I was a nanny for seven years to the sweetest family. Their oldest is about to deliver her first baby. This letter is addressed to her.
The irony of my letter is you won’t really know when your last supper will take place prior to your delivery. For this reason, (and a million others like the art of growing an actual human, to dilating to 10cm, and can we talk about the placenta?) makes childbirth truly amazing. So, as you embark on this life changing event, I wanted to share a few things with you.
I know you are already in love with this little creature growing inside you, but your heart will explode upon meeting him/her. It will most likely be in the form of tears: happy, elated, uncontrollable tears. Let them out! When Brad holds his child for the first time, you will fall in love with him all over again, proving he’s your soulmate. Soak in that moment; don’t let anything distract you from witnessing it (and if possible, have someone get a picture of their eyes locking). Then, when your own Mama walks in the room, another burst of emotions will pour from your soul. The meeting of these individuals is what will make you emotionally exhausted; the childbirth part already a distant memory.
Approximately a minute after your families leave and the elation begins to tame, your mother’s intuition will turn on and operate on high speed forever; do not second guess your intuition. She’s more than likely spot on and you should trust her.
Your body will begin to hurt, but you’re a WARRIOR! Look at what you just did! You grew a human! When your milk comes in, enjoy the very large (and very temporary) chest you thought you always wanted. And if you nurse, remember, it may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done; it was for me.
At some point in the first week, there may be empty feelings that forms in your stomach. Some say this is the making of the baby blues; yet everyone feels a bit strange and empty after something so monumental. It’s an odd, bare, homesickness feeling. If this happens, be kind to yourself.
Being a Mama will take precedence over everything in your life especially during the first year. Your job won’t be as rewarding and you’ll feel like you’re losing your identity, your friendships. There may be Mama guilt over every choice you have to make. You may feel like you’re losing yourself, but she’s there; and over time, you will slowly bring her back, molding her into your new identity. Fight for her as much as you will fight for your child and your family. She’s just as important.
You have all the makings of being an exceptional Mama; I witnessed many since our first meeting at age four and have watched you blossom into the most beautiful human.
- Your tender heart always scans the room and projects the feelings of others thus making you eternally compassionate.
- Your success and wisdom continue to multiply because you’re hard working, determined, and surround yourself with good people making you accomplished and able.
- Your family’s motto, Family Over Everything, will carry over into your new family, and you will be a fierce Mama Bear, protector of the people you love.
- Your body will go through what feels like an insanely intense whiplash, but it will more than likely transform into a stronger and more beautiful version of you. (Your Mama told me this once, and I can attest.) Be patient. Your 4th trimester will require more of your body and will suck the energy out of you but not your strength.
- Your peeps will come in flocks to help support you because of the loving wife, daughter, sister, niece, friend, and colleague you’ve been to them.
You were born to be a Mama. I love you, and I can’t wait to meet your newest family member.
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