“You will have doubts at every choice you’re making.”
When you are pregnant, you will feel fragile at times. You will feel vulnerable and protective of your body and your baby while you are pregnant. You will get softer and rounder and chubbier. You will want to nap and eat and read books about moms and babies. You will be in awe that this body that has carried you through your life, now inhabits two. You will cry at the drop of a hat. You will simultaneously feel incredibly powerful and strong and proud at this body that is making another entire human being. And you will fart. Like way more than you ever thought possible.
When the baby comes into your world, you will feel like you have no idea what you are doing. You will feel terrified, wanting to clutch the legs of the postpartum nurses as you are heading home from the hospital and shout, “Don’t make me go, I have no idea how to be a mother!” You will worry. You will feel more tired than you have ever felt in your whole life and wonder, “How do other mothers do this?” And at the same time, you will marvel at how your body just knows what to do to make milk. You will feel empowered and confident by how, you alone, know this little being like no one else. And when you breastfeed you will feel like you are dying of thirst. Like every drop of moisture has simultaneously evacuated your mouth.
You will have doubts at every choice you’re making from formula or no formula? Sleep train or no sleep train? Store bought baby food or homemade baby food? You will, at times, be so overwhelmed that you question your sanity wondering how long you have been sitting in this chair staring at the wall with one boob hanging out? And yet, when your baby gets old enough to smile and interact for the first time, you will feel an intense bond and familiarity with this little soul who chose you to be it’s mother. You will marvel at finding yourself thinking, I can’t wait to be home to hold my baby. You will be obsessed with the smell of your baby’s head and will frequently go in to gaze at their sleeping face and be moved to tears by the delicate curve of their wee cheek and the tiny clenched hands. And you won’t for a while anyway, get almost anything checked off your to do list.
And it’s all OK.