Friday, 3 February 2017

The Mother Also Matters

Since publishing my last post about my Pregnancy Story I have had so many people come and talk to me about how they are feeling health wise and emotionally. Firstly thank you to everyone getting in touch and I hope I've been able to help a few of you.

The chats I've had with some of you however has inspired a bit of a controversial post. So ladies, please keep an open mind and just hear me out before you decide to voice your opinions and disagree with me. 

After a very traumatic arrival I think I've heard, "At least you have a healthy baby, that's all that matters" or "Well she's healthy and thats all that matters" and yes I am truly and deeply blessed that she is healthy because I know with the conditions I had, she may not have been so lucky! But after hearing that over and over and having it drilled into my head that "it's all that matters", makes you doubt if you matter. The fact that she is healthy, IS the most important thing in the world to me but I don't think it's ALL that should matter. (Queue some of you kicking off in protest) But what I'm trying to say is becoming a mother is a very hard and difficult thing, so to say to a new mum that has found it very hard to labour her baby, or had that experience taken away from her for medical reasons, or had to have an emergency c section, can be very hard to hear. When you say the baby is all that matters, can make mums feel like they don't; like what they went through doesn't matter. We often only hear/see a birth announcement and we congratulate and move on, we don't know about the emotional strain, the tears behind closed doors, the recovery time, the mental scars left behind from such a traumatising experience.

We spent hours talking about our little ones when people come and meet them for the first time but mums get a bit forgotten about. Mums matter and what they went through matters. If we say the baby is ALL that matters, it can be very damaging for the mother and make them feel like they need to just get over their ordeal and forget it because that baby is all that matters. This can then result in the mother suppressing her experience and can lead to PostNatal Depression. I know some of you will be reading this thinking this is an attention seeking post or something but this is about the bigger picture. 

A prime example for me and realising how I've been pushing myself aside happened yesterday. I am part of a group on facebook for HELLP Syndrome Survivors, and I posted a quick introduction to myself and a photo of Kovah and my post was all about her. About 8 other mothers then commented cooing over her and complimenting me on her...then 1 mother commented "She's lovely, but how are YOU feeling?" This threw me. How AM I? I don't even really know how I am. Physically yes I'm healing but emotionally? Mentally? Am I even dealing with the events from 4 weeks ago? I didn't even know how to answer. Then other mothers I have spoken to have also found it hard and lonely when recovering because the "baby is all that matters" and what shocked me was the fact that they were shutting themselves down saying "but it doesn't matter because she/he's healthy and that's all that matters."

I guess the point of this post is to make people aware that yes, ultimately a healthy baby is the most important thing, but it's not ALL that matters. So maybe we need to rephrase that cliché and say something like "I'm so glad he/she is healthy" or "You must be so happy the baby is healthy". 

To all the new mums out there, I hope you're all coping and healing in any way you need, take the time to cry and heal from your wounds may they be mental or physical or both. No one will ever truly understand what you went through or felt apart from you, so it's ok to think about yourself and look after yourself as well as your little blessing. 


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