The Poetry of Pregnancy
It’s amazing and humbling to feel your body go through so many changes so quickly. I feel so thankful for many things that I have discovered along the way now at 8 months pregnant, I’m learning to move into it all with fascination and respect for the miracles I see in:
1) a woman’s body that morphs like the natural animals we are
2) conception, creating human life from such basic elements
3) a baby fitting inside of a space that previously housed other things ( I have yet to feel it “fit” through the way out).
WOW. I wanted to share some of the things that have really knocked my socks off through this very appreciated journey. It is a beautiful song that the body dances to in a time like this.
The lessons of each moment
The body changes every day (especially in pregnancy), the mood, mind spirit evolving every minute. In this fluidity, it feels there is a lesson around each corner. Some of my personal lessons in pregnancy:
- Just eat some ice cream if that’s what calls you (oh, how it calls to me). Don’t dwell. Be happy while you eat it. You can eat a salad for breakfast tomorrow.
- It’s nice to not get everything done that you could have before. Let it go.
- If possible, allow your days to be mellow and short.
- Set up reminders for yourself as pregnancy forgetfulness is real. It’s ok to laugh at yourself for not being “on it”. Who’s keeping track?
- Attitude is everything and you can change it in a second, with some music, some reflection on what’s good in life, a conversation, a nice walk or whatever inspires you. It helps to have the added responsibility in this time of knowing that your child feels what you feel, so you want positive, loving, happy thoughts.
- Let discomfort steer you towards your self-care. Don’t just accept that things are going to be uncomfortable without a little effort towards balance on your part. DO all of the things you think might help: hot water (bath, hot tub), stretching, drinking some tea/water, a nap, exercise, swimming/floating, get a massage or chiropractic or acupuncture, distract yourself with a great movie, book or a nice chat with a friend, laugh to a comedy. If none of the above work, then you can complain.
From a video I saw on peaceful birthing to getting to be present at a very graceful hypnobirth, I decided to try it. I believe fully in the power of the mind to dictate what happens to us physiologically, especially with response to pain and intense situations. We signed up for Hypnobirthing as our “birth preparation class” and did 5 sessions over 5 weeks. We learned deep relaxation techniques along with how to reframe birth and our cultural perception of it as a medical emergency to new thinking that our bodies know how to do this. So long as we can think calmly, respond calmly and go inward as practiced regularly, at the time of birth, our bodies will know what to do and can work with the birth, rather than against it (fear=contracted muscles and resistance, calm thoughts= relaxed muscles and release).
Not only have I learned how to approach birth without fear, I have learned some amazing relaxation and meditation techniques that in daily practice are influencing my mood and my life every day. I feel like a lot of the anxieties that could be coming up in such a huge life transition as this are kept at bay, that I feel like a mellow and focused person (which is not what I’d always expect of myself pre-meditation practice).
It has also been cool for my husband and I to have a format through which to connect to each other and the baby in this time of change and growth as a family. We do guided meditations together and I laugh that now every time he puts his hand on my shoulder, I will go into a deeply relaxed state. It sounds like a great tool for him to use when he’s not getting his way. Ha.
So, just to explain, during the birth a Hypnobirthing mother is in a deeply relaxed state, rather than thinking of it as “hypnotized”. She’s still aware of the world around her, can respond and is still thinking and awake. She’s just able to go into a deep alter-world where she’s focusing on breath, affirmations and releasing that’s free from “pain”, fear and emergency. She’s super in tune with her body and the birth process. I’m sure I’ll have a different way of looking at it after our birth so I’ll keep you posted.
Thank you to the Seattle Holistic Center and Aditi Yoga for inspired classes that help me connect to my expanding hips in a loving way, to relieve the arm numbness I get at night from changing posture and for giving me the time to sit in peace with my body on a regular basis. There are many hidden gifts in yoga. I am grateful for the reminder of returning to practice in a time when the return on just one session is so huge.
How nice it is to connect with other women, especially pregnant at this time. To be able to share, vent, listen and laugh with others is really, really healing. It makes me realize at such a sensitive, vulnerable time in life, how important it is to always be building community around you. This can mean whatever it means to you, whether its appreciating the same coffee shop with a familiar crowd every week or whether it’s actively seeking out a group (meetup.com is amazing) of like-minded souls to delve deep into things that fascinate and connect you, FIND YOUR PEOPLE! You’ll be so rewarded with the experience. In pregnancy, I’ve found this great benefit in yoga groups as mentioned above, in pre-natal classes at Birth and Beyond, and by not being too shy to strike up conversation with other pregnant women anywhere.
- Doula’s are great for support and resources. Births statistically go much smoother with a Doula, regardless of setting or who else you have there.
- Midwives spend a lot of time with you and hold your hand well through your pregnancy.
- Some hospitals offer a centering group or mother’s groups to look into (Ballard Swedish).
- So many other thoughts… I’ll share more later!!