Accepting Death; Becoming a Mother

In 9 days my little mister is going to be 6 months old.  How on earth did that happen? What happened to my squishy newborn who was content sleeping on my chest and made the most wonderful little squeaks?  How is he already doing a quick one-armed army crawl across our living room, has an opinion and is eating solids?  While I miss those early days, I do have to admit that I am loving everything Bernhard is doing and how he’s growing.  I’m also a little terrified of what’ll happen when he actually gets up on those knees and ZIPS around the apartment.  Hello babygate!

If I were to tell you that the last 6 months have been total bliss that would be one big, fat, juicy lie.  The last six months have probably contained some of the hardest most stressful things in my life.  Things that have pulled me apart until I’m shredded and feel like I simply cannot keep going, but somehow we make it (all three of us) to the next minute, the next hour, the next day, and now poof it’s six months later.  I’ve cried a LOT in the last 6 months.  Some nights I’ve gotten next to no sleep, forgotten to eat (which i’m still not sure how I managed), had to deal with so much physical pain I’ve needed narcotics (yay cesarean birth) and been slapped upside the head with anxiety and depression so hard there have been moments where I wasn’t sure I could make it because the pain from those physically hurt so much I wasn’t sure I could keep going.  But I did, I have and I’m continuing to go.

Why and how? I look at Bernhard and know why.  I look to John Paul and I know how.  

I used to kinda scoff at people who said that their kids had become their life, but now I get it.  From the moment Bernhard came into being at his conception I have literally been giving flesh and blood to him.  There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for him or anything I wouldn’t give him. (ok, maybe not an ipad)  The thing about babies is that they don’t want or need you to give them more than yourself, and that has been one of the hardest parts of adjusting for me.  Part of the postpartum gumbo, or at least for me, has been learning to accept that I have died.  I died and it hurts like hell, and there is a part of me every single moment of every single day that mourns.  It seems goofy as a comparison, but I feel like it’s very much like the rebirth story of the phoenix.  I’ve had to learn to push through the pain, let go, and am still working on coming out reborn.  Bernhard was and continues to be the catalyst for this.  And while motherhood continues to cause pain after the process of giving birth, I know the strength from the pain is going to result in something magnificent.

Through this entire thing, the wonderful moments and the dark ones, John Paul has been right there pushing, poking a prodding me along.  In the last six months he’s done everything from changing all of the baby’s diapers the first three days, to practically carrying me upstairs, and helping me get the help he couldn’t do with the postpartum gumbo including supporting trying out one method before resorting to another. He’s been there when I needed someone to lean on when things have gotten dark or I can’t break a fixation.  He’s been there to remind me that those things are NOT me, will never be me, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I know that there have been times were I’ve worn him down, and will probably continue to do so, but the vows we made nearly six and a half years ago included “for better, for worse”, and we’re sticking together, even if it’s a confusing mess of the two.  And I’m sure there have been days where he’s just LOOKED at me and wondered what the hell happened to the woman he married.  I’m pretty sure he sees that part of me has died too.

So, I’ve died.  I’m continuing to die.  I’m mourning the loss of my old self.  But I’m getting through it.

I’m a phoenix.

I’m a mother.

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