With both my pregnancies, I noticed the stark contrast between how I was treated while gestating and how I decidedly wasn't treated once I had given birth. I'd gone from weekly appointments where several nurses and doctors measured and weighed and charted and, most importantly, asked questions about how I was doing to radio silence just two days after pushing out a baby.
Six weeks later, I went in for my only postpartum checkup with my distracting baby in tow and was back in my car just 15 minutes later.
"Our world forgets about mothers. We slip through the cracks. And in that, we learn our role . . . our place in our family unit . . . to always come last."
Anneliese Lawton, a mom of two boys, experienced the same disappointing juxtaposition after she gave birth nine months ago, and her recent post is getting the attention that most new moms rarely get.
"After my boys were born, there were appointments," she wrote on Facebook. "To check their latch. To check their weight. To check their hearing. There were regular pokes and prods . . . Their well-being was front and center. I'd say, when it comes to our healthcare system, they were well taken care of. Then there was me."
As a first-time mom, she recalled being sent home "with some painkillers and stool softeners" and "thrown into motherhood" with the expectation her instincts would kick in:
That I would know how to handle colic and late night feedings.
That breastfeeding would come as nature intended.
That my husband would sense my spiral into depression.
That I would know how to live in my new and very foreign body.
That this stomach wouldn't make me feel hideous.
No one poked or prodded her, no one checked her stitches, "or my sanity," until two months later. "And even then, it was a pat on the back and I was sent on my way," she said.
What she wrote next is what has likely resonated with so many mothers online:
"Our world forgets about mothers," she said. "We slip through the cracks. We become background noise. And in that, we learn our role . . . our place in our family unit . . . to always come last."
Her advice? For others to give mothers the attention they deserve.
"We need our world to fuss over us the way they fuss over ten fresh fingers and ten fresh toes," she wrote. "We need someone to not only ask if we're OK but to check time and time again, just to be sure. We're not just a uterus. We're mothers."
And we need someone to make sure we're OK, too.