Within the last few months since Wyatt was born, I’ve seen a few blogs about couples not having visitors for the first week or two after their baby was born. I so badly wish I would’ve seen these before giving birth.
While still pregnant, Grant and I talked about visitors and we were both totally open to it. But the truth is that I really had no idea how I was going to feel after having a baby. I thought having visitors would be nice, however what actually happened was I just wanted to spend those first few days as a new family, getting uninterrupted time with our brand new baby.
My emotions were all over the place, and with nursing constantly there was the awkwardness over who’s going to leave the room or do I just have to whip my boob out in front of everyone?
Then there’s, ya know, the whole recovery thing. I was in a LOT of pain. I spent the days camped out on the couch, sprawled out with an ice pack and a makeshift diaper between my legs. I didn’t want visitors while I looked (and smelled) the way I did. Plus, I always had to sit up on the couch to make room for visitors to sit, and sitting upright after having a baby is NOT comfortable, to say the least.
The whole situation also made me miss my mom and wish she were there. No matter what people say, everyone is there for the new baby, not to help. However I know my mom would have been the one to remember how she felt days after giving birth and would have taken care of me. She would have focused on my healing, and I could have been honest with her with what I needed.
The hard part about babies is they grow so fast. The time goes by even quicker with them than it did before, and once that precious time passes you can never get it back. When I think about it long enough, I get extremely emotional and anxious, feeling regretful of our decision to not spend that week alone. Afraid to disappoint our families or even my husband who maybe didn’t fully understand what I could be feeling.
Yes, we’ll have more babies and we can try to make the next experience different, but it doesn’t give us a redo of the first experience. It won’t be our first baby and my first days as a new Mom, a new family, with this beautiful amazing baby we’ve brought into the world. It’s literally a once in a lifetime moment that I feel like I gave up, and that weighs heavy on me.
Between visitors, doctors appointments, and how about just figuring out life with a new baby(!!), the first couple of weeks were a blur. So my advice is to think about what you want. If it’s what you wish, spend your day doing nothing but memorizing those tiny fingers and toes, the way they smell, the way your baby fits up against your chest, smaller than they will ever be again. Soak it all in. Make the days drag on as long as possible because it will all pass in a blink of an eye.