After 16 hours of labor and almost three hours of pushing, I finally gave birth to my daughter. She was perfect in every way, except for her weirdly shaped head. I held her and I cried, suddenly overwhelmed by an indescribable, pure love. The two days at the hospital were a blur, but the moment we left life got very real. Postpartum life is an intimidating, surreal experience. That's why there are a few things a new mom needs to hear when she comes home from the hospital. Hopefully, with a little kindness and support, her loved ones can alleviate some of those feelings of fear and uncertainty.
I remember sitting in the comfortable chair in my daughter's room, holding her and watching her sleep. I remember feeling everything and nothing all at once. I felt love and exhaustion, excitement and apprehension. I wanted to cry and laugh all at once. I remember wondering if I had made the right choice, fully aware of the fact that there was no going back. I recall looking at her beautiful baby cheeks, feeling her little body pressed up against me, inhaling and exhaling ever so gently, and feeling immense calm and anxiety concurrently.
Everyone tried to help. My in-laws cooked a few week's worth of food and froze it into nightly meals. My parents would show up uninvited and help around the house. My mom would try to help me breastfeed and watch my baby while I attempted to nap. Sometimes she was able to ease my mind, and other times she just made me nervous. My friends came with gifts and food and kept me company so I wouldn't completely succumb to the baby blues. I felt loved and supported and yet, still, so very much alone. Now that's I'm a "seasoned" mom of two, nine years later, I now know what new moms want to hear when they come home from the hospital. In fact, I think it would be nice for all new moms to hear the following: