As far back as I can remember, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I remember playing with my dolls, and thinking ahead to how amazing it would be to one day have a family of my own. I always had such great examples of strong mothers around me, so naturally that mothering energy just seemed to follow me. In any friend group of mine, I’ve always been considered to be the “mother” of the group . I just give off mom vibes. I always want to take people under my wing to nurture and comfort them when they need it.
When I think of the strongest mother I know, of course I think of my mother. She is amazing. She embodies what it means to be a mom. Despite the challenges she has faced and had to overcome with her health, it has never affected her ability to be a great mom. She always did and does her very best for my sister and I in what ever way we need her support. Although we may bump heads, as mothers and daughters often do, I feel like that is what make our relationship even richer because we can always come back to each other from a place of understanding. I can honestly say she is like a best friend to me. When we talk to each other it’s like two friend catching up with each other. At times I feel like we are mirrors of each other and that is exactly how I always imagined my relationship would feel with my own child.
Fast forward to present day and I am now getting to experience that exact feeling and dream of mine every day. Yes, you read that right, I am now somebody’s mama. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy back in August and I have to say motherhood has been amazing. Yes there are plenty of sleepless nights, but I absolutely would not trade this for anything else in the world. It wasn’t until this point in my life that I realized what parents mean when they say having a child is like your heart living outside your body. Every time I look at my baby boy I’m just reminded that this is what unconditional love looks like and I want to do everything I can to protect him, just as I would protect my heart.
Stepping into this new role in my life has been been a journey but despite a few bumps in the road it has been,for the most part , effortless. Honestly, the whole process starting from pregnancy was pretty easy for me. When I found out I was pregnant, it was actually pretty late into the pregnancy. I use to scoff at shows that exclaimed, “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” I always thought that’s crazy how can someone not know they are pregnant? Until, I literally did not know I was pregnant! There were no overwhelming signs or indications, but now looking back it might have explained why I was a bit more tired than usual. I didn’t begin to get any indication that I was pregnant until I started picking up weight very rapidly and I stopped getting what I believed to be my monthly cycle.
I took a pregnancy test and surprise, surprise it was positive. My boyfriend and I were in complete shock and we just needed further confirmation that this was accurate, so I went in to be checked out, and I got an ultrasound done. That was the moment that solidified for me that I was really pregnant. As we were getting the ultrasound done the tech says to me, “This baby is very developed are you sure about the date of your last period?” Based on the last time I had a “cycle” I was certain that I was correct about the dates. However, the tech basically said you are way further along, far along enough to know the gender. Like 26 weeks far along. My boyfriend and I were again sitting there in shock. We had a relatively short amount of time to get everything together for our baby. Most couples are able to process the pregnancy early on and really take the time to make a plan for their family, we had to process all of that within a few short months. I really have to take a moment to thank my boyfriend because he really took control of the situation very well. He immediately went out and starting checking the things we needed off the list. Throughout the pregnancy and beyond he has been a great support system. He consistently made sure that I had everything I needed to be comfortable during my pregnancy, and that the baby was good as well. He really did take a lot of the stress off of me and for that I am so thankful. He really is an an amazing boyfriend and father. I am so blessed that we get to go through this journey of parenthood and life together.
Labor and Delivery
So, as time progressed, it was getting closer and closer to the end of my pregnancy. Everything was pretty much in order, and the only thing we had to do was wait for the baby. I went in to my 38 week appointment and my doctor determined that the best thing to do would be to induce my labor because at two of my previous appointments my blood pressure was kind of high and there was a possibility I could develop preeclampsia. So, that following monday we packed our bags and headed to the hospital so that I could be induced. I have to say the process of the labor and the waiting was the worst part for me. They tried to do whatever they could to get my cervix to dilate more and nothing was working nor was the baby moving down. So, after being in labor for a day and a half the only other option was to have a c-section. When I heard that I slightly panicked on the inside because I have never had any type of surgery before, but I just kept telling myself, “You have gotten this far you can handle anything.” Once I got to the operating room I just remember my arms shaking a lot and it felt like I was on the outside of my body. Nothing in that moment felt real. I didn’t snap into reality until I heard my baby cry. He was officially here. Once all the excitement of the day settled down, and we were back in our hospital room I remember holding him and looking into his eyes. It still hadn’t registered in my mind that this is my child, he is half of me.
As easily as everything in my pregnancy had gone, postpartum really hit me really hard. Because I was in so much pain from the c-section it made it hard for me to really be in the moment and enjoy my baby the first few days. I was also struggling with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding was something I was adamant about doing, so when it didn’t come as easily for me I was highly upset about it. In the midst of all of that, I was experiencing discomfort in my chest making it extremely hard to breathe and I had so much swelling in my legs. Initially I thought it was just symptoms of the c-section and that it would go away, but it got worse. When I would lie down at night, it felt like their was so much weight on my chest. My boyfriend would have to wake me up because my breathing was so heavy. That’s when I was certain something wasn’t right, and I went to the emergency room.
My blood pressure was through the roof. I had never seen a blood pressure reading that high before. They started running so many test and I was on pins and needles awaiting my diagnosis. The only thing I was concerned about was getting back home to my baby boy. I was eventually diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia and fluid on the lungs. After staying in the hospital overnight, I improved enough to go home the next day. With that being said, ladies, if you are ever experiencing symptoms like this after the birth of your child please go get check out as soon as possible because it can often be even more serious than my case was.
After getting over that hurdle, I began to really start finding my footing and stepping into my role as a mother. I was bonding with my child, I had a good routine going, and I was able to balance everything else in my life. However, one day something just hit me. I don’t really know how to explain it but it felt like everything and everyone was going about life as usual, but I was just completely still. I was so deeply immersed in my thoughts all the time. I was picking myself apart. I was critiquing myself as a mother and my post baby body. I became enraged at the slightest bit of criticism when it came to how I cared for my child. I was so irritable and I just wasn’t feeling like myself. Not to mention dealing with all this while in the midst of a pandemic, it just became too much. I now know that what I was experiencing is called, “mom rage.” Based on my research, mom rage is not something that a lot of moms talk about because of the stigma behind it. I feel like a lot the of time when women become mothers our ability to just be human is removed from us, and we are put on a pedestal. These high expectations cause us to hold in our feelings because we are told that’s not how a mother should feel, and that’s not good. Holding in our feelings only allows a cycle of anger, loneliness, and isolation to fester.
I almost fell into this detrimental cycle until I realized that no mom is perfect. We are all just doing the best that we can do. I am human first and foremost and I am allowed to have emotions and make mistakes. It’s all a part of the learning process. I also realized the importance of taking a break and just stepping away when you need to get a bit of fresh air. I know my boyfriend is more than capable of stepping in and taking care of things when I need him to. I do not have to be super mom all the time try to take on everything, even if I feel that way at times.
It’s funny to me how when you are pregnant, everyone loves to tell you about the sleepless nights, the diaper explosions, and everything else. However, no one talks about what happens postpartum and I feel more women should. We should not feel stigmatized just for speaking our truth about what we go through as moms. Having a child is a major life event and it changes a lot. With a lot of changes, comes a lot of different emotions. I would tell any new mom don’t be afraid to feel how you feel, and don’t be afraid to talk to someone about how you feel. Your feelings are important and they are valid.
A Message to New Moms.
With all of this being said, overall motherhood has been very good to me. I am so blessed to have my healthy, beautiful baby boy and my little family. As with any new experiences in life there will be some bump in the roads, but those bumps allow you to appreciate the journey so much more. Since I have become a mom, I have found strength in me that I didn’t know existed. I feel like I can take on anything. My advice to any mom-to-be is to enjoy the pregnancy as much as you can. Even though nine months feels like a long time; it goes by really fast. Also, don’t put too much pressure on yourself; you will figure out everything as you go. Aside from asking the pediatrician questions at appointments; google has been my best friend and guide in this process. And, finally, when you are enduring another sleepless night and feeling like throwing in the towel. Just look your baby deep in their eyes and remember that for them it is all worth it.
As always thank you for reading and please share this article with any new moms you know. Also, before I go, I want to shed light on a few things. The #EndSARS movement going on in Nigeria is very, very important and so necessary. The Police brutality going on over there is absolutely ridiculous and I’m so glad that people are sharing their stories and shedding light on this issue. If you would like to learn more about how you can help. You can go to this website to find organizations to donate to and you can go here to sign a petition . Secondly, election day is quickly approaching, please get out and vote. I know we often think our vote doesn’t matter, but it really does. When you are voting you are not just voting for presidential candidates you are also voting for matters that will affect you locally and statewide. So, if you are unhappy with how things are going on any level, please get out and vote. Lastly, I want to shout out a small business, Walking with Curves Boutique LLC. As a curvy girl I know it can be hard find clothes that fit properly, but at Walking with Curves Boutique LLC that is not a problem. They have everything you need to look your curvy best for more info go here.
Once again thanks for reading and I will talk to you all next week!