Dear Daughter…

Dear daughter,

Where do I begin?

Announcement

When I found out that you existed, I was so excited. It was 6 in the morning, and even though I didn’t have to be up for a couple more hours, I was so eager to find out if you were really there. When the test turned positive, I felt a rush from my head to my toes. I swore. I had to sit down. I touched my stomach. Holy crap… I was going to be a mom. Your mom.

For an hour, it was just you and me. Nobody else knew that I had you yet. I held you all by myself for that hour. You were mine. I walked around talking to you. I was so happy. Finally, when an hour was up, I woke up your daddy to tell him you existed. And we were happy together.

The last four months have been so crazy. My body is changing to bring you into this world.

Pregnancy Progress

I’ve struggled with this…a lot. Not so long ago, I was really scared when I became very visible to the world after something I wrote went viral. I said “if I gain weight, everyone will see. If I fail, everyone will know.” But, of course, I can’t have you without giving some of that up right now. But, if I’m being honest, I am still sometimes really hard on myself about this journey of ours. I say some really mean things to myself about it. It’s hard to see your size-2 body in health articles while secretly hiding that you’ve actually already gone up 2 sizes and 13 pounds. And nobody warned me about the emotional turmoil pregnancy can bring. Everyone else always seemed so happy to be having a baby; but, there have been many times when I have struggled with the immense change and responsibility coming my way. I’ve cried. A lot. I didn’t feel the things you’re “supposed” to feel while pregnant. But, I carry your sonogram pictures in my purse now, because I know that all I have to do is take them out and start talking about you, and I light up. Even if I’ve just been falling apart.

When I found out I was having a daughter, I cheered. A real cheer. A surprising cheer.Β After all the tears, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when I found out your name (your dad and I already had names picked out for if you were a boy or girl). Emma. That’s your great-great grandmother’s name. It’s yours now. You have no idea how much I was secretly hoping for a little girl. That happens when you grow up with three brothers. But, also, you have no idea how anxious I am for you.

Will you love yourself? How can I help you love yourself? Will we have similar struggles? What if I cannot understand things that you need me to understand? What mistakes will I make? Because, I will make mistakes. And, my biggest fear? I remember when my biggest fear surfaced. I texted a friend: “oh my gosh…what if she loves me?” You see, I’m afraid of you loving me. What I mean is…I’m afraid of you loving me and me not deserving that love.

This is my struggle, Emma. Loving myself. It’s really hard to think of another human being loving you when you are struggling so hard to love yourself.Β You don’t get to choose who your mother will be. What if I’m not deserving of being your mother? Have I harmed you just by forcing you to have me as a mom? These are my fears. And I’m working hard on them.

Emma, there’s so much we’re going to encounter together. Big changes, big feelings, little things that can feel gigantic. And, while I will always be on your side, I won’t be able to protect you from a lot of things. I won’t be able to fix all of the things. Sometimes, I will let you down. But, I will always be on your team. I will do my best. That’s the best I can do.

Now, for a moment here…a note to my readers. I’m sorry for being so silent these last months. I’ve wanted to come here and tell you all what was going on in my life, but I’ve been trying so hard to wrap my mind around it. I’m still trying to figure it out. I feel a lot of things. Happiness, fear, love, joy, anxiety…a lot of things. It’s hard to come back to you, a crowd of people I attracted through my weight-loss journey, and say “hey, I’m gaining weight.” But, I am. I’m gaining weight. I will be honest with you. I’m going to gain weight, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get back to where I was. I’m not sure how much that matters. I’ve been 235 pounds, I’ve been 117, and I’m going to be a lot of other numbers in coming months and years too. But, this blog was never meant to be about just successfully losing weight. It’s about loving myself. Or trying to. So, if you’re here to read about weight loss, this may not be the place for you. But, if you’re here to read about all the things in life that challenge our abilities to love ourselves, I’ll do my best to write about it.

I told you After didn’t exist. You were warned. We all were.

Here I go.

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Dear Daughter…

  1. Thank you Lisa! Congratulations to you and Emma. She has a mom who is open and self aware. Lucky girl. Learning to love ourselves is, to me, more important than losing weight. Thank you for your blog!

  2. Lisa, Congrats on the wonderful news! Also, I just wanted to tell you I am SO GRATEFUL to have stumbled upon your blog. Excellent excellent ideas and sharing. I appreciate you and look forward to hearing more as you continue your journey.

  3. I am so moved by your entry. I read it over a few times because it sounded so much like what I remember writing in my journey as I was pregnant with my first and only child. How could I let someone else in, allow their love in as I was struggling to try and love myself. And of course another similarity…..we named her Emma. She is now 31 and the mother of 2 girls.
    After I finish this entry I am going to go find that journal and reread some of it.

    I also am remembering when I first read something from you. It might have been when you started this ‘blog’ …..is it a blog? Again back then your words were inspiring. I believe I left a comment for you then too. I had shared my food journey up till then in O.A. as well as other struggles.

    All I can say is ….one day at a time, and keep being real. That is what works.

    All my best~

  4. Congratulations.
    I like Wayne Dyer’s thoughts that we choose our parents before birth.

    As a parent, I try my best. I hope my kids are helped by my struggles.
    I hope I don’t screw them up too bad.

    You will be great. When in doubt, ask for help. Everyone is scared.

  5. Congratulations!!!!!

    Being a mother isn’t as easy and wonderful as everyone would have you believe. A lot of my experience shattered the dreams of motherhood I had since childhood.

    I think most every mom can relate to your post. Motherhood challenges us in ways we aren’t expecting, and it brings up every single little fault you think you have and magnifies it by 1000. For me, it’s been difficult to get through the self-hate tape that plays in my head so much. And sometimes, I doubt whether I should have taken on motherhood at all. Ok, I doubt that a lot!

    But, you know, motherhood also is amazing because you’re getting to know a person as they get to know themselves. And you’re loving a person more than you love anyone else on the planet. You’re going to fall in love over and over and over again with the little being you’ll see grow. It will hurt. It will feel incredibly comforting. And it’ll hurt again. And it’ll all be part of the journey.
    Congratulations, again.

    If you need advice or any help or need to vent or ask “is this normal?” I’m around.

  6. I just read your blog. You touched my heart deep. Your thoughts would have been those that I would have also struggled with. Your Emma is blessed already to have you as her mother.

  7. many congratulations! I remember the roller-coaster of pregnancy emotions, too. it can be a scary ride at times. (I don’t enjoy fair-ground rides in real life, either!)

    putting our hearts into a tiny person means that a piece of us will always be with them for their whole lives. that’s a huge responsibility, but also a huge, huge joy. responsibility and joy. oh, and nappies too πŸ™‚ looking forward to reading more!

  8. Oh congratulations! I’m really smiling ear to ear for you. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant– my daughter is 5 now. And I remember all the conflicting feelings of having a little girl. I think you just take it a day at a time, love your daughter, do your best to show love for yourself, and things will mostly be okay. At least, that’s been my plan, and my daughter is very confident– much more than me!!– so far. Congrats again. Enjoy this time, as much as you can. Xx

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