It’s incredible to me how the stories of new life never become less awe-inspiring. I am amazed when I hear the walls that women push through with such a raw strength to deliver their children. I am brought to tears when I hear the circumstances and situations surround the birth of a tiny person. I know there are so many tragedies, I know things don’t always go the way they “should”. I know the topic of pregnancy and birth/postpartum can stir or trigger a myriad of emotional responses. It’s dangerous ground! There is joy, or there is devastation. I can’t think of any lukewarm reaction. No one is just “eh” when it comes to their experience or story.
When I first launched Grace Broke Mom, one of my driving reasons was to be a place where the postpartum season could be talked about within an encouraging and empathetic community. I want to develop hope and comfort for those dealing with postpartum-triggered ailments, and I want to rejoice with those who’ve had their best-case-scenario birth experience. I said it before in my first post about my own battle with PPD (postpartum depression) after my last baby, but we are a unique society (and not necessarily in a good way) in how we go about maternity/postpartum care.
A quick internet search reveals many countries/cultures where the new mother has only to care for her newborn while the rest of the family cares for her and her other duties (such as the practice of La Cuarentena or “the quarantine” across many LatinAmerican countries lasts for 40 days, or Japan’s cultural tradition that gives mom 3 weeks in bed at her parent’s house for the primary purpose of bonding, for example). Our maternity leave is a joke. Seriously. Huffington Post did a fantastic round-up of maternity leave laws across 43 countries and it successfully makes Denmark my favorite country ever. We have an unfortunate idea that new moms should be able to return to “normal life” within just a few weeks, that we need to do all our own preparations prior to baby’s arrival to make sure that our routine doesn’t suffer. We segregate ourselves and baby from community for the fear of communicable disease and the belief that we can do it all and need to shut out outside advice/help/support so we can learn to function by ourselves. What a lonely and desperate place…
My friends, we need each other. We need people. We need relationships. We need to feel supported and encouraged.
With that, I would like to ask you to share your postpartum stories! I want as much or as little as you want to share, but I want the REAL. You all will get super bored of my single perspective pretty quick! So, if you would like your story featured on Grace Broke Mom, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can not wait to hear from you and learn from all of your experiences!
*By sending me your story, you are giving permission for me to publish, and make edits for formatting/grammatical errors.