, I still struggle with looking in the mirror. I mean, my uterus hasn’t even shrunk to half the weight it was with a baby in there and I’m already struggling. THIS IS REAL LIFE MAMA. We do this to ourselves. We expect too much from our bodies after they have literaly created and protected a person inside of them for the last 9 months. It takes 6 weeks for your uterus to get back into place and around the same size it was pre baby. Your skin may never bounce back, especially as you get older with each pregnancy.
My advice to you mama struggling is to do your research about the facts of healing postpartum, look at the scientific timelines, to show yourself that it takes time. You are allowed to take time. Create daily affermations for those moments you feel your mind dipping like I have. Mine are, “You just created a third life in your body, you are healthy and active and are doing everything right to make sure you and Emmitt are getting everything you need, your body is beautiful and magical and you need to embrace this time as it is your last”. Its not much but just saying that to myself the past few days has totally helped.
Lastly, if you are a new mom or about to be, remember that even this post partum period, you are going to miss. I know because ive been there twice before. So take in each moment, look at your body with wonderment and embrace that beautiful soft belly that is all that remains of the bump you will miss a year from now. YOU ARE A SUPERHERO!