Why sometimes you just need to feel sad.



It’s been an emotional few weeks over here.  A good friend of mine had her first baby the other week.  And right from the first moment that I heard that she had gone into labour, I was feeling all the feels.  We had held a blessingway for her a few weeks before and as I lit my candle and cut the cord around my wrist, I found myself a bit of an emotional mess.  At 6am in the morning, no less.


Eamon decided that all I needed was a cuddle and a shower to ‘wake me up a bit’ (bless him) and proceeded to ask me a billion questions about Kate. And when she was coming to visit with this baby? And why did we have to make her food and why she couldn’t make her own food?  And where was the baby coming from? etc etc…


I can’t even explain to you how I felt when I heard later that day that baby Aiya had arrived safely and that everything had gone well.  Excitement. Joy.  Complete happiness for this new little family.


I went to visit briefly, just dropping off some food and gifts (and to catch a glimpse of the tiny bundle – how quickly you forget how small newborns are!) and you could just feel the heart-bursting love that had already grown there.


And as I walked back to my car I felt… sad. And then immediately felt bad for feeling sorry for myself when it wasn’t about me.  So I tried to stuff those emotions back in there somewhere and focus on the excitement of a new baby.


But as they do, those feelings followed me around for a few days until I decided I probably needed to do something more than try and bury them with chocolate. (Don’t pretend I’m the only one who does this!)


So I let myself feel sad.  Sad that my first birth was not as beautiful and empowering as it should have been. Sad that we went into parenting on the backfoot because we were too busy processing a traumatic birth to be stoked about the tiny bundle in our arms.  Sad that we missed out on the newborn love bubble (to an extent). Sad that we didn’t know enough to know it should have been better. Sad that I felt completely disempowered by the experience. Just sad.


And after I wallowed for a bit I realised… If it wasn’t for both of the births that I had I wouldn’t be where I am now.


I wouldn’t be telling every pregnant woman I meet to do a hypnobirthing course, to sign up for prenatal yoga, to read up on natural birth.  I wouldn’t be so involved in trying to create a supportive community of mothers.  I wouldn’t be editing magazines on birth and motherhood. I wouldn’t be teaching yoga online to mothers.


Who knows where I would be actually.  I realised that sometimes we do just need to feel sad. To realise that we do the best we can with the knowledge we have… and when we know better… we do better. And that even though, looking back it may seem that things were ‘wrong’ or ‘not meant to happen like that’, that actually it probably happened that way to teach us something we needed to know.


Rory’s birth was my version of knowing better. And whilst there will probably always be a tinge of sadness around Eamon’s, perhaps the lesson was in knowing that I needed to empower myself, something that I’ve been doing ever since.


Have you had a negative birth experience?  Do you feel sad about what you missed out on?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *