Tuesday, January 24

A New Normal: An Obituary for my Pre-Baby Life

Vogue Germany, Feb 2012

There is no "back to normal". I was struck upside the head with this fact this afternoon. I was reading a blog post by a friend of mine named Lara who just had a baby herself a few months ago. She said something about how she felt like after having her baby, she had to grieve her old life and was being reborn as a new person. That's when it hit me.

I've been gloomy lately. I know it's par for the post-partem course but it's felt deeper than that. And it's made me question whether something is wrong with me. But now I think I've figured it out. I'm grieving. Grieving for the normal that will never ever be normal again. There will never be just Nate and I again. And that is something that deserves a bit of time to mourn. There will never be the same sense of spontaneity as there was before. We'll find a new version of it, I'm sure. But what we had before won't be what we have in the future. There will never be the same work-life (un)balance. Everything we've figured out before will have to be re-figured. There will never be the same selfishness. Every decision we make will now be clouded by the knowledge that it affects someone other than just ourselves. And, call me selfish, but that makes me sad.

While this entire thing seems a bit silly, a bit of a #firstworldproblem, and a ridiculous thing to be sad over when we've been so very lucky and blessed by life, I believe that acknowledging it and letting myself grieve for it is the only way to move forward. Let's face it, I don't have much of a choice now do I? Move forward we must!

Not that it surprised me at all (because generally things never happen for me the same way they happen for the masses) but when Cadence was born I wasn't instantly flooded with overwhelming affection and pure joy. I actually had a tiny complication after my labor that got in the way of that a bit. And so it's taking me a smidge longer for the feelings to unravel. Like a flower slowly opening or an ember slowly growing into a roaring fire, my connection with him is a slowly rumbling thunder that I know will build to a telltale CRASH full of lightning and power and electricity. I know that the things I will miss from our life pre-baby will be replaced with things that fill my heart up so full that I can't even remember what there is to be sad about, but for now, let me dress in black and say goodbye to everything that was. Let me have my ceremony and my closure. Let me honor the life that we have lived up until this point. It was a good run.


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