Having had my first child a few months ago, I've discovered that there are as many ways of approaching motherhood as there are mothers... Even though it's regarded as one of the most universal experiences known to woman. For my first Mother's Day, I wanted to relate through images and words the first steps of this new life. But to also invite other women to share their stories of motherhood, of giving in, and of discovering (more or less) maternal instincts. Jeanne Damas
When a child is born, a mother is also born - and this role doesn't come as naturally as one thinks. The birth of a child is actually an encounter: it can be love at first sight but it can also take time to love, to understand and get to know each other.
I wish I was more prepared for what happens after birth, the post-partum, instead of just focusing on the delivery. Being a business owner, I felt pressured to go back to work quickly. And I didn't feel really present at work or with my child.
The question of transmission is also key. I would like to teach him to be caring, empathetic, and kind to himself and to others. I realize that my child is a person in his own right and that he doesn't belong to me.
I would like for him to have the freedom to be himself (without having to carry his family's baggage) and to pave his own path alongside ours. This is something very important to me as I think being overly inseparable is not very healthy. I believe he has as much to teach me, as I have to teach him.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 20. After this day, I told myself that I needed to try to have a child early, even though it is hard nowadays in terms of career and finances. But it was always in the back of my mind - a pressure I wish I didn't have. I became pregnant by accident, at the worst time. It wasn't planned and was very hard to come to terms with.
It was as if she had decided to come into my life at this precise moment. My mother told me "When I was your age - 30 years old - I could no longer be pregnant." So even though it wasn't the best time, I said to myself: let's go!
I've always dreamed of having a child for as long as I can remember. Even though, I didn't know how hard it is to take care of a small human. I felt rather alone and lonely. Strikes and then lockdowns didn't help. I found the first year to be very difficult.
I'm not ashamed to say that I suffered from post-partum depression. I learned to get to know my daughter month after month and our soon our bond came to be, and love grew over time. And since then, she's been everything to me, it's crazy to have that much love for someone.
"I learned to get to know my daughter month after month and love grew over time."
It's really a slap in the face to learn that you have an agressive cancer at 30, to learn that you're not untouchable. I was expecting difficult nights, moments of doubts, but the main issue I'm facing is how I feel right now: guilty and scared to have to leave them.
I feel like I'm loosing some precious quality time with my children because of the pain and this intense fatigue that often has me bedridden. My son chose me to be his mother when I was turning 20, 12 years ago. A this time, it wasn't easy to see my girlfriends living their best lives while I had the responsability of taking care of a little human every day. But I couldn't be prouder to be the mother of this wonderful child.
Every day I try to teach my children values like respect. To respect others and respect oneself. I want them to be able to listen, to do what they desire, to say no without guilt and to be proud of themselves.
Shéérazade was born at 26 weeks and one day. So fragile and so strong at the same time, with her 880g and 34cm, holding on to keep her heart beating, minute after minute. Days spent hoping more than anything that life would prevail. Some were full of sadness where we almost had to say goodbye.
These days, especially 7 weeks in intensive care, where the hardest and most extraordinary of our lives. I felt this instinct deep inside me. Strong, coming from who knows where, and which gave me an indestructible strength in these darkest hours.
Hamza, my love, was a real cornerstone, we went through everything together. I could not have made it without him. The support of my closed ones, my family, my friends helped me a lot. Even social media: we received a ton of messages of support in these very uncertain times.
At the hospital, Hamza put up on the wall every message we were receiving. At the end, the wall was covered entirely... from floor to ceiling. I kept them all to show Shéérazade one day.