How many of us can agree that the journey during your pregnancy was magical but postpartum is anything but that? I know many women have rough pregnancies unfortunately, but speaking from my own experience my pregnancy was beautiful, intriguing, and full of excitement and expectation! I thought that the labor experience would be the last of the “hard part” but what I didn’t know was on the other side of the whole thing was pure STRUGGLE! No one talks much about this and I see why, but first time Mother’s need to be aware. My friend and co-worker had her first baby about 7 months ago and recently her and I were conversing about the truths about the aftermath of having your baby and what you’re truly in for that no one warns you about. She had a similar experience as I did with having an episiotomy (a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues), and still ripped a great deal as the baby was being delivered. This caused a significant amount of stitches and a difficult healing process. You would’ve thought I had a cesarean delivery because of the pain and difficulty walking and standing. I never knew that a vaginal delivery would be as harsh on the body as it was, nor did I even know that this was a possibility until, it WAS! Everyone is very outspoken about the labor process but not as transparent about after the labor. I wonder why that is? I thought that many times but was reassured my feelings weren’t out-of-the norm when discussing it with her. The media-commercials, television and magazines portray a perfectly happy and healthy Mommy immediately after giving birth and weeks ahead. Everything somehow “snaps” back to normal all of sudden, this portrayal is so misleading. A naive new Mother like I was imagined my experience would be similar. But I was very wrong.
The feeling of bringing a child into the world is an indescribable feeling, and cannot be compared to anything else in life. It’s almost unreal, supernatural, simply magical! To feel excruciating pain one minute and pure joy and a burst of love the next minute when you physically see your baby on the other side of your womb! The days and weeks into your tiny little humans first days on earth will be a combination of emotions, ups and downs and all around. Love, frustration, joy, excitement, incompetence, unknown, confusion, worry, indecisiveness are just a few of the things I felt as a new Mom. Along with the puzzling questions as to why my body wasn’t healing as I imagined it would. The first time I looked in the mirror at myself I remember thinking I looked mutated and didn’t recognize myself. Sometimes I would have such horrible pains in my abdomen that I couldn’t get out of bed to get my crying newborn. I was given a “kit” to clean myself with after each time I used the restroom to prevent infection due to the extensive tear. As if you had time to tend to yourself with a newborn….(lol)
I know that every woman’s birthing experience is unique and memorable in their own way, I just wish the conversation would continue beyond the labor/birth. Transparent and raw dialogue. Why has this become a taboo conversation, it shouldn’t be. These are our bodies and nothing is wrong with sharing experiences with other new mothers who are probably scared to death of what’s to come. Who knew that visiting a Physical Therapist and doing pelvic floor exercises consistently would improve recovery after birth? I didn’t! I don’t think that it’s on purpose but I do think that we can do better at bringing this part up. I’m sure there are books, articles, etc. but we all know the word-of-mouth is the best way to tell a story. Having a one-on-one personal conversation with someone that you know (or don’t know) who is expecting will be the difference of helping ease nerves and plant a seed of confidence and reassurance. Share your magical journey! Good or bad, be open and honest about you! You never know who will thank you later for being vulnerable and honest! Motherhood is Magical so sprinkle that little bit of magic whenever possible!