An exploration of the exquisite Woman as she embarks on her journey to become a Mother.
Words by Meaghan Meredith and photography by Chloe Massey
What I love the most about life is that no two stories are the same. There are an infinite amount of possible outcomes from every small decision you make every day. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood possess a similar chaotic sensibility to them.
Even if you’ve had twelve children, work in daycare or have babysat your whole life, you are still no expert on babies or kids. Every parent is uniquely and solely an expert on their child and their experience. No two are the same. Same with pregnancy and birth.
Here’s my story.
My pregnancy was one of the most difficult periods of my life. To start with, I suffered from a 24 hour morning sickness which was debilitating. I tolerated it with an acceptance and understanding and remained positive throughout. The excitement of being pregnant superseded any misgivings I had about the initial stages, and saw me through to my second trimester where I had hopes of finally being able to enjoy my pregnancy.
Unfortunately, things were about to get far worse. Very quickly into my second trimester, a crippling sciatica took the place of morning sickness. I was unable to walk for five months. Not only did this wear on my physical being but on me mentally, as I battled with chronic pain and a fear that gripped me every day. The pain was so bad some days that I was afflicted no matter what position I was in – standing, sitting, lying down. This made every day tasks like grocery shopping or walking the dog impossible. I was shattered and broken.
I wanted so badly to enjoy my pregnancy, and I felt robbed of this experience. My mental health suffered as I was unable to do anything I enjoyed. Nine months is a long time when you’re unable to find any joy in life.
Someone once said to me that everyone becomes a mother in their own time and in their own way. My journey just started a little earlier than most. The sacrifice, the surrendering, the unrelenting responsibility all began with my pregnancy. It was my first lesson, albeit a very painful and challenging one.
The birth of my baby was the most mentally and physically challenging accomplishment of my life. I’d compare it to climbing Mt Everest. It is your greatest undertaking, your most intense journey, complete with your utmost joy,satisfaction and relief! Having a natural water birth made me the woman I am today. I feel stronger, empowered and ready to be a mother. I’m in awe of women and what we’re capable of. Everyone of us is a superwoman, whether we know it or not.
I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to have this positive experience, especially after having such a difficult pregnancy. It set my baby and me up for a wonderfully blissed out next few months.
Everyone approaches motherhood in different ways and I respect all styles. This is the beauty of the human race; we’re all so remarkably different, yet we women all share this incredible ability to create life. It’s something that binds us together.
Being a Mum is not an easy ride. There are plenty of ups and downs. For me, finding the time to give back to myself is one of my biggest hurdles. I’ve realised that I need to take care of myself in order to take care of my baby. She needs me to be the best version of myself.
Nature is incredible and her design has been to make us fall inexplicably in love with our babies. It’s an obsessive, all-encompassing, unrelenting love. It’s a love that will span lifetimes, and possibly eternity. Nothing can compare to a mother’s love for her child. Every day I’m thankful that I’m able to experience this phenomenon of creating and nurturing life!
Photographer Chloe Massey, Mother Muses Meaghan Meredith and Tiana Wallace