There are a lot of big moments that take place in our lifetime. Whether they feel trivial, significant or uncontrollable on the surface; they tend to either leave a scratch or cut us deep. We as humans, experience all of them at some point during our life time and the impact can be unique to the individual. These moments don’t always present themselves at the perfect times and for some they come at the lowest points when they are not welcome. They can be planned or happen accidentally, they happen at different ages and the outcome isn’t always what is expected. When we hit these major milestones in our life, we dream of perfection and create an idea of what we think will happen. We hope to have what we see on social media and have a vision of ourselves when we close our eyes at night that our lives will turn out to be our version of happily ever after. We obsess over the role models we follow, the celebrities we idolize and the people we look up to most in our lives.
My husband and I had our wedding planned. We lived together in our first home and it felt like we were heading in the direction of what life is “supposed” to be like; like a book. Influenced by what people told us, of what society says and the messages it portray’s to us everyday. There are a lot of pressures in life to find your soul mate, introduce them into your life, get comfortable, get married, have children and grow old. This perception of a perfect life and wanting to have a baby is very much expected. Including balancing other struggles like money, health, a job, family and friends. We as millennials, revolve our lives around what we want and not what we have. We work, we push for education, we are tired and we all feel the drive within our blood that we need to have more. We are materialistic and we are all guilty. We all do it, we all feel it and the truth is, we all just want to be successful in our own way.
As baby talk became more real, we decided to wait and create a life plan first. Our wedding was quickly approaching and we had plans to travel. I decided to buy my first vehicle, build our first home and go back to school. However, that month, all of a sudden our world froze as we found out we were pregnant. This great plan we laid out suddenly seemed far out of reach. A baby; the news we were waiting for finally came true. This news quickly became over shadowed by fear. We became frantic, questioning ourselves, trying to add a baby into our plans and trying to figure out this new life we would have. We thought, we can do this. Look at all of the other families and moms who are doing it. We all use social media, I follow other moms, their blogs, reading about their accomplishments while having kids and all of their happiness and success. I felt like it gave me a positive insight to the life that was coming.
At our first ultrasound appointment, we were shocked when we saw not just one, but two little tiny heart beats on the ultrasound screen. My heart sunk. Sunk so deep it turned into tears; tears of happiness but also tears of fear. This vision we have, that I had, for myself with one baby and what my life would be like with a child, suddenly changed and felt very unclear. I felt defeated. Could I do this? Am I capable of raising two babies, I am a first time mom? I could not fathom the thought of judgment and two babies before marriage, I was flooded with uncertainty.
Luckily, my family and friends were overjoyed and shared this big moment with us, which made the process we were about to go through, much easier. My pregnancy was easy. I felt glowing, happy and confident in my pregnant body! After our wedding, I worked for a few months before I had to go off due to my back pain. My feet were swollen along with two growing babies in my belly, and I became slow and immobile. Before I knew it, I was 38 weeks pregnant and was begging my doctor to induce me, I felt like I was ready; and also ready to get rid of that belly. At 39 weeks I was induced, and after having a difficult child birth and one breech baby, my baby girl and baby boy were born happy and healthy at 6 1/2 lbs each.
After birth, I was infatuated and my heart was full with two little bundles of joy. You feel as though there is no greater love. But the part that came next, is what nobody tells you about or the full truth about it at least. When you get home from the hospital, feeling confused and unsure. Soon started the long nights of no sleep, both babies up at opposite times, constant diaper changes, juggling constant visitors all while feeling like a sleep deprived “mombie”. All these things were new to my life. I thought that family and friends would be the best medicine. I felt that I was not alone but in reality everyone else lives would continue on. The visits slowly stopped, I received fewer phone calls, people were too busy working or had other obligations in their lives and within a few short weeks I felt very much alone. My friend group became smaller and smaller and I felt like I was drowning in a pool of my surroundings that I could not control. Nobody ever asked me if I was okay. It felt like nobody was checking in on me and the road ahead was going to be rocky. That is when I really realized that it was just my husband and I. I truly was the mother to these little humans and it was my responsibility to keep them happy and safe. This is when I turned to social media.
I instantly searched out for other moms. I felt more connected to people because they had similar situations to mine. Although there was distance between these people and myself, I felt like I was involved in their lives and I stopped feeling alone. Until thoughts of jealousy kicked in. As women we start to compare. We compare other peoples bodies, their hair colours, their lives and their happiness. Suddenly, you become obsessed with seeing other peoples lives through a phone screen. How can everybody else look so happy and dress so perfectly? Go on trips and live their best life? I then thought about my life before two babies. I lived an entire life taken for granted, lots of sleep, going to work, socializing with my friends and family, shopping and just a general feeling of freedom on my own time. This was a hard pill to swallow. I began to feel negatively about myself and at times I felt like I hated myself; what I looked like and who I became. I felt unhappy and I couldn’t figure out why but social media created this whole other world. It wasn’t always positive as it was more detrimental to my health at times. Differentiating my real life to other people’s lives became a real issue. This problem is often overlooked in today’s society.
My kids are now 1 years old and I feel better than I ever have. It took months of coming around and getting to know my new self as a mom. Learning to balance my social media life, my friends, my family, being happy with who I am and the changes in my life; not just to my home but to my body. It’s important as a new mom to take things day by day, to try and not let every single idea turn into a novel in our brains, where feelings become uncontrollable. Luckily through these months, my loving husband, my mom; who is my best friend, my close family and a small network of friends, got me through the toughest moments, the hardest days and longest weeks. Majority of new moms go through similar situations, anxiety and post partum depression. They are all very real feelings and can turn the most amazing life miracle into a crashing night mare. Maybe it is normal to feel these emotions when going through the process of a major life change but then again, maybe some just handle it better than others. Everybody has a different support system. No matter the circumstance, every new mom has a different journey and as women we need to come together to be kind, to be supportive and remember what others may be experiencing because life is very different than it is on social media.
a confident and happy mother of twins!
Article Written by: Lacy Emmons
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