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Parenting,  Preemie Parenting,  Self Care,  Surviving Widowhood

Motherhood Is Not What I Expected

*Warning: This post is full of triggers, but those triggers are my life and here is my story. 

It had been a rough morning.

I was lost.

My face was red.

My eyes were blurry with tears, angry tears.

I had just finished yelling at no one in particular.

Bargaining with the empty passenger seat.

Telling the world that I was falling apart.

Motherhood is hard.

I was overwhelmed, angry, and desperate.

My two year old played quietly in the back seat oblivious to his mother’s mental break down.

 

Motherhood hadn’t turned out like I expected.

He was my last baby.

My last baby after I had buried my last.

We had plans to tie my tubes.  I couldn’t take the emotional roller coaster anymore.

I was going to get twelve weeks at home snuggling with him.

I was going to get to breastfeed this time.

I had a supportive husband who was so excited to go on this journey with me.

He had already adopted my oldest and only living child and loved him as his own.

He was a great dad and was excited to be a part of this journey from the start.

 

Motherhood didn’t turn out like I had planned.

I spent 12 weeks on bedrest before my son was born by emergency C-section, 10 weeks early.

I had used my maternity leave before I even gave birth.

Our son was only three pounds and we had to ask permission to hold him.

I expressed milk with a pump that fed him through a tube in his nose.

I spent hours a day staring at him through a plastic case counting down the minutes until I was allowed to touch him again.

I left the hospital night after night without our son, leaving him in the care of strangers.

He came home six weeks later.

Choking on bottles that I was still filling with my expressed milk.

Hours I spent a slave to the pump.

In the hopes that maybe one day he’d figure out how to nurse.

 

Motherhood was harder then I expected.

I returned to work just a few weeks after he came home.

We then dived into the world of specialists, therapies, and hospital stays.

I was prescribed pills to manage my PTSD and anxiety.

He continued to get sick and eventually needed surgery to have a feeding tube placed.

The combination of surgery and pneumonia nearly killed him.

I somehow kept working at the job I hardly was able to show up for.

I gave up on pumping six months in and fed my baby through a tube.

Milk traveled through a tube to a hole in his belly as strangers gave us weird looks.

When I would reach the end of my rope my husband would give me a big hug and assure me it would all be ok.

We had each other.

Eventually, things started to calm down.

Our son got stronger and healthier with each day as his first birthday approached.

 

Things were going to be OK.

Then I got the call.

My husband had been in an accident.

There wasn’t a pulse.

In a matter of moments, my life was flipped upside down once again.

My person was gone and I was going to have to do this motherhood thing on my own.

Two boys to raise without a father, one that would never remember him.

 

This is not how we planned it.

There have been many days I didn’t think I could do it.

Many days I just wanted to lay down and die.

Moments I was sure I couldn’t go another day, another hour, or minute.

Motherhood has been nothing like I expected it to be.

In those moments that I want to shut myself away, I do the only thing I know that will help.

I reach out to my tribe.

I call my girlfriend bawling in the middle of her work day and she assures me I can do this.

I tell the in-laws I’m struggling and they offer to take the kids for a night.

I tell my boyfriend (yes I said boyfriend) that I’m a having a bad day and he comes over, gives me a big hug and puts dinner on the stove for us.

I scream, cry, yell at my dead husband for being dead and then take a shower, get dressed, and remind myself I can do this.

 

Motherhood is hard.

It rarely goes as planned.

However, giving up is not an option.

Every day regardless of how you feel the kids need fed and cared for.

Some days this can be overwhelming.

You have to reach out.

They are there waiting to be asked.

It might not feel like it some days, but your tribe is there.

You have to ask for help.

You have to admit defeat.

As much as I’d like to avoid people when I’m hurting, I know motherhood isn’t a journey I can take on my own.

You must know this too.

 

 

Motherhood doesn’t always look like how you imagined, but I assure you, momma,

if I can do this, you can do this too.

One day at a time.

 

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