Out of Trauma, Love Flows: Becoming a Natural Parent

Photography: Poppy Peterson | www.poppypeterson.com.au

My Cup Runneth Over

By Sally Saint

I have always wanted to be a mum; from as early on as I remember the mothering instinct was inside of me. From my dolls to my animals, they all had my mothering. Along with that dream came the ‘ideal’ experience and mine was anything but.

I became pregnant with my dear son in 2009 and so my journey began.

At my 20 week scan, three anomalies were found. Because there were three, the consultant I saw (who was of the extremely cautious kind) suggested that a healthy child might not be possible. Abortion was a suggestion; I refused. In the hurricane that hit, the anomalies were: a cyst on the brain, which a large amount of babies have and disappears by birth; enlarged kidney; and a shadow on his right lung.

I was sent to a specialist and the cyst was nothing of concern, the kidney was within normal range and the shadow he thought was sputum. He told me to go home, relax and enjoy the pregnancy.

My local consultant, however, did not let it rest and I was under the microscope. I was induced, my child whisked away to neonatal. Given antibiotics without my consent and formula fed when I had expressed I wished to breastfeed. He was bonny, with the wisest eyes and I loved him with a fierceness I did not know existed until he came into this world.

He did have a congenital cyst on the lung which, when he was two, was removed. He was however the healthiest, happiest baby.

Why I am telling you all this?

It is because of all that I experienced, it made me the mum I am.

I was given exactly what I needed to become the mum I am. I did breastfeed and I fed full term. I went to my baby when he cried. I baby-led weaned. I carried him everywhere. I listened to him.

It is because I was put in survival mode with my child that it brought out of me every instinct to become the natural parent I am.

I never intended to parent as I did, I had read all the mainstream books out there, the advice, the way those around me had parented.

I came from the heart. Every single step of the way, and I continue to do so.

It was a year into my parenting, with no-one understanding how or why I was parenting as I was, that I met a mother at a toddler group. She spoke, she understood and she told me the ‘name’ of my way of parenting. She understood, she brought copies of natural parenting magazines and they were my lifeline.

Now my son is 7, and “my cup runneth over” with love and gratitude for him coming into my life.

Artwork: Sally Saint. “This artwork is in celebration of my son entering my life and the journey we both went on together, out of trauma love flows.”

See page two for more…

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