Thursday, April 2, 2015

Throw Back Thursday- Puzzle Pieces

Happy Thursday Mommas!  I've gotten quite a few new Facebook followers since yesterday largely in thanks to my husband and some wonderful friends "sharing" my page!  I thought I would throw it all the way back to my very first writing piece today.  Some of you may have read it and for some of you it might be brand new.

I wrote "Puzzle Pieces" about 5 years ago when Mackenzie was itty bitty and I was knee deep in postpartum depression.  It's both painful and so healing for me to re-read this piece now.  I've come so far but it's difficult to revisit a place that I know was so painful for me at one time. It's a reminder of God's faithfulness and His incredible story of redemption on my journey of motherhood. 

I hope today it will be healing for some of you who might be walking a tough road.  You are loved momma!

Puzzle Pieces
This is a long one guys… if you make it through this whole thing then you deserve extra dessert tonight…or extra of whatever it is you love best in life ;).
If I’ve talked to you much at all over the past two and a half months then you’ve probably heard me say that I have wondered (on quite a few melt-down occasions) why I didn’t wait another five years to have this baby.  To some this may seem like a horrible statement— one that no mother should ever allow to come out of her mouth. But hold back your judgment when I say there were several weeks and even many single moments in which I have thought—would I have been more prepared to do this in say— 5, 10, maybe even 15 years?  After completing a masters degree? after working longer?  When my husband and I own a home?  After traveling more?  After more time with my husband? When I’m more emotionally ready? Wait…why the hell did I do this again?
A friend even told me that I was advised to wait. Which, after thinking about for weeks I have still concluded that this was never the case.  People love babies. Period. My people love babies. Grandparents encourage them and wait for the day they can hold their first grandchild, sisters send cards stating “ps: have a baby soon…and have fun making one”, friends and family throw incredible, celebratory showers. And all people coo and ahh over the sleepy, little grins and small, delicate fingers once baby has finally arrived.  Babies are wanted and encouraged.  My baby was wanted and encouraged.  But never in my wildest dreams did I realize how hard of an adjustment this would be on me.  Never did I ever stop to think that maybe I might wish my old life back. 

Well, if you have read the above and are now thinking of me as a horrible, unfit mother, please know that I absolutely love and adore my daughter.  She is incredible… Every grin and every smile makes me happier.  Every cry and every tear makes me come running.  She is the puzzle piece of my heart I didn’t know was missing. 
And so, after weeks of thinking, praying, talking, rationalizing, thinking and talking some more—I have concluded that there would never actually have been a “convenient” time to bring this baby into my world.  In 5, 10, 15+ years I would still be dealing with the same losses that I am today.  Because in a very huge sense— all new parents go through a period of mourning.  You have lost something.  You have lost the independence that you once had.  In return you have gained a new life…but for many moments the loss you have incurred can become very overwhelming. In 5+ years the selfish parts of me would still be missing my “me” time.  I would still be missing the conveniences of being able to go and do as I pleased without a little “mini me” to tag along.  I would still be attached to my secure bank account, the uninterrupted alone time I once had with my husband.  All of these things would still be losses I would have to work through had I waited longer for this baby. 
About 3 weeks into this new adventure, on one very early morning, I sat with my husband on our couch, steaming coffee in hand and a beautiful sunrise coming up in the distance, shining atop of the buildings and outlining our city.  After a rough night, our baby was finally sleeping in my arms and Vega4 was playing ”Life Is Beautiful”.  It was a moment. One of those absolutely perfect moments that I know will stick with me for the rest of my life.  My husband said to me as we sat there, “You know what is always so good about the rough points in life?  New days always come.  With every time in our life, every period or day that has been a struggle, the sun always rises and a new day always begins.  There is always joy that can come from a new day.” 
And so…where am I going with all of this?  Why am I writing this?  I’ve actually been writing this for months.  Since the month I brought my baby home.  I knew after the first week that I would have to write this eventually.  The thoughts and feelings I began having would at some point have to come full circle.  And I am posting this now because they have.
I write this because I want to be honest. This period in my life has been painful. It has been rocky.  But yet… it has been beautiful.  It has allowed for some soul searching. It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I have become more broken because of this experience.  I have had to begin learning what it means to have an identity that is wrapped up in someone else as well as how to have an identity that is only mine. I am not just a mother but yet I am someone’s mother. I am still me— the girl who loves to run, the one who thinks road trips were invented for her.  I still love a big bowl of mac and cheese and a good hour of childhood tv re-runs. I’m still the girl who dreams of becoming a singer and hides a stack of handwritten songs in a dusty guitar case in the hopes of someday playing a show. I have not lost my identity— I have just gained part of it.  And the things that I have lost— the extra time, the freedoms I once had at my luxury.  Those things weren’t really all that important.  They were self indulgences that I have had to learn—were just that. The new important things are the smiles, the giggles, the hugs, the new traditions and the memories we are creating together as a family.
And so, I am writing this because I believe all new (and future) new moms need to know this.  All women need to know this. Because I didn’t know this.  No one really tells you that it might be this tough.  I am writing this because I want my daughter to read this someday and know that as a new mom—she can and will feel as I have.  I want her to know that life is beautiful no matter what is thrown her way.  That each new experience is a chance for growth and a way to add beauty to her life.  I want her to know that when she holds her baby for the very first time—her identity is not gone but it has expanded. I want her to know that there will always be the Vega4 moments that will just reach into her heart and shake her into new reality. 

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