Letting Go – My Evolution into Motherhood
Before I was a mother, I had a strong sense of self. I wore my identity with pride and clung to a belief system that had served me thus far in life while I prepared to begin my journey into motherhood.
But from the moment of my first positive pregnancy test, I immediately saw why parenthood is a process of evolution; those tenets that got me to this point directly conflicted with who I wanted to become. And so I began to grasp a continual lesson of motherhood – the act of letting go.
As I struggled through fertility, grappled with a symptomatic pregnancy, and bumbled my way though my early months of motherhood, I had to continually adapt and evolve past old ways of being, in search of my inner queen. The list of things I have learned to let go of continues to grow but here are the highlights thus far.
Stepping into a Queen in Training Role
When my first pregnancy turned into my first miscarriage, I was unnerved by my lack of control. My timeline was disrupted. I realized I could not control what my journey would look like, nor the final outcome. My inner type A screamed and mourned her neat little world of order as I let go.
As I fought to find answers to why I couldn’t hold onto my pregnancies, my concerns were trivialized and neglected by those around me. I was resentful and disappointed that my medical team was not advocating to help me find answers. Despite having found “experts,” I needed to fire several on my “team” who weren’t willing to help me dig deep for answers. My inner voice – once deferential and amenable – was now provoked. I again let go.
Setting New Expectations During Motherhood
When I finally had a pregnancy that took, I awaited “the glow.” I couldn’t wait to appreciate and love every single moment, to bask in the wonder of new life. But when my symptomatic pregnancy overshadowed my anticipation, antepartum depression settled in. As I fought and struggled to meet my present with open-mindedness and gratitude, I let go.
I celebrated a growing baby and belly, yet I fought my image staring back in the mirror. She was not the cute, fit, pregnant woman with a basketball bellies I had seen on Instagram. She was instead the big, swollen body of an “everywhere pregnant” woman. Even now, my postpartum body continues to look pleasantly pregnant at 6 months postpartum. My proud inner princess (who was more vain than I care to admit) mourned her newly earned stretch marks and sagging postpartum belly as I let go.
I would consider myself a modest person. And while I am all for #normalizebreastfeeding, I had definite plans of keeping the girls under a cover. But as my baby girl turned into a squirmy, claustrophobic feeder who continues to think the feeding cover is the ultimate peekaboo game, I let go.
I wanted to get pregnant, have a baby, and come back to work 6 months later, well on my way to claiming a fit, postpartum bod. A fast labor complete with a third degree tear and a bladder prolapse forced me to redefine my fitness and postpone my relationship with activities that I love. As I walk into work everyday as a soft, slow-road-to-fit gym owner, I let go.
THE HARDEST LESSON
I am in love with my baby girl. Every stretch, every cry, every smile, every hiccup are a part of me. We live in a beautiful symbiotic bubble. Each day passes and will only go by faster and faster. In a blink my baby girl will no longer be a baby, and though I want to fight my intense desire to freeze time, I will need to raise her and let go.
WHAT I GAINED
I stepped into my motherhood transition with a strong sense of identity. With every passing day, my voice, empathy, compassion, and boundaries have evolved while creating a deeper awareness of love. What I lost in control I gained in the ability to surrender. What I lost in compliance I gained in trusting my intuition. What I lost in vanity I gained in self-appreciation; in losing modesty I gained in liberation from self-censorship. I let go of the plan and became present. Above all I have gained the ability to meet myself where I am each and every day and be present with my body, soul and baby girl. I have let go and am better every day for it.
Jenny WerbaBIRTHFIT SF @birthfit_sf