I was screaming and crying at the same time. I was exhausted and begged for him to make it all go away.
“You are not crazy, you are scared” were the words I heard from the doctors, sitting across from me in the emergency room as I was screaming and crying at the same time. I was exhausted and begged for him to make it all go away. I had just had my baby 6 days earlier. This was not the place I expected myself to be six days after giving birth. Where were all those pink fluffy moments everyone had told me about? Where were the endless love for my child, and the instinct to just feel at ease with everything? All I felt was…fear.
A few months earlier, all I could think about was the time that lay ahead. When she finally would be here in my arms. The child I had longed for, for so long. My daughter. My beautiful baby girl that was all I ever wished for. I was looking forward to all the sleepless nights, and night feeds and dirty diapers. I just couldn’t wait. And everybody told me about how amazing the first few weeks are when you just live in your baby bubble where everything is just pink and unicorns. That’s what they tell you, but that is not what I had. Not even close. Being a first-time mom was scary. Everything was new. All I ever knew got put out of proportions and I felt so many feelings I didn’t even know I had. And I felt a whole new level of fear. Fear for what can happen, what could have happened. Fear for all the dangers that lurk in the shadows. Fear for the insane amount of years that I am responsible for another human being and not just legally, but emotionally. Having a child is by far the biggest quest I’ve taken.
I was scared, ashamed, filled with anxiety and guilt for not feeling the way everybody else did.
“You are not crazy, you are scared”. I wish someone would have told me earlier about all the feelings that can come with having a child. For me, it would have made my first 9 months as a mother a whole other story that what my start was. I was scared, ashamed, filled with anxiety and guilt for not feeling the way everybody else did. What was wrong with me? Why was I so scared of being alone with my child? Why couldn’t I look at her and feel nothing but joy and love? Why was all I could think of the horrible things that could happen to my baby if I wasn’t there to protect her?
The answer is – because nobody talks about the uncomfortable stuff. You don’t tell a dying person about death, you don’t tell a pregnant lady about miscarriage, and you don’t tell a mom to be about all the baby blues or postpartum depression. Instead, we talk about what we know is safe. We talk about hope, love and “something” because that makes people feel safe. And we all want to feel safe and that we got this.
I tried my hardest to find something to keep me sane
When reality hits you in a different way than you expect, we all find ways to keep us sane. To keep us focused and we do our best to not lose it. For me, it was extremely hard to look forward when everything was confusing. So I tried my hardest to find something to keep me sane, to keep me from losing track of what was most important. My baby. Everybody told me that one day it would all be better, but until that day, I needed something to hold on to and to remind me what was important when the anxiety was too strong.
That was when I found my old sonogram images of my daughter. That became my comfort. Every time I felt that motherhood was too scary to deal with, I went back to my desk, dug out the sonogram image and just remembered. I remembered all those feelings I had when I found out I was expecting a baby girl. That day was the greatest day of my life. From that day the sonogram image was something I looked at every day, longing for the moment I could hold her in my arms.
There are so many emotions in that very first image.
And even to this day, every time I see a sonogram image I can’t help but smile. There are so many emotions in that very first image. Your carry your child for 9 months, loving someone you’ve never ever met. You have no idea who’s in there, but you know one thing. That tiny little human is the greatest love of your life. That very first picture is the most precious thing that I kept on my desk for months. Until one day, when I realized I wanted to cherish that picture forever, so I dug out my brush and watercolors and created my very first sonogram painting that now no longer hides away in my baby book, but are beautifully displayed in the center of our home. A memory to look at every day to remember the start of my biggest journey, and to realize that I was not crazy, I loved beyond everything I’ve ever loved before, and that was scary.