648. Postpartum and the Beginning of My Motherhood

 

After giving birth, it was kind of surreal waking up to a new reality where I became a mother and I now had a child to take care of, I had to be there for her all the time, I am her source of nourishment and have to do so as many times as she required. Sounds like an obvious part of becoming a mother, but living it is a whole new reality that I had to get adjusted and used to over time, as I guess most new mothers have to do, and I’ll share more of how this postpartum experience went for us.

 

I explained in my previous blog how much of a shock it was that the very ‘next day’ after giving birth, I was feeling just ‘fine’ and didn’t take time to sleep throughout the day and eat properly and how that second night with Minerva felt like a nightmare where I was ‘losing it’ as in not being able to keep myself awake and feeling as if I would just ‘leave my body’ if I closed my eyes, that was a scary feeling for sure. But fortunately I realized soon enough how I had to truly take care of myself in order to be able to take care of our daughter. And this is then that principle of being the best for me first to be able to be there for others, similar to why in airplanes they ask adults to put the mask on themselves first before doing so for their children, I hadn’t understood why this is so since my instinct would have been to put it on the child first and then the adult, but! Lol if plane loses pressure and adult passes out, then there’s no life for the child nor the adult.

 

I essentially had to eat a lot more considering I started breastfeeding and this is also – of course- entirely new to me and something I hadn’t really considered or integrated in my system so to speak, simply because of how much of my focus was on the ‘birthing process’ and being able to do it, that I didn’t pay as much attention to ‘what comes afterwards,’ which I realize was a form of shortsightedness on my side.

 

During those first days I sure was sore in the whole pelvic area involved in giving birth, fortunately I didn’t tear but still, all the genital area is swollen and even if I wore those iced-paths after birth to ease the pain and swelling, this lasts for a couple of days and it became uncomfortable to be sitting on the bed, which I did for most of the time.

 

To me the most challenging thing was starting to breastfeed and finding a posture for it and being able to have a good latch as well. Sitting on my coccyx was very uncomfortable as well and that’s essentially what I would do to breastfeed, I was getting the hang of how to carry Minerva – and I can say, I am still earning –  and it was overall challenging how to position her and she was very demanding of wanting to eat all the time, which became also something I couldn’t really fathom at first, I thought it would be once every few hours but there were days when she was stuck on my breast for hours without end. We found out there are these growth sprouts where they eat more or suck more to prepare the breasts for a larger milk demand and so production, but this was quite a load on me at first. I kind of pictured how my days would go with having to constantly feed her. This isn’t the case as much for now,  but she sure demands it quite frequently and I’ll explain why.

 

It was quite frustrating the first days when I only had colostrum and it seemed she was already demanding more and that’s the first time she cried in fact – after her first crying at birth – which made me feel quite powerless about being able to change the situation and my partner resorted to soothing her with the swaddle technique and sleeping with her on his chest while I was still recovering from lack of sleep.

 

Then another uncomfortable thing emerged when the milk started ‘coming down’ as they say and my breasts got very full and my nipples were really sore from all the improper latching which was Minerva just biting them a lot, even if she doesn’t have teeth. So yes, I had some minor scabs and I was worrying if this would be the way my breasts and nipples would feel for the rest of our nursing – which I intend to do for a couple of years at least. Thankfully it wasn’t like that. I was advised by the midwife and my mother and sister  to give myself some really thorough and rather painful at first massage on my breasts during the shower with hot water to unclog the milk canals so to speak, and that worked. It sure was painful every time that Minerva would start eating and I would eat my pain out because nipples were sore and at the time I would still feel contractions while she was eating – this is due to the uterus going back to its original size and position and the sucking assists with that – so, yes, it wasn’t a comfortable or easy time, but I kept at it with knowing that this too shall pass, and this became quite a helpful point to be aware of, which my partner would bring up every time I would go into despair about this kind of things happening.

 

Another challenge is that it was quite a shocker to me getting out of my usual ‘routine’ where I enjoy getting things done and had my schedules and things I would have ‘gotten to’ by certain time in the morning, and… of course the first days this is just mostly impossible to do. With going to sleep either super late or waking up throughout the night to feed Minerva and also with the times when she just didn’t sleep for some hours during the night, I would wake up ‘late’ – in my terms – as in 9 am or so and then it would be a thing to just get to have some breakfast, while feeding Minerva most of the times – yes, it became a food chain so to speak where my partner would feed me and I would be feeding Minerva, and then she would fall asleep after eating and I recall those moments where I was just wearing my pajamas the whole day and having Minerva on my lap – well she is on my lap as I type this, well, half of her since she is 2 months old as of today – and me having this worry and sense of ‘life passing by’ and ‘not getting anything done’ and having this desire to be ‘doing stuff as usual’ while actually realizing and telling myself: “No Marlen, that phase of your life is gone for now, life has changed for you, your most important job is to take care of Minerva.” This was also reminded several times throughout the days by my partner, who became my emotional stability support in this time and I’m really grateful for him being by my side all the time.

 

To me, those first days felt eternal where I was just waiting for some sleeping time,  being able to take a shower and toilet and hurry to get out to a hungry Minerva once again. I couldn’t fathom how much she would be demanding to eat, which was a constant thing for her. We decided to apply the free demand way based on understanding that it is about feeding the baby but also creating the bond with the mother and having that physical contact and connection through breastfeeding. So, with this, of course doing anything else became a challenge as well, and so my life was  ‘reduced’ to doing the basics like eating, going to toilet, showering and mostly staying connected to the world through the phone because, yep, being at the computer is still a complicated thing to do for the most part.

 

This is where I had to realize that this apparent reduction was in fact the most important thing I had chosen to do and it became a challenge because I’m mostly this constantly moving ant that wants to “be productive” and “be doing stuff all the time” and this became a complete halt to most If not all of that, considering I didn’t even have to do the usual chores because of being recovering. My partner became my helping hands and body, along with my mother and father so, I’m once again grateful for them and making my time easier. I sure would have done things differently as I look back into that quarantine. I would let go of my anxiety to “be doing something” and just surrender to just Being with Minerva… I sort of would do it but my rather sickening sense of “duty” became a mental obstacle for this.

 

At times it was even like hard to comprehend that this wasn’t a temporary thing, motherhood. I had to go assimilating during those first weeks the fact that this is a lifetime commitment and this wasn’t going to be ‘something I do’ but something I Am now, which is a mother. I even had a hard time to say “Now that I’m a mother” out loud for the first time as well. But, as with any new thing, any new habit or new relationship, it is a matter of time to get used to it 🙂 and I consider I’m doing better at it.

 

I had to often remind myself that I chose this, I decided to own the decision to have a child as I’ve explained in past blogs, but of course I hadn’t really probably considered to what extent it would ‘permeate’ my life – perhaps this was some nativity for me, but I embrace it since it’s part of how I also give myself the courage to actually do things or take on challenges as well – and now I understand it is a complete point of focus and occupation in that sense, a wholeness, a becoming. Whenever I felt overwhelmed by it, by being constantly ‘demanded’ attention by Minerva and having to feed her all the time, I stopped saying – when my partner would handle her to me- ‘she wants to eat more?!’ to simply saying “come here to eat!” because my question was coming from a starting point of disbelief but also of just not wanting to do it ‘again.’

 

Now, here what was also playing out is that I hadn’t fully ‘surrendered’ to my new place and occupation in life. I was still kind of ‘hoping’ to have some time for perhaps writing or doing some recordings or going to the computer etc.… and it took quite some time – and perhaps I still am working on this – to not be having the ‘next thing I want to do in mind’ while I have to be with and feed Minerva, because that’s what creates the ‘suffering’ so to speak. I was reflecting on that this morning and it reminded me of Buddhism and how they say that desire is the origin of suffering, and in this kind of situation that falls into that definition. If I am constantly desiring to be ‘doing’ something else or going somewhere or having my shower or wanting to go to swim etc., well that creates a constant un-fulfilledness that does affect my ability to be truly HERE and embracing my time with Minerva fully, which mostly means a complete slowing down and halt, something truly challenging to me to be honest, but working on it as well.

 

Another thing that added the sort of experience of feeling ‘trapped’ is that I couldn’t go downstairs for over a week, so it was mostly a stay in bed type of situation right after birth, going to the toilet – which sure is painful the first days- dealing with the bleeding, the soreness in the nipples, having some constipation as well and on top of that being sleep deprived, yep, a recipe for disaster in my body, but then also kept in mind this is part of the process, it’s not forever and this too shall pass.

 

I am eternally grateful as well for the support that my parents gave us during the quarantine. I was also apprehensive about this, I wanted to ‘help’ and do house chores or clean or whatever but nope, I had to once again and for the first time just be grateful for the support and embrace it, accept it and I had to kind of brainwash myself about this, that it was ok for me to essentially ‘do nothing’ because of having devoted a lot of my time to assist others…  yep, I am aware this was perhaps unnecessary, and I could just decide to embrace and be grateful for everyone’s support, from my relatives and their visits with some presents for Minerva, my aunt’s food, my mother’s food and place to stay as well as my father who is the real powerhouse behind it all, and my partner becoming like a personal assistant to hand me basically everything and giving me belly massages and checking out the healing of my sore genital area etc. This whole time made me realize how difficult it must be for single mothers or mothers that don’t have this network of support either physically or financially and this became one of those thoughts I would dwell on, realizing how much support every woman that gives birth in fact needs to be able to Fully be there for their child, and in  stable emotional state as well, which is super important for the child as well.

 

I bring this point up as well because it is at times very easy to say ‘I can do this alone’ and I realized I couldn’t, not this time and it is in fact one of those times when we do need ‘a village’  – as they say – as support to walk through this initial time of getting acquainted with one’s child and walking through the body discomfort that motherhood starts with.

 

I also had a hard time being able to ‘feel happy’ as such for most of the time. Sure, I felt in moments quite grateful for being able to hold our child in hands, to the point of tearing up a bit. But I also cried at times for feeling inadequate, feeling as if I lacked the ‘motherly’ attitude that I would watch, read or hear other mothers express when talking about their own post partum or motherhood experience, I couldn’t really relate. Also with various situations where I would feel that my partner was more ‘apt’ at taking care of Minerva than me, being more ‘up for it’ and caring or tenderly doing so and how I felt that I lacked that. Well, I talked about it with him and he once again expressed how this was a perception of mine when comparing myself to others, that I should rather embrace my unique way of expressing love to Minerva which maybe isn’t with acute voice talking and that sort of thing, but with a genuine sense of care and disposition to be there for her and with her. I am still walking through this and embracing this aspect in me, as well as continuing to create that point of expression with her which also comes with more ease now that she interacts more with us in the sense of laughing and blabbing and understanding more of our gestures. It sure is nice to see how she smiles when waking up and knowing I’m there ready to feed her.

