What a new mother looks like: “I was so raw and open. I was a mess.”

reality of postpartum

“I was kind of losing my mind.”

Having a baby is a wonderful, incredible, terrifying, uplifting thing that no amount of advice or ‘helpful’ books can prepare you for. One new mum, Danielle Haines, took to Facebook to share a photo of herself and her newborn, three days postpartum. The message she wrote alongside the image is a powerful reminder to anyone going through something similar: You are not alone. 

Danielle Haines with her son - feature
Danielle Haines with her son, three days postpartum. Image via Facebook.

This is a picture of me 3 days postpartum.

I was so raw and so open, I was a fucking mess.

I loved my baby, I missed his daddy (he went back to work that day), I was mad at my mum, my heart hurt for my brother because my mom left us and now I had a little boy that looked like him, my nipples were cracked and bleeding, my milk was almost in, my baby was getting really hungry, I was feeling sad that people kill babies, like on purpose, I had not slept since I went into labor, I didn’t know how to put my boobs away, my vagina was sore from sitting on it while nursing constantly, I was kind of losing my mind.

Katie came over and feed me the morning this picture was taken. She might have even stopped over to feed me lunch. Then one of my seven sisters came that evening to bring the family dinner, Sarah. Sarah took this picture of me. She walked in with food and said, “Hi! How are you!?” I said, “I’m a mess.” We talked, she listened, she said, “I’ve been right where you are.” It helped to know she went crazy once, too.

Then she said, “I know this might sound crazy but do you have a camera? You look so raw and so beautiful.”

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I’m so glad she took this picture.

She was just planning to drop off food. She ended up staying for much longer. I needed her. She knew it. I called Rachel, I needed her. I needed her to nurse my baby, I needed more help with his latch. I called Shell. I needed her to tell me my baby was okay. This is real PP, mamas. 

I had a magical Postpartum. It wasn’t easy but I was so supported and fed and reminded that the mothers before me had been through this part of motherhood, and that I’d get through it just fine too.

Click through the gallery below for a realistic look at the first day of motherhood by Jenny Lewis.

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