Congratulations you have just birthed your baby. I know that you’ve been hearing that a lot lately, and you may not feel like there’s anything to celebrate right now. You are wounded, tired, and overwhelmed. You are in shock about the reality of what having a new baby is like. It’s not what you thought it would be like. This baby needs you all the time. You knew that would be the case, but you didn’t KNOW.
This past weekend I set about sharing my postpartum plans with my partner and parents. The conversations were great opportunities to discuss our expectations, reflect on what worked last time and problem-solve some sticky areas. As the time for postpartum planning winds down I find myself feeling nervous and excited about what the postpartum period will bring, and I am trying to settle into this waiting period with peace and anticipation.
Time is really flying now as I am 37 weeks pregnant. Our second child could join us at any time. People often ask me if I am ready and my response always starts with a pause. I feel so much more ready to have this baby than I was to have the first, although I thought I was ready to have her. At the same time I know what is behind door number two. I know it will be several months of having a baby attached to me for the better part of most days. I know it will probably be a year of frustration with how infants sleep (even though I know not to expect her to sleep like a grownup). I know it will be a series of moments in which I think about all the things I should get done and feel frustrated that I can’t seem to get anything done.Yes, I know what having a newborn is like, but what I don’t know is what having a newborn and a toddler is like.
For the birth of my first child I bought a couple large maxi pads, some nursing bras, and stocked a few meals in the freezer. That was about it. There were so many little things I felt like I was missing in the first few weeks. Luckily my doula came by with a little bag of goodies that helped me care for myself and recover from birth. This time around I am trying to be mindful of what I used the first time and what I wished I had on hand.