Jennifer Fenton (33) and Miles (10 months). Madison, WI.
Jennifer shares -
"Motherhood, has made me feel stronger and confident.
No one can prepare you for your personal journey to motherhood. It was a lot harder than I expected and I'm just now beginning to accept what it was and that I cannot change it. I focused so much on my pregnancy...surviving my pregnancy rather - I had morning sickness from 9 weeks to 40 weeks and was diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease called Polycystic Kidney Disease at 22 weeks.
Miles was very prompt, he was born on his due date of 7/20 at 1:08am. I had to be induced with Pitocin because my water broke but my contractions wouldn't get going. However, I was determined to labor without pain meds and I almost did it! Until I felt him drop down, and the pain was too much to bear after six hours of non-stop contractions so I opted for narcotics. He came out before they ever hit is blood stream! Anyways, the whole recovery time was much worse than I expected. My blood pressure spiked and so I was put on a blood pressure medication that made me so dizzy I needed the nurses to help me to the bathroom for two days. I could hardly stand up to go and pick up my new baby who was only two feet away from me. My husband was the main caretaker and comforter for Miles and they bonded immediately.
The one way I hoped to connect with Miles was by breastfeeding but that was traumatic from the start for us! We had tons of issues latching but I was still determined to do it. After Mastitis at the end of our first week at home, and still recovering from the birth, plus Miles was borderline on getting enough to eat. After crying and fed up with frustration and anxiety over breastfeeding I decided to give him a bottle. I struggled with the guilt and I still do even though I know I made the right choice for how to feed and care for my baby. Our bond grew strong because of that decision. It grew in ways I never imagined.
It didn't happen instantly, though, I had severe anxiety and sought professional help around 3 months to help with the transition. Through the help of an amazing therapist, and learning to trust myself and the decisions I had made for Miles, I am finally falling in love with him a little more everyday. And damn, this boy, he's a strong one. I like to think he gets that from me.
No matter the classes you take, books you read, google searches and advice they may all go out the window. Everyone has their own unique path to motherhood/parenthood. Give it time, don't rush it. You will find your way in the quiet moments in-between all the noise. "You do you."
The reality of how motherhood changes all of us. Whether it is physically, emotionally or spiritually. We are all unique, but I believe there is an unspoken bond between all of us who choose to become a parent. I wanted to participate to support the recognition of the fourth trimester and share my story with others.