Three years ago, I had a baby.
I wasn't happy, no matter how hard I tried to be.
I've never been so scared. Alone. Confused and broken.
I asked myself over and over, how could I pretend not to be?
But the real question was how could I be?
A life had emerged so powerfully from my body, leaving me feeling shaken. Raw and unfamiliar.
There was no joy. Not for days. Then weeks. Then years became punctuated with moments when I could breathe again through the tears and the fear and the feelings of imprisonment.
Maybe I would laugh again. Maybe.
Two weeks went by before I could muster the effort to celebrate the birth of my baby.
Friends at a distance thought she was lost because my perfectly posed infant pictures were not immediately posted.
But how could I celebrate something something so jarring? I was sad and so so so resentful of everyone and everything that wanted me to be happy. To rejoice. To say how in love I was.
And all I could think about was how that would ruin my baby. How she missed out on a good mother. How shitty the hand was that both she and I were dealt.
Three years is a long time to wait to celebrate the birth of my daughter.
But I'm here.
My heart finally bursts with love.
But I tripped and stumbled my way here by forging a path for myself, on my own terms, that denies the bullshit of perfect motherhood.
I am her mother. And I'm strong and fierce and loving.
I don't have to be you and you don't have to be me.
Let's let mothers grow their own new skin so they can navigate their new world of loss and gain on their own terms.
We owe them that much.