A Letter to My Future Self

Dear Future Me,

When you think you're ready to have another baby, reread this and this.

If you don't get pregnant right away, know that God's timing will be perfect.

If you plan to deliver without medication, more power to you, but remember what it was like last time.

Expect a birthmark.

Give breastfeeding another try. But if at any time it is not MUTUALLY beneficial, stop. And don't feel an ounce guilty about it. You need to make choices that are best for your family rather than doing what you or others think you should do.

Don't fear if he or she is not back to birth weight two weeks after the birth. Most likely, it will be OK.

The only way you will get to know your child is through lots of experience. You will soon be the expert. Hold him or her as much as you can in those first few days.

Seriously consider placenta encapsulation to ward off postpartum anxiety and depression. (And don't care if people think it's weird.)

Remember that the first days weeks months are really tough. A newborn is surely more work than you remember.

Sleep deprivation and hormone changes make you kind of crazy.

If you lose your appetite, tell someone. It's your first warning sign of oncoming postpartum anxiety/depression.

Check the tongue for a tight frenulum. And watch for a constantly tilted head. It's cute but can be a more serious issue.

Consider sharing the baby's name beforehand. Last time you were against it, but you missed seeing people's reactions in person.

Enlist help for the first week when you bring the baby home, but then try it on your own. You can do it. You will be able to leave the house again, I promise.

Last time you took nine weeks of maternity leave. Try to take 12 next time. (More for the baby! Day care can be a lot of stimulation on those little ones!) Or, maybe, stay at home forever.

Convince Eric to take two weeks off work. But save for it so it doesn't affect your budget.

Let your baby take a nap on you at least once a day. They outgrow that stage quicker than you'd think.

Take newborn photos before the baby is a week old. They'll sleep in any position when they're that young.

Dig out your favorite newborn gear and re-watch this video.

Do some things for yourself and your marriage because a new baby can really shake things up.

By day five postpartum, you may have taken a small step toward feeling like your old self again.

But sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back.

Give yourself grace.

It will get better.



Your Past Self (at three months postpartum)