I was a know it all. I knew exactly what type of mom I would be. You know, the one that would be at every baby playgroup, engage her in all the latest science based activities, feed her only organic foods, exclusively breastfeed, not give in to her tantrums, always speak in a calm voice and happily wake up at night to tend to her when she cried.
My pregnancy would be amazing. I would eat only healthy foods, take my prenatals everyday and go to the gym faithfully. My face would glow like the sun. I would have a natural birth, laboring peacefully in the tub with no medication.
What really happened.....
I became pregnant and lost my baby.
It took a few years before I became pregnant again with my daughter. I was scared I would lose her too.
I did not go to the gym.
I did not eat the healthiest foods or much food at all. I ended up in the ER several times for hyperemesis.
This wasn't the pregnancy I dreamed about.
I didn't laugh and smile like the people in the magazines. Instead I wallowed in my bed trying to distract myself from growing pains.
When I did want to eat, my cravings were for McDonalds, Thai, Chinese, Subway and other yummy fast foods. The healthy food sat in the fridge and stared back at me. Um, no thanks.
I gained 40 pounds and my tummy became tattooed with stripes like a tiger. My body changed and my baby was huge. I no longer had that "perfect" body.
I was depressed.
I took a natural birthing class. I had a midwife and a doula. I just knew I was going to have a natural med-free birth.
Due to complications I wasn't allowed to deliver in the Natural Birth Center.
I felt defeated. My plan was unraveling.
I was induced and given Pitocin. As time progressed, my body felt like it was being ripped apart. I screamed for an epidural.
There went my med-free birth.
I had my daughter.
Her healthy cry changed everything. My beautiful blessing who brought with her so much joy and love. As I held in her in my arms for the first time, the past 9 months seemed like a distant nightmare compared to a lifetime of seeing my daughter's face.
Sure it has been a life changing journey. I had a bout of postpartum depression. I learned breastfeeding wasn't as easy as I expected and I struggled. I didn't make it to my one year goal, but that's okay. She was fed and healthy. That was all that mattered. Yes there were sleepless nights and I was a cast member of The Walking Dead the next day. Arrrggghhh Zommbbiiee. No I didn't feed her only organic foods. Yes she sometimes ate ice cream and cookies instead of apple slices. No we didn't make it to all the baby groups or indulge in science based activities. Yes we watched TV, but guess what? She is perfect anyway.
Her laughter is contagious. Her smile brightens up my day. Her Dora the Explorer spirit keeps me on my toes.
I realized as a new mom, not everything goes as planned and that's okay.
I just want to tell all my fellow new moms, you are not a failure. Don't be so hard on yourself. Yes, you are doing everything right and what is best for you and your baby. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Don't let the mommy wars discourage you. Ain't nobody got time for that! You are doing great and you love your baby unconditionally. In the end that is all that matters.
You got this!
I never really truly understood life's miracles, until I had my daughter.