Aim for imperfection #easeintomotherhood

Hello lovely people,

It has been a pleasure to read each and every one of your contributions during these last couple of weeks of the ease-in to motherhood event (rounded up in Jodi’s and Erin’s blogs). Reading your experiences has made me think about how most of us go through similar experiences as we learn to become mothers.

This is my story:

We had the fortune of becoming parents on an afternoon mid-May 2016 to beautiful and healthy Emilia. She was born via an emergency  C-section after 30h of induced labour and her voice was the best most beautiful thing I had heard in my life along with her, a few tears of joy were shed by David. This is how our journey began.

 

A few hours after the delivery I was already anxious to see my baby again to see if we would be able to establish breastfeeding. Turns out that her instinct and anatomy were perfect for it and although the first few weeks were somewhat uncomfortable and painful, Emilia and I were successfuly able to breastfeed.

 

My story Small6

 

I really can’t imagine how life would have been without the help, love and support of  my partner. David took the best care for both of us, and if I was exhausted, he was twice as much, but he never once complained.

Living in Montreal, I have no other family here, so my aunt Nina came over from Mexico to help us. There are things money can’t pay for. There are things that people do only because of their infinite love for us. Her presence during this time was one of them. She stayed with us for the first 3 months. She cooked for us every meal, she helped me become a loving mom, she invited me to sit and sew so I could finish sewing my very needed nursing bras while she took care of Emilia, she used to take care of Emilia while she slept and to call me so I could come nurse her during the night. She was my angel. I’m ever so thankful to have had the chance to have her in my life during those last months of her life (but that’s a story for another post).

Emilia and I were released from the hospital after a few days and on our one week appointment, the doctors diagnosed a wound infection in my C-section. David, Emilia and I were sent to the ER and were admitted that day for a couple more nights at the hospital. Once released, nurses from the local community services centre (CLSC) came to treat my wound for the following 100 days until it was totally healed. During those first 3 months+, I was unable to shower because the wound was being treated and our outings were limited to whether the nurses had come that day early or not. Once a week I used to just tilt my head on the bathtub to wash my hair, armpits and feet.  I was so thankful to be living in Canada and have a great health system. Going to the CLSC every day would have been very, very expensive for us.

Every birth comes with their struggles, for either mother or baby, whether it’s emotional or physical.

While having a new little person in my life was a dream come true in many ways, it was really hard for me in many other ways. While I had great support at home and I was thankful for us all being in good health for the most part and I loved my little Emilia to bits, I found it really hard to meet my own expectations to fullfill my baby’s every need. I left myself quite far behind many times. I mourned having left my past life behind, I cried many days because I felt disconnected from my baby, I breastfed for hours and hours on end, I rushed through breakfast, lunch and dinner so I could go back to my baby and fulfil her needs. I wanted to be there for her, THAT was my priority. Add to that the sleep deprivation, LIFE WAS JUST EXHAUSTING!!

Everyone around me seemed to be telling me: “enjoy this time, it passes by too fast!”.

I tried, I really did, but even when I tried my best to be happy and thankful for the life and the support I had, I was sad many days, especially the first few months when there were many sleepless nights.

 

My story Small2

 

-“Don’t feel guilty about seating your baby into her bouncy chair for short periods during the day so you can have some time to take care of yourself.  In addition, accept that babies cry — and don’t take it as a sign of your failure as a parent if you can’t immediately soothe your little one”.-

 

I kind of wish someone would have told me that life was going to be really hard at the beginning of the journey, but as Erin described it, I also think there is nothing that can prepare you for what comes with your first baby. It was just the hardest thing I had ever done in my life.  I will hopefully feel more prepared if there is a next time.

Slowly life started to change and Emilia’s sleep quickly became more tolerable for my mind state. My mood and energy improved. I realized I needed to ask for more help from David. I realized he would be happy to help. He knew I was going through a rough time. Lucky for me, he had a month of parental leave before he went back to work. Nina was still with us. Slowly, I started to feel more supported. Emilia was thriving. We were doing well. I started to open my heart to let my baby in.

 

 

When I think about it now, the extreme hormonal and body changes, the sleep deprivation, the new schedules and responsibilities and what we think are the expectations of us can very quickly drain us. No wonder that 60–80% of all new mothers suffer from the post partum blues [1].

 

-“Trying to be perfect will drain you. Aim to be a “good-enough mother.” This means providing a safe and loving environment for your baby but accepting that you’ll make mistakes — and you and your house will be messy”.-

 

The day Nina left, I took my carrier, my baby and my umbrella to protect her from the sun and off we went for a walk. I cried and cried and cried. Life had to go on.

