to all the soon-to-be mamas.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


i feel like i am surrounded by pregnancy and babies right now, friends due to give birth soon, friends just finding out they're pregnant, or friends trying to conceive.  i have a particular soft spot in my heart for the new mamas.  the really new ones.  i remember all too well how amazing it was, on all levels really, to hold my new son in my arms after having just labored and given birth.  how naive i was.  not knowing how huge this shift in my world would be, how vulnerable i would feel (and still do feel, at times) bringing this child that i am responsible for into the world, how the intense love for a teeny, tiny, helpless person can be, at times, altogether beautiful and crippling all at the same time.  how the hormones would cause me to cry a thousand tears at the tiniest heel-prick to check his bilirubin levels (a most minor procedure!), worrying whether he'd have to spend more time under the lights.  how you want to give this child the world on a silver spoon, but will you be able to?  

so, it is with these new mamas in mind, that i wrote the following letter.  i sent it to two of my sweet friends within the last month when they were within days of giving birth.  i figure i'd post it here, for the mamas i might not know personally but who could still benefit from reading it.  

here it is.  for you, soon-to-be mamas.

dear whoever you are,

without wanting to sound too dramatic (but, fair warning: i am going to!), i want to tell you guys that what you're about to do, specifically give birth, is the coolest thing in the entire world.  the world is abundant with the gory and scary stories.  let me be one that stands out to tell you that it is amazing, empowering, exciting, and altogether surreal.  no matter how it goes.  because at the end of it you have, in your arms, YOUR CHILD.  a baby that you and your husband made.  the greatest gift of your life, no doubt (i am literally sitting here beginning to get weepy as i write this... it doesn't help that i'm listening to our birthing playlist at the same time).  your life will never be the same.  but it is such a good, good thing.  the sweetest change a life can undergo.  ok, here come the tears.  you will feel this insane, insane love for this baby and a new vulnerability that you've probably never felt before.  these aren't my words, but i've heard it said: it's like your heart is walking around outside your body.  you love your husband's.  but this love, the love between a mama and her baby.  it's altogether different and it is a sweet, sweet love.  the sweetest, i think.  

birth: you'll feel super-unsexy for a time.  you'll wear mesh panties and your vagina will feel sore.  i tore and needed 8 stitches and am hear to tell the tale.  it's not that bad.  seriously.  chances are you'll be so wrapped up in your new baby, it won't be a big deal.  i've had sex again, and it's been totally fine too!  our bodies are amazing and they heal and they heal well.  your belly will be this weird, gelatinous glob.  fear not!  it goes away.  your first poops will suck.  take stool softeners!  i had hemorrhoids (fun!) for a time and they sucked too.  stool softeners, lots of water, and eat healthy.  let people dote on you.  let them wait on you.  

your boobs: they'll get big and hard and feel like pins and needles when your milk comes in.  then, when the baby latches onto one, the other one leaks like crazy!  use nursing pads faithfully.  the lansinoh ones are best.  they absorb the milk but keep you dry.  again, you'll feel super unsexy.  and you'll wonder if you'll feel sexy again.  you will.  you will feel normal again.  you will fit into your jeans again and blow dry your hair and wear makeup.

your emotions: even if you don't have "postpartum depression" you'll have some baby blues.  you may wonder what you were thinking getting pregnant, how will this change things between your husband and you, how it'll never be the same, how you can't give it back (!!).  you'll be tired.  you'll worry about this baby and germs and people touching him or her.  you'll think the baby is growing up too fast.  you'll cry.  it's ok.  let it out.  it's normal.  so normal.  call me if you need to.  i remember thinking that i could not, would not go to the grocery store with parker in the winter time.  too many germs!  he won't be vaccinated!  how can i?!  i implored steve to do all the wintertime grocery shopping.  now we're into winter and the hormones have chilled the eff out and i can do it just fine.  but the hand sanitizer is never far!

your baby: don't worry about the kitchen and the cleaning and the laundry and this and that.  just get in bed and sleep and cuddle with that new baby of yours.  smell him or her and take it all in.  nurse and sure, check your email on your phone while doing so, but also put it away.  just look at your baby nursing and savor the moment.  it goes fast.  i hate that that's even true, but it is!  it feels like yesterday that contractions were starting and i was heading to the hospital to meet parker.  but it is so good.  it is fun.  they start to laugh at you and look at you with love in their eyes.  they become this little buddy of yours that goes everywhere with you and you develop this sweet history together.  

and finally, when you think 'what the eff!?' because sometimes it's hard and crazy and you won't feel all uber-sappy, you can call me then too.  because it's all normal.  highs and lows.  but it's still really stinking awesome and probably the coolest thing you'll ever do.  

love you girls so much and wishing you soooo much good energy and relaxation during the next few days (or week or so!).

bridget

ps. hope i didn't freak you out with any of this.

51 comments:

  1. that is the sweetest letter :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I want to save this until I'm pregnant and about to have a baby, so that I can read it again and remind myself of all the encouraging, honest, heartfrlt things you shared. Thanks Bridget.

