Inner Strength

I am a failure. My body failed me. I’m not worthy to be a mother. I’m not strong enough. I gave up. I feel defeated. I suck at this. What have I done? Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind? I have let these thoughts come too close to my heart while I was in the delivery room, delivering my first baby girl, and I let them consume me afterwards. I have let myself continually replay these moments leading up to my surgery. 

I delivered my first baby girl via c-section. Was this my plan, Hell No! But, this plan was deemed necessary for a safe and healthy delivery. I was induced 10 days after my expected due date with no signs of active labour. I experienced prodromal labour for a couple of weeks with no delivery in sight. We had to round up our troops a.k.a my midwives to come up with a back up plan. After induction, and several hours waiting, It was GO time. My baby’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction. This decision was necessary, but it defeated me. I felt crushed. I wanted more than anything to deliver my baby the same way thousands of other women do, a vaginal delivery. 

Photo by Angela Best

Being a first time mom, 2nd time or 3rd time mom, doesn’t make this journey any less complicating or stressful. Being a mom is stressful. We all want to do what the other mom is doing. We are always comparing notes, talking and discussing the comparisons. We are simply judging the F out of each other. We can become each other’s worst enemy, and why? If we are all doing the same job, with the same end goal in mind: raising happy and healthy little humans, why are we constantly judging what the other one has, or doesn’t have? If all moms want the same the same thing, why aren’t we supporting each other?

If you shared with another mom that you had a c-section, you have a 50/50 chance that you will get a supportive response. If you shared with another mom your feeding regimen, formula or breastmilk, you will get either a 60/40 response. 60% support for breastfeeding, and only 40% support for formula. Why is that? Why can’t we just support each other no matter what? Once we become moms, we seem to know what’s best for not only for our self, but everyone else and their child. We instantly become the expert. We seem to have all of the greatest and latest sources of information about what’s better to raising our children and being a better mom. Well, let me tell you, you will never be the perfect mom, or have perfect children. I have learned very quickly that what works best for one mom and child, doesn’t work best for all moms. What works for one child in your family does not work for the other the child. I have also realized that what worked well in the 80’s or 90’s when our parents had us, becomes almost irrelevant, and outdated. So, why are we putting all of this pressure on ourselves?

Before I had my first daughter, I had enrolled myself and my husband to a prenatal class set up and hosted by our midwife clinic. There, I had met 4 other moms to be and their spouses. This was an 8 week program. From completion date, we all had remained friends. These girls quickly became great friends and positive supportive women I cherish each day. Our group is what helped me tremendously to get through my constant thoughts of failure and uncertainties of being a new mom. Even though they all had very different deliveries, they acknowledge that we are all strong mom warriors. When the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a family,” they are my village.  

I was holding my baby girl, when all I could think about was “how did I fail at this?” I had one job to do and so far I have failed. I reminded myself of my “mom” group. They were the ones who uplifted me, and reminded me that it’s not the delivery that defines who we are. The delivery is “just” the exit. Yes, some moms get to accomplish their dream birth plan. Yes, some moms walk out of the hospital as the stunningly hot milf that looks like she hasn’t carried a baby in her lifetime, but, if you’re the one who walks out looking like a garbage truck drove over you 3 times, and your belly still looks likes you’re still pregnant, that’s ok too. You know why? Because you just had a BABY! Looking the part of a mom, a mom who just delivered their baby deserves the Hi Fives and credit too. How you dress and what you look like does not define your strength. Your strength is the part where you screamed for a bloody epidural because you were managing hardcore contractions for so long, you needed a break. Or when you found yourself pushing for so long that you had to make the difficult choice to come up with a new plan of action. Your strength was when you gripped your husbands hand so tight you left prints for days because you had to sit still during the worst contraction while being prepped for surgery. Your strength was when you found the courage to walk into the hospital and say “I’m having my baby, today, or tomorrow.” No matter the “type” of delivery, you delivered, and that in itself is strength.

Photo by Angela Best

The delivery of our baby does not, and should never define who we are as a mother. Each delivery is unique, and not one delivery is the same, ever! If any moms experienced a c-section, remind yourself to be patient. Be patient with your healing, be patient with your mind, body and soul. Be patient with the process. You delivered a little human, and that’s the outcome you should be rewarding yourself with, not just the exit. The exit is such a small piece of the whole picture. Your delivery, is no less greater than someone who vaginally delivered their baby. You can never compare apples to oranges, so why the F should we be doing the same with deliveries? One c-section is not the same as the other. One vaginal delivery is not the same than the other. We need to normalize, appreciate and support ALL births. 

We need to be each other’s village and support system. We are women of strength, courage and a heck of alot of love. We all are warriors, fighting for the same outcome We are leaders leading the same journey. We are survivors, surviving the same chaos of mom life. Praise each other for the hard days we all experience. We have hard days, good days and days where we want to hide out in the bathroom from all of our frustrations. We all share the same goal. We are capable! We are strong! We are courageous! We are a mom! Let’s do this together!

23 thoughts on “Inner Strength

  1. MentalMillennialMom says:

    Amen!! Thank you so much for writing this. I am about to give birth to my first child and I have already experienced so much judgement for my birth plan or how I am feeling. It is amazing how much judgement we get instead of just supporting one another. Thank you for your story!

    Like

    • angebest says:

      Congrats! Being pregnant and becoming a mom is the most rewarding. Its too bad that as we learn navigate this life change, so many have lots to say about it. Always do best for you and your growing family. 🙂

      Like

  2. Kevin Foodie says:

    Postpartum depression is a real thing. Many of my clients do suffer from it. But God knows what he was doing. It takes a super woman to give birth to life and deal with the emotional roller-coaster.

    Like

  3. Kimberlie says:

    Your post was eye opening. I never imagined that women who delivered via c-section felt these emotions, but after reading, it does make perfect sense. Thank you for your transparency. I learned quite a bit.

    Like

  4. rachelwashington0515 says:

    Wonderful post. I am a twice cesarean mommy and yes I can relate to everything you stated. We are strong mamas.

    Like

  5. brittshedhappens says:

    This is a beautiful and powerful post! I have never understood the judgement that exists in the parenting community. Unless someone is doing something illegal or harming their child in some way, why not be more understanding of the fact that not everyone is going to be the same. We all live different lifestyles and cultures. Each parent is doing the best they can to provide a happy, healthy life for their child and the fact that it doesn’t look the same from family to family shouldn’t matter.

    Like

  6. Anne says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I think it is so important to share. I am a mother of two preemie babies and my birth story definitely did not go as planned. I too had a c section. It’s important to remember our journey is exactly that our journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Elizabeth Y. says:

    Thank you for speaking on this subject and sharing your experiences!! You have so much valuable insight. I love how you shed light on the lack of support mothers face from other mothers depending on their deliveries and other choices. The support and kindness shouldn’t vary. We are all doing our best, loving and caring for our children’s individual needs, in our individual families… and health and happiness, as you pointed out, is truly the most important thing. 👏🏻💛

    Like

  8. Kasia says:

    This is so wonderfully explained. I have struggled with fertility so I haven’t had those feelings because I haven’t delivered a baby yet. But I can so sympathize with you here. No matter how the baby came earth side you did an amazing job and you should be so proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Caitlin says:

    Wonderful post and I kept shouting “YES.” I know I have felt so many of those awful feelings as a mom and while I do try my best to not judge other moms (I’m no Saint), I know the feeling of being judged all too well. It’s something I still work through daily. Thank you for writing this and sharing some of your story with C section.

    Liked by 1 person

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