Katie Heane is mumma to two gorgeous babies Rafael and Olive and lives in Barwon Heads . Katie co-owns Pop Up Plants, and shares the responsibility of running this full time with another friend and mumma. Here, she shares her incredibly honest and raw story on her pregnancies.
I had wanted to be a mother my WHOLE life. Photos of me when my baby sister came home from the hospital showed a protective, loving older sister who later turned into a young lady obsessed with babies. It was literally an obsession. I would approach parents on the street with questions in relation to their opinions on their prams for goodness sake. Looking back I was a little creepy…
That’s why it came as such a shock to me that when I fell pregnant in 2011 I felt so strange. I felt really weird and disconnected and I was confused as this wasn’t how I was supposed to feel.
These feelings continued throughout my pregnancy, and even though I felt instant connection, love and protection for my growing baby I never felt the way I imagined I would feel. Where was the skipping with joy I thought I would be doing? What happened to me watching my belly grow with glee and shouting to the world I’M HAVING A BABY HOORAY! No – I felt, moody, depressed, confused, pretty shit really for the whole time. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. This was what I had wanted my whole life. What was wrong with me?
Things took a turn for the worse after I had my son. Because I had wanted to be pregnant and deliver my baby for so long I had done so much research. YouTube clips of births, books and more books, breathing and meditation courses. I was so intent on delivering my baby in the water, without any medical intervention and riding off into the sunset with my child wrapped to my body, I did not even contemplate what actual labour and birth really is. I was so naive looking back but I was also given misinformation in my courses that labour wasn’t ‘pain’ and that it’s a natural thing to do. Ummmmmm. Not pain? Are you fucking kidding me.
My labour hurt for the whole 26 hours of it. I was scared – no petrified, and I didn’t know what was happening to me. I had everything the hospital could throw at me for pain relief and then after 24 hours gave into an epidural. My beautiful baby was born in such a way I hadn’t prepared for, but he was here safely and that was the most important thing.
As with all new mothers those early days were sleep deprived and busy dealing with being responsible for another human and healing the body. I was lucky, my baby fed really well and was the most beautiful darling I had ever met. But as the months wore on I never felt better. The hazy, lost, confused feelings never went away and after almost a year my husband made me seek help. My ‘healer’ I call him, helped me see what was going on. The pressure I put on myself to have my baby a certain way and then to lose all that control during labour led me to feel I was a failure from my babies very first day on earth. And the feelings I was unprepared for during my pregnancy just fuelled this belief. Looking back, I see that’s exactly what I was doing to myself. Silently putting myself down, constantly criticising. It was horrible. I’d never think any of those thoughts about any of my friends so why do this to myself? It took me a year to recognise the significance of bringing my beautiful, precious child safety into this world. I did it. No one else. I cried so much in his office when I gave myself permission to be proud of what I had achieved. It doesn’t matter how our children are born, what matters is that they are unconditionally loved and cared for and given every opportunity to grow into good people.
Hormones had SUCH a massive involvement in my feelings as well. And after I had my second child last year I could recognise all the signs and the feelings were more predictable and less of a shock. As much as I had wanted to be pregnant and to have a baby, the process just doesn’t agree with my emotionally and mentally. But that’s ok. I can see that now and now I know why I feel the way I do. Acupuncture and Pilates helped me second time around. And a really good midwife and family network.
There is nothing easy about becoming a parent. Each day has it’s challenges. But I feel extremely lucky to be the mother of my son and daughter. For every challenge there is something they do that surprises you and makes absolutely everything you go through worth it.
Collectively we need to give ourselves a break. Take the pressure off getting pregnant if you’re struggling to fall pregnant, take the pressure off if you feel like a piece of shit and can’t face cleaning to house for the tenth time this week. Take the pressure off if you can’t do everything, or anything for that matter. We are all doing our best. Let’s just try to get through each day and celebrate every little achievements – no matter how small.
Wishing you all a good night sleep!