    ReplyDelete
  3. its wonderful. perfectly honest and overwhelming but not scary and completely empowering and encouraging. thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an honest, amazing post. No one tells you this stuff.
    I love the pic too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My baby is due in 3 weeks, so this was the sweetest little letter to come across. I have been trying to keep these things in mind already (having heard them from many), and it's always good to hear one more person say that all those things are normal. Thanks for posting this. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! What a great post. I love reading things like this right now--I'm almost done with my fifth month, and those little panicky moments get more overwhelming as I realize that this little baby moving inside me is going to COME OUT. And then, he is going to STAY. I'm also just finishing my senior year of school (the husband and I got married right after my sophomore year) so most of my support system comes from my church & our families. (My college is pretty baby-friendly, thankfully, but I still get weird looks...) Letters like this are so encouraging and uplifting. Thanks for helping me start my Wednesday out calmer and more focused than I have in a long time!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always wanted to be a mamma but never more so than after reading this beautiful post.

    As my biological clock is sprinting to the finish line I pray that I will be blessed to have this amazing experience.

    Thank you so much for the beautiful and heart wrenching post!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. this letter came just in time. *wink :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wish I'd read this before giving birth...or before getting pregnant. Pregnancy constipation was a big surprise.

    Why so much secrecy other moms?

    Why did no one tell me about the STOOL SOFTENERS?

    It's probably obvious, I'm still pissed about that one.

    Loved this, Bridge.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful letter and well said!! Believe I know too!
    i have had 4 kids myself and i could not have said and written this any better..i just wish i had had this letter back then:))) Great read thanks!!

    http://alignabluhm.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this. However, the pain after birth was "more than sore!" for me and I thought it really was "that bad!" Ha! I also didn't feel like my body healed well...tried sex at 10 weeks and there was NO WAY that was happening yet! Hurt like heck. As for the gelatinous glob...still got some of that going on at 5 months after. I also was never a leaker with breastfeeding and oh my, breastfeeding...wow, uber stress with that. No milk until Day 5 post-partum...baby significant weight loss. I still can't believe I ever survived the first 2 weeks! I really had breastfeeding and just the general first couple of weeks of motherhood very fantasy-like in my mind and was not prepared for how hard it would be. Nobody prepared me for that! All worth it...yes...and it really gets incredible when you start getting some feedback in the form of smiles and giggles! I'm hoping the next time I will be better prepared and able to enjoy those first couple of weeks more!

    ReplyDelete
  12. this was SO SWEET bridget! omgosh

    im not pregnant (YET!) but this would be something i would remember to go back to and read when that time comes :-) I esp love the "your baby" part...with cuddling him/her instead of cleaning. precious!!

    you should send this to Snooki from Jersey Shore who I just heard this morning was pregnant...yowza!

    xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  13. This was the perfect time to read this and I'm so so greatful that you took the time to write it! My due date was yesterday and I have been feeling so overwhelmed and freaked out about everything. About labor, about how I will recover, about who I will be, about how things will be between my husband and I, will my baby even like me?
    Besides the fact that IT STILL DOESN'T FEEL REAL and I feel like I have all the time in the world.
    This made me feel reassured... not that everything would be perfect persay, but that it would just be. Whatever it needed to be.
    So thank you for that ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. No, you didn't freak me out. This is so sweet and hopeful. It actually makes the thought of having a baby not so scary.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Also important to note, New Mama Bottom Spray from Earth Mama Angel Baby works *infinitely* better than Tucks!

    I totally agree, Elizabeth. The first few poops...I was sure that's how I would die and leave my baby to raise himself. Why so much secrecy other moms??

    ReplyDelete
  16. YAY for this! Due August 12 and can't wait (and am slightly terrified, if I'm being honest).

    Any future posts about how to prepare yourself mentally for natural childbirth? PLEASE?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bridget, this is so sweet. I love that youre so honest. Sooo, when are you having baby #2?

    ReplyDelete
  18. all i can say is THANK YOU!!! I needed this!!! First time mama :)Have all these questions tumbling around in my mind at the moment!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very sweet. Very true. Very wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  20. As someone that is working on getting pregnant - this was absolutely beautiful and inspirational. Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. i love this. it is so so true and i wish i had known all those things before we had our first little one ... they really are our hearts walking outside our body :)

    ps. i LOVE your blog bridget!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. i have no experience with the whole preganant/baby thing, but this is such a sweet letter. it sounds like it rings true with a whole bunch of ladies. thanks for always being so sweet and honest and real :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a beautiful letter.

    I like your honesty but also the fact it isn't scary. I want children in the future and this makes me think that I can do it one day and that the whole birth thing is not the traumatic experience so many people paint it as.

