Monday, March 21, 2011

Letter to My Former Life

Dear Former Life,

I just wanted to write you a quick note (I don't have much time these days) to let you know how much I miss you.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am so, so thankful for my new life with my beautiful son and our expanding family. Not only does my love for him take shape and solidify more and more with each passing day, but my fondness, love, and appreciation for my life partner, Matt, also grow in mass and density day in and day out as he works so hard to support me and our family.

But I miss having jurisdiction over my time. It's so hard to be on someone else's [unpredictable] schedule. And I miss the way my body used to feel good and could run, walk, and do yoga. It seems like something is always hurting these days. First it was my perineum and now it's my breasts. And I'm scared, Former Life, that when Matt goes back to work that you will slip even farther away from me.

But I need to remember that you are not gone for good. I need to remember how much of you I still see around these days when our friends come over for dinner, when I talk to my best friend on the phone (while breast feeding, of course), or when we go to the Japanese Garden for a picnic.

I need to stay focused on the beauty of this stage. My job is to help my son develop a solid foundation for the rest of his life. He is developing his muscles and his brain pathways and his attachment to his family. He grows so much with each passing day. This stage will be over before I realize it.

So I give myself permission to cry when I need to mourn the parts of you that are gone forever and the other parts of you that are simply in hibernation. But then I need to remind myself to focus on the beauty of this period--the symbiotic relationship between my baby's body and my own, the fact that we have a healthy baby, the slow pace that allows for reflection and mental wandering.

With nostalgia,


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Jeffrey said...

Henry is just perfect. I'm glad you've given yourself permission to cry-- sometimes that's all that helps in these early days. But I can promise your body will come back to you (I feel stronger now than before my littles), you will find the pieces of your old life that you miss, and you will discover so much more of your new world.

Michele said...

Sorry-- that comment above is me, not Jeff.

Vee said...

Oh, I love the honesty of this post. Also, great photo - that is one adorable little one you've got there :)

Carrie said...

What an honest post and a common feeling that isn't shared very often among moms. You're not alone, Sara. I promise. And it will get better as your body heals. I think you had a particularly rough time of it with your labor. Be sure you check in with your midwife about your breasts hurting. Some things are normal, but some aren't. I can say that speaking as someone who has had mastitis four awful times. Hang in there, get out of the house as much as you can, and be sure to keep seeing those friends and engaging in other parts of your "former" life when you can.

jacin {lovely little details} said...

such a great post - as i am currently in full swing baby fever this gives me some great perspective to think about :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. The way I thought of it: my former life was gone but my former personality was alive and well. It takes a few months for your personality to find new ways to express itself. Hang in there!

Holli said...

YES, Sara. Thank you for such an honest post. I believe that the mourning of my former life (and in many ways, my former SELF) was a major contributor to my post-partum depression. I was afraid to tell anyone that I felt that way for fear of sounding like a bad mother. You are definitely light years ahead of me in that regard! By the way--Henry is a doll.

Lexie said...

I can completely relate! I shed a few tears of frustration last night when all I wanted to do was watch last week's Glee, drink a glass of wine, and crochet a washcloth. But my baby had other plans. Henry is quite the cutie! Congratulations!

cicile said...

When my friend became a mom. It took her around 6months to be able to talk / worry about something else that her baby... It definetely takes time, but I am sure it will got better, and you'll find time for yourself :)

I am sure you're a great mom !! :)
and I am sure you'll keep being more than a great mom :)

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