Defining Matrescence

When I discovered I was pregnant with my first, one of the many things I loved to daydream about was how I would look while pregnant. When would I pop? When will I get to go shopping for cute maternity clothes? What will I wear to my baby shower? What will my tummy look like?

When I was pregnant with my second, my entire thought-process changed. Instead of thinking about what I would look like during pregnancy, my thoughts instead were focused on what would happen after the birth. How am I going to lay my kid down in his crib to nap when I won’t be able to tie my shoe? Will I make it around the block during a walk? How much pain will I be in after my 2nd c-section? How am I going to cope with nursing while still recovering from surgery? Even more importantly: how am I going to sleep and recover while taking care of 2 kids?

The entire miracle of pregnancy is actually really, really crazy. As women, our bodies transform, and even mystify us during the 9 months we are creating humans, and each pregnancy can be completely different. Even after our babies are born, I think our bodies are still strangers to us. The same, but different somehow. Some of us are comfortable with these changes, and some of us are absolutely not. Search any myriad of hashtags on Instagram including #postpartum and you will find yourself in a complex world of anxiousness, depression, self- acceptance, freedom, and tiger strips.

Speaking of Instagram, I did a poll awhile back asking my mom friends how they felt about their postpartum bodies and whether they loved it, or hated it. 56% hated their bodies, while 44% loved it. So the % difference is slightly leaning towards not feeling so hot, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised how many women felt confident post-baby.

Motherhood is also a very complex issue that goes well beyond how we physically look afterwards, but also the emotions, expectations, and incredible life changes that goes along with it.

I came across this Ted Talk awhile ago and I feel like it touches on a lot of really interesting points. I really love when she speaks about the “Push-Pull” factor. Click below to view (its only 6 minutes!):

When a baby is born, so is a mother -- but the natural (and sometimes unsteady) process of transition to motherhood is often silenced by shame or misdiagnosed as postpartum depression. In this quick, informative talk, reproductive psychiatrist Alexandra Sacks breaks down the emotional tug-of-war of becoming a new mother -- and shares a term that could help describe it: matrescence.

If you’re still here reading…thank you so much and I hope you can relate! :)