Look. Stop freaking out. I know you just had a baby, are very sick, and have been in the hospital forever, but you’ve got this. This pre-eclampsia thing isn’t that big of a deal. Okay, maybe it is, maybe you fill back up with fluid and have to come back to the hospital.. but long story short, you win. You are fine. You get to go home. Just watch for the warning signs and go in when your very helpful mother says you should. It’s going to be okay. Very okay. In fact, your baby is gorgeous and she is just going to keep getting cuter. Not only that, but she’s healthy. Life will be okay. Life will be good. Your parents will fall in love with her and so will Moya’s family. Quit worrying. Oh, and you will eventually stop bleeding, so don’t worry about that either even though it feels like it may go on forever and ever and ever and…
You will battle post-partum depression. Bummer. But you will get through it. You should ask for help from the doctor, your friends, your family. It would make it a lot easier… If you don’t, you will survive. Try and give yourself a moment to breathe and to pray. But really, get some help!
Don’t worry so much about breastfeeding. Yes, breast is best. I know you want to do it for a year, but sometimes you can’t control your circumstances. To those who conquer all odds and are able to do it anyway though intense and devastating circumstances, YOU GO GIRLS! But really, if you can’t do this, don’t fret. Don’t let it get to you. Sometimes it may feel like everyone is judging you for using formula, but you will make the best decision for YOUR mental health. That’s important—No, it’s imperative. It doesn’t matter what your friends that are breastfeeding. Sometimes you have to put the oxygen mask on first before you offer assistance.
Teething will end. Eventually. Aliana will be so cute with all those pearly whites that you will forget all about the screaming tantrums she threw while she was in pain. Okay, maybe not, but you will almost forget….
So what if you let Ali roll of the changing table once? I mean, it only happened once, right? Obviously this was not a good move, but you were sleep deprived and only a foot away. Thankfully she will be fine, but try not to let this happen again. Oh, and if Moya wants to give you grief about it, remind him that he didn’t strap Ali into the swing and she tried to climb out and dangled by her foot for awhile… Don’t let him forget that parenting is an imperfect business for all who are involved, but don’t rub it in either.
Moya loves you. When you look down and you can’t even remember what your pre-pregnancy body looked like because your new one is covered in stripes and you have all this extra skin and excess weight, remember that Moya loves you. He loved you then. He loves you still. He loves you now. He always will. But really, he sees a beautiful mother who just gave him a miracle of life. He wants you to be happy and to be able to see how awesome you are and how you kicked Labor’s butt. He loves you so stop worrying and learn to love yourself. The sooner you do this, the better.
Know that God is in control when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Remember that Aliana is a perfect blessing that came from the Lord. Remember that you are awesome and that you earned those tiger stripes and that new body you are rockin’. Remember that you are loved by so many people that will be willing to help you whenever you need it. Remember to have fun with your husband and your daughter. Remember to live life. Remember to smile. Remember to chase bubbles with Aliana. Remember to giggle. Remember to praise God for all the beautiful things and people that are in your life. They are priceless, treat them that way. Be the best mom you can be and don’t worry what everyone else thinks. What is right for one person may not be right for another. We are all unique individuals and we live and think differently. Be you and that will be enough.
Torrey (26 months after giving birth)
P.S. I know that you had a horrible pregnancy experience, an awful birthing week, and post-partum complications and depression. I know you are terrified of having another child. I know you think that you will never forget what you experienced and want more kids again, but you might. In fact, I think it’s starting to happen now. So, be okay with that too. You can get through it again if you survived the first time. I mean, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…. Right?!