I had never felt more disgusting in my life.
I was swollen, dirty, tired and unsure what day it was. I just had a baby, so I was supposed to be a little overwhelmed, right? I knew it wasn’t easy, but I didn’t expect to feel so… gross.
That feeling, plus about 100 more I wasn’t ready for, came to the surface. If I wasn’t expecting them, my husband certainly wasn’t.
Brand new dads, you have a really hard job and it’s an important one. Maybe you don’t quite see the huge significance in your role since you aren’t birthing a baby or breastfeeding – but you walking next to us through this transition from woman to mother is monumental and we need you.
Looking back on those very first days as a new mom, here’s what I wish my husband would have known. To be completely honest, these are things I wish I truly grasped as well. Keep these things in mind, new dad, and your wife will thank you.
7 Things I Wish My Husband Knew Before We Brought Home Baby
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I’m going to be really sad. I won’t have any rational reason for why I’m so sad and it will make no sense to you. A lot of women won’t have any postpartum depression after their delivery but I will. There are a few ways you can help me through this time, but unfortunately, it will just take some time to pass. It’s going to suck so just keep bringing me tissues and hugging me tight.
I’ve never been so self-conscious. No other time in my life has my body felt so strange. I’m no longer pregnant but of course still about 30 pounds heavier than my normal self and the weight is in the most unusual places. My eyes are puffy and surrounded by dark circles. My hair is greasy. My legs are hairy. I just don’t feel like myself. Next pregnancy this won’t be such a shock, but the first time around I am in awe of how terrible I feel about myself. Consider printing a few of these adorable post-it love notes and leaving them around the house for me.
Book Recommendation: This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression
I need a lot of help. And not the kind of help you are thinking like, doing the dishes or changing diapers (although those are just as important). I need you make my plate, button my pants for me, remind me to take the Ibuprofen for the c-section pain. It will be hard for me to ask you for things that aren’t for the baby – after all, I’m a grown up who is fully capable of feeding myself. But my hands are full. Literally. I will probably have an infant in my arms 90% of the time and I haven’t quite learned yet how to hold the baby with one hand and make a sandwich with the other.
I do not want visitors. I know I said I would. I know I wanted to show my baby to everyone and let them revel in the beauty. But now I want everyone to leave. Don’t worry, I will be ready for visitors soon, but right now, on these first few days, I need some space. And pretty please, let everyone you’ve ever met know they need to call before stopping by. Unexpected visitors always happen to come over when I’m alone with the baby and he is refusing to latch onto my boob in order to eat.
I’m going to feel overly attached and not just to the baby. I will feel attached to you. I will not want you to leave my side and when you do I’ll be sad. I understand you may have to work or be somewhere really important, but if you don’t have to leave me, please don’t.
I will be protective. Extremely protective. And not just in sense that I will want to keep my baby safe. I will become very defensive of this little baby, even to you. If you don’t want hold the baby as much as I do, or you don’t stare at it’s face and cry in wonderment I will think you don’t like her. I know now that is not true, but I will judge you and anyone who I feel doesn’t adore this little thing. Just quickly bending over to kiss it’s forehead every so often will do the trick.
I don’t realize that I’m being ridiculous. Is it nonsense to be sad for no reason, not want you to leave my side and feel like the ugliest person alive after just having a baby? Yep. You are totally right. But I don’t have a clue. All I know is how I’m feeling and this wave of hormones running through me won’t allow me to tell up from down.
Just be patient and remember how hard I’m trying. I was just given a tiny baby I’m responsible for and this is all so new to me. We’ll get the hang of it together.