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It may take a while to feel like yourself again, but remember that you are not gone.

Every birth represents a death to something else and, in this case, the birth of your child brings about the death of the selfish freedoms you have always known (and perhaps took for granted).

In the initial months of motherhood, I felt like I had been dropped into the arms of the greatest love story of my life, yet I was grieving. I ached for a glimpse of myself. I missed lounging in bed with a book in my hand, and soaking in long, bubbly baths, and sleeping in late - waking to stare at the ceiling fan while lost in the wandering of my own thoughts.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling absent from your own life - yes, you're crawling into the same bed and using the same toilet, but moving through air that feels foreign and strange. The beautiful news is that the disorientation does not last forever, and you will soon relax into a more refined and resilient version of yourself.

The 12 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned About Surviving (and Thriving) Postpartum

I didn't know what to expect once I became a mother. But after having a baby, I learned some valuable lessons that I think moms-to-be should hear. Because growing a human is no simple mission . . . and then you must give birth to said human - asking your fragile, healing, postpartum body to show more endurance and resilience than it has ever been asked to show before. Your delicate bundle is placed in your arms, and the world as you once knew it spins off its axis. The excitement is palpable and the congratulations are endless.

But then you return home and your supply of adrenaline may abandon you without warning. You may feel as though you are hanging from the edge of exhaustion, clawing and grasping for a glimpse of who you used to be. The sleepless nights catch up with you. The seriousness of your newfound responsibility terrifies you. Loved ones may begin tossing their expectations into the mix - ones you have no desire to meet - and so begins the mom guilt.

I know from experience that even the wisest soul is incapable of preparing another person for the emotional and psychological complexities of postpartum and motherhood. So ahead are 12 ideas to keep in mind - things I wish I had known before giving birth to my daughter five months ago - that will support you through this life-altering transition. Remember - you can do hard things, Mom, but you must be soft with yourself in the process.

Related: 6 Things to Do Before Baby For a Better Postpartum Experience