At some point in my pregnancy, I fell in love with my daughter. I remember being pregnant, sitting in her rocking chair, my sweet baby girl in my belly. She didn’t have a name yet, but she was my sweet, sweet girl. I remember reading her books and feeling an overwhelming amount of love for her. Tears would fill my eyes when I thought about meeting her and holding her for the first time, though in my mind, I was already her mommy.
Calling myself a "working" mama is sort of misleading. All moms are working mamas. We're always on call, working hard, and rarely (if ever) truly have days off. Perhaps instead, I should refer to myself as a "mom who works outside of the home, also". I love my job as a mom, and my work at home is never done, and doesn't help to increase the funds in my bank account every few weeks. However, you can't put a price tag on the benefits and it is, of course, profoundly rewarding.
I've always wanted to be a mother. Heck, I played with baby dolls until I was in the 8th grade! My husband and I had always talked about children, so after only two months of marriage we decided to started trying. We got pregnant immediately. Then rolled in the comments "Well you didn't waste any time!" and "What's the rush?!". We had been together 4 years and were in our mid-to-late 20s, we knew what we were getting into and we were beyond excited.
I had a perfectly routine pregnancy. I wasn't nauseous, didn't gain a whole lot of weight, and had no major issues. When it came to birth, I didn't have an exact plan and was pretty open to different options. Delivering natural was the original plan, but if the pain was too much I wasn't opposed to an epidural. After all this was my first child and I had never experienced labor before.
I am a 52 year old momma of 3. My birth experince never got off the ground. We tried for many years to get pregnent but I had endrometriosos and I was too low in one hormone and too high in another. I had hormone shots and took pills for another. Also nothing was getting through my cervex so I had artofitial inseminations for at least a solid year. Every month when my period started was a dagger to my heart. It was all consuming and all I could think about. Finally my tears ran out and I just couldn't do it any more. My husband was wonderful through the whole thing. I think he wanted to stop before I did but let me decide when to stop.
They say that the things that matter in life are the things that you have to work for. You have to stuggle, or fail, but you're expected to get back up and keep going. But at what cost?
I was one of those naive women who assumes that breastfeeding was going to be the only option for me and my babies. After all, my mother breastfed all three of her babies. My friends breastfed. Back in 2012 when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I didn't even bother reading up on breastfeeding during pregnancy. I just assumed that things would be fine... until once during a pap and breast exam during one of my early prenatal visits, my midwife Bernie mentioned to me, "you have flat nipples, you might have trouble breastfeeding." This was the first moment I had a red flag pop up in my mind, but I brushed it off. No one talks about breastfeeding-gone-wrong. I couldn't imagine it being THAT big of a deal.
I am 56 years old. I have three adult children. I am a grandmother. My birth stories span an eight year period between 1985 and 1993. During that time I became a birth educator and doula. Experiencing a childbirth class opened my eyes to the possibility of birth as inclusive, as a partnership, and as a journey between a woman, her body, spirit and the team caring for her. My experiences are varied and they all had a hand in creating the mama I became to my children, and in shaping the woman who holds strong beliefs about pregnancy, labor and birth.
Happy new year!
As we embark on the beginning of this new year, I encourage you to take this opportunity as a time for reflection, healing, growing, and re-birth. Welcome the gift of a fresh start as we say goodbye to 2015 and welcome in 2016.
To foster the growth of this humble collection of stories, and to encourage these moments of reflection, I am offering a gift to one of our authors! To remain transparent, I must tell you that in a sense, I am re-gifting this prize. You see, I purchased a Lillebaby Essentials carrier when baby C was only a few days old and very much love it. I also love Lillebaby'sbusiness philosophy, their spirit of giving, support for the mama community, and for their high-quality products. Here is the carrier description, straight from the Lillebaby wesbite:
I Am Mama.
These are your sacred words. Empowering, enlightening, healing, and bringing us all together as a community of women who have transformed into "mama." It is here that we are able to modernize and preserve the art of sacred storytelling.