Into the abyss: my story of becoming a mother

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure”– Joseph Campbell

I have to be honest here. I was not happy about those pink lines on my pregnancy test. In fact I started crying. I think I cried through my entire first trimester. Not just little tears. I’m talking full blown, uncontrollable sobbing. I cried in the nurses office for my first appointment when she greeted me with a big smile and “congratulations.” I didn’t want congratulations, I wanted condolences.

Becoming pregnant felt like a death knell to my life. It seemed I was trading freedom, contribution to the world, sleep and quiet for screams, poop and pain. It felt like I was losing myself. I thought becoming a mother would steal my identity as a woman and a person.

But here’s the whole story. (I deeply believe that the stories we tell about ourselves either empower or harm us.)

I gave birth unmedicated in about nine hours laboring at home for most of that time and the hospital with my husband doula for the last three. Giving birth in a way that I chose and hoped for definitely made me proud. The strength and trust I brought to that experience made me realize that I have resources within previously untouched.

Then the sleep deprivation hit. And it continued. Even after my son’s first birthday he was still waking up 4 to 6 times a night. There were a lot of long days and nights that I just wanted my old life back. I started becoming a person I didn’t recognize.

There were days when I wanted to scream. There were days where I did scream. I felt anger and frustration so powerful I didn’t know how to handle them. There were days that I hated myself for how I felt and behaved. I was terrified I was turning into a horrible person.

So I started searching for anything that could help me. I discovered mindfulness through a mindfulness summit created by Melli O’Brian from Mrs Mindfulness (you can access the summit here the whole month of October 2016). This retreat and the podcasts by Tara Brach really saved me during this time. I reached out to other mothers, I took my baby to my faith community every week. I used cognitive techniques learned from my Masters Degree. I created rituals for myself. And eventually, I climbed out of my abyss wiser, stronger, more compassionate and determined to grow.

Becoming a mother hasn’t made me fall in love with motherhood like others have told me it should. Instead becoming a mother is the earthquake that shook open my core and unearthed desires, passion, dreams in such a vibrant, intense way I never will go back to the woman I used to be.

At first I didn’t recognize myself in these dreams- I was confident, strong, creative, determined. I was a leader. But as my son grew, my ability to mother him grew and my sense of who I could be in the world grew too. As I was forced to grow emotionally and spiritually, I began to recognize myself in these new dreams.

Before my son and before stumbling deeply into the abyss, a I felt numb, confused and purposeless. I didn’t take risks, I lived “carefully” afraid to try things for fear of failing. Now my life has become alive. It is vibrant, intentional, hopeful, creative, determined. My life is transformed. I am transformed. This is the inspiration that led to this blog, website and my six week “Mamas Transforming” program.

That is my story. Now that I have shared mine, I would truly love to hear your story. Do you have a story of descending into the abyss? What treasure did you stumble upon there?

Share your stories with me below in the comments section.  Share my story on Facebook- you may never know a mom is struggling and feeling alone.  Sharing our stories can help her.

To learn how to create stories that inspire and support you rather than cause suffering, sign up for a complimentary 30 minute mini session with me here:


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