Postpartum. That vulnerable time after you have a baby is intense. The emotions after birth are some of the most poignant you’ll feel in your entire life.
One night while I was up late with my twins right after their birth, I furiously typed out these words in an attempt to capture the emotions after birth.
Shortly the birth of my twins, I felt such an outpouring of emotions after birth, and so I grabbed my iPhone and poured them out at 3am while in the thick of it.
If you’re a mom already, you can probably remember some of these feelings exactly. If you’re a soon-to-be mom, strap in for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. What’s postpartum really like? Keep reading.
Postpartum is lots of contrast. Beautiful and ugly. Smiles and stretch marks. Intense emotions. Joy and fear.
Tons of happiness. But…
Sometimes happiness shows up as uncontrollable tears running down your cheeks.
Sometimes happiness can’t be felt without also feeling pain. Just like you can’t experience the love of seeing your baby for the first time without the intensity of childbirth.
Sublime and terrible.
Humanity at it’s finest. It’s the essence of being a human woman.
Heartbreaking and mending your heart simultaneously. Transforming into something grander, bigger, more marvelous.
Landslides of hormones that make you study all the emotions life has to offer, study the meaning of life and your little place in it.
I’m so happy to have my babies earthside where I can touch them and hold them. Teach them. Show them the world.
But every minute outside of my womb is another minute they get further and further away from me. Each day they are less and less mine and more and more their own.
Tears tears tears and more tears.
The sweetest saddest tears.
The kind that make you feel like you lost your first love but also like you won the biggest prize in life.
How do you reconcile these feelings or talk about them in a way that’s doesn’t minimize this monumental time for a Mom?
It’s like trying to talk about the true meaning of God or the Universe.
It’s above my pay grade to understand.
But what I do know is this time is full of change.
Change that reveals the new you. Because with each child a new you is born too.
I used to think women who said they loved their stretch marks were crazy or lying. How could you love those ugly marks all over your body?
But now I know.
This is not the same body. I’m not the same person. I’m not the same woman. I’m not the same Mom I was before these children were born.
It would feel wrong to not have some small token of what I’ve been through as a reminder of the painful and beautiful work my body and I have done together.
It’s a small physical manifestation of my most important role in this life.
My most cherished role as mother.
The emotions after birth, in that sacred time postpartum, are a roller coaster. But they are also a kind of portal into what is possible. Into the depths of what we are capable of as mothers and just how deep our love runs for our children. The emotions after birth are so palpable, and if we can learn to ride those waves of emotion, it can be beautiful.