Dear Postpartum Mother - An Open Letter

**This letter is not written to any one person in particular. It reflects all mothers that I've had the privilege to work with and will work with in the future. 

Dear Postpartum Mother,

I've been in your home working with you and your baby (or babies) for a few days, weeks, months, and I just wanted to tell you that, I see you. I really see you. 

I see how you interact with your child(ren) and your partner. You might feel like you are struggling with sharing your time and your love with one (or 2) extra people in your life, now that you've given birth. But I see how much your love spills over into your family. The fact that you're worried about not loving enough tells me that you do indeed, love enough! I see your love. And it's beautiful.

I see you in the middle of the night - nursing your new baby. That sweet little baby that is having such a hard time latching. We've talked about what you can do and how I can help you. And you've expressed to me your fears of not being able to continue. I see your fear. You are not defined as a good mother by how long you breastfeed.

I see you when I arrive at your home late at night. You've had a long day of keeping tiny humans alive, all the while, trying to maintain your sanity. It's okay to not do the dishes and laundry before bed. I've got you.  I see your exhaustion and I've felt that same exhaustion. I'm not going to tell you that the time goes by fast because in this moment, time couldn't go by fast enough for you. I see your mommy guilt. But you are, in fact, a great mother.

I see you early in the morning - your toddler in an early riser! Why do most toddlers have to be early risers?? You haven't been able to shower for a couple days, but that's okay. We've all been there. Today, I'm here. Go shower! 

I've sat with you at 2 am and shared close space with you in one of the most intimate times of your life. Thank you for inviting me there. You've shared your fears, excitement, wins and tears with me - and those things are held sacred and safe. I've seen you at your most vulnerable and all I see is how amazing you are. You might not see it right now - that's why I felt like I should tell you.

I see you. And what I see is a person who is amazing and strong and wise and beautiful and enough. I'm so grateful for the time I've had with you. My time with you has made me a better doula and a better person. I came into your home to help you, but little do you know how much you've helped me! You are making a difference in this world. You make your world a better place.

With a Full Heart,

Your Postpartum Doula