 

This also reminds me of how relationships are built and how to me it makes sense to get more into this new relationship in my life as time goes by and how it is OK if it isn’t an immediate ‘click’ as they say. My mother also pointed this out how I only smiled several days after she was born, I did feel like a zombie for most of the first week due to the physical strain and tiredness, but also because it was still hard to assimilate the fact that my life had completely and totally changed for real this time. This is also a key point for me in my life and process, to realize how ‘selfish’ in fact I had been when it comes to doing MY things, MY life only and yes caring about others and supporting others but ‘at specific times’ and then being able to do and be wherever I wanted.

 

Several times I had to be reminded that those times were, well, over and gone and that this was a new phase in my life. Yes, I I had to be reminded this, that perhaps ‘should have been obvious’ to most or many, but not to me in those moments where I felt as if the world was just going to ‘pass me by’ as I was laying on a bed feeding my child for endless hours and just hoping to get some proper sleep in the night. It sure doesn’t sound fun and I don’t mean to scare anyone because this is entirely MY experience. It sure isn’t easy for most people to get used to having a newborn at home to take care of, but I am also sure that some may have a better attitude about it than me, lol. I know because my partner is that kind of person that was super happy and laughing at having to change the diaper after we just had put a new one, or having to wake up at night and get her to sleep because I was just ‘out’ by the time, and washing her dirty clothes and doing all of those things that, well, perhaps a lot would see as a chore. I learn a lot from him, still am, and I’ve been realizing how we experience things based on how we decide to Perceive them.

 

He decides to perceive what I would think as a nuisance or a chore with humor and enjoyment, and that surely lightens up everything when in perhaps in a different situation, having a partner with my ‘similar character’ probably would have been a recipe for disaster and perhaps I would have sunken deep into some kind of depression. But thanks to him I didn’t sink that low.

 

I probably felt depressed for all of the reasons I cited above, it mostly had to do with saying good bye to my old life – yes, even that of being pregnant which as I explained before, also became a ‘comfort zone’ to me because I could still be out and about and do whatever I wanted to – and embrace this new phase which I knew was a definitive out of my comfort zone situation, and one that I know is the one I actually needed in order to further my personal development, which to me translates into personal expansion and growth, and that comes with challenges, obstacles, difficulties, etc. So, I focus on embracing this new life now and not reacting to it with frustration, but embracing it as part of the process that it is. My partner explained how this is the moment she will need us the most in her life, how she totally depends on us and how later she will become more independent and no longer require us to be there All the time with her. Again, as obvious as this can be, it was supportive to realize this as well in moments where I sure felt trapped.

 

One of the interesting realizations was about breastfeeding and getting to see how much of a central piece in this whole motherhooding it is. In our case, the challenge was – and still is to an extent really – having too much milk. So, we couldn’t understand why Minerva would get so frustrated while being sucking my nipple and seeing that yes, I Do have sufficient milk because it’s spilling out all over, so, why is she so upset?

 

Well, after doing some research in La Liga de la Leche or La Leche League we found out that her symptoms were probably because of me having too much milk, having a strong ejection causing her to choke essentially, that’s why she has to come off of the nipple repeatedly if starting to feed from the ‘other’ nipple after having drank most of the first one, which we also read could take up to 6 hours of feeding with the same one to ’emptying it out’, which contradicted a common belief of having to feed from one breast and changing to the other in the next feed, which wasn’t working for us.

 

 I’m still doing the several hours feeding with the same breast and only changing after some hours or after I see that she is truly getting upset from perhaps not getting the amount she is expecting once she starts feeding. As my partner and I would conclude, breastfeeding is quite an art in itself, lol, from the various positions that one can use, the latching, the amount of milk, the ejection of it, the density that it goes having during the different stages of development of the child and of the milking process in itself, it’s quite an amazing and complex thing and I recommend watching the series ‘Babies’ on Netflix that explains more about this as well, but one can dive deeper into breastfeeding topics in La Leche League as well.

 

I am still getting used to Minerva simply getting frustrated and sometimes acting rabidly lol when eating, yes, like getting too desperate or frustrated when the ‘thicker’ milk doesn’t come out yet, or when she sucks with so much force that the ejection is even faster and stronger, and me facing the discomfort of soaking my clothes with drops of milk and sometimes spilling it all over Minerva, all because of at times having too much… yep, I thought this would resolve in some time, but it hasn’t, so, I’m embracing it and realizing that as my partner says, nature might have a reason why things are the way they are with our bodies and so, this is the one feeding challenge I face with Minerva. If anyone has any hacks or tips for this, let me know!

 

So yes, the image of a peacefully feeding baby with their mother is just not my case as much lol, perhaps only at night – a bit because even then she does these funny sounds that lol sound more like a drunk man sipping on his last drink before going home, which is hilarious now, but surely doesn’t ‘fit’ into what I thought would ‘be like’ to feed my baby in this aura of peacefulness where they just with ease fall asleep… nope, this is like a constant push and pull type of situation and yes, it can be hilarious to see her getting pissed at the breast for not giving it ‘what she wants’ but, I can’t really regulate the situation, so it’s one of those things that I have to embrace as is.

 

This is also something worth sharing because sometimes we might have this very ‘angelical’ view related to motherhood or breastfeeding specifically, and then it is then to realize that reality works differently and it doesn’t mean it’s ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or ‘I’m doing something wrong’ type of situation either. Each child is different, each mother is different, the nature of both is different so, any point of comparison is really out of the window.

 

Another challenge was becoming a mother in the eyes of my mother and doing things that she didn’t agree with. We kind of knew this ‘clashing’ would happen based on how we know she deals with babies and the usual fears around taking care of them, so we went and are going through this and yes, this is also a cautionary tale because things can escalate at times when it can be hard to hear words like ‘you really don’t know how to care for your child!” – or something alike – in one of the most vulnerable moments in  women’s lives when being in the post partum time – or calling us out for being ‘inconsiderate’ for example in the amount of clothes we would attire Minerva with and that becoming a problem for her. We had to stand our ground and it does still happen that my parents think we are deluded about things, but this is part of becoming parents ourselves and if we make mistakes, owning them and learning from them. But following someone’s’ raising ideas out of fearing conflict is just not our style, so this was something to add on to the ‘list’ of challenges I experienced in these so-called quarantine that well, we got to spend at my parent’s house and we are super grateful for the support, but we also wanted to finally get back home to have less of a policing around us when it comes to how we decide to take care of Minerva.

 

This is also cool to share because usually our parents will have different ideas and information on how babies operate so to speak,they were raised in a different time, with different information and so on, so we don’t judge them, we understand them and their sense of care linked to fears, but it then became our duty to inform ourselves on the way we want to raise our child and so have sufficient information and common sense to share our ways and actions that may differ to how they would do things.

 

Slowly but surely, they are realizing that these are different times, new things have been discovered and a lot more has been opened up with regards to taking care of babies such as co-sleeping, carrying them around in our arms for most of the day, allowing them to eat whenever they ask for it, not leaving them crying to make them ‘adjust’ to something, etc.  So, yes, it may create a lot of tension with some relatives – depends on ‘how much’ they are ‘married’ with their paradigm and ideas of how to raise children, but it is also necessary as a breaking point to leave it clear that we will do things differently and that it is not antagonism or some kind of rebellion or a stand off towards other people’s ways, it is simply how we decide to do things whether some like it or not. And sure we are also not blind to realizing we might be wrong, but then we will have a physical consequence or outcome to demonstrate how we were wrong, so that we can change or adjust our current ways.

 

I frankly don’t know how things would have been if I had been entirely alone with Minerva and my partner would have had to be out most of the day. He prepared his finances sufficiently to be able to spend all the time with us for the first months and now with this whole coronavirus thing, it might have to be a bit longer, it depends, but he is so unconditional and willing to be here and support because he realizes this is the most important thing in his life and what he genuinely  likes doing, which is awesome to witness as well and such an example for me where I am still working on that full ‘letting go’ of my ‘old life’ and can be still wishing for that “freedom” I had before, so it is a daily thing to embrace and get used to this new life and appreciate its charms and challenges, but mostly get used to its simplicity.

 

Currently, it is a weird time because I came out of my quarantine and then the world entered its own quarantine, so, in a way it’s ok that I was sort of getting used to being at home most of the time, but I was also already craving to at least go out for some walks which we are slowly but surely doing now with Minerva, but her constant desire to eat is perhaps something that still becomes a challenge to get to do that for longer periods of time, but we will get used to it as we go I guess, or as she settles more with eating more substantially and having more time in between of not eating, we will see, but I realize it’s best to be expectation-less and go with the flow, which is of course a really necessary lesson for me as well with the usual control freak pattern I have.

 

Something I’m currently thankful for is that she does sleep throughout the night, I just have to wake up to feed her which I now do while lying on bed, she eats for some minutes and continues sleeping. I am also now having it easier to fall asleep right after waking up to feed her, which is great, but I still feel like lacking some sleep and I’ll continue to look into that actually since it could be that there are other factors involved. We are sort of getting into a routine, but I am aware that I can’t set it in stone yet because it may still change drastically and I basically have to go with the flow and not expect ‘her’ to ‘adjust to my life’ essentially.

 

Today it was cool because I was able to wake up and do some light post partum yoga practice, which I realized I was missing with all the ‘halt’ of activities that I had due to the quarantine, I am slowly but surely placing myself into more action, which perhaps also played a role in feeling somewhat down during the quarantine, because exercising also supported a lot with my mental or emotional stability and with staying in bed, doing essentially nothing but eat and sleep, it became quite a shock as well to my dopamine levels I guess, along with all the shock that the birthing process was in itself for my body, but hey, it too shall pass and it’s rather important to also be patient for this whole recovery process.

Even if I ‘feel alright’, I cannot really know how my insides are doing, so I had to be aware of that as well and not be ‘overriding’ my actual capacity with a sense of ‘I’m alright’ either.

 

So, I’m taking it easy and it is not like I could ‘do’ much either really, because taking care of a baby truly is demanding, she is with me all the time and even with that, I am actually grateful that my partner is the one that does most of the carrying around because! she is around 6 kgs at 2 months currently so, it’s becoming a challenge for my arms as well, I need to strengthen myself more to feel at ease with that, or find a way that I can carry her around without her feeling trapped and wanting to get out of any sort of wrap right away. We will see with some tips I got from Anna 🙂

 

One thing is certain, and that is that Minerva has come to revolutionize my life in a way I probably didn’t expect and it’s been also great, even if I may not necessarily express it in an open way, I smile and am thankful for having her now in our lives and I am  taking it day by day to also not create ideas or ‘overwhelm’ myself with ‘what ifs’ about our future together and how ‘she will be’ etc. She is already showing us or rather confirming a lot of how I sensed her in the womb in fact, she is an energetic tough cookie lol, showing us back some of our most ingrained patterns like being demanding and obstinate, wanting things ‘right now!’ and quite energetic, which is laughable at times to see that in a baby – and a girl –  but lol, that’s what life is like and so I am learning to ride along with it and I’m being tested precisely on my desire to have ‘the world’ or ‘people’ or ‘things’ fit into my life or schedules… yep, that has to go out of my paradigm for good, which I consider was about time anyways.

