Joys of motherhood: expectations are not always what actually happens.
Before having a baby I actually had everything planned. I still had the illusion that I could plan things and that it would run accordingly. I read books, asked people, downloaded apps and whatever else I others suggested that would help me to meet my expectations as a mum. Basically I covered it all. Everything was under control.
The funniest and saddest realities hit home at an early stage. It is amazing to see how our expectations can contrast so much with reality. To understand where I my thinking came from, I have put down some comparisons for you. Here I go:
How I thought X reality:
How I thought: My son would be born on the 14 August 2014. Oh boy! Perfect date! In fact my parents got married on this date. I thought it was a sign. I asked to go on maternity leave 2 weeks prior to labour. Yes! I thought I needed some rest. My belly was getting bigger and bigger and my energy level was very low. My bump was using my energy to cook.
Reality: Bub came 2.5 weeks earlier. I didn’t have any day off for myself. I almost had my baby at work… on Friday I asked my boss if I could get my maternity leave that day because I was tired (I was bored and couldn’t wait to have time to put my legs up and watch Netflix). On Sunday my water broke.
How I thought: Delivery time wasn’t what I expected. I was really concerned that I could have my baby when in the shower. I saw few times in the news pregnant women having their babies before arriving at the hospital and this made me freak out. I heard that my sister was born actually in the corridor of the hospital because my mum had a very fast labour.
Reality: My water started to leak on Sunday and I only delivered on Tuesday 3pm. It seems that my body took its time to do the job.
How I thought: Again about delivery. I thought I was very resistant to pain. I wanted a natural birth without pain killers. In the back of my mind I thought it would be equivalent to period pain. A bit more painful of course… big mistake, I forgot that my pelvis would need to expand to allow a 3.5 kilo baby to go through.
Reality: I almost attacked my beautiful midwife. By the way, I already respected this profession, but now I don’t have words to describe how awesome they are and I couldn’t praise them more. “Thank you again Tiara! Love you!” This lady who I met for the first time there, on the actual day of the birth, has seen my worst. I was completely out of my mind. I screamed so loudly. She knew that I wanted it to be without an epidural and she was trying to convince me to hold just a bit longer and I was being very dramatic, screaming that I was going to die. I remember talking to myself that nowadays you don’t see many cases of women dying when giving birth. In my defence I believe that she also saw the best of me: “My little boy”.
How I thought: The big deal is: while pregnant I used to see many new mums at parks and elsewhere. I thought that life would run as normal the only difference would be that I would only have something extra to carry with me. Like a bag or a doll (maybe both). I imagined myself running with a pram, going to mother’s groups smiling and playing with my doll. I had no idea what the reality would be.
Reality: Going home with a baby in my arms was scary and exciting. As the days passed by I was gaining more experience but at the same time I was getting more and more tired. I didn’t expect it to be so hard. The postpartum recovery combined with sleepless nights. I had to cope with not just my expectations but those from others too. At this point I started to realise that maternity is tough. It is not only taking care of other human being, but it is a mirror reflecting your joys and failures. It also will prove you wrong all the time. Your concepts and beliefs can be fragile and it is frustrating as well.
You are battling against yourself all the time. You win and lose. I know that you have probably heard it before; your worst enemy is yourself. At least I am my worst enemy. Mostly because I still have my mind settled in things that make me overwhelmed.
Reading it again, I can see an article for most of these paragraphs. Motherhood is a school like no other and I still see that the reality is different from what I thought motherhood would be. No mums are the same, the best we can do is to help each other and join the club.
Thank you for being on my side.
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