Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Today is a significant day, it's my youngest son's first birthday! Happy Birthday Smiley, may you enjoy this day with your family. Today also marks my one year postnatal anniversary. This time last year I was in labor, walking around the nearby pond next to the birthing center. I remember that day clearly because we made two trips to the birth center. The first trip I knew it was not time to birth my sweet baby boy. However, my husband and mama were adamant about me going since I was having active labor pains, to avoid having a second unplanned home birth (blog post for another time). But, baaaaaabbbbbbyyyy (cue New Orleans accent), that second trip, oh, I thought I was going to have him in our Jeep. The 20 minute ride to the birth center seemed like an eternity, and I felt every single bump along the way. The contractions were intense; I remember asking my husband how much longer until we arrived. In my mind I was calculating the number of contractions I would have to endure until I delivered Smiley. Let's just say we made it to the birth center in the nick of time and Smiley was born in the water. It was truly a magical experience.
As I reflect on my post birth journey the appropriate word to describe the past 12 months is brave. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines brave as having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty: having or showing courage. By writing this blog I am exercising bravery by sharing candid information about myself during one of the most vulnerable moments in my life. Admitting to myself that I was not mentally well three months after giving birth was HARD. Once I began therapy, sometimes twice a week, I had to decide if I was going to attend the session or make up an excuse not to go. While at therapy I had to determine how honest I was going to be with my therapist in sharing parts of my life that not even the closest people to me knew about. I am proud of myself for attending all the sessions I scheduled and choosing to heal from my trauma. I cried often with tears pouring down my face, snotty nose and all. Through this I demonstrated courage.
Being brave allowed me to open up a private mental health practice to provide a safe haven for women like me who struggled with mental health disorders after pregnancy. Daily, I am reminded to implement mental strength when I report to work. I am literally responsible for everything that happens within my business and manage multiple roles. In certain scenarios, I may initially experience fear when encountering new tasks because I do not want to make mistakes. But, then the fear eases away once I realize it is a new experience, and I have resources around me to help me with completing tasks successfully. Again, this is a demonstration of bravery and I continue to move forward. I am motivated by my clients who choose to heal. Each client exhibits bravery by recognizing they need mental health support during this time in their lives and have entrusted me to assist them along the way.
To all of my readers I encourage you to reflect on the past six to twelve months to determine if there is challenge or fear that is blocking you from healing. It may seem scary or unattainable to take that first step, but ask yourself, "When was the last time I was brave?" Once you have identified that time, consider what you need to do to conquer that fear, and be BRAVE.