 

I also read the book by Laura Gutman called Maternity, coming face to face with our own shadow, which is an awesome explanation of how our emotional state of being is reflected back in our children, including illnesses or symptoms that are actually an opportunity to work on our own shadow or dark side or all of those more hidden or kept under the rug aspects that we tend to hide about our nature, our past traumas or memories that resurface back to haunt us in this motherhood time.  Here is where I give credit to the Desteni Process with which one surely gets to walk a lot of these points and could be essentially considered as a pretty thorough preparation process to be mentally more equipped  and fit to become a parent, since one works a lot with this shadow and learns to face it with more stability and understanding as it rears its head in one’s everyday life. Of course this Process is not only useful to become a parent, dare I say it’s a way to give ourselves a new start in life, a rebirth even if we have walked around in this world with some decades already, so I absolutely recommend anyone to consider walking it, specially if you are aiming at becoming a parent or are already one.

 

I’m thankful for all these learning points thus far and still working on them, there’s lots to keep awareness on. Just sharing how these first 2 months have gone by, and celebrating the fact that she is a big, healthy and strong little lady as well, yay! 🙂

I recommend listening to the Parenting series on Eqafe to prepare yourself to handle some of the basic considerations related to taking care of a child, which relate a lot to one’s own self-responsibility when it comes to a state of being and being the best that we can for our children.

Let’s keep walking

 

 Postpartum

 

Join in if you want to start walking your own process of creating yourself to be the best that you can be:


647. The Birthing Process: Patience and Perseverance

 

After we had made our decision to give birth at home, we continued to get educated on the topic watching documentaries and learning from other couples that had gone through the same process recently, which gave us further strength and trust in ourselves and in our capacity to do it. This is something I consider is very supportive for first time mothers, to get acquainted with other mothers to be and get a firsthand share of how the birthing process was for them. In my case, the pregnant ladies I met that gave birth during the time I was expecting, didn’t have favorable outcomes in their intent to have natural births, which did initially moved me in the sense of thinking ‘what ifs’ but, I have to thank my partner and the midwives that were able to explain why such complications took place so that I could see the reasoning behind it and so, not fear, and get myself back to trusting myself and my capacity to do it.

 

One interesting thing is how upon getting to meet our midwife Minerva and getting more informed, I became quite settled and tranquil within the process and fears dissipated, because I saw how much I had been brainwashed to see birth as something painful or terrifying even. And that was awesome as well, because then I wasn’t fearing getting to the delivery time, I had other resistances that played out as I will share here, which were of another kind.

 

So the story begins… It was January 14th, I had gone to my yoga class that morning and then had a family meeting to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday and I actually was feeling quite alright but already having some of what I had understood were the famously known Braxton-Hicks contractions, which interestingly enough I started noticing in a more defined way on January 1st. That same day at night, I was eating some left overs of the chocolate cake I had made for my father and one of those contractions came and I told my mother: ‘come and feel this!’ and she placed her hand on my belly and she was shocked by how rock-hard it felt and she was like ‘how long have you been feeling these?’ and so I said that I noticed them from the beginning of the year – actually on the 31st to be precise when we were at the movies watching Parasite, lol, Minerva really disliked that movie chair – and she explained how there’s this theory that 2 weeks after these contractions begin, well, labor also begins. I didn’t pay much attention and just said how this was nothing to worry about.

 

The midwife, Minerva, had explained to us how from the 11th on, anything could happen. Well, I was still kind of holding the idea that first time mothers deliver mostly close to the 40th week or even later, I was in the middle of the 38th and I thought I ‘still have time’ and actually was kind of being lax about buying some of the stuff required for the whole home birth experience. Actually on the 10th we were still going to shops to buy stuff and we were foreseeing to start packing and moving things by the end of that week… well, that night we came home and close to midnight I saw that the mucus plug came out. I kind of freaked out even though I knew this was something that would happen before labor started. I also held on to some information of how some women lost this plug and ended up having their child some 2 weeks later, I thought this was going to be my case.

 

I told my partner, I wasn’t feeling anything after that, so we went to sleep and all I can say is that in the middle of my sleep I was feeling this quite heavy or hard contractions throughout the night, but I kept sweeping them aside as if they were just the Braxton-Hicks ones and nothing serious, however the pain was getting definitely more than the ones I had felt the days before. So, it was at 4 am when I decided to wake my partner up and explain the situation and from that moment on, contractions started happening quite frequently. I downloaded an app to keep track of them and man, it turned out that they were happening every 10 minutes and then, gee, every three minutes! lol the app was telling us ‘you need to rush to the hospital right NOW!’ lol well I laugh because I also knew this could happen and how it didn’t mean that labor is starting ‘right now’ but I still called Minerva – our midwife – at 5 am and let her know about it, she simply said to keep her updated and let her know whenever we wanted them to come to the house.

 

I called my mother and she obviously freaked out because, yes, like me, we weren’t expecting this to happen ‘so soon!’ and my reaction was that of rushing and worrying how I didn’t get to have or ‘leave’ everything ready, I was still expecting to have some time left, some more days to go swimming or to my yoga class – yep! I had such kind of thoughts in the middle of these continuous series of contractions at 5 am on that Wednesday morning. But, in the middle of my disbelief, we started packing everything we needed to temporarily move to my parent’s house where the birth and my postpartum time would be spent.

 

By that time, I really thought that our daughter was going to come in the next following hours, but! what actually happened is that the contractions receded, they essentially slowed down in frequency, oh and I was also having some of the amniotic fluid coming out, but not entirely, so midwife explained how this was a partial rupture of the membranes, so that kept me ‘on guard’ so to speak as well because of having to keep an eye on that and ensuring the liquid remained clear- if not, that means attention, you need to go to a hospital soon.

 

To make the story shorter, contractions kept happening that day, sometimes an hour and a half would transpire before I had another one, sometimes they happened every 20 minutes, and that’s how most of the day went. At night, they spiked and so, I would wake up to manage them – because it’s not particularly nice to experience contractions while laying down in my experience – and my partner would assist me in every single one of them. We would sleep in between the contractions and to make the story even shorter, the same happened in the following two nights which means by the time I got to the day of giving birth, I have had four nights of really bad sleep with contraction pains… not cool, but that’s how it went.

 

The next day on Thursday, we got the first visit from the midwives after me telling them that contractions were still happening just not as frequently to call it an ‘active’ labor phase. So they came home, checked baby’s vital signs and did some acupuncture on me, some massaging and some rebozeo, which is a very traditional technique with what is called a ‘wrap’ in English to help the baby position herself better to give birth and also to assist with my hips and in general also to relieve some tension in my body. That was great, it all was aimed to ‘start the engine’ on the giving birth process. They explained to us how most women go into ‘activity’ at night due to some hormones, and so I was expecting that action would begin that night, but it didn’t. We had another long night with multiple contractions but nothing too painful to call it an active labor phase yet.

 

On Friday, both midwives came home again, this time they gave me a series of homeopathic stuff to induce labor and here comes the most interesting part, they also have a set of questions to check up on some of the emotional stuff that could be clogging or delaying the active labor phase. So when Minerva asked ‘are you ready to give birth to your child?’ My Ms. Correctness answer was ‘yes, as ready as I can be’ but my partner was like ‘hold on, that’s not true’ lol! Grateful for his ever bluntly honest perspectives and feedback because he then explained to me how I was still doing my work in the past days, how i was still doing chores and the ‘regular stuff’ and in essence not really focusing on the birthing process at all. I had to admit that was in fact true and how my sense of ‘responsibility’ was killing me because of not having ‘everything ready’ at the time and still holding on to that idea of myself having to ‘get to do everything’ and not really giving myself that space to realize: you are about to give Birth! How about focusing on THAT!

 

Well, that was my first point of admitting I was preoccupying myself with all kinds of stuff instead of realizing: it’s time, baby is about to be born. And then, there was some kind of question related to the end of pregnancy, and that’s where the nail was hit on the head as well. As the conversation opened up, I realized how pregnancy had become my comfort zone, I was feeling so well and was able to do ‘all of these things’ like going out and exercising and I was sleeping well up to the contraction-night time that I just kind of wanted to prolong that phase because, hey! it’s easier apparently, you don’t have to actually take care of the baby outside of the womb, don’t have to feed them or get to be awake at night, baby goes everywhere with me and I didn’t have to do a thing to care for her… this was my point of resistance and what also delayed my active labor phase.

 

It turns out that I was holding on to the pregnancy and as such, I was holding on to keeping the baby inside me, I hadn’t essentially let go and ‘detached’ in that sense of her. And, as I was sitting cross legged on the mat with my partner next to me and I started opening up all of these things about me ‘holding on to the pregnancy’ and having her within me… I seriously hadn’t realized this if it wasn’t for those questions that led me to find this out. And the moment that I said: “I need to let go, I need to detach” bam! The ‘water broke’ or the membranes were ruptured and liquid started flowing for real this time. I started crying, it was such a ‘magical’ moment, it seemed that’s what I had to realize, to really recognize this time as ‘this is IT! Baby is coming’ and in a way then also embracing that this was the end of this ‘sweet time’ that I made of pregnancy to be.

 

Was it the homeopathy, was it the talk, was it all of the above? I’m not sure or all of the above, but one thing led to another and so this time contractions continued ‘as usual’ throughout the afternoon and then around 10 pm at night on that Friday night, contractions really went up in intensity. I started experiencing them every 20 minutes and I kept tracking most of them. I am eternally grateful for my partner that would wake up with me and step out of bed in every single one of them throughout the night to assist me with coping with the pain, now that was some more intense stuff I couldn’t just ‘laugh’ through as I had done in the previous contractions. I had to be swaying from side to side holding his hand and holding myself from a piece of furniture that was in fact Minerva’s diaper changing zone 🙂 Well, once we saw that the intensity had reasonably augmented and that this time they didn’t seem to slow down in time, we called the midwives to let them know it was time to come home.

 

I still can’t fathom how we managed to do this, we would sleep some solid 20 minutes and like clockwork a new contraction would begin, then we would go back to sleep and so forth. By the time I kept track of the last series of contractions before midwives arrived at around 5 am on Saturday morning, I had logged in more than 235 contractions since early Wednesday morning when I started tracking them. God knows how many more I did on the rest of that Saturday when things got really intense and then we certainly knew it active labor time.

 

That Saturday is kind of fuzzy to me, time ceased to exist and I just remember having a lot of contractions, being on several positions, holding my partner’s hands in each contraction, holding the midwives hands when he had to leave to eat or go to the toilet. I was assisted with many natural means throughout the whole process, I had a heated bag of salt on my back to relieve the pain. I had homeopathy, aromatherapy, essential oils, massage, acupuncture all done throughout that day to assist with activating the process and relieving pain.

