The process of becoming a mother has been a very slow one for me. I’m not sure I would have understood that before I had a baby. It sure has surprised me. I thought motherhood would be instant. As soon as the baby was physically separate from me, breathing, touching the air – I would instantly be a mother. Not so for me. As my midwife said – right after a baby is born a woman has one foot in the door of being her old self and one foot in the door of being a new one. When she said it, baby and mother (the new me) were 3 days old.
It was most pronounced when he first came out. I was very much still in my body, feeling the pain and aftershocks, and not being able to hold myself up. I was concerned about what I was feeling. I saw my sweet baby there below me, yes. But I wasn’t really ready for him yet. Turns out he didn’t need me for a minute and he kindly waited while I put both feet through the door of this rite of passage to the new me. I thought that was the delay the midwife spoke of. Turns out that for me I have to keep putting stepping through that door. Sometimes I feel pushed by people around me and our culture at large. Sometimes I feel like I am standing there, looking in, wondering what the codeword is to get through that door.
I’ll might be here for a while, figuring out how to claim the new me. I’m 19.5 weeks old as a mother – and it is all ok.
My 3 day old: