After having my son I expected to feel many things. Bringing home a healthy baby, mourning, wasn’t one of those feelings I expected to feel. I found myself looking at this beautiful baby I had carried for 9 months and not knowing him. Not this version of him. I realized I had to re-introduce myself to him and he needed to introduce himself to me. He was inside of me breathing my breaths, kicking side to side but seeing him, I wasn’t bonded with him anymore. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen but so foriegn in one sweep of a thought. I stared at my empty, shrinking belly and mourned my pregnancy. But why? I had my baby. And I certainly didn’t enjoy a lot of my carrying season. I never realized adjusting to nothing on the inside, would be almost as hard as adjusting to him on the outside.
The love I felt for him was explosive but so was the sadness of feeling like I lost something so intimate and sacred. I cried, bleeding over the toilet, shedding the last of the special bond only I got to share with him. A special bond with a baby I didn’t feel like I had home with me. I avoided looking at myself in the mirror because I didn’t want to see the shrinking body that at one point I was so ready to have back. The guilt overwhelmed every moment as each thought whispered, “You should be thankful to have a living, healthy, baby.” “You should be grateful you got pregnant at all after a year of trying.” “Why don’t you love your baby more, instead of missing something you made up in your mind?” “You’re already failing as a mom.”
The first weeks of motherhood felt sure to defeat me. Not the sleepless nights but the physical, emotional and hormonal toll it took on my body, building up for almost a year and dropping within hours. It exposed joy I didn’t know was possible, depths of fear I didn’t know existed, and sadness I never expected. Pregnancy is such a normalized life event, that so many fail to recognize the traumatic experience your body is exposed to and recovering from. The internal battle of chemical and emotional happenings are far beyond “getting some rest” and that needs further acknowledged.
The days and feelings passed in unison with each other. I was able to bond with my son for who he was evolving into earthside and found parallels of who I grew and who he was now.
There’s an overpowering love you receive when having your baby I don’t think any mom would deny, but baby blues or postpartum depression can be just as overpowering if your experiencing it. I’m thankful looking back, what could have shut me up in shame, instead pushed me to speak up and share. I wasn’t a bad mom, I was a human mom.