“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”
Joanne of Modern Fort teamed up with BC Women’s Hospital to shed light on the side of motherhood that is often forgotten in hopes that no mother ever feels alone. To all the moms out there who are showing up every day and doing their best, this one is for you.
Below are seven stories of motherhood, unfiltered.
"Anxiety is a complex beast, it is completely controlling of your daily life. It steals your joy and your sense of self. The idea that something bad is about to happen all the time is utterly exhausting. Things that used to make you feel happy and satisfied were now coated with a new layer of uncertainty. I wish that someone had flat out asked me if I was having any problems coping when I had Elisabeth. Just having someone to talk about these weird feelings would have been beneficial."
"Motherhood is one of the most rewarding and isolating experiences any woman can have.
I soon became pregnant with our second child, given the due date February 17th, 2010 the anniversary of my mother’s death day. Deep down I knew that he was going to be born that day, regardless of everyone saying there was only a 3% chance. Low and behold that morning at 6:30am I started going into labour and gave birth to my son on the anniversary of my mother’s death. It was a full circle feeling for me as he responded to my finger immediately,and my mother’s name till he was two. His birth was a very healing experience for me in my grief as I felt my mother with me in him every day. Of course this didn’t solve all the issues I had developed from my still lingering postpartum trauma from having my first son. That feeling that I was never quite doing enough. There were days that grief would swallow me making me a sub par parent at best some days."
Read Eschelle's story.
"I woke up in a lot of pain (basically septic shock), sometime around 2am and it felt as though I was paralyzed. I could barely open my eyes, couldn’t speak, couldn’t stand, and was drooling.
It took everything I had to sit up with Caleb in my arms and make my way to the bedroom to wake my husband up as something was definitely wrong. After a call to the nurses’s help line 8-1-1 I was told to head to the emergency room."
Read Jennifer's story here.
“Postpartum. Even the word in itself feels dark and scary for me. Before I had children, I assumed that I would easily and seamlessly transition into motherhood, and that it would feel like a honeymoon. I believed that I would suddenly bloom gracefully into motherhood. But I was so wrong. I have 4 babies: I’ve experienced 4 dark postpartum periods and am still very much in the thick of my 4th postpartum tunnel.
With each baby, the theme seems to be one of being peeled and broken down to my very core. So much of my naked, raw inner self makes me question myself. It makes me wonder who I am at my very core. I feel like I’m about to fall into a sea of emotions and tears."
Read Jessica's story.
“Handling life as a new mother is terrifying, yet alone a new single mother. Going through the highs and lows of childbirth and dealing with them alone is so a tough pill to swallow. We do it, and we do it with a smile on our face – but deep down we really just need a break sometimes. Honestly, talking with someone about the fears, anxiety, and moments of what seems like insanity can really help and show that you aren’t as alone in this as you may feel. I still feel alone most days in this journey, but that is part of my depression. I know these feelings, and just because I feel them doesn’t make me less of a mom or someone who loves their child any less. We all process things differently — physically, mentally and emotionally, and we must acknowledge and respect everyone’s process. We all are doing the best we can!”
“It was March 11th, my husband’s 26th birthday. I was 10 weeks pregnant and had my first ultrasound scheduled for that morning. Within 10 seconds of the ultrasound starting I just knew. The tech had this look on her face that I will never forget. She looked so hard at the screen. Her lips were pursed and her eyes were slightly squinted. I braced myself for the words I knew the tech was about to say. She turned the screen towards me and said the words no one wants to hear “I’m sorry, but it looks like there is no heartbeat”. My world instantly shattered. I felt as though my heart was literally breaking into pieces. I had never experienced that type of pain before. It was excruciating and completely crippled me."
"It was about 3 months into my second pregnancy when the anxiety began to worsen. The isolation, anxiety and depression returned except this time it was ten fold. I began to have to plan grocery trips two hours in advance. Often I wouldn’t even leave the house and never saw friends or family. I had tried to go a different route with this pregnancy and saw a midwife. It was a few appointments in when she softly asked me if I was doing ok. I thought I could continue to hide all of the suffering and downplayed my response. “Oh I’m ok” I would say while inside screaming for help, pleading that she would see what was happening to me, which she thankfully did. Within two days I had an appointment with a counsellor who had experience with postpartum. She was a Godsend for me, but the anxiety continued and worsened by the week."