They say when a baby is born, so too is a mother. If that’s the case, I officially entered the relentless yet rewarding realm of motherhood last October with the arrival of our sweet Scottie June. On what some might consider to be my very first Mother’s Day, however, I can’t help but wonder if that’s strictly accurate— after all, doesn’t bringing up a baby begin long before birth?
Like many other couples, our path to parenthood commenced with a conversation. I smile when I recollect those first steps towards such unfamiliar territory because while they were beyond terrifying, they were the beginning of a love I never thought possible. The past several months have collectively been the most transformative chapter I’ve navigated as a woman— one that showed signs of its significance long before I held our infant in my arms. Allow me to share more on this day filled with new meaning, regardless of whether it’s my first Mother’s Day or not.
Reflecting on our journey, I see now that the enormous responsibility of motherhood took root with the decision to start a family. Perhaps it’s because I struggled with the idea of letting the “old Magi” go, or the fear of inevitable change was simply too much to bear— either way, our little one had taken control of our lives prior to even being conceived because the truth is, choosing to start trying isn’t always that simple.
While some women desire to marry and multiply right away, others prioritize career or travel ambitions. As a full-time business owner operating a multi-faceted creative company with a wanderlusting heart, the battle between my professional and personal goals was REAL and it raged in my mind for months.
Yet here I am. A life-loving creative and a creator of life.
Before I lose it completely at that *almost* inconceivable truth that fills my heart beyond measure, let me elaborate on the roadmap that took us from entrepreneurship to parenthood in what feels like the blink of an eye.
When I first found out I was pregnant I was honestly terrified. It wasn’t the pain of labor or the imminent parental duties that made me anxious, however, it was the realization that I would soon part ways with the woman I’d worked so hard to become. As the weeks wore on, so did my denial. I loved the life we’d made for ourselves— the businesses we’d built, our little beach bungalow, the spontaneous road trips, the far-flung adventures, and the quiet in-betweens that belonged to us. It all felt so crucial to our existence. Until one day, I stopped to take stock of my situation. Life was starting to orbit around my womb rather than my work and with that, it was time to become a mother. And so I embraced the shift, accepted the change, and made a promise to myself that while parts of us would become a memory, we would celebrate the opportunity to make new ones.
After accepting that things would be different, my journey felt like a picture-perfect Pinterest board— a happy, healthy pregnancy made memorable with maternity portraits that felt just like us and a shower that made me (and my babe-to-be) feel special. But the flawlessness faded when the moment we’d been waiting for finally arrived.
My labor and delivery proved that— like newborn clothing— even the best laid plans can get pooped on! In all seriousness, giving birth to our baby girl didn’t look anything like I anticipated it would, despite holding the idea of a plan very loosely. Prepared with our crafted playlist and my incredible support team, I was certain we were ready no matter what. I never imagined I’d be undergoing an emergency operating room procedure immediately after Scottie came into the world.
The surgery saw me lose liters of blood while they raced to remove my placenta, the outcome of which was a blood transfusion. As if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks later I hemorrhaged at home and ended up returning to hospital. Bed rest followed, along with a lot of physical and emotional pain. In all honesty, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over missing the moment my husband held his firstborn child for the first time, his namesake. The biologic complications I endured during giving birth were traumatic, however, it was the mental anguish that I had to process simultaneously that really shook me to my core.
But here we are. We’ve come a long way since our journey first started and I can’t help feeling proud as punch to be called Mama this Mother’s Day. Looking back on it all, I’ve learned so much about myself throughout this chapter. The transition to motherhood is a deeply personal one and no two experiences are the same, but if the following can lighten the load for just one mama-to-be, that’s enough…
When I promised myself during pregnancy that I’d make memories as a mother, I knew that meant being my own cheerleader. I wanted to feel fully prepared for the life change ahead and the brief checkups to measure my bump just weren’t enough for me. After a lot of research and self-education, I chose to hire a doula to assist me with my transition, which turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. Beyond capturing a snap of Scott holding our baby for the first time (which I’ll forever be grateful for), she showed up for me numerous times long after her work was “technically” done. Because although a mother is born with her baby, it doesn’t mean she’s magically capable of taking care of her infant (at the same time as caring for herself I’ll add).
And while not everyone may be able to hire help, we are all empowered to prepare ourselves for labor and the weeks that follow. Know where to go to speak with a lactation consultant if you’re planning to breastfeed, line up a pelvic floor physical therapist, lean on the people who have been there before you (mom friends are THE best), set realistic boundaries, and above all, allow yourself to step away from from time to time. Prioritizing self care isn’t selfish, it’s self love. If you’re able to be your own advocate during this life-altering chapter, the precious early memories of motherhood will make themselves.
It might seem obvious for a mother to nourish her newborn, but what about her own body? Providing your little person with physical and emotional sustenance is a round-the-clock role, even with the support of a loving partner, and a fulltime job like this one requires a full tank.
For the first 40 days of Scottie June’s life I focused on my own wellbeing as much as hers. I had physical wounds that needed to heal and the mental load of motherhood arrived without apology. By nourishing your own mind and body you’ll be in a better place to provide the same for your baby, no matter what your postpartum experience brings.
This wisdom from both a wedding client and a lactation consultant proved to be some of the best advice I received as a new mother. It’s easy to get caught up in believing we must do it all right away, but the truth is those unimportant tasks are exactly that— not a priority (and guess what? They’ll still be there tomorrow, and the day after that). My sole purpose during our first few months together was to heal and to harness, because as cliché as it sounds, time really is a thief when it comes to those precious beginnings.
And finally, for the friends and family reading this who are soon to become beloved relations— both honest and honorary…
Because the person who needs you most in this moment is the woman who’s in the midst of the hardest hurdle she’s ever faced. And with that being said, I couldn’t be more grateful for our very own circle of support— both personally and professionally— who have held us all as we continue to grow the wider community around us while nurturing our personal family.
In a nutshell, my journey to motherhood was as scary as it was special. From committing to our biggest life decision to not knowing what lay ahead after giving birth, the challenges were tough. But the moments in between that became precious memories? Those made it all worthwhile and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Leaning into every emotion helped me to make sense of the situations I faced, putting me in a position to be willing and able to share my story today.
I’ll close by simply saying happy Mother’s Day— to all the incredible women making choices for themselves, no matter where they are in the ultimate journey that is life. And to Scottie June, becoming your mother is the greatest gift and most special honor I’ve ever had.
[Our first family photos were taken by our dear friend Lauren Fair.]