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Becoming A Mother, Releasing the Maiden.

Quick Ollie update - yesterday we got good news! Oliver’s MRI was all normal which is a big relief. We aren't out of the clear yet as we now need to await genetic testing and a vision test but everything else has come back all normal. I could cry just writing this. I am trying to not get my hopes up too much but this really was welcomed news. 

After writing and relaunching my own little online home yesterday I felt a spark reignite in my soul. As a mother you tend to lose a part of yourself. It’s not intentional, it’s natural. It’s natural because in order to make room for the mother you have to release the maiden. That part will never come back but it does create just a little bit of room to become something new. Often we are so tired, or mentally fried or just can’t find any time to ourselves with the juggle of life. It’s incredibly important though, to carve out even an hour or so here and there. It’s taken me 12 weeks of Oliver’s life to prioritise me. My husband has still been going to the gym 3 times a week which is SO important for his physical and mental health and I finally stepped up and said I need 2 mornings a week to just redine myself too. Maybe that will inspire an idea for you! 

In saying this I have been able to bring my chill little baby Ollie with me as he sleeps and quietly hangs out. I understand if you have the opposite child. Harrison would never let me do this - he was a loud, tiresome baby. I didn’t get more than 2 hours sleep in a row for 9 months of his life! I used to get so frustrated by other mums doing all these normal things and feeling pretty sane. I was a MESS. But now I see. It wasn’t my parenting or my ability to manage life with a newborn, it was my child. They all require different things and some need a LOT more of us than others. I am so grateful to have had that experience first and also to just know what that feels like. It has made this postpartum extra special. I am so grateful for Ollie and perhaps a small part to play in his calm personality was a very gentle birth, but perhaps not. 

To all the mothers that have wonderful births and calm babies, I am so proud of you for putting the work in to creating that for yourself and your child. You are a powerhouse mama! There is so much strength in re-writing the narrative around birth and paving the way for other mothers to create the same. I also want to gently remind you that the universe also played a big role in giving you that journey, not all of it is based upon the work you did. 

To all the mothers that put their heart and soul into creating a wonderful birth and calm baby but had to instead experience trauma, or a birth completely not to plan or a baby that just won’t settle, I am so proud of you for doing the best you could and STILL overcoming the hurdles! You are a powerhouse mama! Nothing will show you how strong you are except for still waking up each day and getting through this period. This path is not an easy one, but you were given it for a reason, you have the strength and you will get through this. It is not your fault. You will find beauty in it soon I promise. 

Both my birth experiences were perfect for me. For Harrison, I had to go through an extremely hard birth and postpartum period to show me how dark those times are and how much of yourself is required to find your way through it. I put a lot of work into his birth. I hired a private midwife, I listened to hypnobirthing meditations every night from 4 months onwards, we did the hypnobirthing courses, I read every book on natural birth, I listened to positive birth stories, I kept active and ate incredibly well - no coffee, no gluten, no processes sugar, had a very plant based diet and drank organic juices nearly everyday. My surrounding situations were on the tough side as we also got married that year and my husband travelled for work all the time. Perhaps my mind wasn’t as solid as it could have been but I was so ready and excited for birth! I knew it could be a marvellous experience! However, I didn’t get a positive experience. It was no one's fault, it’s just how it happened. Harrison was a very large baby for my size, he was 4.35kg and I am only 157cm tall and a small frame so he wasn’t going to make it easy for me. My waters also broke early which then had me on the clock and I got very anxious as to why nothing was happening (which would have also caused nothing to happen as I wasn’t in a relaxed state). 50 hours later, an induction, an epidural, antibiotics and 2 hours of pushing, a second degree tear and he was here. I felt nothing when he was in my arms. I wanted to go to sleep and walk away. There was no joy. No relief. Just exhaustion and sadness. My husband felt similar. It was heartbreaking. 

I knew it didn't have to be this way. So when I fell pregnant with Oliver I put all my effort into rewiring my mind to allow for a better birth. This time I didn’t do any hypnobirthing classes or meditations, I didn’t eat perfectly, I was running after a toddler and I prioritised working with my psychologist as often as I could instead. We still had stressful things in the background as Covid existed and wiped out both our jobs so we were unemployed for a large part of the year. We also nearly lost our deposit we had on a townhouse but right at the final hour we got approved! So we moved house whilst I was heavily pregnant! We chose a homebirth for this guy. I didn’t tell many people because I knew it was not a highly approved way to birth in Australia and I didn’t want to hear anyones fears. It was marvellous though. My waters broke first at 430am again but I allowed myself to feel the emotions and release everything that I was “holding” on to and I was able to go into active labour at around 4pm. By 915pm my little guy was born into the water with only 18 minutes of pushing, no tearing and just pure relief. It was magic. I would almost call it easy and would happily do it again tomorrow! 

Sometimes we get given hard experiences to learn from them. At the time it can make you feel so broken but perhaps you needed to break apart what was no longer needed. Then you get to start from scratch and build again just the way you want to. 

That’s all for today folks. 

Look after yourself x

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