A note from Anna & Hilary, The SABI co-founders -
We are proud to share this raw and beautifully honest piece on the process, identity shift and very real emotional challenges of Motherhood from our SABI community member Natalia Moreno about her Postpartum Depression struggles. Natalia is someone close to our hearts, she helped us as Co-Founders shape our Brand Mission and values when we were just starting out. We are so grateful for her vulnerability and continued support.
We’d love to receive your journaling, scribbles, experience and thoughts surrounding your hormonal journey, from difficult periods to fertility, motherhood, postpartum and menopause. You never know how much you might help another (M)other in sharing. Even if for no-one else, we are happy to be your sounding board and simply receive.
By Natalia Moreno
In becoming a mother I did not realise I would also become so familiar with another. Another me. Another version. This other state of me. The other me. The one that hit rock bottom. The one whose gaze was blank. Whose heart was heavy. Whose panic was constant. Who felt.. no... who was ...broken.
I was a silhouette of my former self. A reflection of Other. One who felt alien and intrinsically more complex. Heavier, but emptier.
On my son's first birthday, I woke up to a panic attack. It dawned on me then, somewhere on the cold tile floor, that it had been an entire year since I woke up Other. A year of feeling above and beyond my skin but so far from in it. A year of feeling angry, sad, disconnected and lost, all at the same time.
Otherhood was pretending and failing. Harbouring anger and resentment I had never known before. Sadness and anxiety cradled me for more than nine months of pregnancy ever had.
Otherhood was resenting friends. Not for what they didn’t do but for what they did. Resenting my husband. Not for what he did but for what he didn’t do. No one was safe in this state.
Otherhood was forcing myself out to dinner with my best gals, and leaving to bawl alone in the restaurant bathroom. Or spending my favourite holiday, Thanksgiving, faking a migraine so I could hide in a dark bedroom because engaging with family felt so incredibly overwhelming.
Otherhood was running a red light with my baby in the backseat, and pulling over because I didn’t even realise I did it.
I failed at providing him safety because I wasn’t safe in me.
Otherhood was feeling the biggest and deepest love for my baby yet feeling that it wasn’t me who deserved it. It was a love that existed but didn’t feel rightfully mine.
Otherhood was being surrounded by chaotic abundance yet feeling completely vacant.
The contrast leading to near hysteria.
Otherhood was not me.
Otherhood was what I thought I had to be to be a good mother.
A good wife. A good woman.
To be strong for him meant to lose me.
To be good for him meant to forget me.
To care for him meant to deal with everyone, but me.
But that’s what this Otherhood does. It convinces us that numbness is temporary, that resilience requires it. It convinces us that every pound lost or tear shed is just currency for this journey. It convinces us that we must be the defective one, not the system. That every woman goes through this "right of passage" It convinces us that we are not fit to be, shielding every reminder of what makes us great like impenetrable battle armour.
We have so so so much work to do for mums. For women who want to be mums or women who have been mums or women who have them but don’t want to be them. For those in Otherhood or those who experience their own version of motherhood.
A wise friend told me that motherhood was a constant state of evolution. Otherhood was for me a state of revolution.
A radical appreciation and determination to change from within. To choose happiness. To embrace vulnerability and lay my heart bare.
A year after giving birth to my son I faced my Other and became another. A better, stronger, more resilient and oftentimes too blunt self.
I’m so thankful for the privilege of motherhood, the ability to get the support I needed when I needed it. I’m beyond grateful for the gift of a second birth and rearing experience without postpartum depression (acknowledging boundary setting, self care, and medicine were essential). I am so grateful to be in a generation of powerful, outspoken and ambitious women who are rewriting their narratives, and in turn, the system and policies that for far too long have welcomed silence and suffering.
Sabi is a collective that is pushing the narrative forward, and exactly the village I so wish I had then, but am so grateful to have now.
Natalia is a seasoned communicator and expert brand and marketing strategist with a decade of experience working with Fortune 50 companies, startups, and nonprofits. She has advised various organisations from Silicon Valley to the Middle East, on how best to shape their narratives and position their brands to ensure relevancy for years to come. Her current focus is on venture-backed organisations in technology-enabled healthcare, financial technology, and frontier tech.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Natalia is deeply passionate about fostering cross-cultural understanding and bridging communities. She has advised several female-founded non-profits, and contributed to shaping The SABI Brand Mission and values. She is a proud mother to her 3.5 year old son, Andreas and one year old daughter Amalia.
HORMONAL & PROUD
Created as a brand to help women navigate the toughest moments in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum — and practically every stage of life –– The SABI aims to change the narrative around our hormones from one of taboo, embarrassment, and loneliness to awareness and pride.
As more than a wellness brand, The SABI offers a carefully-crafted line of products to carry you through your hormonal journey, including rituals, supportive tools, and ancient herbal remedies that have been tested time and time again by women and now come backed by medicine. The SABI is a blend of science and nature conceived by women who have experienced the joys and deep struggles of bringing a child into the world, the pains of a heavy, difficult period, miscarriage, and difficulty conceiving.
We offer you an invitation to get to know your body and its cycles better –– an invitation to really understand what is going on inside. Learn to use your hormonal cycle to your advantage no matter your stage of life, and know that you can support and balance your hormone levels. Look for the right sources of information. Know that there is help, and know that you’re supported.
The SABI blog and articles are not meant to instruct or advise on medical or health conditions, but to inform. The information and opinions presented here do not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals for your unique situation.