The Forgotten Mother
The amount of times strangers have asked me what the gender of the baby was and would proceed with comparing my symptoms to theirs are endless. As an individual, and the fact that I was experiencing symptoms my own mother didn’t while pregnant with both my brother and myself, I took each suggestion with a large grain of salt.
Yes, babies are an exciting part of life, but the thing is, people find it in themselves to lose their home training and boundaries. If you don’t know the pregnant woman’s name, don’t touch her! Don’t even ask to touch her.
It doesn’t get any better once the due date comes. I faced a lot of anxiety when it was supposedly time for Baby to be born. People called and texted and wrote asking, where’s the baby? and when will the baby be here? Good question. The due date is an approximation. Merely a guess. The suspense was gradually increasing with each passing hour, so, I stopped looking on social media and basically ignored my incoming text messages. One week after my due date passed my anxiety had gotten to the point Kevin and I agreed no one, including family, would be invited into the house. This was very important to me. Planning a home birth and moving to a new city and state, I smudged our new home and did not want to taint the clean energy with the concerns of others. I was often asked which hospital we planned to deliver at, even a lady who works at our local ice cream shop asked. Our simple answer was, we weren’t disclosing that information to anyone, we just wanted it to be us when Baby arrived.
There are, however, many young moms who took the time to ask me how I was doing or simply tell me that I was on their mind. Thank you for making sure I was mentally, physically, spiritually, and psychologically okay. You are the little pieces of heaven every soon-to-be mom can appreciate.
People became even more strange once the baby was born. It’s almost as if you have entered the VIP section of life. At least having one baby, from my experience. People freely offer to open doors and even load your groceries into your car while carrying their own. It can be wonderful! And very much so appreciated. But equally with these interactions are those where no one thinks, or seems to care about the mother anymore. It seems as though all communication now pertains to Baby. Phone calls and text messages inquiring on how Baby is sleeping, eating, and how he or she entered into the world. But what about Mommy and her needs? And no, offering to watching the baby hours, days, and even weeks after birth are not always seen as helpful. Our bodies are physically able to take care of Baby right after birth in most cases. What many of us need are an extra set of hands. A prepared meal. Groceries brought to the house and put away. The bathroom cleaned. Our world has literally been flipped upside down and back again into a cluster of emotions and physical clutter. We need assistance, at least I know I did, and telling us that we are no longer of importance, especially right after birth, is definitely not helpful.
So, to all the mothers who have felt as though they were forgotten at one point in their postpartum stage, you are not alone. Yes. You were important while you carried your child. Your existence and presence is even more vital than ever now. Others may feel as though they know what Baby needs, but no one can truly fill that need like the mother.
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Cincinnati Birth and Parenting, LLC was founded by Molly Murray, a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator. Through this growing company, Molly connects parents with information, resources, and support while also staying committed to building up fellow professionals and connecting them with the people who need their services most.