I thought I'd start my first blog with an explanation of why I sew... how Whimsy Baby Boutique and Customs came to be....
See when I was eagerly expecting my first child back in 2013, I dreamed of what life would be like after she was born. See she was an IVF baby ... I dreamed of having a baby girl for years. I had a vision of what it would be like... and, oh boy, was it going to be blissful! Just like the magazines promised. I swear the magazines promised new mom bliss.
I was anticipating that I would drive to Kitsilano (a sweet beach community where I used to live) every day and push Sophia in my fancy stroller and have my chai tea latte. Did I mention I actually live an hour's drive away from Kitsilano in White Rock, BC? I would then drive (the hour) home and we would nap happily on my bed in the afternoon sun. It would be my new mom bliss. I couldn't wait! My year of vacation! A whole year off to play with my baby girl and dress her up, to have her abide by MY schedule.
Oh boy. Was I in for a surprise.
There was no new mom bliss. The birth was not easy and I was pretty much "out" for it, not very present at all. I think that was the start of things. The doctors handed her to me and I simply held her and my eyes rolled back and I zonked out.
I'll admit, I didn't feel very bonded or connected to her at the start. Maybe it was the drugs and the long hospital stay. Maybe it was the lack of "bliss" that I felt.
Where was the bliss? Why wasn't I feeling it yet? Where was the high? I mean she was so eagerly anticipated. I had the whole whimsical nursery completed in the first trimester., after all! Where was the bliss?
I'm pretty open when I talk about Post Partum Depression. I have never been depressed at all. At the hospital when the nurses in the class spoke of the New Mom Blues (did they mean bliss?) and post partum depression, I simply rolled my eyes. I was not a depressed "type" of person.
But in the isolation of White Rock, a new community where I knew no one (we moved from Kitsilano) and in the dark dreary days of the Vancouver winter, I fell into a depression. I couldn't breastfeed and that had me so disappointed as well. My body was failing me and my baby. Breastfeeding was, after all, supposed to be so natural. Just like in the magazines.
The magazines lie.
What helped me most was speaking with a counsellor. She told me mostly that it was ok. It was ok to grieve the person I used to be (career woman, yoga teacher, traveller, international volunteer) and let that person go and transform into this new role of being a mom. It wasn't an easy role for a person who loves order. I always had my life planned... when I would do this or that... I had goals that I always tried to achieve. Having a baby but a wrench into all my plans.
They say control freaks have the most difficulty with new babies. We can't control them, after all. We can't predict just when they will wake or sleep or be hungry. We can't even necessarily know what their cries mean.
But the clouds dissipated eventually. I learned to accept my new role as a mama and let go of who I was. As my counsellor said, I was becoming something so much greater. And she was right.
I WAS becoming something so much greater.
I eventually took on the "project" of being a new mama by the reins. I learned to cook (I hate cooking) everything from scratch for Sophia, I cloth diapered her, I baby wore her. We became close. Really close. The bond that I was anticipating developed. It's ok that it wasn't there right from the beginning. We grew into it. She accepted me for being me and I accepted her for turning my once very controlled life upside down!
So back to why I sew.
I need projects. Projects make me happy. A friend once asked me how I found the time to have a child (now 2) and sew. I said that it's not necessarily about time. It's about having an outlet for creativity, something that you truly enjoy and that takes your mind off things. Sewing is that for me. And now choosing and putting together fabric is that also. It's creating something new. And the online community helps also. I love creating and then sharing things with the mamas in my group. Especially in Whimsy Customs where mamas support each other with very little, if any, drama.
After all, it takes a village to raise a child. And community is so important. We mamas must stick together and support each other, never judge and just treat each other with togetherness.... so that we can all navigate the craziness of becoming a new mom.. and find the bliss that does exist.
... And that is what Whimsy Customs is about... mamas supporting each other. It's not JUST about fabric. Yeah we come there with the mutual love of fabric and creating, but it's about community and being there to lift each other up.