During pregnancy, I wondered what life would look like postpartum. Would it be different? The same? Somewhere in between? After being house-bound with my new baby for so long, there came a necessary point I needed (read: craved) a break. Of course there was hesitation in leaving my baby for the first time, but I knew if I didn't get a break, I was going to break. There are some things I wish I'd known about my first postpartum night out that might've prepared me a little bit more for the wide range of emotions I was about to go through, though, because it's a lot.
When I was pregnant the first time, I remember thinking, "Will this ever end?" because, let's face it: once you hit those final, uncomfortable months, it feels like forever. It's only natural to start daydreaming about getting back to some kind of normal, whatever that is, which includes going out. Our first night out post-baby, my partner and I planned to go see a band we knew. It was a reunion show of sorts, the space filled wall-to-wall, and while it was a habitat I loved being in before pregnancy, it was something completely different after. I was different after.
One thing I wish I'd known about that initial outing is that it would be wildly different than all the times before baby, and to assume otherwise would lead to disappointment and/or frustration. In my case, it was both (and then some). Pregnancy, labor, and delivery changes a woman. It changed me, that's for sure, and I have to say that change was for the better (mostly). Here are some things I wish I'd known before putting myself back out there, to minimize the pain of it all.