Truth, honest, raw, vulnerability, courage.
Ok, so here it is.
When I fell pregnant it was quite a surprise. Living in a caravan, planning a huge wedding, saving money, paying debt, plans to travel. Things were pretty great.
I always wanted children and my now husband and I were open to the pregnancy and nervously excited.
We moved into a small cottage in the countryside, I left work and eagerly awaited our baby.
I felt excited, loved up, with a giddy spark in my step. I couldn’t wait to birth my baby, I had visions of birthing at home, in the pool, with all my birth partners with me.
I had visions of playing with my baby, meeting friends in coffee houses, loving feeding.
I didn’t mind the idea of waking once or twice in the night. I was confident I would know what to do, and after seeing so many friends do it, all having a great time, loving, smiling, nurturing.
I heard so many stories about how in love you feel post birth and hanging out with the baby at home while watching films and drinking tea. My expectations were high, my vision was rosy...
I was ready to become a mother!
My birth was in hospital, one of my birth partners not allowed in with me, my mum saying she would have to leave because the nurses told us there were too many people on the room, vomiting, needles in my back, lying on my back strapped to beeping machines.
48 hours of labour.
I pushed to the depths of hell, fortunately I only had minimal tearing, but he came out with no assistance.
I remember feeling completely out of my mind, happy, relieved, exhausted, overwhelmed.
I didn’t sleep for 3 days.
Two days after we arrived home, I came out of my blurry post birth head and my entire physical and psychological being plummeted.
For weeks and months, I cried every day, I felt physically sick with regret, I dreaded the feeds and I hated doing it. I felt resentful he didn’t sleep.
"I never told the NHS because I was afraid, they would take him away."
I felt alone, detached, angry. I hated being a mum, it felt wrong, I wanted my old life back. I felt like I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
I had to pretend to enjoy it in public, I never told the NHS because I was afraid, they would take him away.
I was suicidal with thoughts of running with the buggy into the road so a fast lorry would take us both down. The guilt was unbearable, he didn’t deserve this; he didn’t ask to be born.
I looked into adoption, asked my husband if he could give him up.
I was riddled with guilt, how could I feel like this, no one else does. Why does everyone else enjoy this, why did they not find this hard??
What was wrong with me?
I was so depressed, conflicted, utterly sleep deprived, only 3-4 hrs broken sleep per night for 5 months.
Then after about 6 months I got a bit more sleep.
I was pretty vocal about how I was feeling and what was going on. I battled my way through another 4 months, getting better but not brilliant. But then I had a major motherhood melt down at 10 months.
This release of built up tension, stress, emotion, energy, led me to my turning point of recovery.
• I learnt how profound and overwhelming becoming a mother is
• I learnt how to reconnect with myself
• I rediscovered my passions
• I built up my confidence
• Increased my awareness
• Came to terms with and acceptance of this new role.
After that first year I began to feel in tune with being a mother, I was enjoying it, moving forward with it. The love came flooding in and I began learning about my child and myself.
I had a very rocky start, loss of grief for my old life, suicidal thoughts, exhausted beyond belief with no hope of ever getting back to being me, having my own thoughts, or even having any part of life back.
But I took a path of positive change, and I made some changes in my life.
Now I love being a mum and I have built a business from scratch on the back of my experience, supporting other mothers through their transition into motherhood.
I have made excellent use of my qualifications as an Occupational Therapist, completed further training as a life coach. And now I get to spend my time working with amazing women taking them through a process of positive change.
A process which quite literally saved my life!
Motherhood is so hard; it throws up a whole new world of challenges. And we are constantly learning.
But the best way we can learn, understand, nurture, respect and give support to other mothers and prepare other mothers is to talk about this.
To normalize and to share our truths so we can help each other and celebrate each other.
To be open and share in our journeys.
With this story I hope to empower and enable other women to speak out, or at least to not feel so alone, or like they are a bad mum, or that something is wrong with them.
Because I promise you, the woman sat next to you is feeling exactly the same, no one has their shit together, no one is a Disneymum.
Come join ‘The Connected Mother Collective’ we are waiting for you.