On the brink of mamahood

| Ellie Steltz | Blog

Hello Mamas!

I am writing this at 39 weeks + 5 days preggers as I bounce on my yoga ball, sip raspberry leaf tea and await our baby girl’s arrival. This season of waiting is just so potent with emotions, thoughts, and depth that I wanted to document some of those thoughts and feels to pass on to other expecting mamas and to have for my future self to look back on. 

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It feels like I am in the balance between two lives. Leaving behind a life focused mostly around myself with freedom to do as I please with my time, preparing to enter into a life where another human (that was created from ME and INSIDE me) will be fully dependent on me to survive, at least for a season. There are millions of articles and books published and every mama is full of wisdom to share about her own experiences of birth and being a mom. This is such a blessing, of course, but man can it be overwhelming at times! It’s hard to explain the crazy feeling of anticipating probably the biggest life change, reading all the things and preparing as much as you can, yet feeling so incredibly unprepared because most of it you won’t truly understand until you experience it (talking about birth AND having a brand new baby that is all your own to love and care for), and even then I imagine it’ll be hard to grasp. It is the most surreal season of life I’ve ever experienced. I’ll be sitting on the couch or on the yoga ball in the evenings watching our go-to tv shows with the hubs and will randomly be struck with the weight of these last moments going about our normal lives just the two of us. Habits that will be adjusted (or changed dramatically). Just like marriage is the transition of sharing a life with someone else, now that duo has to come together even more to care for a life that is not their own. 

Bear in mind that I write this BEFORE the big change, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to imagine or remember this life once the change occurs. But now let me say this… I am also so deeply aware of the immense beauty of what I’m about to walk into. I know that my life won’t be over, but it’s simply a new, beautiful, messy and unknown season that will begin. The tiny beginning of a lifetime of being a mama. There’s no going back, but I’m choosing to see the gift in that vs the fear in that. I am about to walk through a journey of becoming a mother that will change me forever and I honestly cannot wait. Yes, I’m terrified. I feel full on panic at times at the idea of going through birth and that hard, and possibly traumatic, experience ending with a life in my arms depending on me, while having a body that needs to heal and adjust to new normals. BUT I’m so excited to get to see what my body is capable of. Doing what it was DESIGNED to do so beautifully. Messy, yes. Painful, yes. Scary, heck yes! But beautiful beyond what I can comprehend. I am excited to feel that mama pride and love as I look at my baby for the first time and get to watch my best friend become a papa to a daughter who has his genes in her blood (and hopefully his eyes!). I cannot wait to see how we will work together, stumble together, mess up together, cry together and freak out googling things together. It has already been such a sweet thing to experience during this pregnancy as our lives already quickly shifted to revolve around this little girl.

It is so easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed by all the to-dos. All of those “5 must do exercises to prepare for labor”, “3 things no one tells you about…”, “10 essential things to do to prepare for those first days with a newborn” articles... you know what I’m talking about. And believe me, I’ve got a whole Pinterest board with these very articles saved in all the various categories. Now that I am in the last days of waiting, I’ve finally realized that my mind needs a break sometimes from thinking about what I SHOULD be doing or SHOULD HAVE done or SHOULD have eaten to prepare for what’s about to happen. It isn’t doing me any good to feel overwhelmed and down on myself about what I DIDN’T do. God chose me to carry this babe and to be her mama, knowing full well that I wouldn’t be someone who got out and walked every day and who ate all the right foods and who has a detailed birth plan written up and is going to avoid any pain medication to give birth 100% naturally (already prepared to get that epidural! Who’s with me?!). I am not, and will never be, perfect. So I need to step into grace and rest and appreciate the beauty of the season I am in, that is coming so close to the end.

So if you are a new mama, just starting out in your pregnancy maybe, or nearing the end like I am, know you are not alone in your emotions and thoughts. Whether you’ve thought about these things, or whether you’ve kept yourself busy enough not to dwell on them. Whether you’ve been doing the yoga and walking and eating all the right things like the books say (go mama!), or whether you’ve been so tired that even just washing the dishes and whipping up any dinner is an accomplishment for you (which you then reward yourself with by taking a nap and probably eating ice cream), you are not alone. This is such a crazy season and we will never get it back in this way. Soak it up, mama. Take that nap. Sit down and do nothing. Bounce on that ball or go for that walk and let your mind soak up all the feels you may be experiencing. Put down the books and the phone filled with click bait and beautiful Instagram accounts of people who seem to have it figured out and simply BE in this moment. Talk about some of these things with your partner. Share your heart and listen to theirs. Jot down some thoughts in a journal or on a notes app because I’m sure it’ll be hard for us to remember these moments once the shift happens. You’ll want to remember what this version of yourself was thinking and feeling, believe me, no matter how messy and disorganized your thoughts may seem. 

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