To all you new mamas out there, I remember. I remember coming home from the hospital with my newborn. I remember dazedly staring around our apartment, wondering what on earth I was supposed to “do” with this tiny, perfect baby.
I remember the moments of giddy joy and laughter...I remember the sleepless nights...the days I didn’t get to take a shower, or even brush my teeth...the breast engorgement...the up and down emotions...hour after hour of sitting and nursing my baby as I wondered if this was what motherhood was. Was it always going to be this hard?
Yes, I remember.
A few of my very dear friends recently had babies. So I did everything I could for them. I brought meals. I cleaned and did laundry. I sat with them while they cried and talked about how hard it was. I ran errands for them. I helped them laugh. I assured them that it gets easier.
Visiting at the hospital with one of them, it suddenly hit me how much I love and want to support new mothers in this joyful yet difficult time. And that’s when I texted Unbiased Papa, “I chose the right career.”
I had a miserable pregnancy. I had a traumatic birth. I had an awful postpartum. But I was supported through it all. I was surrounded by wonderful people who brought me through it - from the midwife who provided my prenatal care to my husband to my doctor to my family.
So I know. I know how unpleasant pregnancy can be. I know how scarring and detrimental birth can be. I know how horrible you can feel in those first days and months postpartum. I remember.
But I also know how support can make the difference between sinking or swimming. I know how having a sympathetic ear willing to listen or a family member to drop off some dinner can mean everything.
And now I get to give back. I get to give the support that I was so generously given. I get to support mothers through all kinds of pregnancies, births and postpartums. My experiences have strengthened me and taught me just how wonderful and fragile the perinatal time can be. That’s why I started teaching birth classes. That’s why I have just started offering mommy’s helper services. Because I know. I remember. And I want to give back to each and every mama that I can.