No filter, no posing, no knowledge that the photo was being taken.
I was living in the present moment.
I felt broken, emotionally, physically & spiritually. And I was finding healing.
Everything washed over me, I could hold it for no longer & I was made whole once again.
(if you don’t already know I am a Christian, this was me being water baptised with my Pastors.
It’s not a religious act but a spiritual encounter. It will remain, one of the best days of my life)
Being broken doesn’t mean you have failed, it just attains to the fact that you are human.
The good news?
Broken can be fixed, cracks can be healed, emptiness restored & pieces of who we once were put back together.
This is my story.
This was my reality.
This is my journey.
This is ME.
One for the mumma’s
I remember thinking back to when I fell pregnant with Soph, it had finally happened! The most magical time in my life, I could finally create real life pictures using the truck loads of ‘pins’ on Pinterest I had accumulated.
My dream of having a baby – was becoming a reality.
And now that Soph is here, I can honestly say that regardless of the bumps in my journey – it IS the most magical time in my life.
We have a human! She is half him & half me. It’s pure magic & she’s an absolute gift from heaven.
So how then, through such a magical season, could I have experienced darkness?
BECAUSE I AM HUMAN.
It’s not because I am weak, it’s not because I’m not ‘cut out’ for it & it’s not because I don’t love my daughter enough. It’s because I am made of clay & life isn’t about perfection.
So… I went quite overdue with Soph.
I remember thinking, I can’t wait to just not have this struggle of moving, sleeping, eating & getting comfortable. I kept deciphering in my mind that even though having a newborn was going to be hard, at least I would have my body back to normal again & feel more myself. (haha eek!)
So when I had Soph & my ideals flew out the window, I was thrown into a whirlwind of emotions.
I was numb for quite some time, I was traumatised, I was sick, but full of an overwhelming joy.
Talk about confusing?
I had never really gone through the thought process or realisation that having a newborn is one thing, but having a newborn when you are sick is a whole other chapter.
My recovery for many different reasons was long & we had a lot of health hiccups along the way.
With my history of circulation problems, breastfeeding became extremely painful & mastitis began to rear it’s (crazy) ugly head on the regular. (seriously, how awful is it?!)
But I was determined – my ideal was to breastfeed my baby until she was 2 years old or weaned herself off. Because that’s what a mum does right?
So that’s what I was going to do.
Why wasn’t it ‘working’? These peaceful bonding moments when nursing Soph that I was originally experiencing, quickly turned to a horrible cocktail of anxiety, agony & pain.
I felt disappointed with my body, annoyed I wasn’t enjoying this wonderful experience that many others were & I began to feel ripped off by the whole subject.
But I persevered – I had expectations on myself subconsciously that were holding me to my end goal.
I fed through the 3 bouts of mastitis & felt that it was more important for Sophie to be healthy than for me to be.
But by this point, Soph seemed to be hating feed time about as much as I was.
Now I found myself having to express if we were to go anywhere, as I couldn’t feed her in public with how much trouble we were having & making trips to the car to pump while out & about to try to avoid another visit from the mastitis monster. It had been nearly 3 months of breastfeeding with every single time being a fight & I was exhausted (huge understatment)
Then to add to things, our midwife informed us that Soph had reflux, quite severe. (explained a lot)
So the fight intensified.
I felt defeated & embarrassed that I couldn’t do, what I felt, I was made to.
I compared myself to the ‘normal’ mum
But that’s just it, what is ‘normal’?
Is it what the textbook’s say?
Is it one size fits all?
Is that motherhood & anything else is a watered down version or failing?
The stigma around breastfeeding, led me to feel guilty that I couldn’t do it.
Led me to feel that I had to push myself, physically, emotionally & mentally to just cope through the pain otherwise I would be labelled & judged as a mother.
In the same breath, there has to be balance.
So, please HEAR ME..
I 100% believe that breastfeeding is BEST for your baby. I know without a shadow of doubt that my breastmilk would be the optimal health option for Soph. And I think that women should always do their very best to breast feed if they are blessed to have no concerns or health problems allowing otherwise.
I’m not saying that breastfeeding isn’t great (I still get upset that I am not nursing Soph & miss it everyday)
What am I saying?
No one really knows your story or your journey.
Only you can make the best decision for your family.
The lesson I learnt?
I cannot be the mum to Sophie that she needs if I am too unwell to cope with everyday life.
She needs me to be at my best, so she can be at hers. That’s reality.
Breastfeeding, bottle feeding or formula feeding isn’t the point.
Being an active & a present parent to my child, is.
Maybe for you..
Emotionally, you just felt you couldn’t cope? You are an amazing mum.
Mentally, you just felt exhausted? You are still an amazing mum.
Health problems, forbid you from continuing? You are still an amazing mum.
Trauma, rendered the option void? Guess what… YOU ARE AN AMAZING MUM!
Feeding is a HUGE part of what we do for our children, but it does not DEFINE your role in their life.
Your love for your child.
You & them.
So wherever you sit in the picture, you are doing an incredible job.
However the feeding is happening, it is happening.
Pat yourself on the back & smile because you’ve got this.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
I thought I would share with you, this is the pic of the ‘after’ I was baptised.
I hope you can see the joy & freedom I was experiencing. It can be found! In Him.
Please keep in mind that I am a first time mum who in the scheme of things, knows absolutely nothing!
I am merely sharing my experience & hoping to encourage anyone who has found/find themselves in a difficult season, as I know I needed the uplift along the way.