Follow Your Heart
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” – Linda Wooten
Boy, this could not be any more true.
From the very first moment that tiny heartbeat begins to flicker, your whole life changes, and takes you on a journey that does not come with a map. I can’t even explain in words what it does to me, to have not one, but two hearts walking around outside my body. I will forever be grateful that I am able to be a mom. One of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t be able to have children. I am very much aware of how fortunate we were to conceive naturally. There are many, many couples who struggle and go through so much in order to have a baby. My heart goes out to them.
I first got pregnant when I was 21. Yes, I know, I was young. But I was born to be a mom. I spent most of my childhood babying my dolls. Playing make believe with my sister and best friend. It was a dream, that I prayed for one day would come true, and sure enough it did. I was seven weeks along when I started to miscarry. My whole world came crashing down. After an early ultrasound I learned there was no heartbeat. My doctor told me that it was “very common, one in three pregnancies are miscarriages.” I was devastated. I didn’t want to know statistics. I wanted someone to take the heartache away. That was one of the most difficult loses I had ever faced.
Fortunately, it wasn’t long after my loss, that I got pregnant again. And the never ending fear of a cramp, back pain, any symptom relating to my miscarriage. It was a long nine months, lots of scares, early labour and an ambulance ride to Cranbrook hospital.
Kaydn Jarrett was born. The moment I laid eyes on this child, the emotion was overwhelming. I cried for about two hours straight. I mean I knew I was pregnant and this large, wiggly baby was growing inside of me, but it wasn’t until I met him that it actually felt real. He was perfect. And our world was changed. We turned into a family of three. Every waking moment was different. Life as we knew it was full. Full of nursing, rocking, bouncing, burping, sleepless nights, doctors appointments, the fastest grocery trips you could imagine. Full of kisses, snuggles, belly laughs, and lullabies. When I sit and reminisce about these days, my eyes well up with tears. Because I could not imagine my life any differently.
Not only were we blessed with a bouncing baby boy, we had the unbelievable honour of receiving a baby girl, Bella Claire. Born five weeks early, I fought to keep her in; my body was not a fan of pregnancy, apparently. But being five weeks early, she still weighed 6 lbs 5 oz. When we first saw her, I was overwhelmed with emotion yet again. She was just so beautiful. She looked so much like Kaydn when she was born. She had little chubby cheeks, and lots of dark hair. We weren’t able to hold her right away, because she was premature. They gave us a quick glance and whisked her off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Let me tell you, that was very difficult and felt like one of the longest waits of my life. They finally allowed us to see her; we just sat there and studied her. Every single part of her. We watched her breathe in and out for what seemed like forever. She was just so perfect and beautiful. I was finally allowed to touch her and about 12 hours after she was born we could hold her. I will never forget that day.
I was in the hospital for a week from start to finish. I was released on December 23, yes that’s right, two days before Christmas. The longest I had ever been away from Kaydn was one night, so that was hard. But we were home, a family of four. One beautiful boy and one beautiful girl.
Motherhood is amazing, it’s rewarding, and full of so much love.
But, it’s also hard. I think more because as moms we worry so much. We just want nothing more than for our kids to be safe, healthy and happy. And we will do whatever it takes to try our best. Even though at times we feel so darn lost. We will do things we regret. We will make mistakes. But I think if there was any advice I could give a new mom it would be, when they nap, make sure you nap. Everything else can wait. Breastfeeding isn’t as easy as it looks, and doesn’t have to be the only option. When someone offers to help, take it! But most importantly, when you are feeling lost, take a deep breath, and follow your heart. It knows the way.