Dearest sisters... I am writing this to you as a little share of this journey of my pregnancy and the wonderful world of joys and fears it has brought to the surface. This is but a snippet of a much bigger piece of writing that may become public (not sure yet) as I have kept a pregnancy diary through this magical (and challenging) journey of maiden to mama.
Right now I am 31.5 weeks and feeling the rising anticipation that the baby may not be too far away. My body has swelled and any upset that came along with losing my figure or the strength of my beloved yoga muscles has long gone and now I am simply navigating how to stay comfortable and sleep through the night (relishing in sleep - oh precious sleep). Or even walk down the street without finding the pain of pelvic instability too much or the searing burning of my separating abdominals over powering. So much so that I have to stop and try to take a breath as it feels as if I have a hot knife slicing my belly.
And oh the breathing... this is another hilarity all of its own. I am noticing myself sounding all of the time, letting out noisy yawns and sighs with no conscious thought, preparing my body to release a little more deeply. I startled a "Bondi Hipster" at a traffic light crossing the other day when the noise of my sigh/yawn was so loud it awakened me from my daydream and gave him a fright. My breathing on the whole is more audible and shallow and I've found myself having to stop to catch my breath whilst facilitating my online womens circles.
Fears of being prepared enough have been coming into my mind, particularly as so many sisters in my field seem to be having their babies really early. I feel good about the stuff we have collected - even though I have been deeply resistant to the process, always thinking "if I were living in a hut in Africa would I really need this sh#t" but surrendering to the process of "baby stuff". Our first eco-disposable nappy delivery will come soon and then I will try to migrate to cloth. The land of "Bumgenius", "Freetimes" and a whole range of wacky brand names freaked the hell out of me so I had to put them aside for a while a be real about what is possible with no clothes dryer in an often wet and rainy Sydney.
But it is the preparation for the physical process that has been stumping me the most. As a woman who rarely looks outside for knowledge the pressure to read more baby books and do courses has been overwhelming and I've found myself questioning my innate wisdom. In all of the work I do I take my guidance from Spirit - from INSIDE - rather than doing lots of courses and reading. I have never been able to quote the yoga sutras or rattle off some new scientific info perfectly - there is never any script and in fact often little prep as I allow the energy / words to flow through me - I teach and live from my heart... and I feel to do the same in birthing this baby.
But the self doubt has been hard to keep at bay. Particularly as everyone has an opinion or suggestion to offer. It is just this morning that I have decided to sign off on the fact that we are NOT going to do a Calm Birth or Hyponbirthing course and it feels FREAKING AWESOME. It is like very cell in my being is doing a happy dance that I am finally listening again!
I would not recommend this approach to all mamas... and who knows, I may look back with regret! It is possible! But as I know myself so well I feel this is the best approach.
Anything that is going to help me stay in my body rather than in a space of intellectualising birth is what I need. After all... when we birth we slow down our neocortex and move into a more primal space. The more we can aid this process by not thinking the more we make it easier for ourselves to breathe, dance and sing the baby out. I bow down to my dear sister Kara Maria for sending me a message this morning of full support of my decision and in reaffirmation that the best prep I can do right now is to be in my spiritual practice, to dance, to make love to my husband, to make art (and to write as it lights me up) do what makes me feel connected to Spirit. To be in celebration and joy rather than in "birth bootcamp" mode!
This brings a powerful point to light... when you are a pregnant mama many seem to go into this cramming for the birth approach as if it is an exam. Not only can this call in fear and tension into the body (and the feelings of never knowing enough) but it shows how much we have forgotten our incredible power as women. We have all the tools we need right here so long as we are able to slow down, tune in and open ourselves as the bridge between worlds. When our baby comes in we are literally worldbridging... opening a portal between dimensions. We know we may need physical support and care in the process - like a team to set up the birth pool, to get food and drinks, to massage and offer encouragement - but in our hearts we have a strong knowing that we were born to do this.
I feel so happy in this moment to have remembered this power and feel excited for the initiation that is coming my way. Maybe it will be ecstatic... maybe it will be intense... maybe I will birth at home in my husbands arms as I hope to... or maybe I will end up in hospital. I am fully open to whatever the experience needs to show me. and I am READY!
Deep exhale to let go of the stress of birth prep and to rest easy in the knowledge that I have been doing this for life times as I have had many visions and dreamings of my role as midwife and birth assistant in other realms.
My baby is moving more each day and I feel deeply grateful for the process. My belly looks like a scene from "Alien" but it brings me joy. I have to admit I am having a bit of hard time letting go of my work/business and find myself watching others shining in what they are doing and thinking - ugh - I am getting left behind. But I acknowledge this process is so much bigger than growing a facebook group, making new content or selling places on my 2017 retreats.
I am feeling so lucky to be a woman right now... and writing to you all about it has been a hige reminder of how magical this journey really is. Note to self... write more as it always brings me back to my centre.
Until next time... Lots of love...