I read a post today over at Rattle and Mum which is really beautiful and something occurred to me… my cloud is lifting. The author says “I read my Birth Story over and over – If I had to have only written it now, it would be a totally different story. Less pain and an unbelievably overwhelming TRIUMPH!!”
This rang so true for me. I have spent a lot of time grieving the birth story I never had. I even found a draft blog post I wrote days before the twins birth where I wrote about what I wanted to happen, my birth-plan so to speak. I was already on that draft blog post grieving the birth I couldn’t have, the natural birth where the babies are handed straight to Mom and Mom and breastfeed right there while delivering the second baby. But that post talked about how I hoped it would be, which was already for me a second prize and I didn’t even get that.
I have to admit to being totally devastated at the loss of that dream and while “the way you want your babies to enter the world matters not one iota, all that matters is that they are there, safe and sound and healthy” to quote myself on my announcement of the twins arrival, I have spent a lot of time grieving my birth story. As the cloud has lifted I have come to make peace with what was. I cannot change it. I cannot have a do over. And I am so blessed to have two of the most perfect babies this world has ever seen (biased? Not much!) and I have bonded to them so irrevocably and we have such an awesome relationship and they are thriving and as time passes I too am thriving as their Mommy.
I think that the birth I had and the struggle I had with breastfeeding contributed to me developing very mild post partum depression. I don’t think I needed medicating, it wasn’t that bad, but I started existing under a cloud. For months after the twins arrival I would become inconsolable at the thought that Chris would have to leave for work. I couldn’t bear him being away from us. I would literally cry with joy when he came home. I became terrified that I would never be able to cope with my babies without someone else being there to help me. If people asked me about the birth I would cry saying how it was terrible and not at all what I wanted. I pushed myself so hard on the breastfeeding front and I refused to allow myself to give up even when the pressure I put on myself was damaging my ability to cope as a mother to my two angels. I came to believe I had such difficult children all because they cried, but they were just normal.
I seemed to move from a difficult birth into a battle of the breast and from there to colic struggles with Sausage and lactose intolerance (with guilt thrown in because I stopped giving my lactose intolerant baby breast milk), to hospital visits and reintroducing breast milk to Sausage and development of reflux and just when it all seemed to be improving teething set in. By six months I was exhausted. We had taken a holiday which we now refer to the anti-holiday because both babies cut 2 teeth during that week and had colds and were miserable and we never got more than a 2 hour stretch of sleep and I was exhausted. We got back from the holiday, got the night nurse back for three nights so we could recover and there it was… the light.
I don’t think the cloud lifted all at once, but now I feel as though I am floating with my head above the clouds. Somewhere in the last two months, slowly but surely things have become so much easier. I have stopped being so hard on myself, I have learnt to cope with these gorgeous little people that are my Hope Babes and I have got to know them. We are figuring it out and I am really loving motherhood. And their arrival in our lives is a total triumph over infertility and that horrid diagnosis Chris was given at 17.
I recently read a post on Facebook where someone said ‘Imagine only waking up tomorrow with the things you thanked God for today’. That struck a nerve. While for me it’s not about thanking god, I have learnt to be so grateful every single day for the most amazing life I am leading these days. I find it hard not to gloat about how perfect my life seems, I find it hard not to shout from the rooftops how awesome my world is. And I think this appreciation for where I find myself is all a part of the cloud being gone.