Did you know that as a first time pregnant mom you will go your entire pregnancy, which on average, is thirty-eight to forty-two weeks without anyone ever telling you one very important thing?  You will receive all types of pregnancy advice but no one tells you about one important thing.

Abundance of Advice

Over the course of nine months, you will hear an abundance of advice about the little seed growing inside you. Receiving a wealth of information from doctors, family members and experienced mom peers.  It’s hard to absorb it all at once. Advice even comes in as support from full blown strangers who stop to talk about your growing body. These may be well meaning supporters, but sometimes they chime in with unsolicited comments about how you will never sleep again or share one of their own intimate stories about their personal birth experience.

It is astonishing to me, how throughout this whole time, no one tells you about one thing. No one tells the pregnant mom about the strange new being you are about to meet; a new soul that will require nonstop care, nurturing, unconditional love, patience and the utmost grace. That new person, being YOU, a new version of who you are. All that advice, knowledge, education and preparation and yet, you will never hear how important it is for you to have some self-assurance and flexibility as you will navigate a completely new version of YOURSELF.

A New Version

The day I became this new version of myself is so ingrained in my subconscious it’s essentially a part of me. The moment my OB doctor passed my newborn son into my accepting arms was no doubt the best day of my life, but that moment I became a mother hit me like a ton of bricks. I was not prepared for the emotions I felt there in that maternity unit. It felt strange. It felt like love, but it still felt strange to know that from that day on my entire existence was changed. A day later, I was wheeled out of the hospital with my baby in my arms as we passed hospital personnel with grins of well wishes. It was a shock to my system how much responsibility I held bundled up in that tiny little car seat dressed in the oversized “going home” outfit I had picked out months before.

Struggle To Breastfeed

My newborn son struggled with breastfeeding in those early days due to a yet to be diagnosed tongue tie and other feeding issues I would soon fight to discover. I was so determined to be successful in breastfeeding that I naively refused bottles, making the early postpartum phase more difficult on myself. My determination created the extra challenge that felt like I couldn’t feed my baby, but now here I was, responsible for keeping him alive. I balled my eyes out as I squeezed my sore postpartum body into the backseat of my car next to my baby as we drove away from the comforts of the neonate nurses. Sitting as a passenger in my own car, symbolically felt so strange because I had never sat in the back seat until that day. My husband drove thirty miles below the speed limit to get our baby home safely. We were terrified of messing up.

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A Better Version

That day was now five years ago, but it’s a moment that will always feel like yesterday. I have messed up more times than none, but we have ALL survived and grown. My son is now the happiest and loving little five year old around town.

As far as the woman I was before, I’ve spent many days trying to find her. I tried by taking up old hobbies and hanging out with old friends. I sometimes find her while hiding alone in my bathroom longing for a sense of privacy, but the daydream is always interrupted by curious little fingers reaching under the door to find me.

>>RELATED TOPIC: A Room of Mother’s Own<<

The fact is, I miss her, but I have grown into a better version of her today.  A version who can multitask like no other and can heal a hurt boo-boo with the power of a kiss. I especially appreciate it on days like today when I drop my son off at preschool and take note of my actual heart running around on the playground greeting his friends and teachers with a big smile.

Although it would have been appreciated to receive a little warning and advice about what was ahead, I realize it’s part of the journey of motherhood. You lose a version of yourself but you find a better version of you. Enjoy your journey!

 

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Kat Gallis was born and raised in Ventura County. She is a wife to an elementary school teacher and mother to two children, Hazel (2) and Brayden (4) as well as a baby with 4 paws, Kona. She is an ICU nurse by night and HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator by day, who is passionate about teaching women how to have a positive and calm transition into early motherhood. She loves all things related to natural birth and lives to inspire others looking to have a positive birthing experience. Coffee is one of her favorite things in the world as it fuels her daily and nightly endeavors. She loves to make friends, so if you enjoy coffee just as much her and you have a child stuck to you - its a date!

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