Dear Early Postpartum me,

Hey you.

It has been a year (well almost) and first off just want to say how proud I am of you…of us.

You did it.

We did it.

We did the hard stuff.

We freaking did it.

Here we are looking back now on the last 12 months of our life.

How am I supposed to sit here and sum up the best 12 months of our life in a few paragraphs?

I have no idea. I am going to try. I am also going to offer some advice as if I was able to travel back in time and sit with you.

First off I would give you a hug. You were so vulnerable. SO raw. SO new. You knew that though. You put together the best support team for those early weeks…I am so proud of you for that. That was something you did so well. You did a lot of things well. You went to therapy, you did not shy away from your PPA, PTSD and gosh knows what other acronyms she told you those first few weeks. You showed up. Covered in breastmilk, baby on the breast, wearing a diaper you still showed up for yourself, which in turn meant you were showing up for him. You advocated so hard for yourself, for the two of you. I am so proud of you. You showered. You gave up a little bit of control and accepted help…that was hard but you did it and you got your cup filled while you filled Bubby’s.

You by no means had it all figured out though, as much as you acted like you did.

I would tell you to breathe more, I know your breaths were determined by his and you held yours often waiting for news on his. You slept in plastic chairs and wobbled in and out of cold hospital rooms, changing your blood soaked pads in a communal restroom and you did your best. I still think I would tell you to listen to everyone sooner and maybe not send yourself into the emergency room at 3am and get yourself kicked out of the NICU…just a thought to keep in mind. I would also tell you to lay off Target pickup orders during those middle of the night feeds….did you really need to redo the guest bathroom 2 weeks postpartum?

You did not.

I would tell you to be gentle on your partner, he was doing his best too. He was just as freaked out if not more because he had a front row seat to everything that went wrong and he had to do it sober…there was no magical anesthesiologist to come in and ease him from the fears those first few hours postpartum. He was trying his best to hold everything together and you could have been a little more gentle with his newness.

You gave yourself grace and you held Bubby as much as you damn well wanted to. Those were things you did REALLY well. I don’t think I can sit here and openly tell you to change anything about the last year because we have come SO far and even the less than stellar moments were crucial because of where we are today.

We did good.

So good.

He is SO good.

Spunky.

Silly.

The pups didn’t even eat him..that was a weird anxiety just saying.

Should not have even worried about him coming into this world silently because he has more than made up for it.

He’s still nursing too. I promised you we would not give up. As proud of you as I am…you would be proud of me too. He still gets snuggled every night for sleep too. That was not in your plan but it has been beyond precious. Talking to you like this is weird, but the thoughts are going back and forth and I am starting to ramble…that has not changed.

HOWEVER….I still think you should have told Fran to suck it…a year later those feelings have not changed either HA!

There are so many other things that I could say.

But I am going to leave you with this.

I am so proud of you. Thank you for putting in the hard work..I will take it from here.

Love always,

ONE YEAR postpartum you

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