We’re in the midst of a big summer afternoon thunderstorm and it’s a welcome break from the unrelenting heat we’ve had all week. It’s 4:30 p.m. and I decided to get in bed to write this post because it seems like a cozy and comforting place to be right now.
I truly feel like god sent signs to me today that it was time to write this post. This morning I had an appointment with Tom Archer for work on my c-section incision. He’s a clinical bodyworker here in Charlotte who is absolutely amazing at what he does. He combines structural bodywork, visceral manipulation, cranial structural integration and lymphatic therapy in his treatments.
During the treatment we were talking about my pregnancy, birth, recovery from surgery and adjustment to life as a new mom along with the other challenges that I am currently navigating. On top of being generally an intuitive guy, Tom is the father of two small children, ages 2 and 5, and has also had four abdominal surgeries himself so I feel like he really gets it. In the middle of our conversation he looked me in the eye and said, “you don’t have to be superwoman” and reminded me that my body is healing on top of everything else on my plate. Those simple words brought tears to my eyes instantly and hit me at the core of my being.
While I promised myself that I would be gentle with myself after pregnancy and childbirth, it’s been difficult to put into practice. Sure, I’ve slowed down tons from my normal pace of life and activity level but there is so much more grace, love and ease to be had on every level. Tom’s statement felt like the permission to do those things that I hadn’t truly, fully given myself…or realized I needed. In that moment as I was lying on the table, I felt both broken and completely whole at the same time. And to have him working on healing the place where Finn was removed from me and brought into this world made it feel like a message from the divine.
An hour later I had lunch with a girlfriend at Earl’s Grocery. As I was leaving, a woman stopped me and asked how old Finn was. Her second question was if I was taking care of myself. She was a new grandmother and sitting across from her was her daughter with her three day old baby. They had just been discharged from the same hospital where I delivered Finn. We chatted for a few more minutes and as I was saying goodbye she again reminded me to take care of myself. She was one of those people who had a nurturing, loving energy about her.
I don’t think these two interactions were a mistake. And they gave me the bravery to sit down on a Friday afternoon and write these words. I’m not superwoman. I’m just a real woman who is in the midst of her own storm and doing the best she can.
Tanner and I are no longer together. Without going into too much detail, the last six months have been a tumultuous ride that ended with him sharing a month ago that he wanted out of our relationship but was fully committed to co-parenting Finn. We are both working to put Finn’s best interests first so I will avoid any public rehashing of the past because it’s not a worthwhile or helpful endeavor and of course both of us played a part in where we ended up.
Obviously, I am and have been struggling behind the scenes…a lot. Being in relationship strife is never what I dreamed of for my pregnancy or life with a newborn and being a single mom both saddens and terrifies me. I’m working every day to accept this reality and I am certain that I will find a way forward…it’s just going to be one hell of a ride.
One thing is certain, Finn is all the reason that I need to keep going. While the future might not look the way I thought it would, I have no doubt that we’ll make it beautiful together.
It was never my intention to keep my readers in limbo or to drag this out but unfortunately, this is not a pretty process to go through and it’s far from over. We are just at the beginning of navigating what this new shared parenting world looks like, which is completely overwhelming and heartbreaking with child who is so young. I am grateful that he has two parents that love him and want to actively parent him. Please send prayers and strength to all of us.