I was very lucky to have been one of those women who loved being pregnant. I loved having a huge belly. I couldn’t get enough of feeling little kicks and rolls and feeling extremely productive even while sitting on the couch watching Game of Thrones–I *was* after all, building a tiny human. I loved eating healthily and abundantly, I loved having excuses to take afternoon naps. I loved getting smiled at by strangers and dreaming about what my baby would be like.
After my somewhat hectic labor and birth experience and being launched like a bottle rocket into motherhood, I feel weird (and even guilty) admitting that I miss being pregnant. While I am elated about being a new mother and about my gorgeous little one, I can’t deny the fact that I liked the way my body looked and felt more while pregnant than how I look and feel now. The stretch marks that just seemed to glisten when my belly was full and round are now deflated and wrinkly. There’s sag where there didn’t used to be. The (still) raw incision from my c-section is also taking some getting used to. I feel guilty for even caring about things like my appearance at a time when I should feel nothing but happy and grateful.
But it isn’t just about my appearance. While I was pregnant, my life was still mostly my own–while I gave up wine and a few other small things, I was still the boss of my life. Now, all of the sudden, I find that my life belongs to my tiny human who relies on me for absolutely everything. It’s pretty scary. And I recognize that this is only the beginning.
The Lamaze instructor Jason and I had warned us that we would have to give ourselves time to “mourn the loss of the pregnancy.” At the time I didn’t understand what she meant. It seemed ridiculous to mourn the loss of a pregnancy when the whole point of a pregnancy is to have a baby–and if you have a baby, what’s there to be sad about?
But now, for better of for worse–or even just for the experience of it, I totally understand what our Lamaze instructor meant. I am trying to give myself time to mourn my pregnancy. Writing about it here is part of my healing process. I feel exhausted, overwhelmed and weepy while I simultaneously feel grateful and totally love with my growing family.
I know my hormones are all screwy right now and I’ve read all about postpartum depression and being a person with a generally positive disposition, I am sure that these feelings, along with the stretch marks, will fade with time. But in the mean time I will try to take the best care of my daughter that I can–while also remembering to take care of myself, too.
A big thank you to photographer Bonnie Tsang for capturing so artfully, the most magical months of my life.