When I was pregnant I spent a lot of time thinking about how things would be after we had the baby. I thought about being on maternity leave, and having disrupted sleep. I went through all of my pre-pregnancy clothes, looking for things that I thought might flatter my post baby body. I thought I was ready.
I had heard about baby blues, but didn’t think much about how it would affect me.
I didn’t expect to start crying when the salon called to cancel my appointment or when I misplaced my cell phone. The other day I started crying out of nowhere. Steve asked me what was wrong, and the only way I could explain it was to say that my body was sad.
I didn’t expect I would be so disappointed at the pace of my recovery. I didn’t expect to tear up every time I try to get dressed because my body looks like the body of a stranger.
I didn’t expect that even though I have nothing but time, I can’t seem to get anything done. Time melts away and before I know it’s late in the evening and all I have managed to do is brush my teeth and feed and change the baby all day.
I did, at least, realize I would be exhausted. I spent my entire pregnancy being reminded by perfect strangers that I needed to sleep as much as possible now because I wouldn’t get a decent night of sleep for the next year. I was terrified that I would be so tired I wouldn’t be able to function. The reality has actually been easier to stomach than my fears.
I also didn’t expect how completely and totally in love I would be with the baby I had never met. I didn’t expect that every time his lip would tremble my heart would ache and I would do everything I could to soothe him. I didn’t expect that my heart would make a place so big for him when it was already so full of love for my husband.
I am sure parts of the postpartum experience take everyone off guard. What were your biggest postpartum surprises?