We spend so much of our pregnancies getting ready to bring our baby home, don’t we? We buy strollers and car seats, toys and bibs. We decorate nurseries and nooks in our own bedrooms, trying to make sure our little one knows she’s already loved and has a place in our home.

But we don’t do enough to prepare ourselves for the transition to motherhood. Let’s be honest: having a baby is a lifechanging experience. The birth of a baby means the birth of a mother, too.

One mama is going viral for her essay about the fourth trimester. Jennifer Skilja reminds moms everywhere that new motherhood isn’t easy—but you’ll get through it, mama.

“The 4th trimester,” Skilja writes.

“A time when everything feels overwhelming in every sense of the word.

The joy. The exhaustion. The love. The disbelief of what your body just accomplished. The happiness. The sadness. The breakdowns. The highs and the lows.

You go from the highest your hormones will ever be in your life to the lowest all in one swift moment.

Then we wonder to ourselves why we don’t feel completely ourselves right after.

Why don’t I feel like I can do it all? I’ve wanted this for so long.

Why am I so tired? There’s women who have 6 kids and do it all.

Why can’t I adapt quickly? Like I see other moms online doing.

We tell ourselves lies and fill our heads up with worries of why we’re not doing it good enough.

The truth is it’s hard for everyone. The mom with 6 kids, the mom with her first, the second time mom, every in between.

Life with a new baby is an adjustment that takes time to nurture and to adapt to.

I look at myself in these postpartum photos and see strength and resilience as I navigate the world as a new mother of two, as an infertility warrior, as someone with PCOS who never knew if I’d get here again.

In my abdomen a uterus that hasn’t shrunk immediately back is a reminder of my bodies work. The amazing strength it took to grow a whole human.

The strength we all inhabit as mother’s is such a wonderful, scary, raw, beautiful, and mind boggling experience.

The struggle is insanely tough sometimes but don’t forget the journey you’re going through is something you’ll appreciate. Something you’ll look back at yourself for the strength and courage and resilience you grew into.

Becoming a mother is a reminder of the raw human experience. A birth of a human and a birth of a new woman.”