Like so many mothers before me, my path through motherhood isn’t a straight line. Each of my pregnancies took years of trying as well as fertility treatments in order to come home with a baby. I thought that would be the hard part.
When I was pregnant with my first son, everyone I knew was negative about how I wanted to give birth. I came to find this was going to be a theme in motherhood. People love to tell you how you should do things.
My memories of how I felt as a first time mother are still vivid. I was unsure of everything. I cared deeply about how other people viewed me as a mother. My son was nursing every hour and a half day and night. I was drowning.
In hindsight, I had fairly severe postpartum depression. And honestly, our society fails mothers. We don’t speak honestly about parenting. The age of social media shows us unattainable ideals. I had to go through this process twice and learn the hard way. It doesn’t have to be this way. My experiences are what led me to a career in birth photography and becoming a doula.
When I reached out to Kate Rope asking to read her new book Strong As a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood: The Only Guide to Taking Care of YOU! in advance, I was hopeful it could be the resource I needed years ago. The book exceeded my expectations in every way. It is honest, thought provoking and everything you need to hear. Personal empowerment is my motherhood must-have (as well as a doula of course) and Strong As a Mother is a huge step towards it.