Updated: Aug 20, 2021
April 17th, 2017
I never considered myself a maternal person. In fact I said for most of my life that I wouldn't have children.
When my sister and I were kids we used to have these funny conversations about me giving birth to her kids for her so she could bring them up. For her she knew she wanted kids, the first one by 22 and the second by 24, but she was afraid of the birthing process. It was never the fear of giving birth that put me off, it was just the feeling that having kids would hold me back from doing what I wanted, and also the belief that I wouldn't be a good mother.
It hasn't been until lately, in my late 30's, that my heart and body have started to niggle away at, and challenge these ideas and beliefs.
Now over half way through my first pregnancy and I still look down at my belly, with disbelief. It feels like nothing short of a miracle.
Already, it is one of the wildest rides I have ever been on. Wild in an emotional heart expanding kind of way, wild in the sense that I have experienced corners of myself which are truly unfamiliar. Wild in the sense that everything I had pondered, felt and struggled with pre pregnancy have been amplified ten-fold. Wild in a way that I have been forced to deconstruct my belief systems surrounding my self and who I am.
It has been a process of peeling away the layers and addressing certain feelings that have been knocking at my door for some time. Also discovering that many things I have attached importance to on reflection, don’t actually matter in the slightest.
Generally, I am not a person plagued with insecurity, fear or worry, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant, a level of fear gripped me. Not fear of being pregnant, or where it would lead to, but fear of doing something wrong, eating something I shouldn't, breathing something toxic, applying the wrong essential oils, or worse still, losing my baby, especially in the first trimester.
I have worried when I feel a pinch or a pain, worried when the baby’s movement becomes sparse, just worried full stop.
Even when I haven't known for sure where I'm heading in life, or what's evolving, I have still felt sorted in a way. Trusted that all will unfold, as it should. Insecurity, fear and worry have never played a very large part in those moments, so to experience these feelings has felt very foreign and wobbly.
I have held onto this image for so long, of myself being a strong, and resilient woman, which I am, but I think I have married myself too tightly to this image leaving no space for my self to be anything else. I’ve discovered in past months that strong, is a very small part of who I am.
When I considered myself being pregnant I assumed I’d be working a full schedule (which I am to some degree, minus a lot of travelling), lifting tyres over my head and holding planks in outdoor Boot camp, and maintaining my daily inversion and arm balancing practice. When the day arrived however, what appeared was a completely different person, one craving softness, and ease, and un-interested in proving anything to anyone, including myself.
6 am rises turned into sleep-ins, and fulfilling breakfasts. 2 hour practices turned into 30-60 minute flows with Cat Cow moves, child poses and anything other than handstands and forearm balances. Boot camp turned into tri-weekly visits to the local swimming pool for a few lengths, and Restorative/Yin Yoga sessions finally begun to make a weekly appearance in my schedule.
It was an organic shift, and unexpected. My body told me what it wanted, and I listened.
So far this pregnancy has given me a golden opportunity to go easy on myself, deconstruct beliefs that are no longer serving me, and has offered a short cut to take myself a lot further along my self-care journey, which is nothing short of a beautiful thing. I would argue that it has been a very necessary development in my path. Necessary for putting life into perspective, and honouring the changes I have been wishing to make in my life for some time.
I am well aware that I have only reached the first couple of bends along this roller coaster trail; regardless I am intrigued and stupidly excited about the experiences and insights that will unfold along the rest of the ride.