It's being stretched so thin but feeling so complete.
Postpartum isn't just baby snuggles and perfectly curated photos.
It's back pain, stool softeners and night sweats. It's dirty diapers in the corner of the room in a house that looks like a tornado went through it.
It's living off of granola bars, your toddler's scraps and cold coffee. And by the time you realize you haven't eaten a real meal all day, it's dinner time.
If you're pumping breastmilk, it's making sure to pump every 2 hours, even through the night when you want to put it off and go to sleep. But you know that if you don't, your supply will suffer and you'll wake up with painful engorgement.
If you're bottle-feeding, it's waking up to make a bottle at 3 am and being so exhausted that you have to triple check the ratios.
And if you're postpartum with a baby and a toddler, it's even more than that. It's wanting to get home from the hospital as soon as possible to be with the toddler again—but being worried about how they will react. It's resuming life as soon as you get home from like you didn't just give birth. It's a balancing act of keeping jealousy at bay, making sure your toddler feels special and loved while tending to your newborn.
It's keeping your toddler entertained with Peppa Pig and cheese puffs while you try to put the baby down to sleep. It's feeling riddled with guilt because your little best friend now has to share you.
It's being stretched so thin, being pulled in every direction and not being sure when you'll ever get to sleep again.
But it's also feeling complete. It's watching your toddler kiss the baby for the first time. And it's feeling pride and overflowing love when the toddler tries to help you soothe the baby with their gentle pats, showing you just how amazing of a big sibling they are.
It's daydreaming about when they'll one day be playing together in the playroom and how you have just given your toddler the greatest gift of all: a friend for life.
It's sharing a popsicle with your toddler while the baby is napping, feeling the comfort of how it used to be, even if just for a few hours. It's looking at them and wondering how they ever got so big because compared to the baby, they're huge.
It's inhaling that intoxicating newborn scent and smiling at the fact that your toddler was once as small as them and smelled like that.
It's feeling so much love and magic that you swear your heart could burst at any moment. It's being so grateful that when you finally get a few moments to yourself at night, you look through photos that you took of them and cry tears of joy because they are perfect, and you're so blessed to be their mama.
It's a rollercoaster. Mentally, physically and emotionally. This is postpartum.
This post originally appeared on mamabearzia.com.
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