As in other instances of my life, I found the support I was looking for by looking for groups with like-minded people, socializing and meeting other moms who were or had been in a similar situation. I looked for empathy. I am very lucky to live in an area of Montreal where there are lots of comunities and activities for mothers with small children. I found a very special shelter at the Groupe d’entraide maternelle de la Petite Patrie. There, I’ve met wonderful people and we have together participated and shared in wonderful and exciting things and experiences. Some of those people are now my good friends.

 

 If you live far away from your family, break the isolation. Look for the resources available around you; family community organizations and groups that can welcome, enrich and enhance your parenting experience.

 

We all go through some kind of struggle when we are learning to become mothers/parents. Let go of your controlling self, just embrace it in all its imperfection and its uncertainty. Life will slowly get better. Open your heart to the best love and the most intense experience of your life.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

M

 

[1] Beck CT. Postpartum depression predictors inventory-revised. Adv Neonatal Care. 2003;3:47–8. [PubMed]

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. madebyeleri says:

    Tremendously beautiful post. I’m so glad you had a Nina in your life. I’ve had to be alone far too quickly with all of my children and it IS very hard. I’m thankful that I have the support of friends during those times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eleri, looking for a community who could understand and support me was very useful for me. I will depend on how social you are. All my best wishes!♡

      Like

  2. froebelina says:

    Thanks for being so honest and open and sharing your story. You’re so brave and I imagine you’re a great mother to have 🙂 You’re so compassionate and loving towards yourself and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kat. I hope we can meet one day. You’re a beautiful person too!♡

      Like

      1. froebelina says:

        I hope so too! :-*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Anne says:

    What a brave post! And how wonderful that you had Nina.
    For me my second and third baby were a lot easier. It’s so different if you experienced it before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anne! We’ll hopefully have the chance to have another child. Life with siblings is so full of awesomeness !! ☺

      Like

  4. Dalia says:

    What a beautiful read! You know, there are quite a few times that I thought “I wish someone had told me!” only to realise that someone HAD told me. Told me not to let him breastsleep ever, not to let him eat while running around the table even once, not to fret about all his little ouchies, but I never listened … But as my husband said, in that moment that was all we could do, because that is simply who we are and nobody can fault being true to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dalia,
      I’ve found that even though we do things one way, kids and specially babies get used to changes very quickly. I used to be scared of changing something in our routine or in our daily activities, and while I continue to do some things because they just work well with us and make us happy, I’m much more “fearless” to change things I no longer think are reasonable.

      🙂

      Like

  5. RinaL says:

    Thanks for your honesty. Your post reflects exactly how I felt when having my first child. I was exhausted, physically and mentally – up to a point where I had to take anti-depressing meds, or else it would have gone terribly wrong.

    The second one now is easier, at least you know that its normally not your fault when they are crying 😉

    The second one is normally easier

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rina! ☺ I’m looking forward to a sibling for Emilia whenever that happens. It’s good to see that most of us go through the same experience. It’s interesting how many people in the same situation seem to deny such feelings.

      Like

  6. Maider says:

    ¡¡¡¡¡Qué historia tan bonita Monserratt!!!!! Te puedes creer que no había leído nunca tu blog?¿?¿?¿ La verdad es que estar lejos de tu familia en un momento así tiene que ser tan duro…y luego todas las demás cosas y el adiós de tu tía. Madre mía, ¡cuantas cosas en común tenemos las mamas y los papas de todo el mundo! ¡¡¡¡Un besazo y espero que te guste mi entrada del viernes!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Que gusto que me dejes tu comentario Maider! Te mando un besazo! ♡

      Like

  7. joannabonjour says:

    That first baby is so so hard. It takes so much support and help a women into this new stage of life, and I am so glad you had your nina with you and that you found a support group. And I am so glad you are opening your heart like this and letting the support of the community of sewists in! love you, lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jodi! Thank you for all your support, your love and your interest in this project. Without you this wouldn’t be happening. ♡

      Like

  8. Accordion3 says:

    It feels like a while ago and still very recent. I remember how difficult it was to become and then remain pregnant. My eldest is now 17 and in her final year at school. The next one came very soon after, he is now 16. We had a break then made Miss 12. Teenagers are a whole different story to babies.

    I should write a post too! Are you still taking them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss! Please do !! I’d love to read your story!

      Like

    2. Yesss! Please do, I’d love to read your story!!!

      Like

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