I'm pregnant, and having a horrible time coming to terms with this new maternal identity. I know having a baby changes everything, etc., etc., but is it possible to become a mom and still stay, well, yourself?
It's eight weeks right now, and while things have been pretty average in physical terms, I'm having a really rough time emotionally. The pregnancy was planned, but despite wanting kids I was never one of those women who was dying to be a mom
; now that everything's taking on some physical reality, I'm kind of feeling as though I've been secretly replaced with another person entirely, one who's at present essentially a bloated, miserable fetus-incubating machine and who can only look forward to life as a faded appendage to Whomever that fetus grows into.
I think I was prepared for some change, but not for the suddenness or thoroughness of the switch-- right now, it feels like waking up in an entirely strange place, far from home, every single day, and I basically end up alternating between numbness and periods of gut-wrenching grief and longing for the person I used to be, before I was just Somebody's Mom.
I'd chalk this up to first-trimester hormones and try to soldier through, but it really does seem as though mothers, in many cases, end up losing themselves-- physically, emotionally, mentally-- in their babies, so I'm not sure there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I've read this thread
, but I guess I'm just looking for some more specific perspective or reassurance on the whole identity issue. Is there a time in the future when I can expect the beloved old Me to come back? Moms, did any of you manage to maintain continuity between your pre-baby and post-baby selves? And if so, how?