 

I was also able to eat whatever I wanted to, this apparently is a no go when going to a hospital. I had my aunt sending me some chicken soup and I even ate a bit of a hamburger throughout that day lol along with all the usual nuts and seeds that I eat, dried fruits, lots of electrolytes and a natural mix of lemon, salt, baking soda and honey to hydrate myself. I had some really rough moments where I thought

I wasn’t going to make it, I felt like fainting, I hadn’t slept in the past 4 nights and I was in pain. I got a tact done by Minerva and got to know I was half way dilated, there was progress, yay, but still had a long way to go. After some more hours of constant contractions, I got another tact done and voilà, I was fully dilated, yay, but I was exhausted.

 

This was a crucial moment because the birth tub was getting filled with water but there was a general concern to use it or not, because as much as water helps to relieve pain, it can also slow down the process and ultimately take it to a halt if one gets ‘too comfy’ in the water. Well, I decided I wanted to do it anyways and give it my all to make it work.

 

Now, entering that birth pool was a heavenly experience to me, seriously, I don’t know what I would have done without that water embracing me in that moment, I am grateful for having chosen this method of giving birth, which also btw can only be used once that one is totally ready to give birth, so it’s meant to be used for a short period of time, but! in my case, I spent more time in it than expected because, It did happen that things came to a halt at some point, I lost focus, I was really tired and I had to essentially be ‘re-focused’ to it through a guided meditation, to essentially give myself the necessary awareness of how close I was to giving birth now and how I had to gather my strength to do it. At this point I was really in pain, I was screaming out loud with all of my lungs and I was also continually directed to refocus it, to not go into the ‘pain’ experience but to channel that through vocalizing it, with my whole body instead of just ‘screaming out of pain’ type of thing.

 

Something else that I got to actually take as a big lesson in all of this is how I am not entirely IN my physical body, meaning aware of how every muscle works and how to direct my body in fact when it comes to something like giving birth where I couldn’t really focus on pushing as such where I needed to push; instead, I would tense my whole body and that of course only prolonged things once again. This was getting everyone’s nerves to the top, to be honest, I could see everyone’s face how they could see the baby’s head and I even was told to stick my finger up to feel her head and I couldn’t believe that ‘this was it’ that it was in fact Minerva’s head, I thought it was some trick to keep me in good spirits and keep pushing, lol, but it was in fact so that she was only a few centimeters away from the outside. Well, those few centimeters took a couple of hours of constant pushing for her to actually come out, yes, it was intense and by that moment I was having contractions like every minute or god knows how often, all I remember was having a contraction, holding my legs up so that Minerva, the midwife, could do some aid with her hands to have the baby come out and then I would go back into the water and drink electrolytes. Yep, I ended up drinking like 5 bottles of it that day, all definitely needed because, I was truly in that marathon experience I had considered it would be, only with some ‘extra’ days added of relative hard work.

 

I was getting desperate by the very end, I kept pushing and everyone kept saying how close I was but the baby wasn’t coming out. I have to admit I said – almost at the very end – I give up, I can’t do this anymore. In that moment, my mother stepped up and reminded me how this was definitely not the time to ‘give up’ lol and how I had to give it my all. She actually had to directly explain to me how to breathe and direct the force of that breathe to push the baby out. It turns out I just wasn’t really ‘connecting’ with that innate way that women have to give birth, it turns out my intellect, my rational mind has more of a hold of me to the point that I wasn’t really surrendering to the process. And that was in fact one of the key words that also assisted me to finally give birth, to surrender to it, I was still trying to ‘manage’ the pain by tensing up my body throughout the contractions, instead of giving myself to it, surrendering to it, offering myself to the process so to speak, fully opening myself up. And that’s something that I finally did in those last moments of pushing when I gave it my all, it didn’t matter anymore if all of my insides would come out in that moment, I just wanted Minerva to come out and end this whole marathon for myself, for her and for everyone that was there and not there that were also stuck to their phones trying to find out any news about the birth, making their prayers and sending me good vibes essentially for everything to go well.

 

The moment came when I did one of those gargantuan efforts to push and with Minerva’s hands as aid, the head was released from my birth canal and a fraction of a second afterwards the whole body just came out like a torpedo in the water. I couldn’t believe myself and as I type this, I still can’t fathom how that was possible. My partner was in tears throughout the last phase of the process because he was seeing how much I was in pain and suffering, but I kept calm in that sort of trance that one goes into when giving birth, I can’t honestly recall if I cried at some point, I probably did, but the moment that Minerva came out it was just this giant relief, because I was just about to be ‘out’ when it comes to lacking energy to do another effort like that.

 

She was finally here, on my chest, spewing some phlegm out and mustering her first crying. I recognized the feel of her vertebrae because it was the same I would feel on my womb, I said how I was glad she was finally here, but I was mostly ‘out’ of myself by that moment. Giving birth to the baby doesn’t mean it’s over yet. Next came the placenta and I wasn’t ready to have more contractions for it to be delivered, I wanted to have some ‘rest time’ lol, but it didn’t quite happen, after some 20 minutes I had another big contraction – though less than the actual final delivery moment – and the placenta came out also with quite a force.

 

The next thing was to step out of the pool, which I didn’t want to do, but it was something I HAD to do since I was already at a very weak state and staying there was only prolonging getting back to the regular pressure of the outside and getting some actual rest. While the midwives and my partner were helping me to get out of the pool, Minerva was carried by my mother, a very happy grandmother that got to carry her first while still connected with the placenta that was kept in a crystal container next to her, that was definitely something new to her for sure as well.

 

As I went out of the pool, I felt the weight of gravity, I felt like the air wasn’t enough for me, I felt pain just everywhere and as I was walking next door to the room where we would be sleeping, I was ‘gone’ for a second. This was very creepy for me as well because that moment where I essentially ‘fainted’ seemed like an eternity for me. I was awaken by Minerva with the words ‘Marlen, wake up, you are here and now’  with a very direct voice and as I opened my eyes and saw her face, it’s as if I had been born myself again, like having that fraction of a second recap of what had just happened ‘Oh god, I just gave birth, Minerva – our daughter – is here, I made it, we made it’ and then after a few steps, same fainting happened and was brought back instantly again with their ‘magic’ lol – and I was awaken.

 

This is significant, this is something that happens to women where there’s like a really big shock after birth, and sometimes there’s this unconscious desire to just not wanting to ‘wake up’ to the new reality of having a child, of becoming a mother, of now having to take care of a child. I do see some of that in my case considering how I had interestingly enough placed ‘the birthing process’ as some sort of an end-goal, instead of taking it as the beginning of a new phase in my life that it actually was.  Fortunately, I am alive to tell, lol, it’s not like I was dying, it felt like a rebirth certainly, a new phase of me and my life of which I still had to go through some more ‘mourning’ because, I hadn’t really placed too much attention into ‘what’s next’ after the baby is delivered… yep, that is correct and so the next phase came with the challenges that emerge when one is stuck with the heroic feeling of ‘delivering the baby’ and forgets about actually taking care of oneself mentally and physically for that which starts right after the baby is out.

 

Fortunately enough due to all the labor done, colostrum came out with ease and Minerva started sucking it up right away with all her might and strength which has characterized her from the moment she was in the womb 🙂 We had a very special moment to cut the umbilical cord, a little ceremony to release her from the placenta that had given her all the support she needed to be born alive and well, which I ended up also consuming right after giving birth  in a milkshake as well as taking it in pills throughout the quarantine to take some of those nutrients back into my body – and some other medicine that was made from it as well as the actual dried placenta, which serves as an aid to restore tissue in any kind of injuries in our bodies. Well, I share about this to be aware of all the benefits of using the placenta, instead of perhaps leaving it to the hospital where they most likely sell it on the black market to companies that make some ‘stem cell’ health or beauty products. Own your placenta, women! I learned to be thankful to it in realizing the essential job it has to keep my child alive in the womb.

 

Once the cord was cut – with an obsidian knife by my partner – I was just wanting to rest, and there is nothing like being able to get out of the ‘birthing room’ – as we now call the TV room hehe – take a few steps and be in bed at the comfort of your own home, not having to deal with any other ‘hassle’ of measurements or vaccines or lousy treatments for the mother or the baby, just pure skin to skin contact with myself and with her father. I ended up sleeping afterwards and my partner slept with Minerva on his chest that whole night. That is priceless when it comes to the first hours after the baby comes out of the womb, to have the warmth of her parents as a bed to sleep on, no need for separate beds or incubation.

 

The next day, I was feeling ‘really well’ like surprisingly well – all things considered in terms of all the postpartum aches and bleeding. I sure would get the usual contractions while breastfeeding and bleeding quite a bit as is normal after giving birth, but I felt well, perhaps some of the hormones still having an effect on me at that time that I kind of ‘forgot’ to eat well, I ‘forgot’ to sleep more during the day. We were just ecstatic about the whole odyssey that the birthing process had been, we were just happy to see Minerva alive and well and have her in our arms and I forgot to do those very basic self-care points even if people offered them, I didn’t quite ‘realized’ that I had to be WELL fed and rested to be there for my child, to feed her, to take care of her.

 

Minerva was born at 6:35 pm on Saturday January 18th, and I went to bed at around 11 I think. The next day I didn’t sleep throughout the day, I have had some bad nights of sleep the previous days but I didn’t seem to care, until the second night where I felt the effect of staying up several nights and I felt so weak that I was losing it, like closing my eyes and perceiving I was going to ‘leave’ type of thing, it was scary for myself and my partner who didn’t know what to do in the moment other that telling me to go to sleep while having a baby that craved to eat but still wasn’t having enough of what she was demanding at the moment, so that was a stressful time for the three of us and got to learn the lesson: I have to feed myself well enough, I have to rest well because I am now feeding my daughter and I have to take care of her and so, I have to be well for myself to be there for her as well.

 

I share this because, it may happen that someone overlooks this kind of basic things and one can prevent such ‘overdrive’ by learning from others’ experiences as well.  After that, I made sure I eat more than the usual because I am breastfeeding Minerva, also resting well even if at times it is hard for me to go back to sleep after feeding her at night, since I have ‘programmed’ myself to ‘wake up’ and be fresh like a lettuce quite easily upon opening my eyes, but that means I start my mind and brain’s engine and then it’s hard to fall asleep again, even if I’m tired, so I’m still practicing breathing at night to be able to sleep. I’ve never had any problems to sleep at night, but I definitely have a hard time going back to sleep in the middle of the night, and that’s been a bit of a challenge because, Minerva is actually really calm, she wakes up at night, eats and goes back to sleep, there’s really no hassle with that, but it’s all now on me to be able to go back to sleep in fact and perhaps it has to do with my constant ide of “having stuff to do” which is also a form of anxiety I have to work with and will share more about in time.

