‘I’ve debated on this post for a while but I’ve decided I’d show the hard parts of the aftermath of giving birth, and the ultimate sacrifice mothers make from day one.’

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“I’ve debated on this post for a while, but I’ve decided that I’d show the hard parts of the aftermath of giving birth, and the ultimate sacrifice that mothers make from day one.

Kevin snapped this of me. This was two days after I gave birth to Layla. Eating my ‘nice meal’ provided by the hospital. An over cooked steak and sides. I was in new territory. Learning to breastfeed this little human being that I just brought into the world. Wearing these big mesh panties, still sporting a pregnant belly… no one told me your belly doesn’t go down immediately. No one told me I’d be bleeding out.

Courtesy Autumn Benjamin

No one told me that I would spend hours crying and full of emotion. I remember just laying there in the hospital bed crying. I was crying because my baby girl was finally here… FINALLY! But wait… that means she isn’t protected inside of me anymore. And that’s a scary feeling.

At which point, I think Kevin was at a loss. I realized that when I was being held by him in the hospitals shower and I was just crying uncontrollably. It’s all a blur but I do remember saying ‘she’s not safe inside of me anymore’ and that was a really hard thing to work through.

I was also in so much pain… no one tells you that typically with a ‘quick delivery’ comes a bad rip.

I ripped all the way up and down, and also side to side. The weeks following, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t use the bathroom. I wore these big depends diapers. I never thought I would be normal again. Kevin had to help me do EVERYTHING from pee, to walk upstairs.

Being a mom is the ultimate sacrifice.

You give up your body for 9 months to grow this little baby.

You go through labor and delivery.

You go through the emotions that come with childbirth.

Courtesy Autumn Benjamin

You let go of all shame as you walk around your house in diapers and ask your SO to spray warm water on your rip while you pee to avoid that burn.

You spend tireless hours latching your baby and feeding your baby to establish and keep up your milk supply because you want to breast feed SO. DAMN. BAD.

You remain patient through leaps, growth spurts, and cluster feeding.

But most importantly, moms give up who they were before they were a mother. Most moms give up a lot of their hobbies, dreams, and plans. Moms put their lives on hold, so their babies can live out theirs. We deal with so many emotions that we internalize- just so we can be mothers to our babies.

Don’t ever discredit a mother. You don’t know the half.

I used to be Autumn. Fun loving, crazy, outgoing Autumn. But now I’m Layla’s mama. And I’m okay with that.”

Courtesy Autumn Benjamin

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Autumn Benjamin, 22, of Tennessee.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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