By Lyndsay Mason, Founder of For The CreatorsFTC STORIES
As much as we prepare for what to expect during pregnancy and birth, nothing truly prepares you for motherhood. I, along with my husband, had discussed at length the practicalities of parenting but I’d never taken the time to truly appreciate how I would personally change when I became a mother.
My son Hamish was born six weeks prematurely at the start of the first lockdown, making a surprise appearance on the Easter weekend of 2020. I had hoped and planned for a relaxed natural home-birth but as my son was breech at 34 weeks, he was born by emergency c-section. I arrived at the hospital ten centimetres dilated with my waters fully broken. It couldn’t have been further from the birth plan I had saved in my plastic folder but it was magical all the same. There was no rhyme or reason for his early appearance and his healthy weight of 6.8 lbs led the consultant to ask whether my dates were in fact wrong. They weren’t. Knowing him as I know him now, I’m convinced he was just impatient to not miss out on a second more of what this big exciting world has to offer.
Hamish spent the first week of his life in neonatal care being treated for severe jaundice. We slept on different floors, with nurses periodically waking me throughout the night when Hamish wanted a feed. Whilst walking the hospital halls in the middle of the night, I remember trying to get my head around the fact that I was a mother, a mother to a son. What did it mean to raise a boy? What did I need to teach him? What values did I need to instill upon him? My thoughts were no longer about myself, they were consumed by my son. His welfare, his safety, his happiness, his future. My needs and wants were now second to his. A change that happened without conscious thought, more instinctive. I was now a mother.
Two weeks later, we returned home. Lockdown provided a welcome sanctuary for our new family and we spent the next two weeks as a family of three cuddled up in bed, uninterrupted, binging on boxsets and working our way through Deliveroo menus. It was bliss.
As we slowly emerged from our little cocoon and ventured out into the world, I was forced out of my maternity pajamas and into actual clothes, and, looking in my wardrobe on a sunny May afternoon, I realised I had nothing to wear. I could no longer stand the sight of my maternity clothes and my pre-pregnancy clothes were a long way off fitting. Plus, I now had to consider breastfeeding and my c-section scar. I was therefore forced to once again spend money on clothes I knew I wouldn’t be in for long. I wanted to step out into the world with my new baby feeling the best version of myself but instead, I felt completely disconnected from who I was before I had Hamish. What I was wearing made me feel less confident at a time when I needed my clothing to both perform and help me connect with the woman I was prior to motherhood.
In the months following Hamish’s birth, I started thinking about how I could help other women feel the best versions of themselves at a time when we’re totally consumed with keeping a tiny person alive. For The Creators was born – an online platform that aggregates the best maternity and postnatal clothing in one space, enabling you to buy or rent maternity and postnatal fashion and wellness products from your favourite brands, or sell and buy secondhand clothing, for a fraction of the retail price.
Wearing clothes that made me feel the best version of myself was one way that helped me to reconnect with who I was before I had Hamish. Clothes that made me feel good, gave me confidence and heightened my self-esteem at a time when I felt completely out of my depth. Being a mother is hard. It’s hard and it’s beautiful and it’s by far the best thing to have ever happened to me. When I think back to those questions I asked myself back in the hospital halls now over two years ago, I realise I still don’t know the answers… We’re all still working it out as we go – and that’s ok.
I am so excited to bring this new content platform to our community. Whether you are a mum-to-be, in the early days of motherhood or dream of being a mama one day we want to create a space for you to find evidence based content that hopefully helps, educates and inspires. If you are an expert, or if you have a story you would like to share from a unique perspective of motherhood, you can apply to share your story here.