Sally Clarkson shares hers in Chapter 1 of Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe. She writes of challenges after her first child was born and says "After all of the anticipation, excitement, and planning, my hopes and dreams were dashed and my mother-heart was already broken."
I remember approaching motherhood like I approach everything else in life. With a stack of books and a cup of coffee, I read through book after book. I read several books on pregnancy, natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and every other topic you can imagine. I learned about the various infant reflexes and when they disappear. I know the proper pattern in which you should put toys down on the floor to stimulate your infant's interest.
And with the c-section birth of my firstborn baby, who was breech, my dreams for a natural childbirth were dashed and I was a breastfeeding failure. I remember her first checkup at 2 weeks and learning that she was 6 pounds. She'd lost 14 ounces since birth. And similar to Sally Clarkson's story, the nurse had words for me that were meant to encourage, but only broke my heart.
"Some women just aren't able to breastfeed. I'm one of them," the nurse said.
Was I one of them too? Evidently so, I thought as I looked at my tiny girl.
And the mommy guilt flooded in.
If you know my story, you know that we got excellent help and between two different lactation specialists, my baby was able to nurse exclusively, she gained weight, and went on to nurse until she was 17 months old. I've also been able to breastfeed my other two children. But I'll never forget those feelings of failure and heartbreak. While our breastfeeding story ends well, I can tell you so many things I should've done differently.
And that was just the beginning of many mommy guilt trips, many things that I did wrong, moments that I wish I could take back. I'm such an imperfect mother. I make the wrong choices so many times, and then other times, when I'm making the right ones, it still doesn't work out anyway.
As Sally Clarkson writes, "Little by little, I have learned grace, joy, patience, and hope, and slowly my soul is being shaped into His image." Oh, praise God that He is growing and changing me.
It's through those times of brokenness that God makes me more like Him.
When was the first time your mother-heart was broken?