Pregnancy is tough. There’s no doubt about it. Physically demanding, mentally exhausting; about 280 days of being completely taken over by another entity so miraculous and incomprehensible, some days I don’t know whether to cry or laugh!
It’s such a surreal experience that even when friends who’ve gone through the motions tell you all about it, you can’t truly understand it ’til you go through it yourself.
34 weeks preggo and getting oh so close to that finishing line, I’m really starting to bend under the niggling pains, sleepless nights, raging mood swings, bouts of mad teariness, desire to clean every surface in my house but lacking motivation to move half the time! Hip pain, breathlessness; not to mention the fear and worry that comes along with an impending labour and tiny human being that relies entirely on you at the end of it!
At times it’s hard not to feel like you’re in over your head. But when I spiral and get a bit panicky I think – My mum did it, her mum did it, her mum did it… so on and so forth! Like the lady who did my reflexology told me: You need to relax!
It’s finding that balance between acknowledging what is happening in you and your partner’s life, but not being consumed by it. To try and carry on with your routine and work and socialising but knowing when to pull back and take some ‘downtime’. I got so run down and sick the last week due to sheer burnout. I was trying to keep going like I had before and wasn’t listening hard enough to my mind and body that was telling me to slow down!
I think as a woman I naturally tend to worry more than my partner – who takes a very relaxed approach to the whole affair. What if something’s wrong with the baby?! What if something goes wrong in labour?! What if I eat/drink something that’ll poison him without realising it?! He’s kicking so much – does that mean he’s stressed/angry/annoyed?! What if we lose our jobs?! What if we run out of money?! What if the house burns down!!!!?!
These worries are completely unfounded, and at the end of the day some of these worries could happen to anyone at any point, pregnant or not!
I’ve had frequent scans and appointments, so far there is no cause for any concern at all. I think the deep seated fears are due to being terrified of losing control. Controlling everything around you as a way of trying to prevent ‘bad’ things from happening. But ‘bad’ things or events are needed and have their place too. I’ve lost jobs before and thought – shit! This is the worst thing EVER!! But then a few months or a year down the line I discovered my life became better due to opportunities that arose that I wouldn’t have pursued if I was still in that job I hated. But it just took time to see it.
Early in my pregnancy I was told I had a low lying placenta. It did worry me for a while as I reeeeally don’t want a c-section but I tried not to think about something I couldn’t control (but me being me worried about it anyway!) Turns out my worries were unnecessary as during my last examination the placenta had moved far enough away that it no longer posed any risks. Yes!
At an appointment after Christmas I was told my baby was breech. Back to worrying! What if he doesn’t move! Etc, etc. Again, complete waste of worry as, after my tilting hip manoeuvres, the wee skitter ‘spun’ around like a champion and is still in the perfect head-down position – ready to rock!
So what did that worrying achieve? Damn all!
I’ve mentioned before the benefits of pregnancy yoga and how it has really helped me. And even though I’m physically finding each class harder with the sheer weight of my stomach, I’m really starting to appreciate the ‘golden thread’ breathing exercises we begin each session with. I used to find breathing exercises a bit boring as I’m fidgety and impatient and always scratching or sniffing about like a chipmunk. But now I get it!
For fifteen minutes we sit and slow our breathing by imagining each out breath is like a long golden thread that is pooling in our laps. Then at the end we imagine that the breath is the breath that delivers our babies – as smooth and as softly as the golden thread before it. Hello hypnobirthing!
I try to practice these exercises in a nice warm bath surrounded by candles and soft music as often as I can. I read Eckart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth’ while I decompress and calm down and try to find some inner peace. Let the worries go, let go of the tight control and tense muscles. Just let go and BREEEEATHE!