Can a mother forget the baby at her breast?
John 16:21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
Well, she doesn't forget the pain immediately. I really don't think we forget at all - but it just becomes worth it when we hold that precious little bundle of perfection in our arms.
To all of my new mom friends, this is a letter to you. Because the next 30 days are some of the most magical and terrifying days you will ever experience. A good friend of mine named it Baby Hell. It's this conglomeration of pure elation that you've given birth to a person - a person. Ten toes; ten fingers, perfect little nose, sweet kissable cheeks, and the beautiful scent of new life.
A life that needs you. For everything. Every second. And that can get pretty overwhelming pretty fast. Your hormones have gone from 5000rpms to 3. You're exhausted, a little anemic, and determined to be the best mommy in the whole world to this beautiful creature. It hurts to pee. It hurts even more to poop. Taking a shower is a full-blown luxury. Your world has gone from seeing people and meeting people and being around people to changing diapers the size of a naval orange and nursing an umbilical stump. A stump that reminds you constantly that this squeaky, hairy bundle of feet, elbows, and knees was inside you not that long ago.
It's hard. It's really, really hard.
If you have family support, then please, for the love of all things sacred, take them up on any and all offers of doing anything. For many, the support system is Mommy and Daddy. For some, even less than that. Take them up on helping with laundry, cooking, or just holding baby while you pee and take a shower. Let them bring you diapers, nipple cream (which is awkward. My MIL bought it for me, and it was strange, but really, really necessary) or a drink from Sonic.
But it's hard. And it's so wonderful. Even in the midst of total exhaustion, this perfect little being sleeps on your chest like they were made to be there. You were chosen for this moment. No one in the world can handle it better than you.
You were chosen for this child; no one is more qualified, no one is more perfect to be this little being's life than you as his mother. Remember that when they have their first fever; their first really weird poop that you couldn't explain the color to Crayola if you had to; their first random bout of crying that no one has any idea what in the hell could make it stop...
Because you are the perfection that this child needs. You, in your dirty yoga pants, stained shirt, nursing bra that you've basically lived in for 3 days, and hair that just keeps getting put up in the same ponytail over and over and over again.... You. You are the image of beauty and grace right now (even if you squawk from hemorrhoids and your nipples hurt like hell) because in it's true form and fashion, that's what Grace looks like. This child is more spirit and soul that they are body; and they don't understand anything apart from you.
Take heart, mommas. It gets easier. Really, it does. Every day will bring new discoveries, new amounts of terror (just a hint here: Don't watch the news for a while.) and more love than you knew possible. You will fall in love with your husband in so many new ways, it's astounding. You will never look at anything the same way again, and that's the beauty of becoming a mother.
Love to you, new momma. You're going to be ok.