    So thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ok, I never comment. Sorry to be the lurker. However, I couldn't bear it this time...thank you so, so, so much for this. I've wanted to be a mama my whole life. Now that I'm actually in the position to have a child (and so desperately want one), I feel like all people care to tell me are the bad things, then their after thought is this : "...but it's worth it." I don't get it. If it was worth it, wouldn't you want to tell me all the positives first and foremost? I mean i know we all need to let off some steam, but really? I know I'm not a mama, but I am a teacher, have nannied, and worked with kids for as long as I can remember. I'm smart enough to know that my world is going to be completely different and that I really don't know anything about being a mama, but I do know that if I heard my mom telling everyone how difficult I was making her life and all the challenges I brought her only to be supplemented by "it's worth it..." I would be devastated. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing out the challenges as a part of the wonderful journey instead of making it sound all negative. Thank you for encouraging us instead of discouraging. You just made my day. And I may be tearing up now... :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I loved that. Thank you.
    I am so excited for that time in my life. I am so (or so I think, I know one can never "really" be) ready to have a baby, and my husband is too, and I can't wait to feel that feeling you talk about.

    ReplyDelete
  26. wow. i read that entire thing. word after word. i was really into that post haha

    and i'm not with child or anything.

    but that was baller. and you are a ballin' friend.

    ReplyDelete
  27. what a wonderfully written letter. so true. thank you for all of your wisdom and inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Such beautiful words! Your friends and family are very lucky to have someone like you in their lives!

    I wish I had such a letter when being pregnant. I miss those first weeks with my babe, they were the best and giving birth was such an amazing experience :-) (even without an epidural LOL).

    Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Love from a Belgian mom,

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  29. I stumbles upon your blog awhile back from my sister-in-laws blog chelsea horsley. i'm currently 26 weeks pregnant with my first (boy!) and loved reading this! thank you for sharing. thank you for consistently sharing real-true to life experiences and not only posting the beautiful, glamorous part of life.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my gosh I love this. I literally can relate to every single thing and it took me back to the first few weeks with my little one just 3 short months ago. It truly is the most amazing thing I have every done and she is most certainly my biggest accomplishment.

    Very well-written, beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  31. AWWWW so true. All of it. I love your story and your blog...just found it via two cats :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Aww, I love this letter! I hope I remember these things when my husband and I finally decide to have a baby...

    And I can tell you all about feeling unsexy! I had to have emergency colon surgery this past winter, and had to wear those lovely hospital lingerie mesh panties (They're see through! You can rip them off!) with furry legs because I couldn't bend over to shave, and I have this lovely scar down the middle of my tummy still. The pain I had before my surgery and after--they said was comparable to child birth. I kept thinking, "At least when you go through labor pain, you get a baby at the end...! All I got was pain (and poop)." *lol*

    ReplyDelete
  33. Lovely. Though from my vantage point, pregnancy seems very looooong. Almost endless. It's like I can only think in week by week segments.

    ReplyDelete
  34. thank you so much for that beautiful letter!! it really spoke to me. xo

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is very sweet, thoughtful, and informative. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  36. awesome! i wish more mamas were so honest and straightforward! thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. YOu held nothing back! I know a lot of women in my life who need to read this. It answers a lot of questions they have asked!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have known long that I want kids, this writing made my heart ache for a family of my own. I'm soon 29 and no idea where this life is going, just drifting away.. I have a boyfriend who propably would freak out if need to talk about future. Even after 6 years together.. Sad,right? But we're happy together. We have had future talks earlier when we didn't live together, there was freaking out and after a while we moved together :) Maybe there is hope while growing up together ;)

    ReplyDelete
  39. i'm nt a mom or anywhere near one but i just got teray eyed. this is beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  40. this was great to read today. i'm 4 days late and waiting for my little man to arrive at any moment. so many of these emotions you expressed are going rampant through my mind! this put me at ease, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  41. this is awesome. Thank you! I have 4 weeks to go!

    ReplyDelete
  42. i'm due august 4th. can't thank you enough for this positive note! <3

    ReplyDelete
  43. Such meaningful & special words! It's super hard, but it's also the biggest blessing and I try to never take it for granted.

    ReplyDelete
  44. sigh. oddly enough... i can not wait to be pregnant... even after reading your oh so honest post. i love how honest you were. thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  45. this post is great. i'm so beat down by all the horror stories that i am constantly being told (you'll blow your taint. you'll never be the same. it'll be like slinging a hot dog down a hallway).

    im not kidding when i tell you i have heard variations of the above at least 15 times each... and every time, i just want to offer my friends a drink and babysitter.

    i love hearing the GOOD part of having a baby. that is what people need to hear... because that other stuff is 80% of the raise in the national age of conception. sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  46. That was awesome. I love when people candidly and honestly share about pregnancy, their emotions, and the things no one wants to say. I am happily 6 months pregnant, expecting my little boy first week of July and amazed every day at this miracle in the process...

    My 2 step boys are excited to meet their new baby brother, I am totally adjusted to being a bonus mom now and feeling very ready to have a baby of my own.

    Thanks for all your posts! -Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  47. I just started reading your blog and I LOVE it! I love all the tips you give on healthy living and also the postings your mom and sis did answering all the questions. What a wonderful group of women you are! Thank you for all the great information and thank you for posting this beautiful letter you wrote to all of us preggo ladies out there. I am due March 17th and this letter you wrote was so inspring. It made me cry with happy tears.

    ReplyDelete

talk to me.

(also! if you have a question, check back as i usually answer it here!)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...