Fresh, beautiful mama
You either feel beautiful right now or you don’t.
You’re either still running on adrenaline, or that’s beginning to taper off.
You’re either nursing, dozing, eating something with one hand or drinking a lukewarm tea.
You may be emotional, and you may wonder how you’ll get through today, let alone the next 18 years.
You may feel fragile.
But then again, that could be said at any stage of the mothering process.
I don’t have all the answers for you, but I do have the answers for me. Just like you do for your own self- but you have to dig deep.
And I know you can, because you did so just days ago when you birthed your baby. And when you birthed your baby the universe taught you what it is you need to know during these first days. During the rough days. During the challenging decades to come.
Maybe you were too busy during the throes of labour to take cole’s notes of your lessons, but I was there and observed you. And I love taking notes, so here’s what I’ve remarked about you:
- Birth taught you patience. Patience for when your baby is descending through the birth canal and patience for when your baby is pulling at your teat for what seems like an eternity, today. Patience for when you long awaited your first piece of toast after a day long labour and patience for when you’ll get around to any semblance of a mismatched hodgepodge of a meal today. Birth taught you to deal with this- you did and you can again.
- Birth taught you to surrender. To surrender to the surges that brought your baby earthside and surrender for your babe’s inability to doze anywhere but on your chest today. Surrender for the knowledge that bringing your baby to your chest meant accepting short term pain for a lifelong gain, and surrender for sleeping at 5pm today for a much deserved nap. Birth gave you permission to surrender.
- Birth taught you to trust. It taught you that you actually could survive the car ride to the hospital, though you screamed at your driver to stop hitting the bumps and to hurry the hell up, and taught you trust that your baby, in turn, would survive the car ride home, while you reminded your husband again about those bumps, and for godsakes to slow the car way the hell down. Birth taught you there will come an end to an arduous labour and that it will be worth the journey, just like you must trust that your nipples will get less dark, long and cracky, and your hormones will eventually become less wacky. Birth demands this trust.
- Birth taught you compromise. It marked up your well researched birth plan with amendments, changes and adjustments. Just like this day teaches you to accept a visit with your in-laws in a billowing brown potato sack, rather than the dress you had planned, complete with pit and milk stains, your best pyjama pants and earrings for good measure. Birth taught you that compromise must sometimes override your best set plans, and that you will come to terms with that on your own time.
- Birth taught you to accept support. When you most needed it, it was OK for you to look for guidance from a nurse, just a stranger to you two hours prior, to coax you through the ejection of a nine pound baby from your capable, but curious body. Just like it’s OK to take someone up on the offer to wash your dirty underwear today, on the floor of your washroom with the extra absorbent pads still attached. Birth taught you how hard you can squeeze another human’s hand should the world’s apocalypse come in this lifetime, just like you ought to allow the neighbour to help you tidy the apocalypse happening within the walls of your own home right now. Birth taught you to accept that support willingly.
- Birth taught you about gratitude. For the process your body endured to birth your child and for the milk it emits on every pore of your baby’s unsuspecting face today. For the warm water you first peed into postpartum in the hospital, and for the ability to sit on your perineum today without having to scooch into a better position. Your body remembers how to be, slowly but surely, and for that you are grateful.
- Birth taught you about beauty. That your baby’s face is more mesmerizing than any sunset, more inspiring than any jumping dolphin and more captivating than Magic Mike. Birth taught you about how much your circle loves you, and why you were meant to have this baby at this time, and how things can all work out in the end. Birth taught you your greatest accessory is brought to your lips for kisses, instead of colouring your lip in tube form.
- And then there’s the self-doubt- and it was and is an important piece. It piggybacked your ride this whole last week, but when it came down to accepting challenge and pushing through, you cast that asshole aside. When it came down to it, your people were there for you to remind you that you are enough. Because deep down, when you dig through the archives, you found the strength to bring your baby into the world and you have the strength to raise your child to be your life’s greatest achievement.
Having fear about something leaves space for the greatest transformation. Embrace that there is much to learn. Embrace the unknown.
Because lets remember, your life’s experiences taught you to birth. Your birth taught you the pillars upon which a person learns to parent, and all the while, your child will teach you everything else you need to know about this life.
The universe is a wise old lady. And so are you.