Before I go any further into my mom journey I want to take time to appreciate all of the good things in my life. I am in no way saying that my struggle is worse than others, or crying poor me, poor me. I know that I am blessed to have so many great things line up in the universe for me.
First, the fact that getting pregnant was ‘easy’. As many married couples do, we often talked about starting a family and what that might look like. We discussed what difficulties and joys could lie ahead. Would we have a difficult time getting pregnant? I have a few family members and friends who have faced that hardship, and the heartache is all too real. Well, we decided that is a bridge we cross when it is dropped in front of us! But luckily, it was never an issue. I tracked my cycle for one month, and we followed all the suggestions for ‘ensuring’ a pregnancy. And for us it took no time at all…this was the ‘easy’ part and I am grateful for that.
Second, supportive family and friends. I have an amazing support system! My husband is phenomenal, my friends (a small select group) are always there to listen and help if they can and I have family that will bend over backwards to make things a little easier on me. But sometimes that is hard to see and cherish. When battling depression you feel like everyone is fighting you in different ways. You fixate on the negative things instead of appreciating the positives. Well, at least I do anyway. Why don’t they call me? Why won’t they come over or offer to do something? Do they not understand my discomfort? And most of the time that’s exactly what it was…they just didn’t understand. And for them, they thought giving me space was helping. But in actuality, it made me feel so alone in this new journey. Now, my husband never made me feel alone. He was always there; running for my newest craving (something that I could actually eat and digest), rubbing my feet, listening to me throwing up, and trying the newest ‘feel better remedy’. I may have carried our child through pregnancy, but my husband carried me. And he continues to support me through every struggle motherhood has presented me with.- Breastfeeding ‘fails’, postpartum body shaming, exhaustion, and all too often regret…just to name a few! For this I am grateful!
Third, my postpartum healing. I am so grateful that my healing for a vaginal birth was as normal and quick as any woman would wish. Yes, it was still difficult as many new things are. But it was without complications and less than the 6 week time period. What a blessing it was to not have to worry about that as I worried about everything else!
Fourth, I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl. She is a nugget of intelligence, discovery, sassiness, and strength. She is always looking for ways to overcome her obstacles and many people often underestimate her. She will figure everything and anything out! Ohhhh, doesn’t want to take her medicine? We will be smarty parents and put it in a bottle nipple to trick her! One week later, she is refusing to take the nipple! She knows what it contains! Ok, lets try squirting it in the back of her cheek. The nurse insists that doing it this was way it was impossible for her to use her tongue to push it forward to spit it out. GUESS AGAIN! She made a liar out of that man! But, I am often times reminded to sit back and not necessarily see these as negative things. She is intelligent and discovering her world. Her ability to figure things out and ‘out smart’ her parents at a mere 4 months old, is the sign of a bright future!
Finally, I am grateful for who I am. I am a strong, intelligent, educated and determined woman. These are hard things to say and believe, but I need to believe them. Not just for me, but for my daughter. I need to give her a strong female role model. I want her to fight for survival as I have. As any parent does, I hope that she does not face half the struggles I have. But I know that life can be difficult, and I want her to attack it with bravery. These qualities were bestowed upon me by the amazing and strong women in my family that have preceded me. And I hope to continue to pass these qualities along to my children.
I am grateful for the things in my life that have not been a struggle, for the great moments of joy! However small and sparse those moments are, I hope to not overlook them. I want to recognize them and relish in all their glory!