It’s been one year and seven months since the day I found out I was pregnant, and almost a year since my daughter was born. Of all the journeys and events I have experienced, none have compared to the journey I shared with my child. I still remember that beautiful moment when I finally received the positive on the pregnancy test. Then on to the memories of hearing her heartbeat for the first time, seeing her tiny little fingers on the ultrasound picture, discovering that she was going to be a little girl, and picking out her take home outfit.
Even the difficult parts of my pregnancy, and how long I felt like I had to wait before finally meeting her. The hours before she arrived, the horrific experience of the delivery, and struggling through my recovery. Every moment of it fit into the story of the connection I have with my little baby. How beautiful it was to hear her very first cry, to hold her in my arms for the first time, and the wonderful year I got to watch her grow. It has all been a part of the greatest and most difficult experience that has given me the best gift; a beautiful little girl.
Regardless of how long my recovery jounrney has been, my main focus this past year has been my daughter. Desperate to fall into a motherly role for my child, I have put my needs second and hers first. Just when I think I get the hang of motherhood, I am introduced to a new milestone, re-crafting a new schedule, and thrown for a loop as she grows. I have come to terms with the fact that motherhood is a constant learning experience. I may not always get it right, and I will forever be trying to catch up to my daughters demands. As I realize this, I am also learning that in order to keep up, I have to take care of myself too.
In the beginning I struggled with getting back to who I was before becoming pregnant, but the truth is, I am not that woman anymore, and that’s ok. I am a new me! I am rebuilding myself. Now, after a very long year, I am ready to push myself. I let go of my expectations of who I should be. I started fresh by letting my body heal the way it needed to. Instead of expecting my body to heal in weeks, I gave it months, and even a year.
Yes, I threw the bounce back theory right into the trash and allowed my body to take the time it needed to really heal. That doesn’t mean I sat around and felt sorry for myself. No, I started simple and allowed small choices lead to big changes. I listened to what my body needed and I nourished it. I took it easy and let my body take over. I listened and adjusted my care accordingly. I gave my body the love it truly needed after such a long journey, let her rest, and allowed myself to recover at a slow pace. I took care of her, loved her, and took my healing seriously.
I reconnected with my body and slowly incorporated light exercise to rebuild my strength. I took my physical and mental health seriously as best as I could. For the most part, I ate healthy, reduced stress when I could, and slept more when I was able to. Parenting can be an exhausting endeavor. So, finding ways to keep up the energy when I could was important, but I didn’t beat myself up when I chose to sleep in or watch a movie with the little one.
This journey has truly been a beautiful one. Once I gave up my expectation to be this perfect visual of a mother, I was able to enjoy the time I spent along side my baby. Watching her grow, and allowing my body to heal itself without pushing it. Yes, there are many times when I struggled with finding my identity, fitting into my role, and overcoming my anxiety, but I have been blessed by the opportunity I have been given.
A few days ago, I woke up a new person. I took sometime for myself, and found energy I had not felt in a very long time. I could look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I have a long way to go and so much I want to accomplish, but as the next year approaches with my soon to be Toddler, I am ready to move on to the next chapter.
I am ready to rebuild myself, and I feel as if I have successfully completed my recovery. I will forever cherish the first year of my daughters life, everything I have overcome as a new mother, and all the things I have learned. I am ready to take the cookware off of the back banner and create something worth waiting for. I can not wait to see how my daughter grows this next year, and what type of person I can become, both physically and mentally.
Thank you to all who have joined me along my journey, gave inspirational words of wisdom, and who have encouraged me along this path. I do hope you all well in all of your own journeys. Regardless of how long it takes you, from what ever you are healing from, just know that your journey is yours. Own it and don’t allow others to dictate how you should be going about your process, or how long you should be doing it for. Celebrate all the small victories, and love yourself enough to finish it. Here’s to all of our next chapters.
*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.
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