I’m 5 days postpartum and in the thick of recovery from my scheduled cesarean. It’s been hard. But it’s also been empowering.
Baby blues, breastfeeding, cramps, and cleaning my incision site are scary. I’m trying to work my way back into life, but it’s all changed. I’ve changed.
My house and my family are familiar, but I’m not.
I’m learning to be a mom of two now. The “baby years” didn’t seem so far away. Now I’m back in them and realizing how different it all is… because my new baby is not my older baby.
It’s beautiful and wonderful getting to know this new person and I find myself caught off guard with how different the experience is from last time (in a good way).
For one thing, sleep isn’t as big of an issue. We used to tip toe around Ezra when he was asleep or spend countless hours rocking, cradling, or feeding him to try and make him sleep.
At just a week old, Ethan is the complete opposite. Ezra literally screams and bumps into the bassinet while playing and Ethan continues dozing blissfully unaware.
I’m also realizing my toddler is more of a child. He’s always been little to me – I guess that feeling comes naturally with all firstborns. Now, side by side with an actual baby, he is showing how grown up he is.
He’s eager to help out with Ethan and takes every opportunity possible to kiss him on the head or talk to him. I couldn’t be more proud of the good, kind person he is becoming.
All of these emotions coupled with the physical pain of recovery have produced a unique environment in which I currently exist.
I’m vulnerable. I’m raw. I’m physically weak, but spiritually strong. I’m healthy, but I’m healing.
In fact, this has become my mantra through the recovery process. Whenever I start to feel scared of the pain caused by surgery, or whether or not my son is as healthy as doctors say he is (which, for the record he definitely is healthy – it’s my baby blues messing with me), or when I just feel lost with how to interact with my toddler, I repeat these words: “You are healthy. You are healing.”
Because I am. And the postpartum recovery period regardless of cesarean or not, is hard. There’s no way around it.
But it’s also an empowering time. This phase – recovery and newborn – is transformative.
While I do morn the loss of one identity – being a mother of one and the routines and family dynamic of that – I’m also completely wrapped up in love and discovery of a new sense of self.
It’s true what they say… you can never have too much or too little love when it comes to children. I wondered how I could possibly have more room for the amount of love I feel for Ezra. Then Ethan was born and I knew in an instant there was plenty of space.
I’m officially a mother of two, navigating the road to what life looks like now. It’s all an adjustment period, a scary beautiful one, and I’m ready and geared up for the stage where I can say: “I am healthy. I’ve healed.”