To the dear expecting mother who reads this letter,
My greatest hope for you is that you know you are enough, that you are capable, and that this adventure before you, while difficult, will be one of the most beautiful, magical adventures of your life.
You are likely feeling very anxious about what your baby’s birth day will bring, about what you will experience, what your baby will experience, what your baby will look like and probably what your life will look like after your baby makes his or her way Earthside. Trust in yourself. As a human being, and as a mother, you have all the answers deep within yourself.
The day your baby enters this world will be astonishing. If you have a positive mindset and are well informed, you will make the best decisions for yourself and your baby. Know that for most women, we have the ability to birth naturally (i.e. without medical intervention). There are incredible benefits for mother and baby that come from experiencing natural childbirth. If this is you, I bow down to you, you beautiful, magnificent goddess of a woman who birthed her baby soulfully!
There are many factors in our lives that have changed through the years, and many of these factors have compounded to increase the rate of women requiring medical intervention. While people all over the world are doing amazing things to minimise or remove these obstacles, there is still a small percentage of women who will need medical intervention to birth their baby, and this is OK. I repeat, THIS IS OK. If this is you, I want you to feel confident and involved in the decisions made during your birth, I want you to feel strong, empowered, unstoppable. You made the choices required to bring your baby into this world and you should be celebrated as much as any other mother. You too are a beautiful, magnificent goddess of a woman who birthed her baby soulfully!
Now you are a mum, to what seems like the most tiny, most dependent, little pooping blob you could have ever imagined. But what now? Your heart tells you one thing, your brain may tell you another, and your mother/mother-in-law/sister/friend/nurse/doctor tells you something completely different. Oh and did I mention Doctor Google?
You will need help. I repeat, you will need help. This too is OK! Actually, its not just OK, this is necessary. Our village looks a lot different to how it used to look. Some of us have to find our village in places we would never expect. This help might look like someone cleaning your house, maybe it will look like someone making you some meals. It could also be a shoulder to cry on when you just need to vent or to grieve the parts of your pre-baby life that you miss. It could be a multitude of things. If you can’t find this village where you would expect, try social media groups, mums groups, or scheduled activities with your baby.
Please never forget that there is always someone willing to have a chat. On the back of your baby book (in South Australia, Blue Book) you have a list of numbers you can call. I can tell you that the Parents Helpline was added to my contacts very quickly. They have been very reassuring for this new mum at times when I have been a worry wart. If it helps, make regular doctors appointments in advance. You can always cancel them if the appointment is approaching, but it is always nicer to talk to the doctor you know and trust rather than having to panic about not getting an appointment when you want something looked at or having to go to another doctor with whom you are unfamiliar.
Know that you are enough. You had the primitive ability to create, grow, and birth this baby, and you now have the primitive ability to raise this baby. Everyone has an opinion, and what ever you do, not everyone will agree with your choice. This has been one of the biggest game-changing facts for me as a mother. Again, be informed, but you, I repeat, YOU make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Know that no one is perfect. Life is about balance. You know what you can and cannot handle, what your family can and cannot cope with, and this is why you make the best decisions for your family.
You will change. This transition in to motherhood that no one really talks about, is HUGE. Sandra C. Kassis said “you never understand life until it grows inside of you.” You will change physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You will change in ways that you could have never dreamed. It is a journey. Your unique journey. It takes time. Not days or weeks or even months, but years. Be patient. You are learning a lot of new things. You are learning a new way of life. The person you will become is going to be incredible. It may not be easy getting there, but at the end of it, you will be amazed at how far you have come. Talk to your family and your friends about what is happening. If you need to talk to others, do so. You matter. You are strong and fierce, whatever this journey brings, you’ve got this!
I leave you with this…