I still feel like I'm 18, except I'm 25 and have a baby. I don't think I will ever fully grasp the fact that I am now a mother. To be frank, I don't know how to feel about it. Yes, it is usually expected to be a very bubbly time with butterflies and fireworks, but if I say I felt that way I'd be a hypocrite. Pursuing my Mental Health NP degree, it would be hypocritical of me to cover up such strong emotions that affect mental health too. Covering them up would only fuel the very same stigmatization that comes with mental health. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Frankie, and I love being her mom but that doesn't mean I should sugarcoat how tough it was bringing her into this world, and also how tough it is taking care of her. The whole birthing experience was traumatic for me. I had come undone. Exposed. The experience ended up with me herniating two spinal discs and leaving me in debilitating pain for weeks. Then once we brought her home, I felt like the world was dropped on me. How was I supposed to take care of this cute little blob and keep her alive?
It is amazing how much you think you know about babies until you actually have your own. I was afraid. Afraid that I would not be able to give this perfect little girl the whole world. Afraid that I would do something to hurt her. Afraid that I won't be a good mom. I suppose these are all normal feelings for a new mom. What bugs me the most is that I didn't know these were all things I'd experience. Why don't they warn women about these feelings? About what happens after you have a baby. About how the healing process isn't just physical, but emotional and mental too? I don't think any amount of words can explain the fluctuation of feelings I had. I know most women probably go through this, at least here in the U.S., I just wish we weren't so secretive about it and would stop pretending that everything was okay. I thought I would be fine. That I was ready to make the sacrifices, to wake up every two hours at night, to breastfeed even when my nipples are sore and bleeding, to say no to going out with friends, to order in instead of going out to the new restaurant... These are all sacrifices I thought I would be fine with... but if I'm being completely honest, I don't think I'm fine with it. Maybe I'm still selfish and not entirely ready to be a mother just yet, but it is here and it is happening and there is nothing I can do about it but to just adapt and grow. I will continue to embrace this journey; the journey of being a mom...of being Frankie's mom. I may not love every single moment of it, but I will definitely try to live in each of them and enjoy the little victories everyday.
I may look like the most well put together mom on social media, but it isn't all rainbows behind the scenes. I do love my social media postings because that is how I cope. Almost like a fake it till you make it type of thing, but I don't want mothers out there going through said emotions to feel like something is wrong with them for feeling a certain type of way. No one is perfect and we are all on different paths, but having a child has given us a shared experience which should enable us to support each other even more.
It may be challenging but I am very excited to see what the future holds for my little miss Frankie. All I can hope for is to raise her right so she can become a good and kind person.. Wish me all the best.