Everyone has a story, welcome to mine...
For my first post, I wanted to share something more personal with you, something people usually tend to keep to themselves; the side of pregnancy that can be a little dark for some.
I was so fortunate to have fallen naturally, and so lucky to have birthed such a happy and healthy baby.
When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was in complete shock! I had only come off my chosen form of contraception three weeks earlier, and this was more to do with my study than anything else! As I am training to be a clinical nutritionist and health scientist, I felt that it was vital that I know from first-hand experience when, what and how natural contraception works, before I position myself to advise clients on natural contraception as a professional.
When I did the pregnancy test, at first the single line appeared and I was relieved! I looked for a moment longer, and there it was, that second line appearing faintly. I actually thought it was some kind of joke - I couldn’t stop laughing! I came out of the bathroom to show Ben, and was literally in hysterics in disbelief! We went to bed as usual that night, but then the next day it all started to unravel at a fast speed. I woke up that morning thinking it was just a dream. It obviously wasn’t, and as it started to sink in, I realised the seriousness of the situation. That's when it all started crashing down.
Being pregnant wasn’t something I had considered to be a part of my plan for the foreseeable future at the time. I had only one year left to go on my university degree, and worked out that I would be due before the end of my final semester. This meant I had to defer my study, missing out on the completion of my degree (which I had worked so hard for, for the past 3 years) by a short three weeks. The end was so close, and now felt so far away.
Ben and I had already been facing some challenges in our relationship, and this was a huge added pressure! I felt like I could literally see my future slipping away right before my eyes. I was in such an uncertain place, and about to bring a baby into the world - how on earth was I going to cope?! I became negative, resentful, hard to deal with and honestly questioned everything: "How am I going to look after a baby? I’m never going to get a full nights sleep again! I’m never going to be anything other then a stay at home mum." (NOT that that is a bad thing, because now I understand – that is harder then any job you could ever do!!).
I became very bitter and focused on the negatives. I only saw what the situation was taking away from me, rather than what I would be gaining. My friends didn’t know how to deal with my behaviour, and just left me when I was probably in my greatest time of need. I felt abandoned, judged and was embarrassed about being young and pregnant - even though Ben and I were engaged, and had been together for 8 years already! On paper, we were the perfect formula for bringing a baby into the world, but in actual fact this couldn't have been further from how I felt.
Things were like this right up until the day Brady was born: 7th October 2016 at 1:37pm, after a long night and 14hr labour. When Brady was born, he came out blue, not breathing and not responding to the usual protocols to get babies to take their first breath. My obstetrician said to me in the calmest, most reassuring way, “we just have to take him, and put him on the oxygen”. It seemed like the longest 2 minutes of my life that he wasn’t breathing. In that moment - and it's an awful thing to say - but in that split second, I prepared myself for having a still born. He took his first breath and cried, and I was in shock and relief - and this feeling lasted the remainder of the afternoon. That night, I had maybe a wink of sleep, and the next day, the three day blues kicked right in, in full force. I bawled my eyes out for almost four days straight. The level of guilt and sadness that overcame me for what I had thought and felt throughout my entire pregnancy - which was completely and utterly wrong - was intense. I could not believe that I had been so selfish and close minded about the whole experience, which I was lucky enough to go through.
I believe that life only throws us what we can handle, and have whole heartedly taken motherhood in my stride. Now it's like I've never known anything different. Brady is my purpose, my reason and my motivation to be the best version of myself that I can be. I could not imagine life without my son, he is my greatest achievement, and nothing gives me more gratification then watching him grow.
Becoming a parent is a rollercoaster of emotion. Some of the highs are great and some of the lows can be debilitating, and often go unspoken. I would like other people struggling with similar experiences to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that what you're feeling, whatever it is, is okay! 'It Ain't Weak To Speak', so share your experiences, because you are never alone, and by sharing we become stronger together.
Thank you again for joining me on this journey of exploration into our wellbeing. I look forward to sharing more with you again soon.
- Bridget x