On 10th March 2013 your daddy gave me my first ever Mother’s Day card, even though you were still living inside me. I had big dreams for motherhood, big expectations. With your arrival we were about to get our Disney-style happy ever after.
I wasn’t prepared for a nightmare.
By the time Mother’s Day 2014 came around everything had changed and I felt like a totally different person. Postnatal Depression had very nearly broken me. I had spent the last year shocked and terrified, sleepless and hopeless. I was clawing my way back to myself by that point but I knew I’d never be exactly who I was before and I hated that – I wanted the old me back.
You were amazing though – the smiliest, happiest baby I’d ever seen. It’s like you were made to be the exact opposite of my illness, in order to bring me back to life. I was still scared of you, of life really, but I was recovering.
By the following year things were much better. The old me still wasn’t quite within my grasp but life was enjoyable again. I felt confident. I knew I loved you and you loved me. This blog has sprouted like a little seed in my mind and I was trying to find the courage to start. I didn’t know that a few months after I began writing and sharing I would need my own words and my own recovery knowledge more than ever; when Anxiety reignited due to my deep-seated desire to be exactly the same girl I was before you were born.
By Mother’s Day 2016 I was finally, actually well. I had learnt to completely let go of the old me and embrace the stronger, braver new me. It turned out this acceptance was the magical formula for recovery. So magical in fact that I was ready to do it all again; to give you the sibling you often asked for. And I was pregnant. I was nervous but happy. I was ready.
A year later and life had shattered again. The second baby I had agonised over creating had slipped away and my mental health had taken another dive. I was gripped by anxiety again and this time I was angry. Some days my rage would threaten to completely consume me. But I knew anger wasn’t the way out. I knew bitterness only birthed more bitterness. So I chose gratitude. I chose positivity. I worked really hard on those things, and you helped me.
You – the most beautiful, bright, funny son anyone could ever ask for. You love life; every single second of it. You pursue fun and you pursue knowledge and you love so freely. You’ve taught me more than I could ever hope to teach you. And I could not be more grateful for you if I tried.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day again. We are snuggling in bed right now and I’m burying my face in your fleecy dinosaur PJs and trying to absorb a little of you into me. You give me strength and light, every single day. And although it hurts that you may never have a sibling, it’s okay because you are everything and you are enough.
Mother’s Day is for children to thank their mother’s for all they do but I feel like I should be thanking you too. For making me strong, for teaching me to be grateful, for keeping me honest.
You made me a mother, baby, and then you made me love it.