We go nine months with a belly full of expectations and ideas about becoming a mama. In the beginning, when the little “am I pregnant” stick has two lines, in most cases, there are all of these sparkly feelings, that seem to ping around your heart.
I’M GONNA BE A MOTHER. It’s surreal, at least for me it was. It took my breath away. I wasn’t sure if I should cry or laugh or just sit very very still. I remember clearly, the moment, where I was, the bathroom I was in, and standing in front of an old Parisian mirror in our den when I showed the stick to my husband.
Little did I know, there is a huge difference between I’M GONNA BE A MOTHER and I AM A MOTHER. I went from surreal to so real, real fast.
I am two months into this journey and here’s what I’ve discovered: being a mother is the most wonderful hardest job you’ll ever do. (Being the mother of twins is a category all unto itself. And you mothers of multiples, triplets and or more, I just have no words, except to say, get on somebody’s prayer list, quick.) With eight week old babies I’m learning a lot about myself. As it turns out “postpartum” doesn’t mean a season after delivery, it means every day for the rest of your life after that baby is born. You can have a 30 year old child and guess what, you are postpartum 30! The idea that there’s a little window of time where a mama might feel depressed or slightly nutty is absurd. Furthermore, the idea that this period can be fixed is also absurd. There is no closure to this deal. It’s forever.
LIFE CAN’T BE FIXED, IT CAN ONLY BE LIVED.
Everyday, it’s a new emotion, a new feeling, a new page in the book of mama-hood. Sometimes I feel great, like good enough to believe the idea that I’m thin and back to my old self. Some days I feel delirious, as though I could face plant. Other times I just wanna cry, because I have no idea what happened to the woman I was, and I have no idea about the woman I’m gonna be. Most of the time, I feel all of that at once, while suddenly realizing my boobs are gonna explode if I don’t pump. Then, as if all that emotion isn’t enough, I hook myself up to a machine, that makes sounds like I’m at jiffy lube getting an oil change, while simultaneously negotiating with a bag of cookies, because I want to be fit, but I’m crashing and craving sugar.
Now, I’m gonna be honest, I’m really blessed. I have a lot of help. I am not doing this alone, and yet, only me and the good Lord can help the flood of feelings going on inside. No matter how much support the mama has, YOU’RE STILL THE MAMA.
I wish I could say there is a solution, a little pill or promise that will make it all lovely like the pictures we post on Facebook (which we all know are our best moments, quickly captured and run through a camera filter). However, the truth is this, we are on a road whose end, we strongly hope, will be one glorious day, when we are old and tired and gray, and find ourselves sitting at the feet of Jesus. Other than that, THIS ROAD DON’T END BABY.
We will lose the weight when we lose it. We’ll feel normal and then we won’t and eventually we’ll just get ourselves a whole new normal. We are gonna be happy and sad and over the moon in love and scared and brave and all of it! We are not going to graduate. And “there is no finish line”. All in all, that’s a wonderful thing. Because even though, I will most likely reach out to a handful of professionals during these early days of motherhood, to assure me that I’m going to survive, I realize I am profoundly privileged. I’m blessed. The part of me that has to grow and stretch into something new, is going to give my precious girls a priceless gift, a mama. Hopefully, a mama who continues to be honest, real, and courageous enough to feel all the feelings and carry on! So, here I go, stretching again. This time it’s not my belly, it’s my spirit, my- self, my soul. I’m growing my “mama” part, which has a gestation period better known as, the rest of one’s life!
AND SO IT IS.