One day, around the time when Celeste was probably about 2 1/2 months old, I was messaging with my cousin and pouring my heart out to her on how overwhelmed and exhausted I felt and how miserable the first few weeks of sleep deprivation felt. Basically how warped my mind felt. I love talking to my cousin because I can be honest about the things I say knowing she’s not going to judge me, will usually know exactly what I mean because she’s been there, and also because in the end I always end up laughing. Always.
Well that particular day as I was typing away I suddenly had this realization and when I shared it with my cousin she exclaimed something about how right I was, I had hit the mark. And I don’t mean for this to sound as melodramatic as it probably will when I say this, and hopefully you’ll stick around to hear me out. I said to my cousin…You know, in a way I feel like I need to mourn the loss of the “me” that I was, because I realize now that person I was for so many years is never coming back.
I know what you might be thinking, very dramatic. But no, hear me out. You see, I figure, let’s say from the age of 20 I truly began to enjoy doing as I pleased and making most of my decisions in life solely on what I wanted or preferred – I was never a spoiled brat though, far from it. Well, for 16 years I pretty much lived my life as I chose. I came and went, on the most part, as I pleased, and in comparison to what I have felt since becoming a mommy, I realize now that I really had a pretty carefree life. Yes, even though from 20 – 36 I had some moments that were rather difficult and challenging, nothing, and I do mean nothing that I thought was stressful, tiring, or overwhelming even mildly compares to what it felt like those first few months of becoming a new parent.
A part of me wasn’t ready to let go of the pre-mommy me. I realize now that I’m a much better me and can’t imagine our life without Celeste, yet in those first few weeks, deep down inside, there was a part of me that didn’t want to let go of the me from 20 – 36. I remember one day in particular, probably around 7 weeks after giving birth, I was home alone with Celeste, my husband had gone back to work, and it was one of those days where I was going from one continous cycle of feeding, burping, changing diaper…feeding, burping, changing diaper, over and over. I was exhausted and cranky and went to the restroom and saw my disheveled look, my body looked warped, every part of me was aching and healing and I started to get tears in my eyes, and then, as I glanced in the mirror again I saw out of the corner of my eye the reflection of one of our wedding pictures from the wall behind me in the hallway, and I burst into tears. And I thought…where is that person in this new one? I was definitely not ready to say goodbye!
And yet what I’ve learned is that things do get better and here I am today, knowing that this is a new version of me now, a better version, and every day I’m learning something new about myself and loving the woman and mommy that I am becoming. And I thank God every day for the blessing of being a parent. And I realize that the person I was makes up who I am now and she’s there, cheering me on every day.