What I Wish I Had Known As a New Mom

9627-young mom and newborn_edited.630w.tn-2A nurse stood at the foot of my hospital bed and smiled. “Are you ready to go home today?” I looked at her, felt every ounce of the nine-pound baby sleeping in my arms, and fought back tears as I pushed out a short, “Yeah. Absolutely.” Over the next hour, we received discharge instructions from a pediatrician, my midwife and the nurse - when to call, what to look for, what’s normal and what’s a problem, how much bleeding is too much bleeding, how often to feed and how to know if he’s getting enough, and a number to call when we eventually began to panic. We sat on the bed and held our son; and for an entire hour, I tried not to cry.

Everyone left, my husband went to drop bags off at the car, and as I rested in a chair cradling a squishy baby boy, I cried for the first time since his birth. Through quiet tears, I leaned down and whispered, “I’m sorry. I promise, we’ll be okay.”

Motherhood is unlike anything else I have known. It is beautiful, terrifying, empowering, humbling, and transformative. In that one little moment leaving the hospital, I felt love, fear, guilt and joy all at once. Everyone told me that grace abounds and that I needed to just give myself plenty of room to adjust, but showering ourselves with grace is difficult. What does it actually look like in a world of dirty diapers, leaky milk, postpartum bellies, unpredictable hormones, and maddening insomnia?

Could I walk back and sit across from myself in that hospital room, I’d want to paint a picture of what grace looks like as a new mother. (continue reading at iBelieve.com)