Time to love, time to heal
You’ve been hard on yourself lately.
Some days you look at your body in the mirror, at the scars and the stripes, and as you touch your tummy you feel anger and sadness. Anger at your struggle to grow more babies. Sadness at the emptiness you feel inside.
Other days you marvel at your body and its strength. Just four years ago you were growing a happy and healthy baby. Your firstborn child. Your daughter, Cora. And while it took some time for you to adjust to motherhood and learn that you were suffering from post-natal depression, you took vital steps to make your wellbeing a priority, to learn about self-care and build it into your daily life. You sought counselling, you talked about the struggles you faced with your body and your mind, and you learned to listen to your head and your heart.
Sadly, you didn’t know then what you know now. You didn’t know that you would recover from post-natal depression and feel confident enough to embrace another pregnancy. You didn’t know that your second child, your son, Harris, would be born silently into this world when you were 16 weeks pregnant.
This marked the start of a painful journey through recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility. In two years there would be three further pregnancy losses, multiple fertility investigations and a whole world of hurt and pain.
And yet, despite all of this, you’ve found the courage to get up each morning, to face each day, to be the best possible mother you can be to your daughter, and to the babies you couldn’t bring home.
I want to thank you for your resilience. I want to thank you for your kindness. I want to thank you for the time you’ve taken to learn how to nourish your body and for trying your best to carry another baby to term.
You may feel disconnected from your body at times, but you’re slowly moving to a place where self-care is forming part of your routine. Be it a morning yoga session, Epsom salts bath, a long and slow run or cake and laughter with a friend, you know in your heart that these small rituals, these tiny acts of self-love, they are a necessity, not a luxury. Know that the kindness you’re showing yourself is a healer.
Recently, you were encouraged you to write a no holds barred letter to your womb. The good, the bad and the ugly. It felt strange at first, but you were honest about your feelings, about how wounded and vulnerable you are and how raw the emotion is. You angrily scribbled and tearily apologised for the babies lost and the lives changed. But none of it was your fault, mama. None of it was in your control. So why not let a little light into those wounds? Why not grab hold of all that is good in your world and fill yourself up on that joy?
The guilt. The shame. The regret. Shake it off. Those feelings only serve to detach you from your body when it needs you the most. Your body is the only one you will have so please learn to love it, allow it to heal and above all enjoy it.
Fuel your mind with happy thoughts. Start each day with a grateful heart. Be thankful for all that you have. You never know what’s around the corner.