The Power of Love; I didn't know that then
Becoming a mother was everything I had hoped for and was everything I was unprepared for.
When my eldest daughter was first born, it was a difficult labour resulting in hemorrhaging and a DNC. I had been mentally prepared for labour to be hard; what I had not prepared for, was recovery and postpartum. I now understand the toll that labour takes and the physical and emotional rollercoaster that follows it, but I didn’t know that then.
I had been so excited for maternity leave, yet so often, that year felt like a heavy weight dropped on top of me. This tiny little person needed so much from me, when it seemed like I had nothing left to give. I now understand that it is perfectly normal, but I didn’t know that then.
I distinctly remember, still three years later, a moment when my husband had returned to work, and my Mom had gone home, and I was left alone with the baby: I was sitting on the couch looking at her, and I thought “Why did we want to become parents?”. I now understand that this was a perfect storm of postpartum hormones, blood loss and recovery, and exhaustion (not proof of a terrible mama), but I didn’t know that then.
As someone that didn’t know many people with small kids or anyone on maternity leave, I wasn’t prepared for the isolation and loneliness. My husband and I had opted not to do any birth classes, and I greatly regretted missing the chance to meet those other mamas in the same position I was. I now understand the importance of a community around you and reaching out to make new connections, but I didn’t know that then.
Through all these incredibly hard moments, these have shaped me into the Mama I am, and the Mama they need me to be. I now understand my strength and resilience, but I didn’t know that then.
And while these tiny humans challenge me in different ways as they grow, they also make me laugh more than I could have imagined and have filled my life with enough joy to last a lifetime. I now understand the immense power of love more than I ever thought possible, but I didn’t know that then.
Written by Caitlin Hall-Sharp
Image Credit: @ladyduxbury