Okay, so I was under the impression that women just kind of have babies and boom, right back to (new) normal life. I must say, although I knew things would be altered in a major way, I did not fully understand the dramatic change associated with the very personal journey of pregnancy, birth, and subsequently, life after baby arrived. Movies certainly give us a false sense of the amount of healing time required after experiencing such a monumental (and utterly beautiful) life event. Damn you Hollywood!
Last week while enjoying my evening run on the treadmill I had a series of thoughts regarding my motherhood experience. The first was that I was still very much in the healing stage (my baby girl is 8 months old). Not only am I experiencing the physical
signs of healing in process (cue the overly enthusiastic frontal baby hairs, aching joints and super cute pronounced belly), I also find myself still integrating my emotional experience into my newly innovated life. Creating room and capacity within my already full emotionally intelligent landscape takes adaptation and the willingness to further develop any preconceived ideas of self.
The pregnancy story just keeps going. Here I am, eight months later and still making sense of what I have endured, both physically and mentally. I’ll never again be intimate with myself in the same manner that I was before I got pregnant. In so many ways, I am a completely different person, all over again. Mind you, no matter how grateful I am for motherhood, it is worthy to express that indeed I am different. Being different provokes us to employ our acceptance supremacists. Motherhood has provoked me to extract more patience, softness and acceptance from my being. To be completely candid, it has asked
of me more than I would ever think was required. It has provoked me to be far more kind and considerate toward myself. The beneficial side note is that this has allowed me to become more emphatic toward others.
So my conclusion is this, having a child is a pretty intense journey. Even though I held countless assumptions about how quickly my healing would occur I am learning that it is moving at a much slower pace than I had initially anticipated. Also, that it is okay to allow my healing to move at its’ own pace. This is true for all of us who have embarked upon the journey of motherhood. Although I have found that my body is exceptionally resilient, to say the least, it also needs time to heal after pregnancy and birth, as well as adjust to the new demands of motherhood.
Many parts of my physical being will never return to its’ former state and this is perfectly okay. It is a profound lesson in change, surrender and letting go. In our ability to accept our ‘new normal’ without judgment comes empowerment, and a new form of pride and liberation. In the same way we let go of our pre-baby bodies, we are also able to let go of naive and limiting ideas of what we thought our bodies are capable of. I am truly amazed at what I have accomplished in bringing a little, beautiful human into the social world. It radically expanded any notions I had of both my physical and emotional capabilities, and for that I am truly grateful. I’m not even sure these suspected trimesters conclude. Sure I am no longer carrying my child within my body, however, I am still experiencing the wonderful process of moving forward with a new set of challenges.
In my opinion, the ‘post partum trimesters’ are no less significant than the nine months that followed that ‘oh so exciting’ BFP. I have recently discovered I am currently in what I would refer to as the sixth trimester, and what a lovely sentiment that is.