When I became a mother, a part of me died. This sounds dramatic, but it is true. I found myself experiencing a kind of loneliness I had never known before. There I was with my beautiful, healthy baby, a loving partner, a supportive family, and the financial means to stay at home. Yet I fell into depression, completely lost my sense of self, and became an extension of my child. The person I had grown to know over the years was disappearing, and I felt an emptiness that made sense to no one. I lost myself, and my health declined.
I won’t lie; it took me years to get out of that particular hole. It was not just because I was so sleep-deprived. It was not just because I was learning how to care for a baby. It was not just because I had changed zip codes to the motherhood district. The thing is, I was changing, and I did not want to. Holding on to the past was destroying my present. This taught me one critical lesson; sometimes, we have to let go. I had to let go of that particular idea of who I was so I could become the woman I needed to be.
Motherhood was not all rainbows and cute nursery decor. Motherhood was complex, like a fine wine. And it took some getting used to, but by making that one shift, by letting go, I was able to move forward. I decided to plant a seed of self-love in me and step into my new life. Slowly but surely, over the following years, I reconnected with myself. I went back to school. I learned about nutrition and health. I wrote a thesis inspired by motherhood, stress, and how to address it. I got my masters of science, and I decided to start a business focused on helping moms become THEIR best version of themselves in health. Life was good, and I was riding a high wave.
I would like to say that that was it. That after that, I rose like champagne bubbles effortlessly. But as you know, life is not a one-way street.
In the summer of 2019, I got my shiny degree, my kids were doing great, I loved being a mom, my relationship with my husband was solid, and I was filled with hope as I set up to start my nutrition business and help other mommies. I was happy beyond belief, and a massive part of it was because I was pregnant with my third boy! My second act was about to begin, but not the way I was hoping it would. The unthinkable happened; 11 weeks into my pregnancy, my strawberry sized baby died. His heartbeat faded, and so did all the lights.
I was hopelessly lost again. I experienced pain and loss in a way I never had before. I was falling fast, nothing made sense, and my universe collapsed. I wanted to stay still for a beat or forever. I needed to allow myself all the heartache and tears. I was broken, and there was no rushing me out of that one.
It took a long time, and to be honest, sometimes I find myself in that same spot today, but I began to see little sparks of light. The seed of self-love I had planted years before started to bloom again. And just like the harsh winter leads to spring, I began to transform once again. My baby’s purpose merged with mine, and I found myself climbing back up. How did I do it? I shared my story because let’s face it; this happens too much, and we do not need to feel like it’s a taboo topic. I reached out and found a community that would support me. I cared for myself as I would have cared for that baby, with lots of love and patience. I allowed myself to go through it, whatever that meant for me. I went to therapy. I began new family traditions, like hiking together. And I honored my baby, whom I named Tesoro, every chance I got. A beautiful scar that reminds me to love hard and be grateful every day for every breath.
I know life flows like the ocean, and I am sure I will face loss in many ways and forms in the future. But for now, I cherish my family, my friends, and my life. I am kind to myself because I know I deserve kindness. I am driven by the purpose I have discovered in motherhood. I wrote Radiant Mommy a book for mommies wanting to create balance. And I am here, a little broken but hopeful and owning my power as woman and mother.
I believe the process of loss hides within its mysterious gifts. Whether you have lost yourself, a loved one, a job, an opportunity, or a treasure hold yourself tight with love and light. Because in your darkest hour, that love and that light will see you through.