Well, you’re officially more pregnant than I’ve ever been – a trophy I’m certain you weren’t dying to win. But here you are – days away from meeting your little Peanut, and I couldn’t be more excited for you.
No one can prepare you for what is to come. Everyone says that, and you’re like “yeah yeah”, but I’m serious. No one can possibly prepare for you for the next days, weeks, months, even years of your life and all the love, joy, stress, exhaustion, laughs, happiness, guilt, anger, pride and straight up madness about to smack you right in the face.
First, you’ll give birth. Oh, birth can go so many ways. Maybe you have a plan and things will go perfect (you lucky bitch). The more likely scenario, however, is that something, even if it’s something minor, will go a different way than planned. But the fact of the matter is, every birth is an accomplishment. Doesn’t matter if you go med-free, if you deliver vaginally or via c-section, or the baby burst out of your damn ears (I mean, that would be insanely impressive) – every mother deserves to be told “You are amazing and you did such a good job”.
Your baby, your new son, will make your heart burst wide open. He will make you love someone more than you ever thought possible, and it will forever change you. Just be prepared – it might not happen the very moment you see him. Sure, that moment will be amazing regardless, but the time to come – that’s the real beginning of you and your baby’s love story. You’ll grow and learn with another and when you think your whole heart is consumed with love for your child, your heart will somehow expand to love him even more. And this will happen over, and over, and over again.
Things at home with baby will be harder than you imagined. I guarantee it. I tend to imagine the worst possible scenario, and things were harder than even I imagined. But it will be worth it, it will get easier, amnesia will hit you at some point, and you might even consider hopping on the crazy train again and growing your family by another little one.
Feeding a baby is hard. It’s hard if you have to buy and prepare formula, try different brands that work for your baby, wash bottles, and always ensure you have enough formula on you when you leave the house. It’s hard if you have to learn – along with a brand new baby – how to latch a newborn, care for sore and cracked nipples, pump and store breastmilk, and feel forever attached to a baby’s mouth. It’s hard either way, and neither is the wrong choice. Know that I am here, and I will support you no matter what you choose.
You might struggle with your relationship with your husband. Hell, you might struggle with your relationship with everyone, but that one, that sacred relationship, goes through a damn battlefield during these newborn stages. Sleep deprivation does a number on your sanity, and your patience, and quite frankly – your marriage. Remember that you married this man for a reason, and that after the storm has passed, he is the one you want to be looking at the rainbow with. Soak in the little moments you can enjoy just the two of you, even if it’s late at night, whispering while you listen to white noise with your baby asleep three feet away. Find the time for date nights, and leave your baby overnight before 21 months (trust me on that one).
Becoming a mother changes you, and after the hormonal rush that is the postpartum weeks, you’ll begin to feel like yourself, but different. Be prepared because when you least expect it, you might miss the old you. You might miss the you that you were before this little person. Even now, three years into my motherhood journey, every so often I get a wave of nostalgia of the life I once had. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my girls with everything I have, but there is a me that’s gone – the Me Before Them. The new you will have more love, more laughs, and undoubtably more laundry.
I hope our children grow up together. I hope they are like cousins more than friends, celebrating holidays and birthdays as the years go by. I will love your children like I love you – a lot. I am here if you want advice, even if you don’t take it. I am here if you want to vent, and I promise to not bring up the really dark things ever again unless you do. I am here if you need to say out loud “I just really hate life right now”, and I am here if you need someone to show the 47th picture you took of your child that day.
Your Best Friend