 

Well, up to there the birthing process odyssey. I am entirely and eternally grateful for the two midwives that assisted us – Minerva and Maria Luisa – who were some genuine pillars of support throughout the whole process with their strength, courage, bravery, wisdom and essentially coaching me throughout this journey and life changing moment – a rite of passage in fact – which was giving birth to Minerva and me becoming a mother. Omg, yes it took me some days or perhaps a week or so to actually ‘change the chip’ in my head to realize ‘I am a mother now’ lol, but I’m getting better at it 🙂

 

We are also eternally grateful to our family and friends that were in spirit with us in that moment. We decided to only have my parents present in the birthing process, so my sisters and the rest of my relatives waited some days or weeks to visit us to meet Minerva, which we appreciate in them understanding this decision, giving us time before coming to visit, which is also different from how things usually go when having a baby delivered at a hospital and everyone comes at the same time. This was also something different we did to give ourselves a space to recover and get to know Minerva as well since it is quite a new thing to enter that parenting phase right after the birth process, which I will expand on in blogs to come.

 

The current aftermath is that I recovered quite well and I’d dare to say, surprisingly fast. This is from my experience and doing some constructive comparison to my sisters for example with c sections, I was back on line so to speak with ease. I sure was drained for a week or so to catch up on some sleep and eating more than well too. But I then was fine, had no complications thankfully, so I’m grateful to my body and the organs, tissue and bones that were involved in this process, well, the whole of my body actually. I’m currently quite fine and almost the same as before the pregnancy, which is awesome and another proof of how natural processes take in perhaps most cases less time to recover from.

 

I may also add I was glad I got to do exercise and get a better physical condition during the pregnancy because! It was definitely like a marathon that I experienced and I’m not sure I would have been able to deliver this way without building some physical condition to withstand the amount of effort I had to put in this whole ordeal. However again, I’ve heard of stories of women that don’t really do any physical training and get to deliver with ease, so nothing is set in stone, as I was saying, it all depends on our bodies and getting to know ours is a primary thing to do in any case.

 

Thank you for reading if you got up to here. I wanted to share this as close to the reality as possible to perhaps assist other women to realize that labor, the birthing process can be lengthy, yes, and that there’s no reason to be alarmed and be rushed into hospital if it’s been one or two days of ongoing contractions and nothing happens… it actually takes patience and perseverance to get it done in a natural way without any artificial ‘accelerators’ like artificial oxytocin that’s given at hospitals, which make contractions feel a lot more painful and accelerates the whole process because there it is about hospital time and doctor’s time. In my case, I’m almost certain no hospital or doctor would have had the patience I needed to give labor in a natural way, I probably would have been induced at the first signs of having contractions and most likely citing al kinds of risks (not real in fact) about losing amniotic fluid, having the umbilical cord around the neck (which she had as well) or being too big to fit and probably doing an episiotomy – when in reality I was able to deliver without any tearing 🙂

 

Thus it is also relevant to realize how a lot of the “complications” that may be commonly cited by doctors “at the last minute” while being at the hospital about to deliver – a very, very vulnerable moment for the woman – might just be the usual tricks and ways to get you to agree to “speed up” the process or “just get over with the pain” so as to consent to get a C-section instead. Again, this is in cases when the woman is fit and healthy to have a natural birth and had planned or desired to have a vaginal delivery, which takes time, patience and perhaps not many have it when it comes to, say, 4 days in passive and active labor like I did.

 

Here I also want to say that it is OK if one wants to instead go to the hospital if one doesn’t feel like doing it ‘al natural’ anymore, or if something goes off in the body or if one is seriously too exhausted to make it. It is OK as well to have moments of rest and just keep at it and trust that things will be alright with proper monitoring of the situation of course – like keeping track of baby’s vital signs etc. I have learned how for some women it can go as fast as a couple of hours of labor and having an easy delivery s well, each body is unique and so different and this is then my story with most of the variables that influenced the outcome, so it is definitely not something to measure anyone’s birthing process against.

 

This is a tale to perhaps encourage women considering natural births or perhaps prevent having to be ‘rushed to get a C-section’ for those that do want to have a natural birth or just have unnecessary procedures done onto themselves. Know that there are ways, even with the umbilical cord on the neck or any other seemingly inevitable obstacle. So, consider questioning your practitioner or midwife about any possible obstacles or complications and how they handle them, so that you are on top of things and are aware of every decision made in your birthing process. It’s your body and your child’s wellbeing, so, be aware and use your ability to decide How you want to give birth wisely.

 

I can lastly say that I am humbled by the whole experience. I was able to see how much I have yet to really BE my body, which is something I want to continue focusing on developing. And at the same time, I am humbly proud of myself for this, I turned one of my ‘greatest fears’ into a successful self-empowerment story, and may I say: this is just the beginning 🙂

 

Placenta Print

 

Join in if you want to start walking your own process of creating yourself to be the best that you can be:

 


646. Choosing How To Give Birth

 

It’s been over a month since I gave birth so, it’s time to share about the actual big decision we made when it comes to giving birth to Minerva, our daughter.  I’d like to first of all clarify that what I’m about to share is a very personal process and decision that doesn’t imply ‘is the right or correct way’ to do things or ‘how it should be.’ I respect each woman’s and couple’s choice of how they give birth, and as such I’ll share the story of how we got to choose ours, which we were really glad and satisfied to do after all.

 

From the 5th month or so we started looking at ‘where to give birth’ and few names of hospitals came up, I went to visit one and even if it was an entire hospital just for giving birth, something didn’t quite sit right with me. I had initially considered that I would be having possibly the usual C-section like most of the women in my family and that would be it. However, as I was in the spot looking at the rooms and the list of instruments and stuff that’s used for the ‘birthing package,’ I got calmly freaked out, I couldn’t really fathom myself being at a hospital giving birth, though I thought I had to ‘suck it up’ because ‘there was no other way’ apparently.

 

Well, I kept having such hospital in mind, trying not to think too much about it in the subsequent weeks, but then a few things came to my awareness as I started investigating more about the birthing process that led me to become aware of alternative ways to give birth and by this I mean both in and out of hospitals, beginning with the idea of having a natural birth, which I had sincerely not considered before seriously enough because of the idea of how painful it would be.

 

One day my cousin – who is now pregnant by the way, lol – told me about the documentary ‘The business of being born’ and that opened up my eyes to what actually goes on with doctors and hospitals in terms of how they essentially benefit from sending a perfectly healthy woman to get a C-section by making up all kinds of stories that lead the mothers-to-be into a path of apparent ‘no other way around other than C-section’ or ‘no-other-way-around but to get an episiotomy’ and a bunch of other so called ‘problems’ that are in fact rare in nature that could make a birthing process difficult.

 

Around that same time, we had a chat with my friend who is a neonatal care specialist and she made us aware of all the things we would have to be aware of that are routinely done to newborns in hospitals… there were quite a few things that we got to understand could disrupt the bonding and feeding initial processes that are so relevant to do in the moment right after the baby is born, along with other shots and intervention that I had seen in the hospital’s TVs when my nephews and niece were born, which by the way horrified me and I couldn’t understand how everyone would be so joyful at seeing the newborn being treated like a piece of meat about to be sold while I was shocked and almost cried of seeing how they were being handled by the doctors. I didn’t want this for me nor for our child at all, but this is ‘how things are’ apparently.

 

I also got to chat to my friend Anna and she expressed how she would have liked to have a woman accompanying her birthing process – a doula to be precise- and that got me pondering how is it that I ‘really’ wanted to give birth, because I was just superficially looking at that significant point as if it wasn’t relevant enough, but it all was due to me not being informed about ‘how things go’ in fact at a hospital and the potential of having either natural or C-section there, and the relevance it has for both the mother and the baby. All of this peaked my curiosity and interest to actually try and do things differently than how I had observed people around me would do with their pregnancies and birth processes.

 

So, I avidly started investigating the benefits, the pros and cons of C-sections, natural birth at hospital, the procedures etc. I still couldn’t fathom me going through this at such a place, but I was ‘settling’ for it because I thought there was no other way in hospitals where I live.

 

Then, I stumbled upon the ‘humanized birth’ concept and some doctors trying to sell that for many thousands… well, talking to them didn’t sound like they were totally ‘humanizing’ after all when including all kinds of expenses for anesthesia even if I didn’t end up requiring it. Then I got to watch the birthing process of a yoga teacher on YouTube which really peaked my interest in finding a way to do something similar. I had been following her yoga lessons throughout pregnancy so that’s how I got to see that she gave birth at a birth center and voilà, that seemed like an awesome thing to do: giving birth in a tub, in water. Hmm that looked so nice and peaceful, away from this spooky hospital place. I thought how that would be so awesome and I did further research on it, but I only found some costly services from Mexico City, which seemed like a lot and improbable due to the preparation required for it, and I was already getting to the 7th month by the time.

 

Well to short-cut the story after watching a lot of information on water births, investigating ‘who’ could do it and not finding anything, I went to my first actual prenatal yoga birth class and there I met a woman that, in our 10 minute conversation, told me about her plan to have a home birth with midwives and in water! I was like ‘what? you can actually do that here?’ and so I finally got her midwife’s contact and that changed the course of the birth story and something I am entirely grateful for, perhaps I just hadn’t done a proper search on Facebook for it, lol, but I found the right people at the right time.

 

Oh, I had also known of another friend from my qi gong class that was choosing to give birth at home with midwives, it sounded too ‘hippie’ to me lol, of course this is a  prejudice I’d then clear up with proper information on my side, she was 3 months more advanced than me in her pregnancy, so I got to know about her – also – lengthy birthing process and it turned out it was the same midwife that assisted her 🙂  so that created more confidence in our choice. I also remembered Joana’s birth at home and I remembered her having a tub, so I kept considering that there should be a way to do that here, and perseverance played a role because I got to find the right people to accompany me and actually do the whole process that we both had by then considered would be the best way to give birth to our child.

 

Talking to the midwife -whose name is also by coincidence Minerva -was refreshing in the sense that she explained to us the way she does things and that’s exactly what we wanted,  we were in the same ‘wavelength’ so to speak and at the time we still were going with the regular doctor who would indicate to us – as I have shared in previous blogs – how everything was going just fine and without any complications, which of course then was like a ‘green light’ to pursue doing things in a natural way.

 

Here it is relevant to say that this whole process of ditching the hospital idea and going for the home birth plan is entirely a personal – and as a couple – decision that doesn’t mean ‘it’s the best way’ for everyone. I’ve met women who didn’t feel at all at ease with the idea of having a child at home and went to the hospital because that’s where they would feel most at ease and safe, some others just can’t have natural births due to medical reasons or any other physical complication, even though I’ve also now gotten to know more about the medical tricks used to entice women to get C-sections and so forth, but that’s another story and something each women would have the responsibility to investigate to not be, essentially, tricked and fooled into believing they can’t give birth in a natural way, The reason for this? Easy: money.

