Jacob Lund/Fotolia

8 *Totally Satisfying* Experiences Only A New Mom Will Understand

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Postpartum life is full of highs and lows. From the moment that baby exits your body and is placed into your arms, you experience unfaltering and conflicting emotions. You're exhausted and exhilarated. You're happy and wistful. You're excited and frightened. It's no wonder, then, that postpartum life offers some totally satisfying experiences only a new mom will understand. These wonderful and happy experiences often make new moms feel rewarded for the difficult job that is motherhood. Because, let's be honest you guys, sometimes motherhood — especially new motherhood — feels overwhelmingly harsh.

New moms experience so much truly satisfying events, it's hard to pick just a few. For many moms, it's satisfying to simply watch their babies hit their milestones. The first smile, the first laugh, the first time their babies roll over, crawl, cruise, walk, are all cause for celebration. The first time their babies eat solid foods, try a lemon, and feed themselves with a spoon feel like  monumental wins. But there are seemingly insignificant experiences that only a new mom can appreciate, too, and they're not all that obvious.

I remember the first time I left the house without the baby. It was a trip to Babies R Us for diapers and bottles. It wasn't anything exciting, but I was all on my own. My mother was watching my daughter and I was free for a few hours, until I needed to come home and feed the baby. So, I got into my car, rolled the windows down and turned the music up, let the wind blow through my hair on a warm spring day, and I rocked out like I was a teenager again. It was glorious and freeing. After feeling like a prisoner in my own home, in pain and bleeding, I finally felt a taste of freedom I didn't know I longed for. I strolled the aisles of Babies R Us slowly, enjoying every moment of being alone. I browsed what I needed and what I did not need. I looked at baby clothes and fantasized about getting eight hours of sleep. It was a joy only a new mother understands, just like the ones below.

Ad failed to load

That First Postpartum Shower

Giphy

OMG, that first postpartum shower is what all dreams are made of. I was induced a week late with both of my kids: the two stubborn Aries who did not want to leave the cozy habitat I provided for them. Both inductions were lengthy, lasting approximately 14 hours. With my first, I pushed for nearly three hours, and after my she was born my placenta ripped and my doctor had to dig it out with her hands.

I could hardly move after that particularly traumatic birth, but I moved just enough to get into the shower the very next morning. And, OMG, that shower was better than any shower I have ever taken, you guys.  

That Perfect Latch

I couldn't figure out how to breastfeed my first child. I didn't get enough support and didn't know how to ask for more. I felt all alone and none of my friends knew anything about breastfeeding, since I was the first to become a mom.

So, I felt this undeniable sense of guilt for the first year of my daughter's life. When my son was born, I was determined to breastfeed and I received all the help I could. Breastfeeding was still so painful and difficult, though, and even when I thought I got the hang of it. Finally, a few weeks into nursing my son, I understood how amazing breastfeeding can be and that is an amazing first-time-mom feeling.

When Your Baby Finally Sleeps Through The Night

Giphy

Some babies sleep through the night instantaneously, while others take a little while to figure out the difference between night from day. I remember waking up in a pure panic, looking at the clock and seeing 7:00 a.m. and hearing nothing coming from my daughter's crib. I stayed still, waiting for a sound and praying she was OK. I snuck into her room and realized she was still sleeping. I slowly snuck back our and went back to bed, with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye.

Ad failed to load

Your First Post-Baby Date

It wasn't anything fancy, just a local burger place, but after a long three months of dealing with our baby's colic and not sleeping, a date with my partner felt monumental. I finally took off my sweatpants, put on a regular pair of jeans, and even did my makeup. The husband opened the car door for me and even closed it after I got in, super chivalrous-like. It was amazing to feel like adults who care about each other, and not just like adults trying to survive postpartum life together.

Your First Post-Baby Girl's Night Out

Giphy

There are a few things that are better for a mom's mental health than time spent with her friends. I love nothing more than getting together with my girlfriends, eating some delicious food, drinking some yummy alcoholic beverages, and chatting and laughing the evening away. And the first time postpartum is even better than the rest. Not only are girl's night out great for mom's sanity, but they are a perfect outlet for all the repressed feelings moms have about parenting.

Sleeping On Your Stomach Again

I know everyone is different, but sleeping on my stomach is the only way to get a good night sleep. In fact, I don't understand how anyone can sleep soundly on their side and especially on their backs. Like, how do people even do that?

But I couldn't sleep on my stomach when I was pregnant, obviously. And then I couldn't sleep on my stomach when I was breastfeeding because it was too painful and my milk would leak everywhere. So the moment I was actually able to sleep on my stomach was amazingly glorious.

Ad failed to load

Wearing Non-Maternity Clothes

Giphy

I hated maternity clothes so much, that the second time around I didn't even bother buying any. I pretty much decided to live in yoga pants and leggings. I bought two pairs of jeans that kept sliding off my hips and creating unflattering folds under my butt. I swear, maternity clothes are made to make pregnant women feel even crappier about themselves and their changing bodies. I haven't met a maternity top or dress of pants that I actually found appealing.

So, it was so lovely to finally get out of the maternity clothes and into some normal people clothes. Even if those "normal people" clothes were just my old sweatpants and jeans.

Going Back To Work

I know many would disagree with me on this, but leaving the house and going to work, where you are able to communicate with adults about adult things, felt so great. I mean, sure, that novelty quickly wore off after just a few days at work, and I wanted to go back on maternity leave once again, but it was a legitimate high for those few days.

Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack