A picture really is worth a thousand words.
This is me, roughly 24 hours after giving birth to my eldest. I have no idea who took the picture, but you can probably already tell how I feel just by looking at it.
One or two days. Is that too much to ask for?
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One or two days for a new mum to come to terms with the fact she had a tiny human emerge from her body.
One or two days for her to finally have a shower and wash the sweat and blood from her body.
One or two days for her to push through the pain of her sore nipples as she learns to breastfeed.
One or two days for her to try to have some sleep because she is absolutely exhausted.
Before being introduced to your new life as a mother, you have just gone through one of the most painful, exhausting, and mind-blowing experiences in your life. Labour. Has everyone forgotten how tolling that can be on both your emotional and physical well being?
The last thing you then want, is for everyone to be bombarding your room to play pass the parcel, before you’ve even had a chance to recover.
The nurse comes in and helps you massage some colostrum out. Then you try the other side, so now you’ve got both boobs out.
Your vagina or stomach is in a world of pain. More often than not, there’s been a cut somewhere. You struggle to get comfortable in that hard hospital bed, because no position feels okay.
You can barely sit, stand, lie down, or walk. Honestly, my vagina still hurt for two or three weeks after that. The hospital doesn’t like you to leave until they know you have emptied your bowels without your vagina falling out too.
When do you fit in trying to pass that painful lump when your room is full of visitors?
Everyone is so excited to have a photo with the new baby, the new mum doesn’t get a photo with her own damn baby!
I had to ask for a photo with mine. Other than that one photo, the only others I have are of her fresh out of my uterus, with us laying there naked and covered in blood. Thank you to the saintly midwife who was kind enough to grab my phone and capture the most precious photos that exist to me. From there on, it’s mostly selfies.
Everyone wants the bragging rights to say they saw the new baby within 24 hours. They simply must satisfy their need to hold this new baby. If you don’t allow them to come and visit you in the hospital, you’re a selfish, delicate drama queen.
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Then people come in with their comments of “now you only look four months pregnant instead of nine,” or “you look tired”. I’m sorry, but in what world is it ok for you to comment on a new mother’s appearance? WE ARE SO BLOODY FRAGILE RIGHT NOW.
Sure, some people can’t wait to have visitors. That’s not what this is about. This is about people who have tried to ask visitors to wait a day or two, but have been made to feel like they told those people they can’t be in the baby’s life.
I felt so loved that everyone couldn’t wait to meet our new baby, and so happy that everyone wanted to be part of our baby’s life. What I didn’t realise was how hard trying to ask people to stay away for a day would be.
“It’ll just be a quick visit.” You’re too tired to argue, so you sit and wait for them to get their baby fix.
The next time someone you know has a baby, remember how tired this new mother is. I know you are excited, but remember it is not your right to visit a new baby, it is a privilege.
If that offends you, go home and put it in your burn book.
Katie Bowman is a mum to a 4-year-old girl and 21-month-old twin girls. A part-time hairdresser, she spends her time blogging about her days of chaos.
This content was originally published on the Facebook page Living My Family Life. It has been republished here with full permission.
Feature image: Katie Bowman/Supplied
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