So, you’re having a baby…
For every post out there that outlines the scariest parts of childbirth, there are just as many that foretell the grim future after your little miracle is born. I appreciated many of these posts during the latter stages of my pregnancy to provide no-nonsense insight into the reality of childbirth and post-birth challenges, but I did not encounter much about the many joys and really awesome changes that occur.
I know it sounds a little cheesy, but stay with me. It’s very popular these days to be the ‘hard-truth telling’ gal with no-holds barred and a slightly pessimistic attitude that makes you come across jaded and apathetic. The positive and optimistic approach may not be sexy, but I know that at 40 weeks with my fist child, I would have appreciated some musings on what I had to look forward to, in addition to the scary unknown of birth. And the truth is, we all bask in that glow of new mommy-ness and spout out nothing but syrupy-sweet newborn quips as soon as we see that little miracle, so put a pin in it, pessimists, I know you did the same!
Here are some things that you have to look forward to AFTER the your baby is born:
You Immediately Have a Purpose
This one is the most obvious and most talked about, but it is still undeniably the most powerful. I did not understand how overwhelming and all-consuming the feeling is, particularly with your first child. Even if you didn’t think you were unfulfilled before, you suddenly have a clear, meaningful and important purpose in life. There is a tiny, helpless person that relies on you for everything to survive, and that is an incredibly awesome experience.
You Will No Longer Care What People Think
In all aspects of life, I give far fewer f**ks than I gave before. I don’t know if it’s that I have less time to care, a more important thing to care about, or if I developed a stronger sense of self, (likely all 3). But, whether it’s my outfit, hair, parenting style or schedule, I have zero room for others’ opinions and have no qualms about making that known!
You will be more confident in yourself
I successfully grew a human and delivered her into the world. There is nothing easy about it and you will feel like a Marvel Comic Book hero when you realize what you just did and how crazy it is. If you can do that, you can do anything.
You will realize how Great You Look
This one might take a little while, because you are left staring at a body that does not at all resemble the one you had 9 months ago. However, as the months rolled on, I became much more content with how I looked. If you take care of yourself during pregnancy, your body will return to something pretty close to what you remember. I spend a lot less time fussing over my appearance (see #2) but I am also just happier with my body now. I am proud of what this body has done, proud of the life it created, and I want my daughter to see her mom be confident in who she is. My husband tells me all time how great I look, and although I joke about it, I believe him! You will learn to truly love and respect the body you have, and that is a great and freeing feeling.
You will feel empowered
This speaks to the previous 4 points, but you will have the distinct feeling of empowerment that is like a caffeine boost in your bloodstream. As you watch yourself become a parent, and realize that you are actually a good parent, you feel like you can take on the world. (And I encourage you to do so!) There is no confidence boost greater than the realization that your baby loves you and trusts you. She believes in me in everything, why shouldn’t I have the same belief in myself?
With each new milestone your munchkin reaches, you will learn something new about yourself. There is a new “you” that is born along with your child;
take time to celebrate your growth as a new mom and a new woman.