How do I become a regular human with a balanced ego and a healthy sense of self?
For 8 years prior to my daughters birth, I felt like my entire identity hinged on the success at my job. The amount of money I earned, my promotions, my business trips, even the daily emails I’d send my team with inspirational words and funny memes all defined me.
I told myself I had hobbies. I had 2 dogs and a cat. I had a husband and a home. I went to the gym and biked around my historic neighborhood in Ft Wayne. I drank at local breweries and befriended my neighbors. However, at the core of my being, no matter how much success I hoarded, no matter how good I looked on paper, there was still a deep sense of inadequacy.
This hole couldn’t be covered or filled in by all the achievements I gathered in the corporate world. It couldn’t be sutured together by my loving marriage. Not even all the trips to the gym could shrink this void that lurked deep inside my being. Instead of fixing it, I just kept repeating the same choices. That is, until I discovered I was pregnant!!
Now as a woman with a big ego and a low sense of self-esteem, I’ve become really adept at appearing to be calm, cool, and collected while panicking internally. My entire pregnancy was an attempt to try to hold it all together while inevitably coming unglued at the seams. My morning sickness was historically terrible during the first trimester. I’d throw up walking out to my car in the morning and then continue into work business as usual. I had to switch to maternity pants in week 13, because, didn’t I mention this? I was pregnant with TWINS.
During my pregnancy my identity as a corporate manager was slowly being overshadowed by my new one as a mother. My husband and closest friends knew the daily pain and nausea I experienced, basically throughout the whole 38 weeks, but everyone else commented on how I was “such a badass” and they “couldn’t believe I was still working at week 30”. For some perspective, at week 30, I was measuring the size that a 40 week pregnant woman does with a singleton.
When my OBGYN finally suggested I work from home for the last month of my pregnancy, I was relieved. This was after I was admitted to L&D for early labor in week 33. There’s nothing scarier than thinking that your babies are coming before they’re done fully forming in the womb. Your job as a mother is to nourish and grow them for as long as possible, and those 3 days in L&D were hell. But thank God for modern medicine and my doctor (shoutout Dr, Hina!), because they stayed put another month.
Working from home meant that I no longer had to pretend to be brave in front of all my direct reports. No longer did I have to count down the minutes until I could lay down on my ergonomic bench, because sitting in the office chair made me short of breath. I gave it my all that last month, but you bet your ass I was sitting on my couch with my snacks and the TV on Harry Potter while I worked.
When April 8th 2022 rolled around, my husband and I watched the Masters in the pre-op waiting room. I was 38 week and 1 day. I was excited and scared. The surgery meds were so strong that I kept throwing up while they performed the C-section. My husband held the trash can at my head while the team removed my babies within 10 seconds of each other. Ruth wailed and Lucy struggled for breath so they used the c-pap machine on her to get her breathing normally. I dropped 21 pounds there on the table. It was the best 21 pounds I’ve ever lost, not only because my back immediately felt better, but mostly because now I was the mom of 2 glorious babes.
We stayed in the hospital the whole weekend, learning about our babies, and what its like to be a family of 4. Everyone said that Ruth looked exactly like me and Lucy looked exactly like Chandler. They were plump for twins, and pretty bald, and pretty beautiful. My mother in law and my dad were both there to help us with the adjustment, and they’ve honestly never stopped since.
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