 

To me, choosing to give birth this way was like a 180 degree turn again, where I went from being very vague about a birth plan and sort of brushing off the idea of having to go to a hospital to give birth and postponing looking at those – gory to me – details because I actually didn’t want to, and circumstances led me to find other ways with which I was definitely more comfortable with. And this to me was also a revelation, because… the idea of giving birth without any ‘painkiller’ is probably something I feared the most in my life, the sole idea of giving birth was one of the reasons why I didn’t want to have children to begin with. However with sufficient amount of YouTube testimonies on natural birth, several documentaries about midwives, births at home, births in water, learning about the multiple – horror – stories of obstetric violence at hospitals and women’s accounts of their terrible experience at hospitals was enough for me to realize that this would be the best way for us, and that we’d have to work a bit hard on it, since it wasn’t going to be easy, so I set myself up to have this ‘mountain-hiking’ like experience that giving birth resembles, according to Minerva, our midwife.

 

The most interesting part of this is how ‘uncommon’ and ‘dangerous’ and therefore feared this way of giving birth is for a lot of people.  When we talked to my mother about our home birth decision and asking her if we could use their home – specifically their TV lounge – to be the space for our choice of birthing process, man, it was very difficult, she reacted a LOT and it’s all because of fears and misinformation that we’ve gotten throughout the past decades about a birth process being some sort of ‘illness’ or ‘complication’ that needs a whole medical team to do it… this is of course in the majority of cases false, however, as with everything, we have been brainwashed to think the other way around and have forgotten the thousands of years that women have given birth without the ‘clinically sanitized’ hospitals, when in fact there’s a lot of evidence on how counterproductive this can be for both mothers and children – yep perhaps not in everyone’s case, but there’s still a lot to fine tune when it comes to giving proper aid and support to a birthing mother in hospitals to prevent a lot of the mistreatment that causes emotional stress and many times even influences the infamous postpartum depression.

 

We kept this plan under the radar for the most part precisely because of considering how most people would be fearing the worst by us doing it this way and possibly talking us out of this ‘crazy’ idea, so, it was our first choice anyways, but always also kept a plan B in case anything could possibly go wrong, and that’s also very relevant because there were certain conditions that ‘in the last minute’ could in fact be sufficient reasons to go to a hospital and get a C-section. I am entirely grateful that wasn’t my case, but I will detail as well in the following blog how the whole birthing process actually took place.

 

So with this all, the learning point is to not settle with what the majority of people do around you even if it doesn’t really ‘sit right’ within you. Once I asked my mother about how I’d like to have some ‘freedom’ in the positions to give birth. and this was way before our choice of home-birthing – and she was like ‘no way, you are doing to be in one of those beds where you put your legs up and that’s how you deliver a baby… that in itself already sounded like an unnatural ‘must do’ where my palms would start to sweat just by the thought of seeing myself in that situation with all the white bright lights and screaming my lungs out without being able to move… well that was enough motivation for me to look at doing things differently.

 

Secondly, to not back down with making this kind of choice even if multiple ‘worst case scenarios’ are presented to oneself by different people in an attempt to ‘do the safe thing’ according to their views, perspectives and experiences. It’s also understandable how a lot of people do this out of actually wanting the best for oneself, but, it’s also important to consider that without having proper information or education on the subject, any idea that goes out of the ‘norm’ may simply be feared because of not being the most common thing to do or having misinformation about it. In this, we learned to understand people’s fears and concerns, but we also take them from ‘where they come from’ so as to then investigate their claims and truly make sure that those fears are addressed with proper directions of ‘what one would do IF’ this or that complication takes place.

 

Thirdly, realizing that the thing one feeds throughout one’s life as ‘the thing I feared the most’ is probably something that one needs to actually do to then come through on the other side and say ‘hey, I made it! I’m alive’ and yes, this by no means down-sizes the actual rough process this was, but I also see how my disposition to stop just fearing and instead looking into a better way  – to me- to give birth, making an informed decision and choice and preparing myself for it – not having anyone telling me ‘what’ to do – empowered me to own my decision, in a way, knowing that yes, this will probably be hard but hey it’s my absolute choice and decision, and that actually helped me to get rid of fears of ‘not being able to do it’ and instead, entirely trust the process and trust my capacity to do it, along with the indispensable help of professionals to do so of course.

 

As a result of this, I actually felt a lot better in the last weeks and days leading to the birthing time, because I knew I wasn’t going to a hospital, I wasn’t going to go through surgery, I wouldn’t have to worry about extra expenses and charges that these places usually do – and doctors – and instead pay a round fee for it which included the whole attention and support needed throughout the whole birth labor process. This also was a settling fact, because I’ve heard also the stories of how hospitals kind of take advantage of couples being in this ecstatic moment of giving birth to their child and any ‘extra’ expenses are just unquestioned because ‘well at least my child is here and safe’ and bam, there goes some 25% or more of the cost on top of the initial expected fees… yes, yikes, there’s a LOT that needs to be changed in the medical realm and specifically in birthing processes, but that’s just my perspective from what I’ve researched so far.

 

All I can say for any woman expecting a child or looking for alternative ways to give birth or just having a regular plan at the hospital is to get informed, at least on the basics of how you will be ‘handled’ and how your baby will also be handled from the moment they come out of the womb – regardless of the way you deliver – so that you are the most aware possible of how things will go. I share this because of watching many women having sour experiences after birth because of not informing themselves or being tricked ‘in the last moment’ to do something they didn’t want to initially but believing there are ‘no other ways’ so, going for it without a question. In this I might sound as if I am encouraging people to do it the natural way, to have a home birth or with midwives, and that’s how i would do it if I had to do it all over again – not that I plan to either, lol – but I am simply suggesting to own your choice and decision so that whatever the outcome is, one can be settled with it, embracing the outcomes and consequences of such choice. I guess this applies to everything really, but this is just my experience with choosing a way to give birth 🙂  

 

Choosing how to give birth - Marlenlife

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645. Revisiting My Own Birth

 

 This is a new year, a new decade and I’m surely starting it with quite a massive change coming in our lives soon and all that I can do is give a possible or tentative final chapter to this series of blogs related to pregnancy now since I am officially 37 weeks, and from next week on, baby can decide to be born any time. I didn’t find something that relevant or different to share in the past month since I definitely kept on the same routine and habits I had shared about in the previous blog and everything has been going well and I had been feeling quite fine. I started this new year though with a flu and with that not being able to ‘keep up’ with the routine I have set for myself and then, suddenly I started feeling more discomfort and weight on my belly and more tiredness and aches in parts I had not had it before and that also came as a realization that, well, yes, we’re now officially into the ninth month and so it makes sense that I’m coming to experience that shortness of breath and tiredness everyone was talking about. But, I am still recovering from the flu and I haven’t moved as much and I may be speaking from that kind of context of hitting the nine months and having a flu – nonetheless, I am thankful though that sleeping isn’t yet much of a problem or aching so much. I do seem to have some kind of contractions, but it’s also part of baby gaining more weight and positioning to get out, but I know it’s all quite ‘chilled’ at this point compared to what may be the actual birthing process, but even that, we can’t really know how will actually go.

I want to write about the birthing process and my relationship to my own birth since we’ve had some interesting support from midwives about certain conditions I may have and how it could relate to the way I was born.  Perhaps this is something that may be entirely an assumption or ‘linking of the dots’ in a convenient way, but I do see that it is nonetheless timely to open up about it and walk through any remnants of that as I prepare to give birth and to use this opportunity to heal from my own birthing experience as in ‘how I came into this world.’

I had at some point written about the idea of having had fetal suffering with having the umbilical cord around my neck. I’m recently learning that’s not really ‘a problem’ to be given birth in a natural way, and more like how some doctors may use that as a reason to get the woman into a surgery, which is a whole topic in itself when it comes to the various reasons why some doctors prefer to induce women into labor or getting c-sections without there being a real need for it. In my mother’s case after she explained her labor process with us, it seems that this was the case. That means, I probably wasn’t really having fetal suffering and all the ideas that I created in my mind about ‘having had fetal suffering therefore I have this inherent ‘emotional suffering’ as part of my nature’. What I did go through though is the inducing of labor, which implies this rush to get me out and compressing in time the whole labor process that my mother could have naturally gone through, but was sped up artificially. How could that have affected me? There were some lines drawn to certain experiences that ‘could be’ linked to it, and I’ll share about them here.

I’ve noticed how up to this day in certain conditions I may show some signs of lacking air, feeling a bit claustrophobic for example if being in a bus with too many people – or having little to no space around me empty – suddenly seeing myself almost gasping for air or wanting to open up windows because of perceiving that ‘I can’t breathe’, almost like claustrophobia and having this urge to ‘get out’ as soon as I can. I actually even recall this kind of experiences quite vividly whenever I’ve had them, including the time when I didn’t know how to swim as a kid and I ended up at the bottom of the pool and having that same anxiety of ‘wanting to go to the surface’ and not knowing how to and feeling quite desperate and afraid of not being able to ‘get out’ and breathe. I end up having similar symptoms when having low blood pressure, all of a sudden getting tired and yawning after having been just fine the moment prior to me thinking : ‘I’m in a packed place, it’s hot, there’s little oxygen, I have to get out quickly’.

Well, the suggestion was made that this could be a remnant of my birth experience where I basically was pushed to go out through chemicals that induce and rush contractions in an unnatural way and even though this was happening, my mother didn’t dilate. I didn’t know this, and this was essentially medical negligence because then it simply meant it wasn’t my time at all but, it was all forced to fit a certain timeframe and with the assumption that me having the umbilical cord was a sign of fetal suffering = therefore I had to be taken out.  What happened then is that because mother was having contractions, but there was no dilation, I felt most likely trapped, being pushed to go out but having no way of going out.

It also reminds me of the kind of panic I would go into, like petrifying fear whenever I would play with my sisters and they would lock me in a closet, I’d go into some kind of trauma in those moments because of not being able to get out as well and start crying desperately, also gasping for air even if I was say locked in a bathroom or a closet that had sufficient oxygen. Well, it all sounds a bit similar to what I could have gone through at the moment of birth and that being the cause of my fetal suffering: being pushed to go out but having no way to go out and so having had to be taken out surgically through a c-section.

So here, also clarifying that it’s not about the c-section in itself that was the problem, but the conditions around it that (mis)led to it and what I most likely went through within my mother and what my mother went through as all the worry, apprehension and stress of having these heavy contractions but having no ‘opening’ at all.  I was suggested to make peace with what transpired at the time and instead focus on being grateful for having being born, being alive and healing that birthing process within me, so that it doesn’t reverberate into the experience that’s coming up for me next in giving birth myself.

