Some of you may know by now, that my online absence as of late is due to a little thing called, pregnancy. Although getting knocked up was not a surprise, the all day morning sickness that took over my body at 6 week was. Kind of like, “SURPRISE here is misery for the next 4 months!” Not the kind of unexpected “treat” anyone likes.
I hesitated to write or post anything because the truth is, getting out of bed and not throwing up was all my mind could handle in one day during that time. It seemed like each week was just getting harder and harder. After a month I started to lose myself a bit, my daily purpose, drive, energy, it was all depleted. This being my first pregnancy, I only knew what to expect by watching my 2 sister-in-laws and countless friends do it. However, I don’t remember anyone talking about how sick and tired and utterly useless they were at those beginning stages, or maybe I wasn’t supposed to remember.
I started a new journal from day one of finding out I was pregnant, partly because I thought it would be neat to look back on, and partly [more honestly] because I heard that women forget how miserable it was after that cute little bundle is in their arms…..I DID NOT WANT TO FORGET. More than once [2 or 8 times] I broke down in tears out of shear exhaustion, but from what?! WAAAHHH I am so exhausted from all this sleeping and……doing nothingness. The mind game was no joke!
I think that is what really caught me off guard most with pregnancy, THE MIND GAME.
I knew logically I shouldn’t be tired, but I was. I knew logically that this wouldn’t last forever, but I really believed it would. I knew logically that I was so thrilled to grow this little baby in me, but I told my husband thru tears, “You’re only getting ONE out of me!” I felt so out of control of my own mind and body, where had I gone and who is this pathetic person in my place? My husband and I were in uncharted territory with each other. Yes, we both decided we wanted this, and yes we “said” we knew it would be challenging, but REALITY CHECK. Chris was having to pick up the slack on my end, on top of all that he already did for our little family, but a month or 2 of that and even Mother Theresa would need a break.
We had barely started this journey and it was already stretching me, stretching us. I had always imagined myself being one of those women who loves being pregnant as I frolic thru the fields, glowing from the inside out. So when I realized this was not going to be my experience, I had a mix of emotions, the 2 major ones being shame and self-doubt. How am I going to be a mom when I am “not good at being pregnant?” There are so many women who do this with 3 other children begging for their undivided attention and I can’t even keep myself showered and fed.
I’m failing, I’m embarrassed, I’m not a natural, I’m not “woman” enough.
These thoughts reeled through my head daily. I avoided announcing my pregnancy from the mountain tops (AKA Facebook and Instagram) because I wasn’t the happy, cheery, glowing essence of pure motherhood that I had expected to be. What I wanted to post was more like, “Ugh I’m pregnant, I hate this, I’m miserable, I want my mom, and where the HECK IS MY GLOW!!!!!???” So instead I stayed hidden in the shadows for a couple months. In those months something transformative started to take place, something that would change me forever.
Around 17 weeks I started to feel some relief from the all day sickness and food aversions, as well as the need for 3 naps a day [I didn’t hate those]. I started to get my mental strength back and felt my spirit start to ignite again. My former thoughts of “Ugh pregnancy is the worst,” were replaced with, “Woah I am growing a real live human inside of my body?!” The first time I felt the little guy move [for those wondering, it feels like a bubble popping in your lower abdomen] my eyes widened and I just sat in disbelief – THIS IS REAL. Up until this point pregnancy was mainly all about me being sick and exhausted, but in that moment, that little bubble changed everything. Like a light bulb turning on I felt it, my heart beat for the first time as a mother. With tears in my eyes I realized then and there, it wasn’t about me anymore.
Everything was different, my vision had changed [along with my appetite and bra size] and I felt myself shifting from the self-centered, shame-filled, self-doubting woman into this new version of me that I didn’t know was there. Everyone’s journey is different and brings up different challenges and realizations, for me it was letting go. Letting go of my own expectations of myself and trusting my intuition and soul, letting go of what I thought being “woman enough” meant and resting in the fact that I am enough [with or without that dang glow]. For me, it meant embracing this new phase in my life and letting go of the old, because whats ahead is always more amazing than the comfort of the present that we cling to.
I am stretching, physically – mentally – spiritually.
I realize now that I am out of the thick of it, how much this process is helping shape me into a better version of myself in order to be the mother this child needs. I always thought being a mother was just something you did, but it is so much more, it is something you are. I feel like this is how most transformations happen in life, we are faced with struggles and challenges that we didn’t see coming, and at the time it seems like you won’t make it through, but you do. You make it through and you look back and see how those hard times actually shaped you into a stronger version of yourself, and how your perspective of your own self has broadened. We can either try and avoid growth and struggles, or we can learn to embrace the growth in struggling.
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”
I am early on in my journey to motherhood, I have so much more stretching and growing and loving to learn and do, but what I do know is, I am changing and growing into where I belong.
Happy to be back with you all