Dear Bre: A letter to the new mom

8:21 AM

Dear Bre,

You are swollen to no end girlfriend and this last stretch of pregnancy feels like it's taking forever but everything is going to come so fast. You've prayed and dreamed up this labor and delivery process and for the most part you get exactly what you wanted. You're mighty. You birth your baby with no medicine even though they had to induce you and you feel like you're almost on a powerful high after that twelve hour labor but then he's out and on your chest and you realize you prepared so well for the birth but not so much for the everything after. In the hospital your husband does most of the work because you're not really there. You didn't change Elijah's diaper yourself until the third day of his life but I promise you he will never remember that. Being a new mom hit you fast and hard as it does every woman. You'll spend most nights nursing and then sliding your finger underneath his nose while he's sleeping so you can make sure he's still breathing. Every stir will wake you up and for many, many months you won't sleep because the anxiety doesn't leave. But I like to think that you leaned on God a lot more during this season then you probably ever had before. He sends you friends who help you on this journey of becoming a mom and even friends who aren't mamas who will hold your baby while they chat with you for hours. You're not as alone as you feel. You are surrounded by community and the three jobs Kaleb is holding down now is only temporary. Fast forward two years later and he has an amazing job, the job you prayed for over and over again. See...God hears you. He sees you. You are known and loved even when you spend 8am to 11pm without talking to a single adult. You got through those first months of witching hours and crying. You got through those months when Elijah would only sleep when he was held. You got through the CIO stage and eventually he sleeps in his own bed. You battled rounds of mastitis, ear infections, baby falling off the couch, postpartum depression, Sunday mornings spent in the nursing mama's room, Elijah's first trip to the ER. And even though it doesn't feel like it in those moments, your world is not crumbling I promise. You also get through milestones you thought would never come. He learns to crawl, walk, and talk. He pops his first four teeth within six days of each other and you lived to tell the tale. His first food was an avocado and he would still rather use his hands to eat than a spoon or fork. He learns to climb out of his crib much sooner than you ever thought he would and now he's two and sleeping in a twin bed. He blows your mind with how smart he is and how quickly he picks things up. He is strong willed and doesn't respond to discipline very well but somehow God will use his bold, courageous spirit for the Kingdom.

35 weeks pregnant with Elijah

So, with Abigail you'll still learn a lot but there's so many things you already know now mama.
Nurse her when she wants and don't look at the clock.
Wear her so you can cuddle her and still play with Elijah.
Hold her if that's what she wants and don't force her to fall asleep if she's happy being awake.
Don't cry when you're sick and home with both babies, you can do it.
Let Elijah poke her nose and touch her head.
It's ok if she cries, it doesn't always mean something is wrong.
Open the blinds those first few weeks and turn the worship music on extra loud.
Put down the phone and trust your first instinct, you don't always have to call the pediatrician.
Utilize the community God has given you and ask for prayer or help when you need it.
Do not feel bad about Elijah watching too much TV at the beginning, Abigail needs you a little more than he does and that's ok.
Do not feel bad about putting her down in her crib so you can go to the bathroom.
It's ok if she cries while you're out at a restaurant. Just take a deep breath and nurse her.
If she kicks off the cover while you nurse her don't run to the bathroom, just feed her where you're at.
Eventually both kids will be crying at the same time-assess the situation and conquer one problem at a time.
Don't rush the days because they are few and far between.
Breathe in her new baby smell because that's a tiny glimpse of Heaven.
Thank God for her everyday even when it feels like you're going a little stir crazy.
Let Elijah bring you diapers and wipes and burp rags. He's anxious to help.
But most of all enjoy your babies. They are rewards from the King Himself.

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