There is no other job in this world like motherhood. Highs and lows, moments that make you want to cry (ugly cry) and moments that melt your heart. I don’t think there is a job out there that can throw as many curve balls as motherhood. I learned early on that being a mom would be one curve ball after another and that was before my kids were even born.
I suffered two miscarriages before Connor was born and then went into labor at 33 weeks and spent several weeks in the hospital on bedrest until he was born. During my pregnancy with Connor I learned two important things about motherhood; (1) kids will do things at their own pace and (2) none of this is in my control.
Five plus years later I would be pregnant with our second. I did everything I was “supposed” to do and had the VBAC I had wanted. It was the most amazing thing in the world to watch our beautiful healthy daughter be born. I was rocking this mom thing. Then I tried to get out of bed and everything came crashing down (literally).
It turns out I had suffered a rare delivery complication (I would later find out it was nerve damage). I was unable to walk/stand unassisted, I had no feeling in parts of my leg, and my quad was “paralyzed” in my left leg. It just didn’t work anymore.
I’ve always been active whether it was through Fit4Mom or running, and now I was unable to do anything on my own. My husband had to take me to the bathroom, I couldn’t walk on my own, and I couldn’t even take care of my own newborn. You don’t realize how often you need to walk around with your newborn until someone tells you that you can’t. I left the hospital needing 24 hr care and a walker. I joked that I took my geriatric pregnancy a little too literally.
Apparently my body had decided that taking care of a newborn was too easy, so I needed a little extra excitement in my life. I will forever remember Shay’s first pediatrician appointment because I had a total meltdown in the waiting room when I couldn’t get out of the chair on my own. It was so embarrassing, frustrating, and enraging. My body just didn’t work anymore.
I was super thankful that I had such amazing support from my family, friends, our FIT4MOM Ashburn family, my pediatrician's office, my neurologist, and my amazing Physical Therapist (who also acted as my mental health therapist at times). I used a walker for a month or so, and then graduated to using a cane. I fell several times during those months and it was infuriating, frustrating, and humbling (again I am so thankful I had someone with me during those times to care for Shay as I can’t even think about what could have happened to her had I been holding her during those times). My legs just didn’t work like they used to. Then I got sick and realized that now not only does my leg not work right, but I had pelvic floor weakness so every time I coughed I was now peeing myself (that’s on top of the diastasis recti I also had). I walked into PT that morning in tears because my body really did not feel like my own. Nothing seemed to work like it used to. I felt like my body had literally been destroyed by motherhood.
That was almost 8 months ago (time sure does fly by). I am still not the person I was before my daughter was born (I have been told it could take 18 months to be back to “normal”), but that’s ok. The most important thing is I’m here for my kids and it could have been so much worse. I am really lucky. I have two amazing and healthy kids that have kept me going every day. Of course there were bad days, but there were far more good days. I also enjoyed the newborn phase way more this time around. Maybe that’s because I was forced to take it slow and enjoy it, and I’m sure it’s also because Shay is the sweetest baby in the world (I mean I think I earned an easy baby).
Motherhood is never easy and we all go through something that throws us for a loop. All we can do is hold on, do our best, know it will get better and #momboss through it. I wouldn’t trade our birth stories for anything, although you can bet they will both hear about what I did for them/went through for them for the rest of their lives.