throw back nearly 3 years to this sweetie at a few weeks old!
((When I redid my site, this post got lost so sorry for the repeat!))
I rolled over and kinda closed my bathrobe around a breastmilk stained nightgown. I rolled again and gently slid off the bed so I wouldn’t awaken our snoozy sleepy new bundle of love. At four weeks old, he was smack dab in the middle of our king-sized bed with my husband on one side, and a wall of nursing pillows on the other so I could shuffle to the bathroom. We had missed the extended family brunch that morning. I texted an apology from the end of the bed and then dove back in.
With our first two, each newborn had been on a parade-of-families. People in, people out, people visiting at the hospital, people popping by to just see the baby. Me somehow inexplicably finding jeans to stuff into while dutifully sharing the babies, our stories, our newborn fleeting hours, holding nursing off so I could continue listening to someone else’s birth tale.
But with this baby, nestled as he was in my heart, we simply shut the world out.
Maybe it was the complex second-degree tear, maybe it was the deep infection in my uterus that landed us back in the hospital at two weeks postpartum. Maybe it was realizing that postpartum space is sacred and filled with moments we were never get back.
I stayed in my bathrobe and my bed to greet visitors who brought meals over. Was I nursing uncovered? Probably. Skin-to-skin was a priority so my husband was probably topless as well. I said, “No, thank you” when people urged us to come out, bring the babe and older kids. I rested; he rested; we rested.
If it feels like the world is pushing in, out of love and exuberance for your new life, give yourself permission to push back. Whether your sacred space is a few weeks of maternity leave or longer, acknowledge it. Name it. Call it that when you say, “No,” again, or when you have to cancel last minute. They’ll forgive you, and we owe it to ourselves and our growing family to reclaim the sacred early messy days of motherhood.
An advocate for this sacred space, and professionals who know just how to help you preserve it, I cannot recommend Hallie and her team enough at Better Beginnings. I’ve witnessed first-hand how well they navigate adjusting family life, family obligations, and all the household duties when a new babe enters the picture. What a gift they offer the world! It’s phenomenal work and help I wish every single mother and father could experience.