I am aware that what I experience as let’s call it the ‘claustrophobic’ experience may or may not be related to the birthing process, but since understanding things usually leads me to the ability of making peace or making amends with things, I decide to for now take this ‘connecting of the dots’ to self-forgive it, walk through it, understanding what happened, what was done, why it was done and let go of it, not harboring any bad feelings around it either since it was a different time back when I was born and there might have been mistakes made. But hey, I’m here and alive so, now that I’m aware of what actually transpired, I can stop creating stories or reasoning about it and simply heal from it, let it go, understand it and focus on what’s here for me to look at now that the birthing time is coming closer, and so have a blank slate on how a birthing process can be.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to harbor an experience of claustrophobia as in going into a physical perception of lacking oxygen, lacking air to breathe, not being able to breathe, feeling suddenly weak and sometimes even having cold sweat pouring out as signs of distress that could have originated from the time when I was ‘induced to be born’ through chemical means that would try and accelerate the birthing process, yet not having a ‘way out’ naturally as the opening of my mother’s vagina to actually have a way out, and in the end, having to be taken out through a surgical maneuver that may not have been necessary if proper time was given for me to be birthed.

I realize that at the time, my mother and doctors did what they thought was best for her and for me as a baby having the circular around the neck – the umbilical cord around the neck – and believing that was a sign of fetal suffering that they had to act on, and that my mother followed doctor’s orders and perspectives because of not knowing any better, and with that comes then my own forgiveness to doctors and my mother for not knowing any better way to deal with that situation and doing what was common to do at the time.

I realize that currently I have the opportunity to live in a different time, different era where a lot of the misconceptions around pregnancy and giving birth are being opened up for discussion and clarifying a lot of beliefs that would usually lead to surgical births for example, and that are now not considered a reason to induce labor, speed up labor, doing c-sections or intervening mothers in other unnatural ways to give birth – and that I now have sufficient information and education about it to make different decisions on how to give birth, what is doable and what is not and having this opportunity to perhaps prevent my own child from going through what I went through in my own birthing experience, and with that, allowing myself to be birthed again with her in a more suitable way.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to in any unconscious way harbor resentment or anger towards my mother and the doctors for the way that I was born, for the experience that was perhaps traumatic and claustrophobic as I was pressured to go outside of my mother’s womb, of not being ‘respected’ enough to allow me to naturally show signs of wanting to get out, but instead be intervened because of a belief around fetal suffering at the time, even if it wasn’t yet my time to go out.  

I realize that they all did what they could in my best interest with the knowledge that they all had at the time and that if I had been in their exact same shoes and responsibility and with the same amount of information or education they had, I would have done the same thing in the consideration of what I would know to be best.

Therefore, all that is left for me to do is to prevent such same or similar scenarios in my own process of giving birth to our child now that I have access to more information and education about the real contexts or complications where I’d have to go into an emergency c-section surgery and knowing when not to worry to be unnecessarily rushed into one, such as having long labor or not dilating as quick as it would be ‘ideal’ or having a circular around the neck or losing the mucous plug ‘long before due date’ – but mostly realizing that now I’m also in the hands of people that have their best interest on me having a natural birthing process and that we could only consider a surgery if it is strictly necessary – and this is then the trust that I can give to myself and to my baby to be fine with either outcome based on how things evolve on the birthing process itself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to recreate the same suffering or traumatic experience I had in my own birth whenever some elements I’ve defined as ‘distressful’ are in my environment, such as when feeling like there’s a lack of oxygen in the air, when feeling like I don’t have enough space around me to move and so feeling like I have to ‘rush to get out’ and in general the experience of ‘having to rush’ constantly and not being able to slow down may even come from that experience of having to ‘quickly’ move somewhere or go out and not being able to be just stable and calm even if having a small limited amount of space around me in certain environments, or if seeing closed windows and perceiving that ‘I need some fresh air’ in moments when going into this kind of physical distress that may – or may not be- related to the experience I had when being forced to get out from my mother’s womb as a baby.

I realize that I’ve been explained how no matter how ‘tight’ a place can be with people, the idea of lack of oxygen is mostly a belief in my mind and that the experience of ‘having to rush to get out’ may also be a remnant of that initial experience within my mother’s womb that I can now let go of and instead direct myself to practice remaining calm, learning to breathe properly as well, deep enough so that I can actually replenish my body with necessary oxygen and at the same time, to use that breathing process to settle myself down in my body, to not fuel ideas of ‘having to move or go somewhere’ but instead to embrace that moment where I can redirect my focus and attention from ‘lack of oxygen’ to ‘I can breathe, I’m here, my physical body has what it needs, there’s no rush to go somewhere, I can slow down, be here, I’m here’.  

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to recreate a sense of resentment and anger towards medical professionals that have and may continue to induce labor to women for unnecessary reasons, causing more babies to go through the kind of experience that I went through – or worse – and within this to realize that my own pain, suffering or emotional distress now that I know how these things work only do a disservice to my own body and the baby that is growing within me, therefore I let go of the emotional stress about it and remain calm.

I realize that the real path to change is to be informed, to get educated about what really goes on in the birthing process so that I can know how things may be, how ‘complications’ may be approached, how to handle certain obstacles during the birthing process and how to also make peace if intervention is needed in case my body does require it and it is in fact the best option for everyone involved, myself and my baby.

I also realize that I have to be open to the unknown in this birthing process and that a lot of ‘stuff’ may open up that day that I need to physically work through and go through, and that all that I have for now as a preparation is knowing that I can trust myself. I also have to listen to my body, to not get ‘hooked’ on a particular idea of ‘how I want things to be’ but to always place our wellbeing as a priority.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to mentally resist and fear the idea of having to go through surgical procedures or further intervention to give birth, instead of realizing that if I resist and fear it, it persists. Instead, I need to embrace that as a possible path if it is necessary to go through it.

I realize that as much as I’ve set myself to do it in a natural or less intervened way, things may not happen the way that I could prefer them to happen – therefore, I embrace the possibilities of what may be needed or required to be done when the birthing process takes place.

I realize that flexibility and being open to ‘the unknown’ is a key here considering that we may sometimes want things to be in a particular way and create expectations about it, which may simply not turn out to be the reality that we create and face and so, that becomes the origin of resentment, guilt, dissatisfaction and even anger for not being able to ‘accomplish’ certain birth plan, as it is called. I’m making peace with whatever has to happen that day and time whenever baby decides to come out into this world.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that my body will not handle this kind of process properly and that I won’t be ‘strong enough’ for it, not realizing these are fears from times when I would actually have this kind of ‘lack of air’ in certain physical situations and feeling like ‘fainting’ which might be once again related to this belief that there is something ‘wrong with me and my body’ and ‘I don’t have a physical body that’s suitable for demanding exercises’ or situations – however, I have been physically challenging that idea and I have to make peace with the fact that anything can happen, but I can have the certainty and can be proud of myself of how I have invested on my physical wellbeing to be prepared for that birthing process and for what’s to come, regardless of the outcome and regardless of how my body can handle things and how baby decides to come into this world.

All that I can be and focus on is on my own trust, strength and confidence to do what it takes to walk through the birthing process, something I never thought of going through in this life to be honest and that I can also feel now proud of being willing to go through and have the courage for it, after having been so fearful of anything related to giving birth for most of my life, mostly because of hearsay, misinformation, lack of proper education and will to learn more about it, because of fears really. I now see the capacity to turn things around if I decide to do so with awareness, dedication and willingness to do this with all of my being, a once in a lifetime process for sure, because even if one has more kids, no process is ever the same, and that applies for everything really.

As a closure, first of all, this is all a result of walking the Desteni process, I do not know how I would have handled something like this without the support and tools to break through some of the main limitations I’ve had lived in for two thirds of my life. I also can be glad and satisfied with how I have carried this pregnancy process on, for the most part it became quite enjoyable to be honest after the first three or so months. It’s perhaps the kind of challenge I consider I wouldn’t have taken on with full awareness or deciding to do so explicitly – as that worst of me was overriding my ability to see beyond my initial fears – nonetheless it has been an opportunity to grow as a person, and I’m extremely thankful for it, we both are.  And even though it has its challenges, difficulty in making certain decisions and even if discomfort emerges from time to time, I embrace it as part of the whole actual miracle that creating a baby inside me is, without me being aware of it at all. And on top of that, the time that’s left is really nothing to go through some more ‘slowing down’ processes, some more ‘weight of life’ to carry on in order to give birth to the new part of us that is coming into this world J

All the best for us and for all of you, let’s see how life unfolds J

Happy new year 2020

 

Litografía - Ultrasonido

 

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644. Strengthening Confidence

 

 It’s been some interesting and very active past 2 months, time seems to go flying to me and it seems that the more that I have expanded my view on how to get things done in relation to ‘having a baby’ and more specifically on ‘delivering’ a baby, a lot more has kind of opened up within me to ‘integrate’ the realization of soon having a new little person in our lives that we have to completely and absolutely take care of, and embracing that fact by preparing myself the best that I can for it. This is a practical way to create confidence within myself which is a word I’ll be writing quite a bit about today, considering I’ve made two words to live by the focus of my current living time which are: confidence and strength.

I have previously written about and understood confidence to be the result of doing something many times, practicing something a lot to the point where you feel at ease, comfortable in doing it, trusting yourself that ‘you can’ because you have done it so many times. However, when it comes to something that will be a ‘once off’ situation like in this case having a baby – and yes no matter how many one may have, each time will be surely different and unique – one cannot really ‘practice’ that process to the point of getting comfortable with it. One can play a simulation, get some exercises and movements integrated at a physical level to become more aware of the body parts involved, become more aware of breathing, understanding the ‘theory’ behind the birthing process, strengthening the body to the point where one can withstand such a demanding and strenuous process – or so I’ve been told/heard/read it is – but that’s as far as one can go.

In this case, there’s that complete aspect of ‘stepping into the unknown’ and something unlike anything I have felt or gone through before, the complete newness of it surely brings uncertainties, doubts, fears and the usual thing that emerges with anything new are – most likely – all the ‘worst things that could happen’ and I will say that, to a certain extent it is OK to be informed in all things that ‘could go wrong,’ but knowing is not the problem: worrying, preoccupying oneself about that IS the problem. And that’s something that I have also been working on by instead focusing on living this process of ‘preparation’ day by day and having a focus on living the words confidence and strength, and I’ll explain how in this blog.

I consider I am directing the diligence and discipline that I may have for more ‘mental’ tasks in a more physical-body level currently based on what I’ve informed myself will be required for me to deliver a baby naturally. The words that got me to consider this were: “it will most likely be like climbing up a mountain” and well, considering I’ve not been that proficient at doing such a thing before, I considered it was a bit ‘too late’ to get prepared for that, but people in these preparation processes have encouraged me to think otherwise and to rather be able to trust myself in being able to do it. But only ‘thinking’ I can trust myself is definitely not enough for me. 

Interestingly enough, I have kept a somewhat constant physical activity for some 15 years – yes before I was a coach potato for the most part and ‘loathed’ physical exercise – in some phases I’ve pushed myself a lot more than in others, but I never really considered myself as having some kind of ‘athletic wood’ so to speak, and I’ve realized that these were also self-imposed limitations based on ‘the genes’ I have or ‘the family I come from’ where physical activity wasn’t really inculcated, etc. All excuses, to be honest. Well, enough with the excuses. Today I’m on my 31 week, yep that means less than 10 weeks now to give birth and I’ve been feeling quite well to be honest.

