Ella Rose Lock
It makes my heart explode with love as I look at all the grace and wonder in her little face. It wasn’t always like this. Yes, she was always my baby girl but my heart hasn’t always exploded with love. This photo may look like a peaceful newborn photo but thanks to a very traumatic birth experience I couldn’t have been any lower at this point.
I want to share my story to encourage those who are struggling; with life, with being a mum and with fully understanding the love you have for your child… It’s such a huge journey, one that most definitely needs to be shared.
Ella’s birth was amazing. Unexpected, full of amazing moments, and quite short. Yay!! I felt great, I wanted to run the halls and to tell the world my baby was here!!
Shortly after her birth I felt some excruciating pain. Pain I’d never felt in my life. Pain that made me scream, cry, beg for help. Pain that had me wondering if my life was on the line. After some alarming screams to the midwives they examined me and I knew something was wrong straight away when I saw my nurse go white with fright. I passed out and woke in theatre with my OB telling me I had to be taken for emergency surgery to save my life. The next few hours were touch and go, my blood pressure dropped to 40/60 and my blood loss was increasingly rapid. The issues were finally sorted out after two extensive surgeries within 12 hours. I remained in hospital for some time afterwards.
I felt completely empty, I felt vulnerable, I felt alone and I couldn’t hold my baby. Was this it? Was this my start to being a mum!? What now?
After a week in hospital attached to a blood drain and drips, then a trip back to hospital because of more complications (on my birthday), it was all too much. I couldn’t comprehend what had happened. My baby was safe and well but why did this traumatic experience happen to me? This isn’t what I had planned!
In the days, weeks and months to follow, I healed physically but mentally I was very unstable. I held it together during the day (just) and cried all night by myself. I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t be a mum. Why didn’t I have an overwhelming love for my child?
I then got some professional help. I knew I was in too deep when I started planning ways to escape this world quietly. It all hurt too much to face each day.
It took time. And tears. Lots of tears. Nearly two years of silent tears. But… I’m doing okay now. I have been able to comprehend what happened in those early days and truly learn how to love my daughter. A love that can only come from above.
The purpose for my story is this: Reach out for help. Please, please don’t do it alone. Connect with your little ‘village’ and be honest, open and vulnerable. Cry together, laugh together, pray together. We need to share the good, the bad and everything in between with other mums going through the same things. We are quick to put up walls and think we can do it alone. Society makes us believe that we just need to suck it up and get on with motherhood. No way… Motherhood is not all pretty baby blankets and stuffed bunnies in those early days. It’s hard. And if you have a hard birth it’s 100,000 times harder.
Don’t be ashamed of your story. You’ll get through this just fine. It really is true when people say “It all passes by too quickly, enjoy this time”. I wish SO much I enjoyed those early days. Many parts are a horrible blur.
Leave the dishes, leave the washing. Who cares about the floors? Just hold your baby. Breathe in that new precious life and embrace every second of the tiny person that grew inside you.
Bless you all on your mothering journey, and thank you from the bottom of my heart to those people who have carried me through mine.
If you experienced a traumatic birth and are still struggling in your journey, I encourage you to seek help. It can and will make a difference.
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you need help right now.