I Was Lost: A Personal Story
Over the last few weeks I have slowly started to feel like my old self. I don’t know exactly what shifted but I can feel the change and I am welcoming it. Over the last year the Andrea that existed before was silently being squashed down in order to navigate the current state of things, being a mum to 3 people.
I have my ‘mother self’ that is currently in hyperdrive given that I have a tiny baby that requires all of me. That mother part of me evolved with each baby but there is also another part to me, the ME part. That person likes to drink coffee, laugh really loudly and tell animated stories with hands waving all around. I am finding my way back and it feels so good to be able to mesh these two parts of ME into a finely tuned woman.
After having a high risk pregnancy there was a part of ME that was temporarily put on hold. Then came the post partum period and ME kept being put on hold. It seemed that finding myself this time around took forever.
For the last 6 months I’ve constantly felt like I was one step behind and was unusually timid about moving ahead. You would think that a third baby would make you feel like a total pro but, for me, general life just often felt overwhelming. Having to think about things like getting groceries for dinner and making that dinner left me feeling like it was all just too much. I just couldn’t possibly do it.
I’m not sure why this time post birth was different than my other two post partum times. Maybe there was a bit of PTSD from all the scary things we were told from the high risk docs while I was pregnant. Elisabeth is a delightful baby but we’ve had our share of baby health issues that have stressed me out more than they should of.
I enjoyed this newborn period immensely and I allowed myself to be slow in those initial weeks but then I wasn’t able to burst out of the fog. I just continued to get by and soon getting by was the only way I existed.
I felt my safest and my strongest while I was at home mothering my new baby. I felt so competent taking care of her needs and I felt connected to her on a special level that I didn’t experience with my other 2 newborns. I felt like we had battled something together, our scary pregnancy, and now we were this duo making it work.
As time went on and the baby grew older I was still stuck in a fog. I had glimmers of my old self but it was always fleeting. One day I just started to pick back up rituals that I used to always do. Something as simple as waking up and doing my make up started to trigger my ability to reconnect to my old self.
It seems so silly that the process of applying foundation, mascara and lip gloss would make a person feel on top of things, but for me it represented so much more. It was an act that I had done hundreds and hundreds of times in the past and it felt comforting and positive.
That simple process of putting on make up gave way to picking up other positive acts and one day I caught myself in the mirror and I saw it. I totally saw ME. A bit plumper than my pre baby days but there I was. It was ME.