I remember being a little girl and all I wanted, more than anything, was to become a mother. I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to be this amazing stay at home mom and have 5 children and cook, and clean and keep a beautiful home. I found the man of my dreams and when we decided to start a family all of the “ideas” that I had of what my experience would be like came crashing down on me.
My first pregnancy, I survived with undiagnosed hyperemesis. The vomiting started before I even had a positive pregnancy test, I remember it well. I was on my way into NYC to meet with a client when a whiff of bacon sent me running off of the train in between stops to hurl off the platform. I spent hours lying on the bathroom floor during my pregnancy crying, hurling and at times wishing I would have a miscarriage and just end the misery.
From there, it only got worse. My attempted homebirth led me to elect to transfer to the hospital after 41 grueling hours of labor, an epidural that failed and paralyzed my legs but didn’t take the pain away, meconium in my waters and finally, after 54 hours, a pink wet baby who came screaming into this world arm first like superwoman giving me 3rd degree tears.
Here, here was the moment I was waiting for all my life, the moment I envisioned holding my daughter for the first time. How the heavens were supposed to part, and the choirs of angels would sing, and she would latch and nurse and I would instantly feel connected, bonded and a love like nothing I had ever known.
Well, the angels didn’t sing, the heavens didn’t part, she couldn’t latch and I was in so much pain being sewn up that I handed her off to my husband while family oogled over her and I silently cried to myself staring at the ceiling because everything felt so wrong. What the hell was wrong with me?
It took me years to realize, after talking candidly and openly with new mothers I worked with, that my experience was not unique, and that this idea or image portrayed by media, society and other women on what motherhood was like was not real.
For years,I struggled thinking something was seriously wrong with me because while I had from that very first moment an intense and primal instinct to protect and care for my daughter, it took almost a year for me to truly fall in love with her.
I remember the first time I acknowledged my feelings to another mom and I said out loud, “I love her but I really don’t like being a mom most days and there are days I can’t stand her!” I gasped that I had uttered those words out loud, and that mama looked at me with eyes perked up and she smiled and said, “I totally understand, I feel the same way so many days, totally normal!” HOLY SHIT!! This was normal?
And so I started opening up more, with my friends, family and finally with the moms I worked with everyday. Now, I invite the moms I’m working with to talk openly about their pregnancy, birth experience and motherhood and prompt them to really open up about how they feel. I share parts of my story about both the light and dark sides of motherhood, so that they too know that what they are feeling is totally normal and there is nothing wrong with them.
I want women to know that there are so many false ideas out there of what motherhood looks like and that we need to start speaking the truth to each other to really portray all the beautiful sides of motherhood. Motherhood is not only about those light moments, but about finding beauty in the struggle, exhaustion and breakdowns of the dark side, because these are the moments that shape us into the mothers we are. Motherhood is a never ending journey of struggle, learning and shaping who you are and the mother you want to be.
For all the mamas out there that thought there was something wrong when the angels didn’t sing, there is nothing wrong with you; they may not have sang at the moment of birth, but they sing for you every day when you live your truth and share with others what this journey is really like.
I believe in Love at first sight- I met my husband on his 18th birthday and the rest is history
I’m passionate about a women’s right to birth without fear or pressure whether that is at home or in a hospital, I’ve done it in both places.
I have two beautiful girls, Alexa and Arya, 5.5 years apart. I believe each of my daughters was sent to me to remind me of a piece of myself I have lost along the way, it has been exciting journey to rekindle those parts of “ME” again.
We live on a little River in Southbury, CT with our Rotti Beagle mix, a Crazy 1 year old German Shephard and a fat cat that won’t leave the basement, he might be to fat to climb the stairs.
I love a good margarita on the rocks with Salt but ONLY if my husband makes it with hand squeezed lemons, limes and homemade simple syrup, any other margarita sucks.
I listen to “pitbull” in the car with my daughters, they have no idea who Raffi is but Alexa knows most of the words to “Calle Ocho”
I’m the girl who will love you fiercely but is not afraid to “tell you like it is”, if I do, it means I actually care about you!
I love my girls but there are many days I don’t like them or want to be around them. Yep, I just said that, its normal for you to feel that too!
I believe that mothers a given a handbook when their baby is born, its called “intuition” and it will never lead her astray.
I am a photographer who helps women “Celebrate the Courageous journey of motherhood”
Latest posts by Maria Fuller (see all)
- The Real Reason Your Baby Wakes at Night - March 16, 2016
- The Magic of Skin to Skin Contact for Newborns - February 16, 2016
- The Baby Nurse Phenomenon - September 23, 2015