I wasn’t prepared. I mean, I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed at 39 weeks.
It was Christmas Eve 2020 when I gave birth to my daughter by emergency c-section. What was supposed to be a routine check-up turned into something quite different and before I knew it, I was lying on the operating table with ‘Silent Night’ gently playing over speakers in the theatre, ready to deliver my baby.
It will always be the most special day I can remember. The day I met her. But I wasn’t prepared. For the surgery, the recovery, the aftermath,
Post Birth Depression & Loss Of Identity
Months of postpartum depression and severe homesickness followed. Due to COVID, I hadn’t seen my family for a very long time (my daughter was six months old when she first met them) and I certainly wasn’t ready for the complete loss of identity that comes with dedicating everything you are and everything you have to your little bundle of joy.
I used to sit in the dark when I’d put her to sleep feeling so deflated. Not about her; I absolutely loved (and still love) being a mother and there was never any trouble bonding or being in love with my baby. It was me I was upset about. I’d forgotten who I was, what I liked to do, what there was to talk about, what the point was in anything.
Asked for help & Got it from professionals & pushing myself to get back to who I am
With the help of some therapy sessions, practising mindfulness and the care of a great doctor, I got the help I needed to start feeling like myself again. But actually, what started to emerge was a new me and someone I actually liked a lot more than before.
This person has got loads of creative energy. She’s finding her purpose. She’s connecting with herself and with others. She’s reading, listening, moving and asking for support where she needs it.
I’ve started a blog @mumdiaryDXB on Instagram to try and share the stuff I get up to in Dubai to help other mums, and I also share poems I’ve written about life, motherhood and being an expat.
I’ve got lots of plans for this page and I’m enjoying the journey so much.
I truly believe being creative – in whatever way you want to express yourself – is so important to your ‘recovery’ and finding a sense of identity.
They say that when you do something you truly love or are passionate about, you don’t notice the time passing. It’s true.
Discovering the power of connection
Something else I’ve been embracing is the power of connection.
Let’s face it – mums just love chatting to other mums because we all know the drill. We don’t have to explain our messy buns, our no makeup faces, our tired eyes. Other mums just get it.
Not everybody loves baby classes but I find them to be really beneficial. It gives us a reason to get up and get ready and to be in a fairly social situation where both me and Lily can get the interaction we might be craving that day.
Changing To A Better Self.. A Mom & Much More
I’ve gotten a lot braver since having my daughter. I’ll happily speak to random strangers about motherhood (which isn’t always a great thing)! I’ve found such a love for connecting with people and connecting others. Call it networking, maybe?
As I’m writing this, it is International Women’s Day (8 March) and I have just got back from an event I organised for eight female entrepreneurs.
It was all about connection and celebrating our successes – all of these women have started their own businesses and some have left behind huge corporate jobs to do so. And that inspires me beyond belief.
My Advice for moms who might be in dark moments, after being there myself
You don’t have to have all the answers right now. I certainly don’t. But when the dark moments come, know that it will all start to fall into place one day. You’ll find pleasure again and you’ll get yourself back.
All I can say is, keep talking, keep connecting and keep creating.