It’s all a journey. From the two pink lines on the test, to the ultrasounds, to the first time you hear your baby cry, everyone has different experiences. No two pregnancies are the same. Just as no two pregnancies are the same, no two postpartum experiences are the same. In an effort to open up the discussion more about postpartum experiences, I turned to social media looking for women to finish the sentence “Postpartum is…” The responses that poured in were raw, and honest, and perfectly highlight that each experience is completely individual, and yet, somehow, we are all along for the same ride. What makes us unique and different, also joins us.
- crying more than the newborn in the first few weeks
- one day at a time
- learning to adjust your own expectations and go with the flow
- never truly understood by anyone that has not endured
- survival mode
- a learning process physically, emotionally and mentally
- sometimes one day that blends into the next
- hoping no one asks you how far along you are
- not fitting into any of your clothes
- a roller coaster
- learning to trust your instincts
- the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes in the same hour
- the fourth trimester
- loving so hard it breaks you and holds you together at the same time
- learning how to do things with one (or no) hands
- equal parts pain and love
- discovering how strong you are
- the response when your heart moves outside of your body and grows beyond comprehension
- the whole package
- apart of life
- the same as puberty, you have thoughts and feelings that don’t really seem like yours and freak you out
- never having enough time to do anything, but watching the seconds tick by wondering how time can go so slow
- realizing how much you can actually do when you really don’t want to do anything anymore
- understanding what tired actually feels like
- being so mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, and yet so utterly and completely filled with love. (And sometimes hate…)
- having a total understanding of what your mother and father did for you, and seeing them in a whole new light. (And having mad respect for them … more than you did before)
- seeing your partner as a parent, and watching them fall in love with someone else, and being so happy about it.
- eye-opening, and maybe not the most fun time in your life, but you’ll look back on it and reminisce, and think “wow, I did it!”
These responses came in across numerous countries, across a wide range of ages, and yet, we all feel somewhat united by the fact that once you experience the postpartum life, you are connected to a world of other women who have too. Even though there are highs and lows, and some women may get all the highs, and another all the lows, we are all united and connected in this way.
Postpartum is empowering. One minute you feel so strong that you brought this amazing tiny life into the world, and the next you are questioning every decision you make. So what’s the point of this post? What’s the point of highlighting all that postpartum is and more?
To open up the conversation!
I am so tired of women feeling like they can’t talk about it. I am over the stigma surrounding bringing home a new baby that says if you aren’t so in love with this tiny terror right away something is wrong with you. The idea that we should just come home and know what we are doing. The concept that the pregnancy and delivery were the hardest part. Postpartum is hard. It is pain. It is tears, both happy and sad. And it’s about time we talked about it. The fact that it is a unique experience means there is no “normal” but that doesn’t mean mamas should live in silence. While the experiences are unique woman to woman, postpartum as a whole binds us together in a way not many other life experiences do. So please, talk! To your partner, to your mom, to a friend, to a counsellor, whomever you can. Don’t feel alone during this time in your life, those of us who are moms are all apart of the same tribe. It’s time we start acting like it.
How was your postpartum experience? Let me know in the comments below!