In staying true to my beliefs in being open and honest, I want to get a little vulnerable here and share my journey to motherhood. This is going to be long, but it’s a story that has shaped so much of who I am today, and why I left a high-paying and stable job to start my business in birth photography.
All my life, I wanted so badly to be a mother. But I knew I had to wait for a lot of things to happen first before that moment would come. Once I was finally ready, and with the man I knew I would share my life with, I then had to wait for both of us to be ready. Then it was the wait to get pregnant.
The first 7 months slowly ticked away. In hindsight, that really isn’t a long time, but when you’re in the thick of it, even just a few months seems too long. But then I finally got to see those two pink lines I so desperately wanted. We watched our squirmy little baby with a strong beating heart during the first ultrasound. But my world came crashing down after the second scan. There was our baby on the monitor, but there was no longer any motion and its heart was silent. I had to carry our lifeless baby inside me for another week before it was decided that a surgical procedure to remove it was the best option. Those were some very dark and lonely days.
But somehow, I had known this would happen. I always felt that because I wanted a baby so badly all my life, that it would never actually happen for me. Like it was too good to be true. That was probably my anxiety talking, but I really felt like I didn’t deserve the one thing I always wanted. Two months later, when we were ready to start trying again, I got another positive pregnancy test. And then a week later, I miscarried again. I was emotionally numb after that.
A month later, I was staring at yet another positive pregnancy test. I knew it was still too good to be true and that, somehow, this would be taken from me again. But mother nature showed mercy and I carried a healthy baby to full-term. The pregnancy was extremely difficult for me, both emotionally and physically. I was still mourning the babies we lost, and struggled to bond with the baby I was growing. I was also constantly in pain due to symphysis pubis dysfunction and sacroiliitis, both brought on by pregnancy. Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of pregnancy, but at almost 39 weeks, our baby was ready to make his arrival.
My husband caught him as he was born. The moment he placed our son on my chest and in my arms was the most monumental moment I have ever experienced. I didn’t even look at our baby – I didn’t need to, because I already knew him. I closed my eyes as I wept, and silently thanked the universe for allowing this moment to finally happen. This was the moment I had waited all my life for and it was so, so worth everything that had to happen before this. Time stood still, and I really couldn’t tell you how long I cried before I finally opened my eyes to look down at him.
Postpartum was difficult, despite being madly in love with our son. He had colic due to some minor medical issues that went undiagnosed for a few months. My husband and I hardly ever slept, and the stress and exhaustion really put a strain on our relationship. I began to spiral into a deep depression that took way too long for me to get help for.
Oddly enough, there ends up being a silver lining to the depression. It’s part of what made me realize I had to get out of my career in finance. I hated leaving my baby behind every day to go to a job that made me miserable. The pay was great, but why was I sacrificing my time with my son for something that made me so unhappy? So I did something crazy and quit my job to start my own business in birth photography. For several years, I had wanted to do this, but fear and self-doubt held me back. But I had my son to think of now, and he deserves a mother that is happy and present.
Now things are good and we are in full-on toddler territory. And I have to say, this has been my favorite stage so far. The wild fits of laughter and endless energy, the dramatic temper tantrums, the sophisticated baby babble mixed in with some real words, the pure SASS and attitude (he’s definitely my kid)… It’s been a wild ride for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.