Kathryn Vilela is the wife of one man, the mother of three kids under the age of seven, the composer of about 15 songs, the Alumni Officer assisting at least 88 Queen’s classes and groups coming back for Homecoming this year, and the painter of countless paintings ranging from mediocre to pretty cool.
Kathryn had midwifery care for the prenatal, labour and delivery, and postnatal care for all three of her children, and loves any opportunity to share how much admiration and respect she has for these amazing women.
She doesn’t really have any free time, but if she did, she has an abundance of great ideas of what she would do with it.
From pregnancy to delivery to parenting, motherhood is an experience that infuses and encompasses a woman's whole being - physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Even mothers who are strong and healthy in all those areas will find their resilience continually tested. But, for an estimated 2 in 10 women, the lows can be even lower as they struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety. In a culture laden with ideals and expectations for pregnant women and new mothers, feelings of inadequacy, sadness and despair often get pushed inside. Untreated, these symptoms can have a powerful negative impact in so many ways for the mom, the child, and the relationships that surround them. as with any mental illness, just because the symptoms are not visible does not mean they do not exist.
My piece, entitled Labour and Delivery, acknowledges this dual internal presence within mothers. The unborn child painted in blue represents sadness and anxiety, and the one painted in bright yellows and oranges represents joy and delight. For women, the "Baby blues" may be much larger in proportion than the delight, and for others it may be the opposite, but I believe that within each mother's unique and complex spirit, you will find both in some amount. With the brightly coloured baby, I want to express hope, hope that each mother who feels her sadness overwhelming her will seek and find the help that she needs; hope that those of us blessed with joy and health will reach out to encourage our sisters and friends; hope that every baby will grow up with an unshakeable knowledge that they are safe and that they are loved.