Postpartum, in a nutshell, is super complicated. You can't really boil it down to any one experience or feeling, especially as your hormones try to weave their way towards something vaguely stable in your post-pregnancy life. However, there are things I wish my partner had said to me postpartum, without me having to ask, that might've made everything feel a little less daunting. The may have even given me a more profound hope that things would be alright, because in that chaotic time it was difficult to see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Aside from the overwhelming, weighted heaviness you might feel as you return home from the hospital (or birth center, or just your living room), you now have the task of caring for this little human you birthed. There are many things that change when the new member is added; things you might not have counted on. Your emotions are teetering between highs and lows, your body is in recovery-mode, and you still have all of life's responsibilities to handle (bills, anyone?). It's not easy to find the balance when you're exhausted from hourly feedings and sore as hell.
After the birth of both my children, and while my partner does deserve some credit, he wasn't as present as I wished he had been. I totally get that the non-child-bearing partner might also be dealing with these new challenges in his or her own way, but it's not the same as what I've gone through. Not only was I struggling to figure out how to mother this baby but also how to navigate my relationship with my partner, family, and friends, now that my time was occupied by another. With that, there are some things I wish my partner had said to me postpartum that couldn't meant the difference between an OK day and an "I can conquer the world" day. (For the record, I much prefer the latter.)