Motherhood has broken my heart

I’m forever changed and always grateful for it. This is a growth opportunity, but one I didn’t see coming when I found out I was pregnant in September of 2018. See, I had lost my way. I was trying to pave my own path, only to be shown once again that my plan wasn’t written by me.

Once I became a mother, some things changed in my heart. One, I fell in love with my child. She was and still is my miracle baby. The baby that I was told would be very hard to have. The baby I will never take for granted after seeing so many others struggle through fertility and beyond. I can safely say I’ve never felt this type of love before and can’t imagine being able to replicate it ever again (unless there’s another child in my future). Two, I started feeling differently towards her father. This was the thing I didn’t see coming. I started imagining things differently from what was the harsh reality around me. I started dreaming and hoping. I fell in love with him. No, the idea of us working out. Of Aria having parents who loved each other and who could show her what love looks like.

I found myself yearning for the perfect family. The family that loved each other and loved others. The blended family that actually got along. The unusual story of it actually working out. My heart turned into a mother wanting to actually not be that stereotypical struggling single mom. My thought patterns changed and I started having massive anxiety. Sleepless nights, explosive moments, huge mood swings. I just wanted to have it all.

I got so wrapped up in my alternative reality that I didn’t see I was dying on the outside. Things weren’t working out. I was miserable, and I was trying to be someone I hated. Someone I didn’t recognize came out. I started drinking heavily, and using other coping mechanisms. It got so bad that the person I wanted so badly to want me was triggering memories of my ex husband and my failed marriage.

Thankfully, I was able to take a step back and make the healthiest decision. I chose to stop living in my fake world and finally wake up. I realized that being a struggling single mother isn’t half as bad as what I was doing to myself. And actually a lot healthier. Not just for me, but also for my daughter. She needs me to be happy and healthy, not destroying myself. She needs to see what wholesome, unconditional love is. Because she deserves it. And I deserve it. I am enough. I am purpose. I am love.

The cost of giving birth

I didn’t want to write about this, because for me she’s so worth it. But then I started thinking about it. And it goes way beyond the money. So here goes nothing.

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It was late August when I started to notice something weird was a-brewing. My body had all the signs of my period coming, with no actual period. When the four pregnancy tests all came back positive, my head started spinning. The biggest concern I had? How was I going to afford having this baby?

See, I wasn’t in the typical job. I was working at a gym and paying for my own health insurance through Obama Care. I legit didn’t have a solid paycheck. Some weeks I made over $700, other weeks it was closer to $300. I was living life one day at a time, and trying my darndest to turn my dreams into reality. That was until I knew I was growing a human.

Everything shifted. I didn’t have the luxury known as paid maternity leave. Even when the gym closed and I was forced into an office job, I took the first thing I could find which ended up being a contract position that also didn’t offer paid leave. Even with insurance, the medical bills piled up. I paid just about a thousand dollars of bills before the baby even arrived. Which may not seem like a lot, but as a single parent with only one income it added up fast for me.

Thankfully, I am pretty savvy when it comes to money and saving up. I’m currently in week 7 of unpaid leave and have yet to dip into my savings to pay my bills. But my time is running out, and because of the bills piling up, I am forced to go back to work ASAP. As soon as my baby is 6 weeks I am hoping to be joining the workforce once again.

But can I just say how thankful and blessed I am to have health insurance? I pay for it monthly, but the fact that my medical bills from January until now would have been 42k without insurance is mind-numbing. Instead they are a measly $7,900. Well, as of now. I’m currently trying to get the state to help me pay since, once again, single income makes it hard to swing nearly 8k.

But birth costs more than just the medical bills. With birth comes a child. Who needs to be tended to 24/7. Daycare alone can cost upwards of thousands a month. And all the baby supplies. Mainly diapers and formula if needed. I’m thankful for friends and family who have helped in that department. But this is just the beginning.

And don’t get me wrong, like I said she is so worth every penny. Another thought I had was in relation to the changes my body would go through. After going through college at 120 pounds and thinking I was fat, I knew being pregnant and giving birth I would gain weight. Needed weight. But I was scared for the after-birth time, when I would look at myself in the mirror and see someone I didn’t recognize. A girl with extra weight.

It took me 32 years to get to the point where I loved myself no matter what my body looked like. And I’m happy to report that mindset stuck. I’m about 25 pounds overweight but still feel myself 100%. I still feel sexy, despite the extra curves.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be working hard to get the weight off. But I know I will enjoy every step in the process even more since I love myself and my body no matter what the scale says. I only cried once. And that is ok too.

After growing and birthing a human, I can safely say it’s all beautiful. Yes, I’m no longer on my journey to be She-Hulk, but now I’m just starting to work towards Wonder Woman, the mom version. ๐Ÿ™‚