It amazes me that the last time I posted on the blog I was 8 months pregnant, excited and nervous to take on the role of a mother. And now I’m sitting here with my two month old daughter, Amira, as she quietly sleeps in her crib. All praise is due to God. Alhamdulilah.
My labor and delivery were surprising, beautiful, nerve wrecking, painful, and empowering all at once. After going through everything and processing what I experienced, I can’t believe I’m a mom. I did it. I’m here. She’s here. And I have to say, becoming a mom is the best feeling in the world.
But it wasn’t easy.
I won’t lie to you and say that becoming a new mom is a breeze. It’s the worst lie I could post on the Internet. Even though I knew all those perfect Instagram photos of new moms getting back up on their feet so quickly after having a baby weren’t completely true and those blog posts of new moms with perfectly clean houses were just cropped photos of their actual messy homes, when I came across that stuff while I was recovering, I felt like I was falling behind. "Why wasn’t I up and running quicker? Why wasn’t my body back to normal? Why did my stitches hurt so much? Am I being selfish if I rest a bit? I should be doing more for my baby. Is she happy? Is she healthy? Am I doing this right? Is this how breastfeeding is supposed to be? Why am I so exhausted and why doesn’t motherhood feel as amazing as it looks in those photos?" Some of these thoughts sound so ridiculous to me now, especially because I was having them just weeks after having my baby. I was being hard on myself for no good reason. But it happens. It’s normal. I survived the first few difficult moments and if you’re a new mom or soon-to-be new mom, you will too. I promise.
Throughout my postpartum recovery, I was able to keep going and eventually felt like myself quicker thanks to the love and support of my husband, as well as the rest of my family and friends. My husband has been and continues to be an amazing husband to me and a wonderful father to Amira. Without his encouraging words of love and encouragement, along with his awesome diaper changing and burping skills, I would lose it. And of course, my mother and sister, two amazing mothers and role models who were there for me from day one. I also loved receiving messages from my friends who shared helpful advice and support when I felt exhausted. More than anything, the best help wasn’t with diaper changes or holding Amira, it was the hands on my shoulder, the hugs, the ears to listen, and the voices to say, “Trust me, what you’re going through is normal. You’ll get past this in no time and you’re doing an awesome job, mama. You can do this. Keep at it.”
To all the new moms, please take all the food, helping hands, and words of encouragement you can get in the beginning. Never feel ashamed to take all the help you need. Having a baby is so beautiful, but it’s tough, especially in the beginning. As a new mom, you’re trying to recover and take care of your new bundle of joy at the same time. You’re trying to kick butt at this new role, but you have to take a step back and breathe. Your body is going through some insane physical and emotional changes. It’s ok to not feel 100 percent right away, but know that it’s normal and that you’ll bond with your baby much better when you feel better. And feeling better takes time. If anyone makes you feel like you’re falling behind or makes you feel bad about how long it’s taking you to get back to normal, ignore them. Your job is to do whatever is best for you and your baby. Ignore the noise.
I had to get all of this off my chest, because right after having Amira, I personally felt better when I realized I wasn’t alone when I felt down. When I read a forum or a blog post with someone having the same new mommy issue I was, I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only one. Many times the focus is completely on the baby (as it should be), but moms sometimes forget that their recovery is important too. So if anyone out in the vast world of the Internet is reading this and is expecting a baby or is a new mom, don’t forget about yourself—you got this!
Now that I finally feel like myself Alhamdulilah, I can actually take in how beautiful it is to be a mother. No words can describe the love I have for Amira. Her smile gives me so much joy and when she snuggles in my arms, I feel this amazing warmth and happiness I’ve never felt before. The way she looks at me when I feed her, play with her, even change her diaper is just indescribable and it has changed my life completely. I love her so much and can’t even explain how grateful I am to have her in my life. I finally understand what people mean when they say "I love her so much, it hurts!" It’s already been two months and it’s absolutely amazing how quickly she has grown and developed. Afroz and I are in awe every time we look back at photos and videos of her when she was born. I don’t blame parents when they go on about how fast their kids grow. They really do and I finally understand how crazy fast time flies.
I have so much to catch up on, including this blog. I look forward to sharing more detailed posts relating to my journey as a new mom, as well as updates on other things I’m up to. It’s going to take some time for me to figure out my new routine with Amira, but I look forward to sharing everything I learn along the way! I’m sure it’ll be a fun adventure, inshaAllah :)