A Letter to Myself As a New Mom
I made it! Ford is now one-years-old and I survived the first year as a mother. I have so many feelings about this milestone and thought it would be best to sum it up in a letter I wish I could give to myself as a new mom.
Dear Kathryn -
Congrats - you did it! You made it through 41-weeks of pregnancy and a 24-hour+ delivery.
You labored naturally, beautifully for a long time, even if it feels like a blur. You are not a failure for ending up delivering your baby via c-section. You are strong. You did what was best for your sweet boy, which was bringing him into this world safely. He had bigger plans for his arrival and it was your first real experience as a mother - learning to let go and do what’s best for your child and not what you envisioned.
Don’t be afraid.
You will be numb from the anesthesia and epidural that came with your emergency c-section. But just because you feel too weak to hold your baby, that doesn’t mean you will miss out on a beautiful connection with your son. Soak in the moment of your husband taking over. You do not have to do and be everything as a mother. In fact, you will learn to lean on your partner even more as a parent. It’s the best thing watching the man you married become a father.
Also, that magical moment that moms share of will not happen for you right away. Your love will grow deeper every day. So, don’t stress if you are feeling a wave of exhaustion. Right now, you need to focus on soaking in every minute and recovering. Your body just went through a major surgery and a long journey to get here. You must rest and not worry.
The time will go slowly and it may feel like your world has been put on a pause while everyone else moves quickly, but you are exactly where you need to be. Your work, friends and other obligations will be ready for you when you are. Don’t push yourself. Do what feels right for you. Even on the days where you feel stuck inside with your baby, there will soon be a time when you can enjoy going places and having fun together. When he refuses to nap unless sleeping on your chest, let him. When he wants to nurse around the clock, enjoy the closeness (and don’t forget to apply nipple cream!) Also, when someone asks you what you need, tell them honestly. You don’t have to do it all alone.
Things will slowly get into a rhythm. Your life, body, relationships, and everything else will never be the same, but will you create a new world that is 10x better than you could imagine. Will it be hard? Absolutely. But it will all be worth it. And when a few things do fall apart, it’s because better things are ahead. The people that don’t support your new needs as a mother are not worth your time and energy. Be confident that you will get closer to the woman you are meant to be through the journey of parenting.
Finally, stop worrying about your body. Don’t worry about the number on the scale or that line down your belly that still hasn’t faded since pregnancy. Next time you compare yourself to the woman on Instagram that lost all the weight and some by the time she left the hospital, remind yourself that YOU are enough. We are all on our own journey. Your body will go through lots of changes, physically and emotionally and you have to let it do it’s thing. On the days that are hard, look at yourself and say “My body is strong. I am amazing.” Because you are.
This first year as a mom will be the hardest year you’ve experienced, yet. You will cry more than you think is possible and love even more than before. Your son will change your world in the best way. You will be surprised by how fast this first year will go. Just enjoy each day because you have received the best gift in the world. Welcome to motherhood, mama! You are in for a wild, beautiful ride.