When Alexa, my first daughter was born, I had already been on the journey from hell, as I had battled 9 months of undiagnosed and un-treated hyperemesis gravidarum. If you don’t know what Hyperemesis is, read more about it HERE, I spent more time laying on my bathroom floor and hugging the toilet bowl and praying for relief before wave after wave of violent vomiting would start up again.
I had planned a home birth with her, having been in the medical profession and having seen more than my share of things gone wrong during birth I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t want. What I didn’t count for was that this journey, called motherhood, was NOT in my control, like at all, or even just a little bit.
My 54 hour labor with a sunny side up baby, an irritated uterus that would contract like hell but not dilate me, delivered to me a joyous 1 hour car ride gripping the door handle as I agonized over contractions on the way to the hospital. 40 hours into labor I no longer was confident in myself so I felt it safer to deliver her in a hospital setting since so much of what I had planned had not gone as I had expected and I was now nervous.
On February 14, 2009 (Valentines Day) after 3 days of labor, at 1:21am this angry pink faced baby finally arrived and when they placed her on my chest and I looked at her I remember my first reaction being “WHO are you”? “Where are the chorus on angels singing and the heavens parting and white light shinning down and the amazing moment where I finally become a mother and its incredible and amazing?” It didn’t happen. I was tired, uncomfortable and I had no idea who this baby was, and while I had an intense and primal urge to protect her, she was a stranger to me.
This was the beginning of me discovering the truth about motherhood and parenting. Over the years I slowly began to realize that these stories I heard about how amazing it was to meet your baby for the first time, how you will instantly fall in love and know them right away, how mothering was so instinctual and natural was a bunch of BullS*it lies we tell each other to make this tough journey seem a little better.
I still vividly remember one of my midwives sitting with me on my bed as I sobbed in my own pity and sorrow for a horrible pregnancy, worse delivery and a baby who I didn’t know and was so demanding and left me feeling like I didn’t know sh*t about the world or anything for that matter when I thought I knew it all. I remember her looking at me and saying, “Maria, you have to remember, this is Alexa’s journey, not yours. You CAN’T run or control her life or her journey, she will experience and needs to experience deep sorrows for her to realize and experience profound joy in this world. YOUR job is to guide her on this journey, to give her the tools to make the best decisions for her to get what she wants out of life and this journey. WHAT SHE WANTS out of life, not you. Remember that. You are enough, just love her, feed her and remember you can’t live her life for her, you can only help her on this journey.”
This was the beginning of “Maria-Alexa”, a journey of learning to be “enough” the way I am, of learning to allow my daughter to feel sorrow so that she could experience joy and realizing I needed that as well and the journey to learning how to empower and love myself in all my perfect imperfections so that I could teach her to do the same. This was the beginning of me helping other women and give them the tools to help themselves and their daughters so that they can conquer the world.
I am SUPER EXCITED about a new program I will be launching soon to help women and their daughters on this journey! Make sure to be signed up to my newsletter to be the first to find out about all the amazing things going on behind the scenes right now at Maria-Alexa!