I am new to this whole pregnancy thing but I have joined some pregnancy and mom’s groups that are really informative and the community helps to let me know that what I am experiencing is normal. The ability to speak freely with other pregnant women and mothers can help to quell fears or just provide a good laugh when it is very much needed.
In one of these groups it was pointed out that something a second time mother found really helpful was to know that the feelings she was experiencing after delivering the baby were what other mothers were experiencing. Since I have no idea of the many different emotions that can be felt after giving birth, I thought it would be a great idea to share some first hand experiences.
Below are real responses from mothers across Canada about how they felt after giving birth:
Overwhelmed. It’s so much easier having one. When you get home it’s pretty hectic. You have another child that is used to having only you and your time now you have to share it. The first couple of months are very hard but then you fall into a routine.
I had mine really close in age and it didn’t seem to even bother my oldest that there was a new baby. I was so much more relaxed and it was easy for me, like super easy that I thought something was wrong. Nursing was easy the second time and juggling the two were easy. I did a lot of baby wearing and cuddling both at the same time.
The first time was awful and horrible. I didn’t feel like I really loved my child at first but with my second it was automatic so I felt kind of sad that my first missed out on me feeling that way but I know she doesn’t even know.
We also fell into a routine (completely them guiding it as I NEVER put them on a routine) pretty quickly and easy.
I was on pain control meds after my c-section so the first few days seem a hazy blur of love and sleep and newborn smells. Ha. But my husband recorded me saying the following:
“I was worried before (our daughter) she was born that you wouldn’t love her and that I would love her a lot and that means less love for you (my husband) but then, I saw you with her and it was like BANG! pie and ice cream on top. So I gave her a piece of my pie, and you gave her a piece of your pie, so now we all have pie, and I want ice cream on top of mine, please.”
I think that accurately sums up my feelings after birth.
I brought my first home and was in shock for a while. For a few days it felt like a dream and I was very sleep deprived. After a few days, our baby became very colicky and I pretty much just held him and nursed him around the clock.
For a short period, I grieved for the old me. Before children I could have never imagined just how much of a wonder it was to do whatever I wanted with my days. It sounds dark at first, and honestly, it was. But then the first smiles came. My adorable baby smiled at me and cried for me and snuggled up to me. And then he started to laugh and reach for me and communicate with intentional sounds. There are no words to describe the love and joy your child fills your heart and life with. You are so so ridiculously proud of everything they do. From that, we adapt into parents and never want to imagine life any other way
-BrandiOverwhelmed with emotion. So full of love so immediately that it felt sometimes like my heart was going to burst. Definitely the most sudden, intense feeling of love and emotion and the need to protect I’ve ever had. I remember having no fear for myself before or during my c-section until I saw he was safe (his heart rate had been decelerating and he had been in distress). Suddenly after I saw he was safe I had the sudden thought “Oh something bad could happen to me here. I could bleed to death, etc. It’s okay because he is safe.” It was a sudden feeling that my life and safety was no longer the most important.– ErinI just remember not having an instant bond like an instant “I would die for you” feeling. It actually took me a few weeks before I really felt bonded. I remember my mom telling me she felt the same way so I wasn’t concerned it was a sign of depression.-AprilI had a really great first few weeks with my son, but once the visitors stopped and I was left all alone, time stood still and I felt very bored and lonely. I had lots of issues with breastfeeding which brought me to tears numerous times, I worked so hard and was so exhausted. I started to feel myself slipping, I hated not being “in control.” It was around the four month mark when I finally got help and started going to a postpartum depression group. It was amazing to hear that everything I was feeling was normal and that other mom’s were going through it too.I also longed for my old life. My friends were all still “living the dream” and I felt a ton of guilt and regret. It wasn’t until my son was about 1 year old that things started to feel better. He was sleeping well and I finally felt a bit more in control. I’m not sure how it’ll be with two. They say it’s easier to go from 1-2 than from 0-1 so fingers crossed!
-DanielleA week or so after my son was born my husband ran to the store to grab food for supper on our first day without visitors. Being alone with our son I had this sudden panicky thought of “Oh dear! This is real… there is no undoing this now, this baby is here…” I think reality had set in that here was a little baby relying on us to care for him. I have never doubted parenthood again since but, there was definitely a fear of failure.