I’m almost 30 weeks with this baby! So we are GETTING READY. I am a nesting machine (why it took me 2 1/2 years to put the shelves up in the bathroom that make all the difference I will never know!) and Sky and I just finished the birthing class we took for this one. We took a class this time because I’m going for a VBAC after my very unexpected Cesarean the first time.
One of the things that happened when I was in labor with Luciana is that I got scared. Very very scared as things didn’t go the way I planned. And I couldn’t get back to a place of calm, of faith, of center. I knew this time I wanted more tools because whatever happens, birth clearly takes one to the edge of what is bearable. I was confident I could handle anything last time, and instead I was completely leveled. When we chose our doula this time (ours from last time has moved away), we chose someone deeply spiritual who’s strength is undeniable when you meet her. She suggested a hypnobirthing class and I went for it–I trusted her from the second I started talking with her and wanted to try what she prescribed. Not so that I can guarantee an outcome, but so that whatever happens I can stay connected to the joy of what is underway. The class been wonderful–for any mama out there who responds well to mind-body work I recommend it.
Last night, in our final class, we read something in the materials that almost made me cry. It was a passage on What-Ifs, and how many of our What-Ifs are negative: what if I can’t, what if the worst happens, what it what if what if….and this was about WHAT IF our what-ifs were our dreams come true. What if, for example, birth is the most tender loving perfect moment of my life. That kind of What If has been the theme of the last few weeks for me.
A few weeks ago, in the midst of all this wonderful self-hypnosis and positivity and visualization, I found myself f***ing scared. And it felt really big. And it wasn’t going away. And that scared me because it felt like “here we go again” into the fear cycle that was present with my first birth. Without going into the whole thing, the realization I came to (with lots of help from a spiritual teacher) is that to have the birth I want to have with this baby is a huge change. My only experience of birth is what I’ve been through. I want pretty much the opposite this time, and that’s asking myself to embrace the notion that change of a wildly drastic nature is possible. On one level, I wasn’t believing it could happen, and on another it seems I wasn’t sure if I wanted it. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like change because it brings about, well…..change. What if I accidentally lose what I love in my life? Does anyone else relate to that? That change feels scary because it feels like there’s a risk of throwing out the good with the expired?
But what is change was brilliant? That change doesn’t mean I lose everything–the things that are working keep working; the things that are good stay good. I just change what I want to change and it’s light and fun and an adventure and the result is unknown but that’s beautiful too….rather than it being a scary trek through a haunted forest. The teacher I mentioned always says “What if it’s possible….” What if it’s possible I can change the things that I want to change and the things I don’t want to change don’t change……. What if it’s possible….What if…..
So preparing for this birth has become about realigning a part of my soul which has wanted realigning for a long time. As I write this it seems so obvious. It’s something so important and so personal to me that no surprise it brings up old stuff and that it’s a gateway to a transformation in me. I’m using the tools I know well like yoga,meditation and walking to stay connected to my vision of What If, and I’ve discovered others that are integral to my days. Wayne Dyer’s Ah and Om meditations are beautiful. Though I love so many kinds of music, I keep being drawn to mantras and our western equivalent, sacred choral music. Every time I add a song to the birth playlist for the baby it’s in this vein (though there is some raise-the-roof gospel and one Band of Horses song in there too). This seems to be what this child and I respond to together. I came up with an image that feels like what I will feel like if I welcome change and fly with it, and I connect to that every day. I do my Hypnobabies homework faithfully (I am an A-student after all). I’m noticing that genuine excitement is starting to replace wary hope.
And I’ve been writing more, too, which is like that windshield wipe you give your car first thing in the morning when you climb in and it’s covered with condensation. Writing in my journal, writing in the one to Luciana, writing in the one to the new baby. I’ve been asked to write some fun online articles (here on Mind Body Green and the MyYogaWorks blog ) which have had me articulate part of the process of reaching for center as a mom. Today I am loving living in the What If. What if…..?
photo by Ramona Trent from my last pregnancy
*For those of you in the LA area, Lara was our Hypnobabies teacher and we love her!