from one mama to another...


i hated those moms. you know... those. the ones that tell you every horrifying detail of their agonizing labor or how breastfeeding was just sooo hard for them. i hate that. more importantly, i hate how fearful i was after hearing some of their stories, stories that i didn't ask to be shared. i feel like i was tainted.

i was a maternal virgin. and a maternal virgin is the most vulnerable kind. as a virgin, you want to do everything right. you want to do the whole mama/baby thing by the books or at least according to the plan that you've thought out in your head. 'i'm going to be this kind of mama and i'm going to do this and not do that.' and then you have your baby. and all of the this, that, and not, go right out the window.

i have a few friends that are pregnant and while i'm honest with them about questions that they may have, i hold back certain details because my experience was my own and i don't want what i experienced to taint theirs' or give them a set of specific expectations. also, i don't want to be one of those mamas.

so to my sweet friends and all mamas-to-be, this is what i wish one of those mamas would've told me:

1. the hardest part about labor isn't the pain. i mean, the pain is no picnic and not something i would choose to do for fun on a random tuesday- let's be honest, it hurts like a real motherfucker. no, the hardest part is the anticipation. you are thisclose to meeting your child. the past ten months are all but a fuzzy memory and you just. can't. wait. any longer to meet this little person that will quickly become the most important part of your world. it's excruciating.

2. your feelings towards your mother will change forever. yes, you love her now and you know that she loves you. but when you see your baby and have the weight of that sweet pile of love on your chest for the first time, you actually feel just how much she loves you. you learn what unconditional actually means. you'll also have a newfound respect for all women and other mamas. no matter how a child comes into the world, it's no less a miracle and a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of.

3. you'll never be more in love with your husband or partner than when you see him with your baby for the first time. it's kind of the sexiest thing in the world: a man with a baby, am i right? but seeing your man holding your baby? two things will happen: your heart will want to explode right out of your chest and you'll also want to jump his bones. unfortunately, your box will be on strike so the latter can't happen.

4. you'll understand the whole maternal instincts thing. before marlo, i really didn't care for babies. they made me nervous and anxious and it never failed that they chose the time that i was holding them to have massive blow-outs or vomit all over me. but when it's your baby, you know exactly what they need, exactly what they want, what each cry means, and you don't need a doctor or any best-selling parental advice book to tell you. you'll doubt yourself, sure. you'll wonder if you're doing something wrong, yes. but you will never again feel the confidence that you do when you know deep in your bones that you're doing a damn fine job at being your baby's mama.

5. your heart will ache with how much you love your child. almost nine months later there are occasions now that i look at marlo and wonder how in the hell i had any part in creating something so perfect. i look at her and cry because she is everything i could've hoped for yet never knew i needed or wanted. the days are long and sometimes hard, i am emotionally exhausted and physically tired, and there are days when i question just how perfect she is with her newfound sassiness and fondness for trying to lick the electrical outlets. but my heart was opened the day she was born. i thought i loved and understood my world before she was in it, but i had no clue.
to all you mamas-to-be, currently pregnant or just hopeful to be one day, i'm so excited for you. it's been a beautiful experience and i wish the same for you.




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