Be Kind to Yourself…
Did you have visions of what your birth would look like? Did you have specific thoughts on how life with your baby would look ? How maternity leave would look ? How you would act and feel as a new mother? How your new family would function? Did you daydream while pregnant, rubbing your pregnant belly, staring out in space anticipating for the moment you went into labour…excited to start this new transformation in your life?
Well, I did…
And a lot of what I had envisioned was so far from my reality that it completely shook me at a core level.
My beautiful home birth that I had wanted so desperately and envisioned night after night, did not happen. It was and always will be a part of my birth experience, but not the end result I had hoped for.
I felt robbed…
I blamed myself…
When I returned home, I was hurting, scared, confused, angry, filled with overwhelming love, happy beyond words, excited, joyful, nervous, sleep deprived, hungry and already longing for something that seemed “normal” for me to desperately grab on to.
I have beautiful memories of what it felt like living in my bed with my newborn son, him only wearing a diaper with skin-to-skin around the clock. The sun was shining and my husband was home catering to me with food, water and love and not a significant worry in the world. Welcoming close loved ones into my bedroom to share in my new love.
And then shit got real…I think I was living in a fog or some kind of honeymoon phase. My husband went back to work and I had to do this on my own!?!?! The thoughts that were entering into my head, the fear that filled my soul were so bone shaking scary. I kept what was going on for me a secret, or at least tried to. I think I was in denial or disbelief. Why was this happening to me? I am an educated woman, a social worker, my role in my family and my professional life is to help and support people…why me? I struggled with postpartum depression and was plagued with intrusive thoughts…I feared letting anyone hold my baby, I was obsessed with how people were perceiving me – as a person and as a mother, I tried to put on a mask and searched for a “new normal”.
I lost myself…horribly.
This impacted every relationship in my life…
Not all days were great, not all minutes were horrible. The only thing I really knew for sure was that I loved my baby. My postpartum journey took many paths – both wonderful and unnerving. Thankfully, my loving support network was there when I fell, stumbled, ran away or ready to embrace me when my face was smiling!
Every day is a new day. Every minute and every second are new minutes and new seconds. Please be kind to yourself.
Please do not shame yourself for that thought you just had that created some negativity for you. Please be kind to yourself. Let go of the shame, let go of the self-hatred, let go of whatever you want to let go of, whatever you need to let go of. Hold on to your baby, your loves in your life…your light.
Today, I let go of shame. I have no regrets about my paths, my journey. This helped shape who I am… and I am proud. Proud to be my son’s Mama.
Be Kind to Yourself… Take a breath, or two. Breathe in kindness and love to yourself and exhale what does not bring you life. I am sure you would want this for your child… you deserve it too Mamas!
This is my mantra. I say it to myself every morning, before I go to bed and probably several times more in between.
I know this is not everyone’s experience; however I thought I would share mine. If it resonates with you, I hope it brings you comfort. You are not alone.
Xoxox Much love to you all Mamas.
“we are not meant to be perfect; we’re meant to be whole” ~ Jane Fonda