So amongst all of the tough mother stuff that was physically draining and emotionally trying, there is the fact that I was single that made it even harder. So this would be the post that explains the hard and fast details of being a one person parent team.
I am lucky to say that I realized quickly that the “happy family” thing, where we were together, wasn’t going to work. We both decided that when I was pregnant. So it was bittersweet. I got to experience the pregnancy without the hormonal overloaded fights that I’m sure most people are aware of. The sad part to me was not having that person there for the first time she moved or kicked or anyone for that matter. Or having that person to talk to about how I was feeling, or how was he feeling? I will tell you that if you are pregnant and single, that this phase passes by quickly.
My faith in God grew tremendously. I kept saying that God would never give me more than I could handle. However there were times when I questioned that as well in the pregnancy. But if it weren’t for my faith in God and my family, I don’t think I would have the strength to be the mother that I am.
Back on the subject; It is physically degrading. You’re body gets bigger all over, while your friends and family are losing weight, while drinking a margarita, and jumping on trampolines. All of which we can’t do for almost a year! You’re body gets stretched literately to the limit of what you can only assume is the biggest it can go, but then another week goes by and you get bigger. Being pregnant you deserve to have someone tell you that you are beautiful and that you are special enough to be growing and harboring this amazing being. So if no one has told you that, then you need to know that. And I hope that you truly understand that a lot of women go by and think that it isn’t. So soak it in. If you were or are with someone that didn’t understand that about you, then you have to question the relationship itself as well. However this is my opinion. Be a big and beautiful momma!
So skip forward to the birth of your child. Some women are lucky enough to have that person there. I was. I can tell you it had to be one of the most awkward feelings in the world for me. There I was experiencing one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. Looking at this human being I helped create. And to my left was the man that helped create her as well; A man that I literately hadn’t talked to other than quick details about the baby and maybe what was said at our doctor appointments, for the last 7 months. Every woman wants that overwhelming feeling of love and to share that emotion with the father of your child. But for me, it was adrenaline but a silent kind. I didn’t know what to think. Since I had a C-section, I was the first to hold her, but I was so numb from the chest down that I asked him to take her because I was afraid I was going to drop her from being so light headed. I asked her father to hold her for the remainder of my operation. In that moment, I realized that this wasn’t about us. It wasn’t about what other people thought or rumors I had heard. It was about me and this baby that had just been born.
I have to say, I didn’t immediately fall in love with her either. Most women don’t say that, but I think that most women actually know what I’m talking about more than they will admit. It took about a whole day for it to set in for me. Then I was hooked, I was addicted to her every move. It was like falling in love again. She was perfect to me. From her grunts, to her crooked toe, I just couldn’t stop looking at her. Her father was there a majority of the time during the hospital stay as well. It was nice to have that experience together, but once again awkward most of the time. A lot of the time I felt like everyone that came in from his side, was holding their tongue, almost like I wasn’t wanted in the room. Most of the time I wanted to leave, but due to the fact that I had just undergone surgery, my motion was limited to my room. Also consider the amount of overwhelming hormones that go through a woman’s body after having a baby. I’m pretty sure I was over analyzing every word and motion. So the hospital stay was great, but very awkward trying to put a finger on what I was actually feeling and what I was thinking I was supposed to feel. Keeping in mind with what I just mentioned, there is nothing that could’ve been said or done to make it better. So as a single mother, a lot of moments will arise where you just deal with it. This was my first one.
On the day that I was to go home from the hospital was probably the most overwhelming for me. I knew it was coming. I was scared to death, I was tired. I was ready to go home and I was more ready to sleep in my bed with no IV. (Seriously, if they could just take that line out of my wrist it would make sleeping a lot better in those beds.) So we loaded up all the balloons, flowers, plush animals and such in the car. Then we get home. My dad brings in Harper in her car seat. As soon as I go to lift her up it was a wave of emotion that hit me. It was more than I could handle. All of a sudden it was really just me and her. I had carried her for over 9 months in the womb and now she was here in my house and she relies on every single thing that she needs from me. A thousand thoughts rush through your mind when you realize all of this.. There’s no one else that can take the place of what you do. Can you do this? Can you do this by yourself? Maybe I can try to make it work with him again? What if he wants to as well? Am I going to be single forever? Will anyone find me attractive again? Am I going to have time to date? I’m so ugly! How does this work? Why is she crying? What did I do? What do I do now? Oh Shit! Support her head it’s going to fall off! Ouch my boobs hurt! Man, I’m so tired!.... That is just a glimpse of how I was thinking. I just remember having to close my eyes and breathe. Just exhale all of these crazy thoughts out of my head.
Somewhere and somehow I calmed my “crazy” and just started one step at a time. That’s all you can do. You can worry about everything from how to ease your aches and pain to world peace, but none of it matters when that baby needs something. You are the only source to that baby. You are all she relies on. It is only you and that baby. But here is the good part. You can do it, and you will have to keep telling yourself that. It goes without saying that we are great mothers.
So the thing I realized that I would like to help other mom’s understand is that by you fighting or holding a grudge against the father of your children, benefits absolutely nobody. Think about it this way, if all you want is to be back together, there is a very good chance one of you is going be unhappy the whole time. Why would you want to be with someone that doesn’t make you happy? I’ve seen women literately answer when I ask ‘why would you do that’ say “to make him miserable!” What!?! Why? Because he left you, because he has someone else now and you don’t, because he has more money. It doesn’t matter the reason! What is the benefit? How is that affecting YOUR life? Take a step back a think about if you got everything you wanted from him, would you be happier. In most cases, no. So why waste your time and energy. Time and energy that could be spent in helping develop and raise a happy baby. More than 50% of kids are in “broken homes”. So when you say you worry about your kid being made fun of because they’re parents aren’t together, reality check! This is reality. If some of these couples would put as much effort into raising a strong and independent child as they do arguing or planning some sort of revenge, these horrific statistics would be dramatically different.
My goal in telling my story is to hopefully start a small support group. I want to give people the support and hope that they need. Single parents are definitely a different breed. I somehow think we literately have thicker skin. I want to have developmental meetings with parents that are currently, or have had these feelings. No one will ever have the same situation I have. So I want help with my experiences and also learn about new ones. Like how to cope with your feelings and even just providing some needed advice or just an ear to listen. I’m very lucky to have a spectacular situation and a rare “broken home”. But I want to start this way of thinking with more people and then have those people reach out to others. In my mind, I would love to start a business with this in the future. However, even if I help out with just a few people that would be more than sufficient for me. It soothes my soul to help others, especially if I can do it through my past experiences. This is one of the greatest mother qualities that I possess.