Embracing Motherhood: My Birth Story

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Like many women I grew up believing that mothers are born the day they have their first child. The moment that little life leaves your body, you become a mother. In theory, that is correct, in practicality not so much. My birth story as a mom was nothing like that.

I was 22 years old, married for a little over two years, and enjoying every minute of life. The husband and I had recently moved into a place of our own. We had good jobs and our social life was rocking. In fact, it was a few days after a hard party session for a friend’s 21st birthday (including many vodka screwdrivers), that I felt the first indications of impending motherhood. After days of denial, a drugstore test, and confirmation from a walk-in doctor, I started wrapping my brain around the idea that I was ‘going to be a mom’.

Even though I hadn’t planned to have kids until I was 30, my surprise bump began to grow on me rather quickly (literally & figuratively). Having almost no experience with babies, I was nervous, but it didn’t matter because moms are born the moment their babies are, right? That’s what the movies, books, and even the women in our life tell us. Don’t worry so much, when the time comes you’ll just know what to do – you’ll have mother’s instinct.

When I ‘became a mother’ at 3:15am on March 10th, 2004 I expected to know everything about motherhood. Imagine my despair when just 12 hours later my son, the little person I had carried for nine months, rejected my breast milk and breast. He just wouldn’t have it. He screamed for hours until a nurse finally convinced me to give him a bottle and get some sleep. Why didn’t my child want to drink my milk, and why couldn’t I soothe him?  Mother’s are supposed to know how. I would play this failure over and over in my mind for the coming weeks and then spiral into postpartum depression for nearly a year.

Life progressed. I started a business while staying home to raise my son. He was a great baby, so well behaved. I took him to the park, went on walks, and watched cartoons with him – but it never felt like enough. I couldn’t get down on the floor and play cars with him for hours like his dad, and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy playing those games. What kind of mother doesn’t like playing with her kid? Another question I’d ask myself often. View Post

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