The Emotions You Go Through In The First Few Weeksby Jo Townsend
Everyone talks a lot about what to expect in labour and the first few hours after giving birth. We focus so much on labour that we often put the time post-baby to the back of our mind. The first few weeks after your baby is a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least. You will feel a whole range of emotions as you get used to this small human taking over your heart and your life! And it’s no wonder; it’s such a life-changing moment for you. A lot of people forget how scary it can be. And for some women ‘motherhood’ doesn’t come naturally. Here are the stages of emotions I went through after leaving the hospital and heading home with my baby for the first few weeks of their life. We all have so different experiences but it will hopefully help you to know it's normal and others have felt this way too!
When you leave the hospital and head back home with your baby, it’s beyond surreal. I remember walking into the house delighted to be home from the hospital. But suddenly you realise you are at home without midwives around. You are expected to look after your baby with no professional support. I remember fear creeping in that I wouldn’t know what to do. I think I barely got an hours sleep that night! I have spoken to friends since and they have all felt that fear when they first got home. It’s normal; you are experiencing something completely new and there is no manual on bringing up a baby!
I also remember those first few days having a feeling of disbelief. I couldn’t believe she was mine and that I was now a mum. I think the whole experience definitely feels surreal and it takes a while to get used to everything! I know for dads they can also find it difficult to adjust to their new role too.
You can’t believe how much you love this little person. Of course, you love your partner, your parents, your siblings etc. But when you have a child, it’s a different kind of love. I think you are definitely in a bit of a bubble when you first have your child and you grow your tight bond.
I think all parents go through the stage in those first few weeks of feeling overwhelmed and emotional. As much as it’s amazing and lovely, it’s very draining and challenging. It’s especially hard when you aren’t getting much sleep! Let yourself have a cry if you need to and do lean on each other if you need a break. A bath or shower and a quick kip definitely make a difference during those tough moments!
You can absolutely love being a parent but still long for the old days. There is definitely a moment where you will long for the days you had a lie-in or had a hot dinner at a relaxed pace! Don’t feel guilty about this. It really doesn’t mean you love your child any less!
There will be hard moments, of course, there will be, but there is a whole load of happiness too. As you watch your baby sleep or when you spend time as a new family or even when you introduce your child to family members, you will find yourself feeling a new level of happiness. You have brought this new life into the world and it's a brand-new chapter! Let yourself enjoy this time and embrace it!