In 2010, we were ecstatic when we found out I was pregnant. It was 5:30AM on Father's Day... I took the home pregnancy test, saw those two pink lines, shrieked, ran to my husband, and then told the rest of the family. It was a day of celebrations.
Yet somewhere, deep in my heart, there was a whisper. A whisper I couldn't quite hear amidst all the "CONGRATULATIONS!!!" and tight hugs. So I squashed that whisper down and turned a deaf ear to it.
Life progressed as life normally does - except this time, I was no longer in control of my own body, my own life. I was put on bed rest during the first few months of pregnancy, I watched what I ate, I was conscious of my movements, I stopped exercising. I was lucky enough though to not have morning sickness, to not have insane cravings, and to have relatively rare hormonal mood swings (or so I'd like to think - haha!). So by the second trimester, I was loving being pregnant. I was back in control of my body; could move around more freely; the baby was out of harm's way. I felt beautiful, confident, blessed, and powerful.
And then, without any warning, the whisper came back. Except this time, it was more of a loud panic in my heart - WAITAMINUTE. Am I ready for this baby? Am I ready to completely give up my life as I know it? What about my dreams? What about my goals? What about this new career I'm setting up for myself? What about my life with my husband? What about travel, seeing the world together, being crazy and ready for anything? I suddenly viewed my life as a series of "haven't been able to" instead of "been there, done that!". I started to question whether I had truly been able to live my life on play - and now that a baby was on the way, it would be even more of a challenge to live MY life...I suddenly felt scared, suffocated, lost, yet I also felt guilty, wrong, and a terrible Mom-To-Be. This was not what a pregnant woman should be thinking. This was not what a pregnant woman should be feeling.No.No. No.
So I cried over it in private, then shoved those thoughts back down, and convinced myself I was worrying over nothing; I found the "ecstatic" again and plunged head first, back into the land of "Everything Baby", busying myself with preparations for the delivery. And before I knew it, the day had arrived.
My son, Damien, is one of my Great Loves and one of my Best Friends in this whole wide world. He brings me so much joy, so much happiness, and so much fulfillment. But boy, did I feel like I was hit by a ten ton truck after he was born! In the months that followed his arrival into our lives, there was no time, no energy to think deeply about what life I wanted, what kind of person I wanted to be in this chapter of my life. Damien was (and continues to be!) all-consuming.
Hindsight is 20/20 - and truly, now that my son is 3 years and 5 months, I look back and realize: Not only did I have every right to feel those waves of panic, I also should have set aside time and energy to really sift through them. Those waves of panic were signals from my mind, my body, my heart, and my soul that I was about to undergo a MAJOR transformation - and that I had to prepare myself for it.
Women spend so much time preparing for the coming of their baby - we read up on our babies' developments within us, we eat the proper food, we go visit the doctor, we buy all the necessary baby equipment, and we baby proof our homes, to make it safe for the coming of our children. But how much time do we actually spend preparing ourselves for THE role of the lifetime - becoming Mom? I know I spent very little time really sitting down and thinking through what that meant. I spent more time obsessing over what crib to buy and what name to give my child!
So Pregnant Women of the World, take this time - take these nine months you have and spend them wisely. You will never have the same luxury again of peace, quiet, and total "Me Time".
Use these moments to really dig deep and ask yourself - who do I want to be, now that I'm adding Mom to my roster of roles? What kind of life do I want to lead? How do I continue to be passionate about my goals and dreams?
Take a moment to MommyProof yourself. Trust me, it will be one of the best decisions you've ever made - for you and for your Baby!
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