I read a lot while I was pregnant.
I read about sleep-training twins, breastfeeding twins, baby brain development, what a woman’s body goes through during a twin pregnancy, recovering from a C-section, necessary gear for raising twins, unnecessary/harmful things for babies that the general population have/use etc. All the practical stuff, I read.
So I knew that having kids was going to flip my life upside-down. I knew I would be exhausted. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be physically painful. I knew I would have less freedom. I knew priorities would change.
It was the weirdest thing, though, because even though I knew all of the aforementioned changes would happen, I could not mentally accept it. I knew life would be different, yet I didn’t expect that I wouldn’t accept it.
This was the weirdest and dumbest feeling to me. Like, “Tiff, why are you fighting what your life has become? You had a healthy pregnancy. You have healthy twins. You have a very-involved and helpful husband. You have supportive siblings, parents, and in-laws. Be thankful and accept it!”
Well, upon months and months of reflection as well as a conversation with my therapist, I learned that I was grieving. I was confused at first because why would I be grieving when nobody died? But my therapist explained,
“With every big life change, it is normal to experience grief as a way to process the change.”
I remembered learning about the stages of grief in my psychology class back in college: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Ah yes, I have definitely experienced all of these in the past 2 years and have recently finally hovered around the acceptance stage.
But why was I grieving? What loss was I experiencing?
Turns out I was mourning the loss of who I used to be – an independent, traveling, productive, working woman, always pushing myself to grow professionally.
But this life of a working woman changed 2+ years ago, upon moving to Illinois and not bringing my job with me.
I became pregnant with twins, experienced prenatal depression which led to postpartum anxiety, suffered from postpartum preeclampsia, recovered incredibly slowly from having a twin pregnancy, all the while trying to keep 2 little humans alive and inching through the 5 stages of grief without family or childhood friends nearby.
I no longer recognized the person I had become. No wonder I was grieving who I used to be.
With all things said and done, I’m glad to have come this far in my recovery process, both physically and mentally. I had a conversation with a friend a while back who told me that when I was ready, I could be the Mom that I want to be, not the Mom that others think I should be. Now that I’m hovering around the last stage(s) of grief, I think I’m almost there and almost ready.
Here’s to my journey of self-discovery – Mom edition.
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