Thursday, April 7, 2011

My swim to shore

I am still in the process of writing my 'birth story', 9 months on and it's still half written, cut off mid sentence. 7 diary pages long and I'm still only up to the first few contractions and 7 hours before Stella took her first breath. I started writing it when my first born daughter was 2 weeks old. The memory of a 2 week old baby, tiny and vulnerable escaped me so very quickly. I almost feel as though the memory was never there, I felt absent the entire time. My body was there, but I was elsewhere. They are moments I'll never get back and moments I crave to re-live.

After that 2 week milestone, it became far too painful to continue writing. It would bring back memories of how I wanted things to be, how they were supposed to be and bring home the reality of how they really were. I was single. There was never going to be a happy family with a white picket fence. Of course now my outlook is completely different, I can finally say I am at peace. I have tried to keep writing a page or two here and there and am determined to finish it sometime soon so I can share it with you. Stellas birth was beautiful, uncomplicated and wonderful. I was incredibly lucky to have such a quick, positive experience. When people ask me how her birth was the best response I can give is 'Easy!', this usually gets me a glare and a 'yeah right' in response. But that's how it was. Beautiful and simple and I want to document that moment when everything was perfect as best I can.

Recently I have been in awe of quite a few new mothers I know. Being out and about shopping at 2 weeks after the birth and looking amazing! They have such positive outlooks and seem to have glided into motherhood with such ease, poise and grace. I admire them. It got me thinking of my transition in to Motherhood and had me fumbling back through my 'pen to paper' diary to find some entries I had written in those first few weeks post birth. I wanted to share with you my transition with pure honesty and conviction. It is raw and true. This is a summary diary entry I wrote on New Years Eve of my recollection of those 'first few weeks'.


"The first week after bringing Stella home from the hospital was HELL. I was entirely under the grips of anxiety. My whole body shook constantly. All day and all night for a whole week I felt as though I couldn't breathe. My mouth was dry, my hands were always sweaty, I couldn't eat or sleep. I felt like the walls were closing in on me. In all seriousness. I remember trying to eat dinner one night and the house around me started to feel smaller and smaller. It got to the point where I thought I couldn't breathe and felt the urge to open the front door and just run.

I feel as though I missed out on enjoying that time with Stella. I didn't feel a closeness to her or any love for her yet I suppose. It was totally and utterly horrible. Every time I closed my eyes and tried to sleep I thought I could hear her screaming... those breathless, high pitched screams a newborn can do for hours. Even when she was asleep, I could still hear them and to me they were so real, it wasn't in my head. It made sleeping, even when I had the chance, impossible. I didn't sleep or eat for nearly 7 days.

It's indescribable how difficult the change from being your own person to being responsible for every little breath of such a vulnerable, tiny being actually is. It's like being plunged into cold water...Ice cold water in complete darkness and being told to swim to shore. Perhaps it's not like that for everyone, but for me it was a haunting, paralysing experience."

...That was my recollection of those first few cold weeks in July 2010. Thirty nine weeks ago to be precise. 9 months on, the end of an important relationship and a house move later- You can't wipe the smile off my face. I go to sleep at the end of the day beaming with joy and content. I would love to hear the story of those first weeks with Stella from another perspective, something I might just have to work on getting her Daddy to write for me and perhaps for Winter Love.

How did you transition to Motherhood with your first child? Was it a positive experience? Do you have vivid memories of those first few weeks or are they faint in the distance?


  1. Wow. Raw yet beautiful x
    You are so inspiring... When I look at you with Stella, it's so beautiful and being a Mumma is so natural to you.
    In the few months I've known you, I am amazed at how much you've grown... I have so much respect for you xxxx

  2. Memories of the birth of and first few weeks with my baby, now 11 months old, are like someone else's photographs. Just frames, snippets and sound bites. Pieces of something too huge to get my head or heart around. I understand the difficultly you feel trying to get it out into a readable format. I still can't comprehend the magnitude of it all. I'm not sure I ever will.
    As far as the birth goes, I had a long and intense natural, drug-free labour. It was the most alive I've ever 'felt'. It was amazing. But just thinking about it, even for a moment, frightens and overwhelms me. So I rarely talk about it.
    These things a bigger than words, lovely lady. I admire your courage and strength to embrace motherhood in the whole, honest and pure way that you have. Even more though, I admire your resolve to explore it so openly in the same way.

  3. I have just discovered your blog and love it :) feel free to check mine out at

    I don't have any children but enjoy reading your honesty on motherhood, well done :)