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Would the cluckiness ever return?

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By Donna Webeck

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The question came as often as two year old tantrums, and was equally as painful to endure.

“So, you must be finally ready to go back for number 2?”

This innocent enough inquiry soon became the common theme that threaded through my life as my son celebrated turning one. Because surely I had to be considering a sibling for this adorable cherub of mine by now, right?

Wrong. Not even in the slightest.

It wasn’t that I disliked children – quite the contrary. But instead of being overcome with maternal urges of cluckiness at the thought of a bringing another brand new bub into our world, in its place was an icy fear that clutched firmly at my heart and refused to let go. I was left with an anxiety so intense that I was happy to forgo future additions to our family if it assured me that I’d never have to endure anything like my son’s dramatic entrance into the world ever again.

After complications at childbirth that resulted in countless stitches and a third degree tear I was reeling.  Flashbacks to the horrific scenes haunted me: like being wrenched off the bed with full force by the doctors, so much so that my husband had to pin me to it while they fought to extract my now in distress baby from my birth canal (I was too far gone for an emergency caesarean) and was left sporting quite a bit of collateral damage down below.

It took 6 arduous months of struggling to sit, sleep, stand, walk, exercise, go to the toilet (let’s not even start on the subject of sex) – before I was officially given confirmation that my body had finally returned to full health. While all this was going on, I was also to trying to adjust to the role of motherhood, with a child who was anti-sleep.  Despite my body being given the doctors tick of approval, the mental scars lingered far longer, with no cure in sight.

While I agreed to meet with a hospital appointed counsellor in the weeks after my son’s birth, the public health system being what it is, saw fit to refer me to a man.

Now, I don’t mean to be blatantly sexist but it was difficult to relate the depths of my true feelings to someone who did not – nor ever could – know what it was like to have a bowling ball ripped out of a hole the size of a marble.  So I simply turned up, said what he wanted to hear, and let my fears about childbirth fester untreated.

By 2010, when I was the parent of a 2-year-old, the questioning of whether I’d have another child had crescendo to fever pitch. Reluctantly I sought out further counselling – this time selecting a wonderful, compassionate woman who provided the countless tissues required during my 6 sessions.

Slowly I began to unleash the demons that had shadowed me since giving birth. And while it was a cathartic experience, the thought of a second child still ultimately remained a terrifying prospect to entertain. I’d only just survived with my sanity intact during round one and feared another stint might just destroy me.

Finally, as my son crept closer to the age of 3, it was a conversation with a clairvoyant that began to sow the seeds of some promising healing in my future.

“You need to find a really good kinesiologist and get your body realigned; it hasn’t recovered from having your son.”

I put the conversation to the back of my mind for months, until one night, as I prepared for sleep I decided to whisper my request to the universe in hope that it might deliver me what my clairvoyant had prescribed.  It was, for me, the final frontier in the hope of overcoming this fear.

That next day, with a sleepy son nodding off in the back seat of the car, I decided to detour my way home and took a left onto a road I’d never traversed. And what greeted me but a glistening white a-frame sign, shrouded in sunlight, with one word, and an arrow adorning it, pointing up the hill.

“Kinesiologist”

Literally, it was the sign I had been waiting for.

What then ensued was amazing. Over a period of two and a half months this wonderful woman managed to realign and mend my fractured body and mind in such a unique way that I began to actively encourage the idea of welcoming a new little person into our world. And 2 short weeks after my 5th and final session with my kinesiologist, two little pink lines appeared on that trademark white stick.

My first reaction? I pumped the air with my fist and mouth a silent “YES!”

So while it may have taken almost 4 years for the cluckiness to come back into my being, it was worth the wait.  I’d finally arrived at the headspace that allowed me to greet this prospect with great joy. Parenthood phase 2 was finally, wholeheartedly, being embraced – by me.

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Donna Webeck - to view all of Donna's blog post click here

Donna Webeck is a freelance writer with an immense love of all things literary. A mother of one, she is passionate about prose & more than a little obsessed with her idol, Oprah. Donna also shares her myriad of musings on motherhood, current affairs and lifestyle at her blog www.nappydaze.com

Website: http://www.nappydaze.com

  • I can totally relate to your birth story. I even had to have a repair because the scarring was that bad!
    It took me 2.5 years to even think about having another child.

    • Thanks for your comment Sam – while I am sorry you had to endure the same it is comforting knowing someone else understands how you feel.

  • Donna – this is the most beautiful story (and as a mental health counsellor I agree wholeheartedly that some issues can only be dealt with by certain allied health professionals). There is a fascination in society to always be looking forwards rather than actually embracing the idea of standing still and being in the moment. We have one baby so people ask about another, we get one child sleeping, people ask about toilet training. Dont even get me started on the ‘right’ age to send kids to school!

    I think sometimes when people dont know what to say they revert back to the old faithful conversation droppers like work and kids. I secretly relished the freedom when I was a single mum of a little baby because no one dared asked the ‘what about a sibling’ question! My sister just gave birth to her third boy yesterday and she messaged me to say ‘did it hurt this much or have I just forgotten’. Traumatic or not we have to give our bodies time to heal. So happy for your upcoming arrival x

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sarah! It is so true what you say – there is always a question to be asked. I can only hope that once number 2 comes it will mean a halt to ever having to hear it again!

  • I REALLY love this post Donna, thank you. I can so relate to where you were at. For me, at this point I am terrified of going there a second time. Thanks for sharing how kinesiology helped you to move past your fears – I might look at kinesiology as a way to help me get over my own. I’m so thrilled that you are now looking forward to the arrival of your new bubba soon. How exciting!

    • Thanks so much Jane! I honestly cannot recommend a Kinesiologist enough. I honestly may never have gone back for number 2 without the success from it. I wish you peace and success in your journey too x

  • Dusty

    Wow! Your post really hit home for me, thank you for sharing your story.
    I too had a similar experience,while I had a wonderful labour, I suffered a 4th degree tear and had a shocking recovery with little support or treatment. I also had a terrible sleeper for the first 18 months, developed PND and I never wanted to go through that ever again, even after 6 years of infertility treatments and desperately wanting a child, 1 was more than enough for me, but no-one I told that too understood. I miraculously fell pregnant without trying when #1 was 20 months and while it was fabulous, I really didn’t know how I would cope. Luckily pregnancy is long and with it I have found acceptance and now excitement as the birth draws near. Birth and recovery trauma is little spoken about so I applaud you for putting your story out there.

  • I really love this post.
    I too am so sick of the “when are you going to have another one” question.
    I had a wonderful pregnancy and birth but I am still not ready to even think about having another one.
    Mainly because eighteen months after having my baby I still don’t feel like myself.
    I have been wondering what it will be that makes me snap back to me…I keep thinking that if I get more sleep or if I eat better everything will click into place, but none of my tried and true methods seem to be working.
    Thank you for suggesting a kinesiologist…I think I will do a little research and give it a try!

    Best of luck with number two!

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