We’re expecting! This pregnancy ride has been a pretty wild one, with lots of highs and lows. It’s given me so much more appreciation for the women who have gone before me in pregnancy, birth & mothering.
The original title for this blog was “my totally self-indulgent pregnancy blog” because it’s not here to teach anything, it’s really just a peek into my experience of pregnancy if you’re curious!
I’m not a pregnancy expert. But I think it’s valuable for us, as women, to speak about things like pregnancy in a raw, real & embodied way. So here it is.
NOTE: Naturally this kind of topic is full of opinions (god knows I’ve been subjected to a lot of people’s unsolicited advice & opinions) and if your pregnancy, birth or mothering journey has been challenging OR different to mine then this blog could be triggering. I offer it as my experience only. Know I offer it with total love and respect for the situations and decisions you’ve faced as a woman.
I was awake when we conceived, so I guess that makes it conscious?
I knew it was time for a baby. The man was right, my business was flourishing & my grandmother had started bribing me with cash.
We started some folate supplements (because you know I hold a Pharmacy degree) & got to ‘work’. I had full trust in my regular cycle to make a baby pretty quick. And it did happen, so quickly I almost didn’t fit into my own wedding dress!
Rewind several years I was questioning my body’s ability to have a baby.
Several years earlier I hadn’t had a period for 2 years (cue mega fertility stress) & I didn’t want to have babies at that time, but the idea that my body wasn’t cycling was stressful AF.
I’d been on the pill since I was about 14 due to acne. I was worried my acne would return when I stopped the pill (it did) but my fear of being infertile was greater. I stopped the pill & it took another 2 years for my cycle to ‘normalize’.
In that same 2-year period, I personally had huge emotional, sensual & professional awakenings.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
Any medication that modulates the cycles & rhythms of our body is modulating the feminine inside us.
It’s impacting our emotions, our sensitivity to feeling the body (which is a GIFT) not to mention reinforcing the deeper fears or beliefs around why we’re taking it to begin with (for me that = I’m not beautiful with imperfect skin #nottrue).
So we fell pregnant. I felt it as sharp stabbing pains in my left lower uterus. And then the sensations began….
Embodiment is about sensitivity.
Becoming aware & attuned to the subtle physical, emotional, mental & energetic nuances of your internal world.
And that internal world was changing at a rapid rate. My sensitivities made every little ache, and exhaustion, and worry, and opening a full technicolor experience.
I shared these feelings with my GP who told me “there’s no way you’re feeling that. Women don’t feel anything in their first trimester”. Ah, I beg to differ.
Exhaustion was my new norm, and I slept and slept. I craved McDonalds Fillet-o-Fish burgers (Ewwww!) & had to have a sharp word to my husband who tried to food-shame me for giving the baby ‘fast food’ #whatever
The strangest thing about this trimester was navigating ‘when to tell people’.
It’s not something you can talk about with others (because then you’d have to tell them you were pregnant). There’s this conventional rule that you wait until 10-12weeks before sharing the news (because the risk of miscarriage reduces significantly there after). But that makes NO sense to me. If I did have a miscarriage wouldn’t I WANT my closest friends & family to be there to support me?
Hiding our pain & suffering behind a facade of social propriety is so 18th century.
We decided to start sharing our news from 6 weeks.
As nausea, exhaustion & general inability to eat anything started to clear, I began to feel like me again. I had more energy, and my body decided it was time for me to start processing the emotional fears I held around being a mother.
I got worried I wasn’t doing enough to “connect” with my baby.
Random spiritual women on the street would ask me if I was speaking to the soul of my unborn child yet & was it the most amazing experience of my life? On the days I could feel the little soul, yes it was amazing. And on the days I didn’t feel connected these comments made me feel like a not-intuitive-enough-woman and terrible-mother, so thanks for that.
I realized I’d accidentally been eating all the wrong kinds of foods.
The list of what to avoid is long and ridiculous. After confessing my food-sins to some other mothers I realized they too didn’t get this perfect. Mother-confessionals are a real thing, I think I’m going to need a lot of them!
Unconscious worries that “I am doing something wrong to this baby” began to surface.
For no good reason, this worry burned like acid bile in my stomach for a week. Thank the goddess I have embodiment tools for moving into & completing these stories!
And the most amazing thing about the second trimester was – my body wisdom began to REALLY drop in. My sense of I’ve got this. My body was built to do this. I trust myself in this fully.
A lot of us raised to believe birth is a medical experience.
The number of times I’ve been asked (by loving, caring people) “when’s your next scan” or “are you finding out the sex” or “when are you going to the doctor next” astounds me.
My scan, the results of my scan or my appointments with the birth care team are NOT the milestones to mark this pregnancy by. MY BODY IS.
I’m the one who’s growing this child.
I am the expert on this pregnancy.
Yes, I absolutely will receive education, advice & opinions from my chosen birth educators & professionals.
But THEY ARE NOT THE ONE GROWING THIS CHILD.
Birth is not a medical event.
It’s a natural one.
I believe our obsession with information, figures, stats, scans & more data (most often) comes from a place of fear.
We believe that if we “know” more (intellectually), then we’ll do better.
[No shame intended to people who do want more information – sometimes there is a really good reason you desire that. It’s your sovereign right to make that decision if it feels true for you]
But my second trimester showed me the opposite was true, for me at this time. I had to stop reading pregnancy books, and actively decline optional-scans of the baby to MAKE ROOM for my body wisdom to be heard.
The more information we have, the more energy is in our head.
Until we can’t feel our body, and the millennia of wisdom she holds.
I’d love to leave you with some pregnancy resources I’ve been loving:
1. My own embodiment practice has been KEY for shifting strong sensations & dropping into body wisdom. I feel it’s my multiple years of practice BEFORE becoming pregnant that have helped me so much in these several months. You can find out more about embodied movement practices here and our program for personal embodiment here.
2. Epic book from a holistic GP perspective that my friend loaned me. LOVED IT. So damn empowering – Gentle Mothering, Gentle Birth
3. The first 40 days – Cannot wait to apply this wisdom of this beautiful book to the postpartum period. If you live close by consider this your open invitation to bring me soup & food when a baby is born 😉
4. Birthing from Within – one of our current students of the Feminine Embodiment Coaching Certification is a Birthing from Within woman who’s adding our tools to her skill set (& what an amazing practitioner she continues to be) This book was a really beautiful and different approach to birth through art.