37 weeks

Moments that mattered in 2013

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Its already February, we are rapidly approaching Forrest’s first birthday and this new year is well and truly underway. As we all begin to work hard towards making this year significant and joyful, it is natural to look back on the previous year and the moments that made it extraordinary. For me, the birth of my son is of course the single standalone moment but I have come too see his birth and my whole pregnancy as a collective moment in my life. Birth is such a fleeting experience and the event of giving birth is so momentous that it is easy to forget that it is not the whole story.

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I never really talked about my pregnancy on this blog. I mentioned why a couple of times but never fully went into detail about how it all went down. This time last year, I was as pregnant as pregnant could be and I simply could not move without being in the most mind numbing pain. I couldn’t stand for longer than 3 minutes. I didn’t really leave the house for 4 months. I wept on the floor every night after my husband got home because I was lonely and frustrated and angry.

Blogging and particularly blog reading does set up a whole heap of expectations about the way in which we think we should be living our lives. I am guilty as the next reader about reading some post somewhere and wishing life could be as beautiful as it looks in their pictures. I remember before I was pregnant, reading blogs and looking at these beautiful women and admiring them. Of course I didn’t realise at the time but I was nurturing a completely unrealistic vision of what pregnancy, motherhood and family life would really look like. So when my pregnancy took a turn for the worse and I could no longer walk, I took it really hard. I felt in many ways like the true experience of pregnancy had been taken from me. Of course I was completely wrong. My pregnancy was a deeply personal journey. It was not very fun or photogenic experience; unless you wanted to see million pictures of me lying on my left side, wincing in pain and watching Dawson’s Creek but it was still beautiful and has hugely shaped the way I  view and live my life. A year later, I have learnt how much I value my freedom and although it sounds ridiculous, the ability to go outside and take a walk! I try to take Forrest out every day, sometimes for the simple reason that I can. It matters so much because there was a time when it was completely impossible for me to do so. Rather than forget the whole experience, I have now come to realise its significance in my life. I am more motivated, positive and more grateful than I ever was before. I learnt that a could be patient (something which I now value above anything as a mother) and I guess I learnt that I was braver than I realised. I am proud of my body for coping for as long as it did. I didn’t have a perfect pregnancy and it wasn’t easy but my pregnancy and the lessons I have inadvertently taught me how to be a more selfless mother.

On prgenancy

My leg has never fully recovered. Occasionally I feel a funny twinge or a little burn on my right side. It used to frighten me but now I sort of like it. It’s like a private reminder of what my body did in order to make this baby. Its my little tattoo of that year and everything I learnt from it.

I know that I need to let it go and embrace that period in my life. It was a moment in time where something really powerful and good came out of something which I found very hard. Carrying a baby to me was just as extraordinary as birthing one. So here is something I have never shared on this blog before.

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This is me, first at 37 weeks and then at 38 weeks pregnant. In the latter, I was on a rare trip outside, on an incredible amount of painkillers and I gave birth a few days later. Although I remember being in a lot of pain, I am glad pictures like this exist. I am so grateful that my husband insisted on taking them.  My pregnancy might not have been what I was expecting but it was my experience, my journey and part of the story of how my son came into this world. So many wonderful moments began here. The memories in these photographs were just the starting line.

 

This post is part of a Lloyds Bank blogging competition, hosted by Oh So Amelia

 

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