The Making of Me

by Jasmine Carlson on October 15, 2009

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After I had my son I felt lost. I was starting to feel like I had a hang of the whole pregnancy thing. I wasn’t comfortable by any means but, after 9 months and being 2 weeks overdue, I really just thought I would be pregnant forever. At least it was familiar.

Then my son was born. I can’t even describe the wonder and the love and the bond that happens when you first grab up that wet screaming baby that you have just birthed –  if you have been there you know what I mean. There is a moment. There is nothing else like it.

And then, the next two nights we spent walking our new little one all night long as he cried, we soothed and he cried, we nursed and he cried, we walked and he cried. I didn’t sleep well again for the next 11 months. He was up 4-6 times a night, every night. I was un-made.

I would not say that I had PPD or that I really even got the baby blues. I was just plain exhausted and to top it off I no longer knew who I was. I wasn’t me anymore. I didn’t know who I was. What what I was was an “easy” answer, I was a mom, I knew it from the moment I held my baby, I knew it with every cell of my body, I was mom. But who was that?

It was a slippery slope. I could feel that if I allowed myself to, I could become depressed about it, I could panic and start sinking like someone who was drowning, lost in a sea of self questioning. Being un-made is a difficult process.

Slowly as the months passed and we got to know each other, as we walked out that first “I’m a mom” moment, even when I questioned it or didn’t feel like it, as I acted on the knowledge and held on for dear life some days, as if to a rescue flotation device, to that first moment knowledge, to that bond, I began to find myself again. But it wasn’t the self I had known before. It was a completely different me. Sure, I had some of the same likes and dislikes, I didn’t completely change, but I no longer was the me I was before. I hardly even remember what it was like to be that person. I knew that I had to let it go, I had to fully embrace the unknown person that I was becoming and let go of the person I had been in order to become the flesh version of the mom-vision I had in those first few moments.

The other day, my mom told me I was doing a great job, that I was very patient (patience is not a strong suit with me!) with my very spirited son and had been through his difficult baby-hood. She said that she knew that I knew best; she could see me act on what was best for my son and that I should not let what anyone else thought or said influence the way I treated/raised my son.  I was his mom and I knew best. I felt empowered and I finally saw my new self in the mirror that my mom was holding up for me. I am mom. And the letting go has been worth it. The questioning, the uncertainty, has been worth it. And he, my little one, has been the making of me.

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Jasmine Carlson (49 Posts)

Jasmine is a community living mama with a passion for fierce writing and fitness. She her way on Team USA by fitness coaching. Shaping Her. (www.shapingher.com) Join the conversation at (www.facebook.com/ShapingHer)


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa October 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm

I love this post! This is exactly the way I feel. (mommy of 7month old Katelyn)

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Christine October 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for this! I feel like I could have said a lot of it. I am currently on 10 months of no sleep and am also not patient by nature! I have spent a lot of time feeling like I need to FIX THIS, I am ANGRY … I am finally realizing that I need to just let it be, I know that is the best for him and it will work itself out in time.
And also over the past 10 months I have found out how much my mom is still parenting me and how attached we are (although I don’t think there was a word for it 30 years ago!).

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Johanna S October 15, 2009 at 8:58 pm

How beautiful and appropriate that your own mother was the one to point that out to you. I agree with your post 100%, except I did struggle with PPD. I remember feeling extremely guilty for all the horrible thoughts I got, but, despite all that, I never gave up on breastfeeding or snuggling with my baby, tongue-tie and all! Now, here we are, two years later. I know my life was different, but I don’t remember it. There are frustrating moments, many times when I am so tired, but I would not go back in time. Thank you for sharing and expressing your feelings so beautifully.

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m a m a :: m i l i e u October 17, 2009 at 11:33 pm

I too am going on 10 months of no sleep. I am hoping that sleep, too, will come for all of us as well.

During these times of exhaustion it is easy to doubt yourself and how you have chosen to parent. It’s important to have little reminders that tell you you’re doing the right thing. This post was that for me. Thank you.

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