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Are you looking for inspiration on your journey to motherhood? It can be a time flooded with so many emotions but don’t worry mama, you’re in the right place, and we’re in this together.
My journey to motherhood started much like many others I would assume.
My husband and I had been married just shy of our 1 year anniversary. We had already begun the talks about “starting a family” with each other, but weren’t sure we had agreed upon a time to really start trying.
The one thing we did know, was that IF we got pregnant in that very moment, we would make it work.
Ironically enough, we found out we were pregnant in the winter of 2017.
This is where my journey began.
My Journey To Motherhood — I’m Pregnant, Now What?
As a first time mom who wasn’t actively trying to get pregnant, I had literally no clue what to do once I saw that positive sign.
I called my husband right away (mind you at 6am) with joy, but also a bit of hesitation to share the news.
Then, I turned to google to find out what I should do next. FYI, the answer is to call your doctor and schedule your first prenatal appointment!
During this first appointment, your nurse will confirm the pregnancy usually with their own urine test, and then you’ll see your doctor to discuss the next steps (at least that’s how it went for me).
Once all the excitement settles in that you’re having a baby, it seems like as women, our brains instantly turn to “planning” mode.
I started looking up pregnancy checklists and planners to help me keep track of the busy days ahead.
Then I started looking into what type of prenatal vitamin to take. Quick note, I took just about the WORST prenatal anyone could take for the first few months as I didn’t know any better.
I now know that many prenatal vitamins drop the ball big time between not using quality ingredients or simply not enough. That’s why I suggest Needed for ALL my friends who are pregnant, trying to conceive, or postpartum. All a mom needs in one simple powder, oh yes, did I saw powder? I did! (Don’t worry, you can try a sample first and show them to your doctor for approval HERE).
Preparing for motherhood, labor, and a brand new baby!
This pregnancy with my first was so easy. I feel incredibly lucky to even say that.
I remained active and worked out a lot through my pregnancy.
I never had any issues with morning sickness or nausea during the first trimester at all. I really was lucky with this little guy.
After months of getting to know all his kicks and wiggles, my 3rd trimester was nearing it’s end.
I started to panic a little realizing I really didn’t prepare as much as I should have for childbirth.
I read a few books, but I didn’t take a childbirth class.
After much back and forth, I decided I wanted to try breastfeeding, but I didn’t take a breastfeeding class let alone know where to find one (you’re in luck, because eventually I did and this breastfeeding class is hands down the best I’ve ever taken).
As you can imagine the pressure was ON (literally).
Before I knew it, this was one of the very last photos I snapped of my very very pregnant belly. I was 37 weeks, 6 days in this photo.
I had experienced very minimal leaking over a period of a couple of days, but it was enough to make me concerned enough to get checked. What I didn’t know is that I was in for a wild labor experience!
Looking back, the things I would’ve done differently was:
- Take a childbirth class in my 2nd trimester (I took this one just before I ended up in the hospital and it was so helpful).
- Take a breastfeeding class WAY earlier (and again as a refresher after the baby is born).
- Have a lactation consultant lined up in the event I needed help.
- Make a better postpartum plan for myself.
Let’s have a baby!
For 4 days, I was suspicious about my water leaking. It was such a tiny amount my labor and delivery team insisted it was likely just discharge as my body prepared for birth.
Turns out, your body will do some weird and strange things just days before you go into labor.
Once I was seen, triaged, and monitored, it was confirmed the fluid leaking was in fact amniotic fluid — though they initially were going to send me back home.
Since I had likely been leaking for a few days, I had to be induced to start labor.
When your amniotic sac has a leak or rupture, you can labor at home or in the hospital for around 2 days, possibly more under appropriate medical care. Upon admittance, I was on day 4.
The problem with waiting TOO long is you run the risk of developing an infection (since baby’s protective barrier is technically broken).
Unlucky for me, I developed an infection known as chorioamnionitis. This infection put a real big damper in my birth experience.
Let the labor begin!
It took 3 days after being induced until I finally began having strong contractions. By that day, I felt absolutely horrible due to the infection.
I was febrile, had chills, felt nauseous, and on top of that, was having 10 out of 10 labor contractions after a failed epidural placement.
There was a point in time throughout the entire process where I kept thinking “I don’t know how I can do this”. It was my low point in the labor.
Thankfully I had my husband by my side to support me and motivate me to push through. He would say things like:
- “I’m so proud, you’re doing so good”
- “It’s ok, keep breathing and take your time”
- “Relax, take a breathe, you’re doing amazing”
Those words I will never forget as he took on a new role of support for me.
Once it was time to push, I knew that would be an entirely different journey of its own.
Push, Push, Push!
Finding the strength to push for 3 hours was hard, I won’t lie. I felt so sick and exhausted.
It got to a point where my little guys head was stuck in the birth canal and my midwife told me I would need to have an episiotomy or consider surgery.
At that point I had pushed for almost 3 hours and opted for the episiotomy.
As much as I can remember how uncomfortable I was, I also can say in the moment you won’t be thinking about weighing the pros and cons, you will make the decision to safely get your baby out ASAP because you also need a break.
Once the episiotomy was done, my baby boy was earthside in just 2 more pushes.
Though I wasn’t able to snuggle him as I dreamt of, he was quickly whisked away to the NICU to help him breathe after discovering he had aspirated some meconium.
His NICU stay was short, 6 days in total, but they felt like the longest 6 days as a new parent.
I remember moments of feeling sick before my antibiotics kicked in and just desperately wanting to see my baby boy. Just to be close enough to touch and smell his sweet baby scent.
Again, my husband was my rock here.
He was by our boy’s side the entire time. He changed the first diaper. He did the first skin to skin. As much as it still breaks my heart to write that years later, it also makes me feel so full knowing our baby boy had his dada there beside him.
The Journey To Motherhood May Not Be What You Expect
One thing I always share with first time expecting moms is that your journey into motherhood, whether trying to conceive or birthing experience, may not be what you expect.
There’s just something about babies that always, you know, never go according to plan.
My days after birth were full of so many emotions.
I was heartbroken leaving the hospital without my baby boy for a few days, then over the moon when we finally brought him home, and after a few nights of no sleep, I was overwhelmed and exhausted.
Whatever image you have in your mind that your motherhood will look like, it may not go according to that plan.
The feelings you feel, may not be the kind you expected to feel.
But I promise you, it will still be just as rewarding and fulfilling.
Remember mama, you’ve got this!
Looking for more motherhood tips and advice? See Below:
Hi, I’m Karissa! I’m a mom of two wild little boys, a writer, parenting expert, and, maternal mental health advocate. I take pride in sharing educational content to help moms find solutions to stressful motherhood challenges because I know how difficult they can be.