This is a hard text for me to write - and especially to publish - because it opens up an issue I have a hard time accepting and admitting about myself: That I need care. That I need comfort. That I need someone to tell me I'm beautiful, that I'm adorable. It forces me to admit that I need confirmation, that I need safety. And that I need someone to help remind me of who I really am.
(Please note that this is my side of birth.)
Childbirth changed me. A. Fricking. Lot. Before I had my baby, before I had carried her for nine months, before I had spent two days pushing her out, I felt a freedom in my body that I don't remember ever feeling before. For a few years, I explored myself. My powers. My energy. My possibilities. I had fun. But I've lost that sense of freedom now. It got lost in a body that literally turned inside out, and the consequences of that. It got lost in me losing my Self, in me hurting, in me not knowing whether I was up or whether I was down. And I've struggled so with the feeling that this is so unfair. That I have to do all this work again, to find my way back to that free place - a place I already spent 30 something years on finding. (And it was not a picnic, I can tell you. But yes, always worth the work.)
This is why you should do everything in your power to make your woman feel good about herself - still loooong after birth. As she might not know where she is anymore. Where that woman is. She might find the mother in herself. The partner. The caretaker. But the woman, the woman that laughs carelessly with you, the woman that enjoys with you, the woman that is funny, quirky, happy, adorable, mysterious, free. If she's lost, you need to help find her. You need to do everything - and then some - to help bring her back. Because you have a baby together. You are in this - together. Your woman carries your baby for you. She nurtures your baby, she sacrifices her body, she sacrifices her Self.
So if you don't know who that woman opposite you is anymore. If you don't know where the woman you once knew went. Then it's your duty to find out. It's your duty to see if she's okay. Not blame her for getting lost. Not blame her for becoming a mother. If you started your relationship to this woman with notes, with compliments, with gifts, with hugs, with touches, with hints - with whatever - you need to continue what you started. Because if you stop - when she is going through the biggest change of her life, the change that forces her to rediscover and redefine every single thing about herself - if you take away what you once gave that woman, then you will give her confirmation that you also do not see her anymore. That she's invisible. That she simply is not there. And if neither of you know where that woman is, if neither of you see her or is the one who remembers - then you might both lose sight of her forever.
Birth changes everything. Time changes everything. But some things need to stay the same.