(This was originally a journal entry, written in early August at about 1 AM)
Tonight I made a decision. I stopped thinking, stopped analyzing, stopped rationalizing. I’m ready to be Mom.
That probably sounds a bit backwards, given that I’ve been Little Darcy’s mother for more than a year. Before he came, I couldn’t wait to be a mom, to have and to love a little one of my own.
I didn’t know what it entailed. Being a mom is hard; I wish there was a new way of saying that, but sometimes there’s truth in simplicity. And there’s almost always truth in clichés. I had no idea that being someone’s mother would stretch me in the way that it has. (If you haven’t read about my journey with PPD, you may want to start here.)
But that’s not what this is about. This is about this moment, as I sit in the dark living room of the Air BNB in New Orleans, on the last night of my college roommate’s bachelorette girls’ trip. This is the first moment I’ve had alone since we left the Milwaukee airport, aside from two long showers in the most beautiful bathroom I’ve ever seen (sixteen foot rain shower head, claw foot tub, fireplace-basically straight from HGTV).
I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I anticipated on this trip. I didn’t get my palm read or my future foretold, though we did visit some interesting voodoo shops. But I’ll leave tomorrow rested, refreshed, and confident in our next step.
When I left home three days ago and contemplated a second pregnancy, I bitterly listed the many things I would be giving up for the next year or so: caffeine, my daily runny eggs, Excedrin. Alcohol. Feeling fit and thin. I thought all of the selfish thoughts that I’d never share aloud, because I’m aware of what a blessing it is to even choose pregnancy.
The only mom on this girls’ trip, it was easy to step back into my college self. I tried not to talk or think about babies and pregnancy and breastfeeding too much. I don’t think I was entirely successful (especially considering I had to pump every few hours), but I did forget for brief moments the responsibilities that I’ve taken on since I last had a weekend with these women.
I say women now, and not girls, because this trip has made it clear that we’re no longer the college girls we were six years ago. I am so proud to know these women, and to count them as my friends. Catching up on our lives this weekend, I’m in awe of just how different we’ve become—and yet how each of us has grown more as herself. Goals have been surpassed, and new ones made. These women are intent on bettering themselves and the world.
I’ve been a mom for over a year, but today I’m ready to be Mom. I don’t think I’ve allowed myself to embrace that identity in its entirety. Most of the time I feel like an impostor, like one of my first graders playing house. Pretending to be, but not really, a Mom. I didn’t feel like I deserved the title; I wasn’t worthy because I wasn’t good enough.
I’m a fucking great mom. I want to delete that sentence, it’s hard to let it sit there on the screen. Because my brain immediately goes to all of the ways that I’m imperfect, to all of the mistakes I’ve made, to all the feelings I didn’t think I should feel.
I love Little Darcy with all my heart. But the next little baby we welcome we’ll do so as different people.
I’m not going to become a mom again. I think we only do that once, thank God. But I’m ready to embrace my identity as Mom, to acknowledge this season. To recognize that I’m Mom now, despite all of my imperfections. This next little baby will be born to a Mama who has chosen this season will arms and eyes wide open.
I’m emotional tonight. My eyes are misty thinking about how tomorrow I could be pregnant. It will be hard to give up caffeine again, to be sober at my sister-in-law’s wedding, to watch my body change in ways I can’t control. But I’m already overwhelmed with love for this little soul, preparing to enter the world. I can’t wait to meet her.
*Or him. Of course. I just have an overwhelming feeling that she‘s waiting for us.
Continue to Part 3: Decided