You prepared in the best way you knew how. You made it through birth even though at some point, I know you didn’t think you could. You dealt with the roller coaster of emotions – fears, joys, worries, confusion, love – after that birth. Or are still dealing with that. You are.
Your birth probably didn’t go the way you expected. Even if everything went overall well, there were probably moments that felt like a nightmare. Things that you didn’t think could happen in the same space as something as good as birth should be.
You might feel ashamed of that. You might feel like not being glowingly happy every moment of birth is a sign that something is wrong with you. You might look back on your birth with a shudder and wonder if the problem with birth is you.
Or maybe it took longer than that.
Maybe you left your birth all smiles and triumph, and the worry trickled in later. The late nights and constant crying wore you down. You didn’t understand your baby like you thought you would. Your body didn’t “go back to normal” so you felt sloppy, slovenly. Everything in your world was gross and earthy and messy.
And the worry whispers that maybe this means you’re not cut out for the job. Maybe you’re not the mom you thought you’d be because you’re not a good mom. Maybe your body is ruined, is just a bad body, is never going to feel good again. It doesn’t seem like anyone else feels this way… so it has to be you.
Dear Mama…. it’s not you. You’re not a bad mother because your birth felt bad, or hurt or surprised you. You’re not a bad mother if you don’t like it all the time, or even most of the time. There’s nothing wrong with you, not even if you feel nasty and horrible.
And it’s not wrong to feel bad. It’s not betraying your child to feel the emotions that you’re feeling. Your feelings are real. The things that caused them are real. And if any are misplaced, or if any are out of proportion, even then you don’t have to bury them. And when you are able, may you be able to ease your way into healing the way you now need to ease your tender body in every way.
But let this be permission to (without acting out) feel those feelings, express those disappointments, know those regrets, and accept the place of struggle.
You are not alone.
We are here with you.
Baby Discovery Box Team