I visualized motherhood in so many ways other than how it played out.

I wanted to conceive quickly & easily.
It took 2 years, surgery & many failed pregnancy tests.
I wanted a fit active, pregnancy, I wanted the glowing, the cute bump, the beautiful maternity shoot.
I could barely walk, gained nearly 30kgs & couldn't face a camera without seeing the worst in me instead of the life I was creating.
I wanted a natural drug free birth in a pool at a birthing centre.
I was induced in a hospital, baby was assisted out with an episiotomy & forceps in theatre.
I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for as long as I could.
I exclusively bottlefed from 8 weeks & felt like a failure for months.
I wanted to bounce back & resume my fitness career within 3 months of birth.
My bladder prolapsed & I still can't run or jump without consequence & risk.
I wanted to look like I'd never had a baby, retain the body I was so attached too but still never loved completely.
I was stretched & scarred, the creams never worked & my body will never be the same.
I wanted to make all our babyfood from scratch, give her only the best.
I regularly buy premade babyfood, but only organic ha.
I wanted a nursery that was pinterest worthy, toys made only of wood, clothes only of natural fibres.
I've just finished her nursery, she plays with the dog bowl more than her toys & wears handme downs & homemade knits & none of it matters to her (or me).
I wanted to be a mum of more than one.
But I'm too scared of what's happened to my body to even contemplate the thought of doing it again.
I wanted to go back to work but also be there for my baby.
I never realized how hard that decision would actually be, I feel for all the mums who don't have the choice or the support.
I wanted beautiful self portraits of my motherhood journey to share & maybe inspire.
I wore my farm boots & sat on a chair in the middle of our paddock to remind myself of the ridiculous standards we hold ourselves to. That real is more inspiring than perfect.
I visualized motherhood in so many ways other than how it played out.
All I really wanted was the daughter of my dreams & now I have her.
As I hold her, watch her grow each day, my heart & soul growing with her, I realise that's all that ever truly mattered.

By our beautiful contributing writer HannaH Findlay.

For more of HannaH's work you can follow her over on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hanfindlay/