I Am Becoming: Lessons From Motherhood
Two weeks ago I gave birth to my daughter. I had no expectations of what the birth would be like, I just knew it would be the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I choose to have a natural birth without medication in a birth center. This was something I knew I wanted, and even though the concept terrified me a little (because of the unknowns), I think I felt the need to prove to myself I could do it. Guess what? I did.
Pregnancy wasn't terrible but it wasn't this beautiful ray of sunshine I see all over social media. That is what social media has become about, showing the good, but not really showing the reality. Yes, there were days I felt like a goddess, but I would say 95% of the time I was stealing my husband's t-shirts and re-wearing the same pair of leggings I had worn all week.
The first trimester I was nauseous almost 24/7. The second trimester I was still too small for people to notice that I was pregnant. The third trimester I finally began to feel beautiful and my body began looking like I was pregnant. I had hopes that my daughter would arrive early. One thing motherhood has taught me, it is that my timing means NOTHING.
Her due date came and went. Frustration and anxiety began to kick in. What if something went wrong? What if she stayed in 42 weeks (I couldn't fathom two more weeks of carrying her around)!? What if I had to be induced? My life was flashing before my melodramatic-hormonal eyes.
I was doing everything I could think of, within reason, to help her move along: evening primrose oil, taking walks, spicy food, sex, bouncing on my exercise ball. Every twinge of discomfort I felt I would ask myself "Is this it?". The discomfort would come and then it would go, leaving me annoyed and defeated.
Eventually, I gave up. I cried about how annoyed I was, and then an hour later labor began. The first few hours I was able to breathe through the contractions, but soon they became stronger and stronger. You could hear the pitch of my uncomfortable moans grow higher.
Just when I thought, "What on earth have I chosen to do?" We were in the car to the birthing center. There was no turning back now, I was in this. The fact that hundreds of thousands of women before me had done what I was about to do was my mantra. "If they could do it, so can I."
So why am I telling you this story? Because I am becoming the best version of myself. I have traveled the world alone for a year and a half, met the love of my life, and now we have a beautiful daughter. I conquered pushing an 8lb 4 oz baby out of my body. I never thought my life would look like it currently does, but it is continually amazing. Every single day I make the conscious decision to soak it in and make the most of it.
Life passes us by so quickly. It is the little moments each and every day that defines how our future will unfold. We each have our own path, some include having children, for others it does not. No matter what direction you choose to take, go after it with 100% of your being. Relish in the small moments and take time to reflect on the big picture. Whatever the best version of you looks like, chase after it!
Get out there and create the life you desire, it will be hard work and maybe even feel impossible at times, but it will be worth it.