When my little one was about a week or so old, my feet were still so hideously swollen from the C-section that I couldn't wear shoes. I was stuffing my poor potato-feet into Isotoner slippers and they still came out with angry red marks.
But I *had* to get out of the house.
Does every mom have this moment? Everyone has been helping, watching you nurse, helping you dress, the support is awesome or absent.. however it is, you just have. a. moment.
Where you have to separate from everyone. Baby included.
OR was that a post-partum depression thing? I'll never know, because I've never had a newborn and not had PPD. But I'll never forget my delicious first trip out of the house - to Walgreen's. Alone. With my Isotoner slippers.
I walked down every single aisle. I smelled all the shampoos and looked at the ingredients in every single facial moisturizer, trying to find one that would most nourish me, skin and soul.
I went down the baby things aisles to get an education. This cream, that toy, this bottle nipple, those diapers...
I looked at the Crayola art supplies, I remember their colors and how they represented so much life and future to me.
I didn't want to go back. I just wanted to stay at Walgreen's for hours. I might have actually stayed at Walgreen's for hours. I don't remember any sales associates trailing me for shoplifting, so it might have been hours in my head...
But that precious freedom was like the Spring and more importantly, it was the first crack in the window of my Self Returning. My own needs arising. I'd been one with this baby for so many long months. Breastfeeding was so hard, I may as well have still been pregnant. I didn't remember there was a body and mind of my own until I was standing in front of the Kettle Chips trying to remember not what I could and could not eat, but what I would and would not like to eat.
What do I wish new moms had in the first foggy, crazy weeks?
More moments. Of her own. Just the smallest cracks through which she can see the future of her life with her newborn and then with her baby and then with her toddler. Small cracks through which the light of "normalcy" - whatever that will look like - can shine through for her.
Newborn fog will always be, for some mothers. It does not have to be heavy, oppressive, confusing, or depressing. It can be messy, sleepless, funny, powerful, and temporary.
If she can see the trees through the fog.
If you're a new mom reading this blog, and it resonates with you, find a small moment of space. The smallest moments in the beginning can yield a huge impact. You can find it, I promise.