Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous. It is to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
– Elizabeth Stone
Reflection. It is good to reflect on past experiences. It helps you grow as a person. I want to share with you my experiences with being a new first time mom and introduce you all to my son Porter.
Porter was born almost 2 years ago on August 16th. I loved kids, but the thought of having my own terrified me. I was well aware of how much responsibility it was going to be to hold the life of another human being in my hands and heart. I have always been scared of loss and all I could think about was the “what if”? What if something happens and I lose my child? I literally felt and often still do, would I be able to make it? Would I be able to survive without him? As you can probably tell, I take motherhood very seriously. It was never something I was going to do just because it’s the “way of life”. You know grow up, get married, have kids. It just wasn’t me. I needed a plan. I needed to make sure I had everything prepared. I needed to know that I would be able to provide the life a child deserves. Then a surprise came that I was most certainly not prepared for at the time.
John and I had been dating for 4 months when I found out I was pregnant. That was the last thing I was ready for. Thankfully, above all, I was having a baby with the most sweetest, supportive, and understanding person I have ever met. Even with a devoted partner, financial stability, and a great home, I felt alone and miserable. I exercised almost daily, ate very healthy, and took all my vitamins. I had a horrible pregnancy, health wise. Porter was healthy, but I had an obstructed kidney and was in and out of the hospital the last six weeks before he was born, and even had surgery at thirty five weeks to put a stent from my kidney to my bladder. So painful!
There were times I was happy and I had no doubt about how much I loved the baby growing inside of me. I was just crippled with fear not knowing if I was going to be good mom. It’s my job to take care of people and I still didn’t think I could emotionally handle the responsibility of caring for a human life that I loved more than my own.
After Porter was born I struggled with postpartum depression.
I didn’t want to say anything because I felt ashamed. I felt that if I admitted I was struggling it made me a bad mother. I was so focused on being perfect and doing everything right, I ended up taking out all the joy of learning to be a first time mom away from myself. That is still sad to think about.
John talked me into going to the doctor. I refused for a long time thinking I would just snap out of it. When I would have a good day I would say, see?! I’m fine! I was so anti medicine! I hated the thought of taking a pill for an issue that I thought I should be able to fix on my own. It helped so much talking to a doctor that was also a new mom that reassured me that I was most certainly not crazy. She explained that my hormones were completely out of wack, and just how normal everything I was feeling was. Thank God John was so patient and encouraging through everything
I now feel like my normal self. Still overly worried about everything but way better! My only advice is to not feel ashamed, don’t feel like a failure for asking for help. My doctor put it this way, if you break a bone you get it fixed. You wouldn’t hobble around smiling, acting like everything is fine. So when it comes to our minds, and spirits, don’t be ashamed to admit they are broken. Ask for help.
I hope this helps someone out there going through the same thing! You are not alone.