Motherhood after infertility, loss or trauma can leave you completely shell-shocked & blindsided by the feelings that come up. Perhaps you also experienced a very anxious pregnancy & are now thinking you have finally made it. Through infertility & pregnancy, however traumatic or if filled with anxiety, that now you will feel enough. Like you can finally relax & will feel like a mum. What does feeling like a mum feel like? Does it feel like the hallmark version we had in our heads? The one thing we have waited so long for is finally here. We are full of joy, love, excitement & feeling fulfilled & grateful right? The feelings of lack, failure, not being enough, anxiety, grief, loss, trauma, loneliness, anger, sadness & so many others that consumed you throughout the years of trying to conceive, poof just gone, right?
For some maybe it was the case & how wonderful and what you would wish for.For some it my not be the case.
The first 2-3 years of my daughter’s life were pretty much a blur. I thought I was present, I realise now I was far from that. I was grieving, not feeling enough, feeling like an imposter, waiting for something to go wrong & drowning in what I thought was guilt.
Didn't I have what I always wanted, what so many people were & still are longing for?
I was fully aware of how lucky I was & incredibly grateful.
It was however, completely overshadowed by unprocessed feelings that had been shoved so far down in the previous 7 years of TTC, it had now moulded an identity I didn't recognise anymore.
I just wanted to be a mum. Now that's all I was.
'Now that's all I was'. The guilt & horror of thinking that, no mind saying it out loud. I felt so lost & was left feeling what the f just happened & who was I now? Where was the rest of me gone, what value did I add?
Over 60 cycles of despair, IVF
& overwhelming anxiety in pregnancy, flowed over into motherhood. The expectation of gratitude & guilt, shame & multitude of other overwhelming feelings left me feeling like there was nowhere to turn to talk honestly about how I was feeling.
In my practice I hear this story echoed by so many clients too.
There is so much more I could share, it is such an important topic to hold space for. So many women and indeed their partners are suffering in silence afraid to say out loud how they truly feel. Feeling shell shocked and wracked with guilt for how they do feel, instead of how they thought they would or indeed 'should' feel. It's heartbreaking to know so many are suffering in silence.
I'm on a mission to change that, one conversation at a time. I'm creating space to have these conversations. Honest, raw, open and transparent - Embodied Conversations. Ones that change the way we connect with and support each other. It starts with an in person event this June. Follow here and Instagram Embodied Conversations June 5th 2022 - Pregnancy & Motherhood
So Dear reader. A gentle reminder. There is no right way to feel. You can feel grateful while also grieving. Unprocessed grief, trauma & loss can take over. If you are reading this & it resonates with you & would like space to talk, I am here to listen. If you do not feel ready, as always please feel free to follow me here until you do
Much love. Dara xx