As a doctor I speak to thousands of women and listen to their stories- the parts of their journey that are hard or unexpected, the parts that they may feel they can not share with anyone else for fear of judgement or not meeting societal expectations. As I was on my own metamorphosis to becoming a mom, I was blindsided by many changes in myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I also was surprised at how much I struggled with the transition and how alone I felt on my journey. Even with all of my expert experience working with women and listening to friends who were moms I was not prepared. The need for assistance to get pregnant, the physical symptoms, the constant fear that I would lose the pregnancy, the c section when all of the women in my family had easy vaginal births, the struggle with my new identity and the long process of reconciling the person I was before my baby with the person I was becoming after- was I still the me I had spent years cultivating a relationship with and learning to love?
Everything changed: my priorities, relationship with my husband, my relationship with my friends who did not have kids, my relationship with my work which had defined me for so much of my life. Between the surgery, postpartum recovery, and breastfeeding and pumping (which has given me extreme compassion for dairy cows) my body no longer felt like mine. My postpartum depression that I did not even realize was postpartum depression since it manifested as severe anxiety and panic attacks. It took me two years, two new jobs and being a doctor living in the epicenter of the COVID pandemic before I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
This pushed me to finally receive treatment via medication and talk therapy to start working through the many parts of my pregnancy and postpartum course that I had processed.
Through it all, I have formed a bond with my daughter that has made me experience emotions deeper than I have ever felt including a love and vulnerability that I never before knew. Although I am still working on my self every day I know I am a better person in all aspects of my life because I have my daughter. There there may be bits and pieces of my experience that others recognize in themselves, or that I can help others to avoid or work through in a more graceful way on their own journey. There are a million other struggles and triumphs that are different from mine and they all deserve to be acknowledged.
About Metamorphosis to Mom
Metamorphosis to mom is a place to share content from myself and others with the goal to help those on the path to motherhood feel better prepared for what may come (spoiler alert: it is not all flowers and unicorns even when a much desired baby comes) and to know that they have a supportive community where they can share their feelings and experiences in a place free of judgement.
The physical, emotional, and spiritual changes we undergo during the rite of passage to becoming a mom is not treated with the reverence it deserves. It may be a natural part of being human but it is also the most earth shattering experience you will ever go through. You will feel things you never felt before and see yourself in a whole new light, integrating your old identity with the new one that also includes mom. Oftentimes the messy and imperfect aspects are not discussed in order to avoid judgement. Let’s talk about all of it- the parts no one warned us about and the parts we just didn’t understand until we experienced them ourselves.
The metamorphosis to mom is a unique opportunity for inner growth and development, self care and self realization, listening to our intuition, and becoming more vulnerable than we have ever been in our lives. If we try to fit societal standards of how we should be a mom then we lose this opportunity in the fear of judgement and the chase of something unattainable. I see you. I hear you. Let me create a safe space for you to learn and share. You’ve got this Mama!