My baby girl has her fourth birthday in a couple of weeks. Her due date was a few days from today. My facebook memories app has been filled with memories from that time that are so hard for me to read. I have often said how much I wish I could go back and “educate” myself. Sometimes I want to go back and slap myself and just yell to stop being so stupid, to trust myself and my baby and stop letting people walk all over me. To stop letting people tell me that I don’t matter. To go and do some bloody research and demand evidence based care.
By the way self - you were right. IT'S A GIRL! Author's own image.
And I realised that some of the things I want to go back and tell myself are things I would never tell a client or another mum. Because they actually aren’t very nice. So let’s just say I could go back in time and, with the benefit of hindsight, tell myself a few things…
You’re fucking awesome! I know how terrified you are of hospitals. So terrified that you don’t even visit people there when they are sick or have had a baby. I know how close you come to crying every time you walk through the doors. Yet here you are. You did it. And you’ll keep doing it. Because you are fucking awesome.
I know that you’re confused as all hell. This isn’t your fault. You’re not stupid, uneducated or missing some vital piece of information. And it’s going to get worse. When 4 very educated doctors can’t agree on your health status how the hell are you expected to NOT be confused. You are knowledgeable.
You’re going to make some decisions that you will regret. It’s fucking hard to follow your instincts when everyone is telling you not to. Remember that you are just one person and the hospital is a bloody huge institution. No-one expects you to win that fight, but it’s damn impressive that you tried. You are strong.
You'll cry a lot. And that doesn't make you a bad mum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The next few months are going to suck. Big time. Sorry - but you deserve to know. Going home from hospital isn't going to magically make it all better. Just as the physical pain starts to lessen the emotional pain will kick up a notch. Triggers will be everywhere. Looking at your baby will make you cry. This doesn’t make you a bad mum. Your baby would not be better off without you. You understand how important birth is and wanted the best for your baby.
No matter how many people tell you otherwise please remember, through all the darkness, flashbacks and tears:
You matter. Your birth matters. Your story matters.