Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Childbirth Recovery: Takes Longer Than You Think

There are plenty of books, pamphlets and internet articles that will confirm that childbirth is a big deal and it can take your body a long time to get back to normal.  So, I'm not going to hash that out.  Instead, I just want to say this:

No matter the details of a birth, transitioning from before to after (no kids to new parents, 1 to 2 kids, etc.) is a big deal.  The body and emotional mind are amazing things - able to adapt and respond in beautiful ways.  But still, it's all a big deal.

Maybe you already know that, but sometimes we don't talk about things the way we should.  My daughter is 2 months old as of yesterday.  It's been 2 whole months since I labored and met her for the first time.  60 days seems like plenty of time to do anything you'd like, right?  Well, I still feel a little shaky.  Physically, aside from the excess weight, I'm just fine.  Tired, but fine.  Mentally, though, I get flashes of normalcy mixed with bizarre time-warp feelings.  Being sad and depressed (PPD) is real and a big deal, but thankfully that's not what I'm talking about.  Life is different and getting used to it isn't awful, but it is hard.

To all the mothers who work full-time and have to return around 6 weeks, I am humbled at your strength.  And I'm not talking about having to leave that precious baby either (that's a whole other mountain I don't know how you guys climb).  Returning to work and being expected to function as you did before isn't unreasonable at all, but you're just not the same.  And sometimes that shows up in the most inconvenient places.  I seem to have trouble talking.  No, really.  I've never been eloquent or warm per say, but now I'm downright awkward and jumbled.  I can't remember words or even concepts sometimes.  My point is that awesome thing that we did (childbirth) creates ripples everywhere and it just takes longer than we think to recover.

Have patience with yourself.  If you aren't a new mother, but work or live with one, have patience with them.  They will amaze you at the things they can do (think up all night with a baby and then takes care of a sick toddler like a pro before a full days work), but don't let that fool you.  What they are doing is a very. big. deal.  And there are hiccups and meltdowns and wrenches thrown.  Be gentle and kind to that hardworking spirit.  In time it will produce fruit ten-fold, just make sure to give it enough time.

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