Postpartum can be Heaven or Hell
'One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”
God showed the man. In Hell, there was a large round table with a large pot of stew. It smelled delicious, but the people sitting around were thin and sickly and famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles. They could reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but as the handle was longer than their arms, they couldn't get the spoons into their mouths.
The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
Heaven appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with a pot of wonderful stew. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The man said, “I don’t understand.”
God smiled. It is simple. These people learned to share and feed one another.'
This story reminds me of my postpartum journey so far.
So many women have been there for me, reached out, come to visit, brought and prepared me food, helped me with my baby when I had no idea what I was doing.
I could have gone shopping myself. I could have cleaned my house myself, cooked and eaten alone, given him that bath or changed that nappy. I could have sat alone while feeding him or gone out and bought that smoked salmon that I was craving, baby in tow. I could have written in my diary or shoved it down when it was too much instead of sharing or calling a friend and crying down the phone. I could have bought myself a pillow or cot or pram, instead of you lending or giving me yours.
But it would have been so much less fun and fulfilling. Just you being there made the experience so different. Seeing your eyes well up when I was crying and knowing you felt my pain. Just your offering to help, that phone call or message. That lunch we had together. Those gestures that probably didn't seem like much you, made the world of difference to me, and us and radically changed our experience of this first month.
So thank you, to all of you that did these things and were there for me in the first month of Charlie's life. I don't have pictures of you all but you know who you are. I am eternally grateful and will pay it forward and help other women through this crazy transition into motherhood.