Becoming Mothers: My Birthing Epiphany–It’s All About Letting Go! Seriously!!!
My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for about a year. We decided to shift gears and do some home remodeling since the baby thing didn’t seem to be happening. We ordered new windows, hardwood floors, and “rice paper” white carpet and, of course, promptly discovered I was pregnant. We let go of our expectations and then, surprise!
I loved being pregnant, had very little nausea – really, like twice, and my biggest complaint was how large my mammary glands, aka breasts, became. For a while they extended farther than my belly. I let go of the image I had of my body and practiced accepting the beautiful body of motherhood.
We were absolutely certain we were having a girl and had a name all ready. Then, of course, we found out we were having a boy. We let go of that little girl idea, came up with a fabulous boy name, and shifted our gears into little boy land. More letting go. This wasn’t really too much of a leap, as we had spent lots of time caring for our nephew/practice child when he was young as well as the years I’d spent doing child care for, hmmm, primarily boys. The universe had been preparing me to have a son without me even realizing it.
My husband and I had been together for nine years, so having a baby was a big change. Letting go of being a twosome and moving into being a threesome. We were so excited, but also uncertain about what to expect.
Then came the birth of our sweet little boy. (It’s a long and funny story that includes me freaking out a passing stranger, inadvertently clocking a nurse, and sucking on a lemon jolly rancher for two hours while zonked out by Demerol at the end of a 24 hour back labor adventure, but those details are another post. ☺) His head was crowning, I was pushing, and the epiphany hit me – this whole thing is about letting go! All of it – motherhood, giving birth, death, and everything in between!
The physical act of giving birth forced me to let go of this baby I had been holding onto for nine months. I realized that for the rest of my life I was going to have to practice letting go of my sweet little boy over and over again.
At that moment I decided I would try to acknowledge each little step of independence as a little letting go. My theory was – and still is – that if I recognized this process along the way, I wouldn’t be such a mess when he left for college. It’s working pretty well so far, although sometimes he, and the universe, push the envelope a bit more than I’d like.
Letting go is the practice of life. Being a mother has made that clear to me on a daily basis. And the bonus is that when I let go, I find I have so much more than I did before.
Lisa Vratny-Smith is the mom of two big brained boys who wears many hats including editor of MHM’s Mama Drama column, school social worker, and yoga teacher. She loves exploring the life lessons motherhood brings and supporting other moms along the way. Read more of her parenting insights on her Laughing Yoga Mama blog.