I usually take the path less traveled, and my journey to motherhood was no different. If you’re not familiar with my story, I’ll give you the abridged version. In July 2010, I was told I had PCOS (polycystic ovaries) and it would be difficult for me to conceive children. In August, I started graduate school and a graduate assistantship only to find out a week later that – surprise! – I was pregnant. I ended up with hyperemesis and was so ill that I could hardly leave our apartment. In early October, I was forced to withdraw from graduate school, thereby losing my job as well. I spent the majority of April 2011 experiencing false labor, and then after 2.5 hours of pushing I ended up with an emergency c-section on April 29. A long, slow spiral into postpartum depression ensued, but wasn’t diagnosed until December 2011.
Most people associate pregnancy and childbirth with joy. For me, it came with sacrifice, life-changes and emotional devastation. I had a very difficult time adjusting to stay-at-home-motherhood. The isolation was awful at times, and only fed my PPD.
So why is this post titled, “Contentment?” Well, folks, I’ve finally reached it. Just in this past week after getting settled in our new city, I’ve realized that my heart is content.
It has taken me 14 months since C’s birth, but I have finally embraced my role as a stay-at-home mom to an adventurous, loving boy. I’m enjoying every day that I get to be with him. I’m soaking up all of his hugs, kisses and laughter. I delight in the moments that I get to hold my sweet son. He fills me with joy and love – emotions that I can truly feel now.
I’ve reached the point of knowing that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
I have to admit that part of me feels guilty that it has taken this long. Fourteen months is a long time. But mostly, I’m just so happy to be in this place. I feel like a warrior. I’ve battled postpartum depression with all of the fight that I had in me, and I’ve won. Contentment is my proof.
There are still challenges ahead, but I’m learning so much about coping with stress and anxiety. Healing continues to be an active learning experience. I’m so grateful for the people in my life who have stood with me; and for the fellow mamas with postpartum mood disorders who have taught me so much about support, love, strength and healing.
The journey continues, friends. Let’s walk with our heads held high.