I know I have ‘pooped’ my emotions here about those first three months and surely, they weren’t pleasant at all, perhaps if I could have done something different it would have been to push myself to do some light exercises and stop fearing ‘miscarriages’ altogether, because it wasn’t supportive or healthy to have that in mind the whole time, so there, that’s my point to advice and perhaps learn from, so from pre-occupying myself I decided to rather strengthen myself and my resolve to walk this whole decision of having a baby and becoming a mother the best way that I can, not only for myself, but for my baby’s wellbeing.

Ever since the fourth month kicked in and I started to get back to being active, things improved a lot within me –mentally and physically – and I haven’t stopped talking about the importance of physical exercise to really support the body through all the changes that it is going through with the pregnancy. I’ll share here how I went introducing that because as much as I don’t like to say ‘this is how things should be or go,’ who knows? Someone might give it a try and integrate activities that might assist them in their body and maybe explore others that may ‘resonate’ or be more aligned with themselves in terms of exercises or activities to keep oneself active throughout the pregnancy. 

On the fourth month I started doing some light prenatal yoga from videos on YouTube, which were a nice way to get myself ‘back on track’ after – really – doing Nothing for 3 months. Ugh, I feel a bit of frustration about that because I definitely saw how the lack of my usual walks and exercise definitely had an impact on my mental state – and I know there will be a phase like that after our baby is born, so I have to be gentle and understanding on that and know that ‘it is a phase’ only and to embrace it as part of the  recovery process.

Then, I got into swimming, I originally only wanted ‘free time’ in a pool, but I decided to actually take the classes and have some guidance on my time in the pool, so I’m taking swimming classes and aqua fitness which apparently is quite recommendable for pregnant ladies as well. This is where the ‘surprising’ factor comes in based on how much I’ve been enjoying that – as I mentioned in my last blog – but also how I thought my endurance would diminishing as baby grows, but the contrary is happening, I would say. I enjoy how there’s some strengthening happening in my body and surely, yes, I take it ‘slower’ perhaps, but the drive and commitment to be there every single time pushing myself a bit more has been quite an awesome experience for me, considering that I thought that those qualities were mostly like ‘mental’ qualities for me, but taking them to a physical level, has been quite rewarding in terms of the result of all of this is  feeling quite well physically, and consequently having my mind, my body quite well and aligned I’d say, feeling at peace with it, which is surely supportive for both of ourselves in the body J

I also got back into doing my usual walk which is like 3 kilometers a day at least, perhaps not ‘every day’ but 5 times a week if I can. I did have a flu that lasted some 3 days and I didn’t go out then, but on the fourth day I was back on track and that also supported me to recover faster. Then, I only started prenatal yoga at the end of last month and that I definitely regret not having gotten into before, but as they said: it’s not too late and so I’m there. That has definitely been quite ‘on spot’ for me to strengthen the muscles that will be involved in the whole delivery process and also encouraging myself to get better at it withstanding those yes, very demanding poses at times – lol – but knowing hey! I am getting better at it as weeks go by, regardless of baby bump growing or me putting on weight, which interestingly enough hasn’t also sky rocketed because of the exercise I guess and surely, watching out my food intake as well because! I did see the consequences of going into all the ‘dia de muertos’ treats like the sweet bread lol, where I gained an extra kilo by indulging too much into it, and I immediately noticed there was some swelling going on so that was a ‘red alert’ for me to cut out carbs and not over indulge. So that was also me listening and paying attention to my body, something I thought I just ‘wasn’t able to do’ or couldn’t ‘connect’ with, this whole pregnancy process has definitely assisted me to get more intimate and integrate more with my body, that’s for sure.

And then last but not least, continuing with my qi gong classes which have been overall supportive in integrating myself more within my body, learning to breathe and so become more aware of breath throughout the day and integrate some more of my strengths and core capacities by acknowledging what we are all made of, who we really are as living matter and what we are meant to live and do here on Earth. All of these activities also involve getting to know and meet people that have a similar vein of self-support, self-improvement, self-development and that’s awesome without a doubt, because many times one can feel a bit ‘alone’ in some processes so getting ‘out there’ and meeting people in doing physical activities together has assisted me a lot as well.

I guess one of the satisfactions I have is how from the let’s call it ‘dread and fear’ I had at the beginning of the pregnancy, I set myself to turn it around into a process of self-empowerment – both physically and mentally – through practicing ways to live the words confidence and strength, which to me have come from the physical doings which in turn remind myself of such confidence and strength at an ‘inner’ level, which is what we are all capable of being and doing, but we don’t remind ourselves of it enough or we ‘placate’ those attributes by focusing too much on fears and mental distractions that lead nowhere but to disempowerment. And that usually comes from fears and oh, we know where fears lead us…… to the grave.

It has also been a cool confirmation of all of this when going to the doctor for checkups and have him read a whole list of possible problems or symptoms and say ‘nope’ to all of them. My main discomforts have been related to having to pee constantly and some heartburn or acidity in the esophagus, for which I was told it is ok to take antacids, and so that’s what the prescription was about. That’s been about it for my pregnancy discomfort so far. What’s the reason for this? Again, I attribute this to physical activity and a change of attitude within me towards the whole process.

Meaning, when I decided ‘I’m going to FULLY do and embrace this pregnancy, that means doing the most that I can to be well in my body not only for myself but for the baby too, which is also being reflected in how things are developing with her, which is awesome and satisfying as well. Again, I got told so many stories of all things that could go wrong, and it’s OK to learn from others’ mistakes and experiences, but I have also taken all of that feedback as a way to challenge it and myself within it, and trusting my body in its capacity to do this, which it already does without me being able to be at all aware of how my body, my life, is developing another life within me, I’m just doing the ‘balancing and maintenance’ so to speak, and preparing the ‘mothership’ as best as I can, but also not going by the idea that ‘I shouldn’t be doing all that physical work’ and so forth, because, the results are the results so far, so that’s a physical proof that the more I keep at it with strengthening my body and keeping confident that I will know when to slow down or change routines, I will then make changes accordingly, but not out of fear, but out of consideration for my body and for the baby, which is a physical assessment by the day.

There were a couple of days after I hit the 30 weeks where I thought ‘uh the discomfort is kicking in now’ which was a thought linked to hitting the 30 weeks mark in gestation, but I said to myself, it’s only more weight on the belly, you can get used to it, might take some days but then it will be the ‘new sensation’ only – and yes, gladly it was temporary as well. So, a change in attitude has also been a key point as well when it comes to it, because it’s easy to get influenced by others’ stories and experiences, but also the more you hear about people that have pushed themselves beyond ‘perceived limits,’ it inspires you to do the same and test it out with due caution of course.

A part of me didn’t want to share about all of this because there is that tendency in all of us to compare and believe that ‘if she can, then I can’ and that’s most likely not the case either.  Each one’s physical and emotional process will be entirely different based on the fact that no ‘two’ individuals are ever exactly the same. What I am seeing at this moment is also the result of all the work done first at a mind level within this process with Desteni, learning how to handle my emotions, my fears and now integrating more of a physical aspect to it, integrating more with my body through the exercises and practices, which yes many times lead me to wonder ‘Why on Earth hadn’t I done this before?’ but hey, I can’t live in remorse about that, it’s here, I’m here, I’m doing it, I’m enjoying it and that’s what counts to me.

It’s also very supportive to meet people going through the same process – in this case pregnancy – and seeing how they handle it, that has been mostly inspiring and opening ideas and doors to try things out that were completely ‘out of my radar’ before, investigating, learning more about our bodies as we go through pregnancy and during labor and all that stuff that I simply wasn’t interested ‘at all’ before. And that has also led me to appreciate and be in more connection and comfort within my own body, yes, even though that belly is getting bigger by the day, there’s an appreciation of how the body can ‘handle’ that ‘weight of life’ as I like to call it hehe and still be functioning well, without me giving it ‘orders’ of what needs to be done, and that’s also how that confidence exists at a very primal and pure physical level of ‘my body knows what it’s doing’ and I am like a care-taker that ensures I give it proper rest, nutrition, exercise and mental support as in self-checking what is ‘moving’ as things open up and happen as we prepare to become parents.

One of the main topics have also been standing our ground in terms of how we want to do things, despite the fears or warnings we may get from others around us that I’m sure have the best intentions to provide certain information or experience as a form of care, but! There’s also an importance in doing things the way that resonate the best with where one is in relation to one’s body, one’s life, one’s partner in this case and assessing what would be of course best for the baby to come, even if that involves more challenges, perhaps more pain if you will, some ‘risks’ like with anything, but ultimately the more we ground ourselves with this strengthening of confidence, the more the ‘what ifs’ and ‘fears’ go dwindling.

In my case as I’ve discussed in my very first blog about pregnancy, I noticed that ‘it all’ was ‘the greatest fear’ I had: to get pregnant, to deliver a baby – naturally or through surgery – and to become a mother/parent. And it’s been quite cool to look back and see how I’ve set myself for it without half-assing the process or leaving it in the hands of fate to see ‘how things will be’ so to speak, meaning, doing nothing to get prepared, informed and as much as I can ready for what’s to come. But as with anything, that’s as much as I can do and as far as my certainty can go. There’s also the understanding and awareness that we may have certain plans and ideas of ‘how things will go,’ but I’m also totally aware this is the unknown and uncharted territory for us, so, I’m also integrating the flexibility, the ability to understand that if things can’t go as expected, if something happens ‘out of the foreseen,’ I can trust myself that no matter what, I can go through it, there can be solutions, there are always ways to walk through something and that in the end, things will be alright – and this may not mean a ‘desired outcome’ – but rather understanding how things happen and one can only buckle one’s shoes to walk that path and learn as one goes in the moment as it happens.

Perhaps something I will say is to not ‘conform’ or ‘settle’ for something that one is not 100% comfortable with or certain about. We live in a great time where any and all kinds of info is at the tips of our fingers and in our pockets, so it really takes that will to say ‘nope, I am not satisfied with this plan/idea of how to do things, let’s see what other options there are’ and that unravels perhaps a whole new path and way of doing and approaching things that in turn, can be a lot more satisfying, grounding, supportive and beneficial than if settling for the ‘not so great but at least known’ or ‘settling for the comfortable’ so to speak, which at least in my book is not something I want to do in my life.

This is also where I can remind myself that even if things do not go as expected, I can be satisfied with myself that I made a decision and have lived it all the way every single day with the best attitude and effort, discipline and commitment that I can, because yes I knew I could not ‘live with myself’ if I had remained in say, the physical and mental state that I was in when I walked those first three months… sure the nausea was just endless every day and all those abrupt physical changes but, I know that also my unsettled fears and what ifs may have aggravated that. So, for me what worked is physical activity and through that balancing out whatever else may come at a mind level to deal with. For some others it might be the other way around or not need the physical activity at all – but this is my experience thus far.

And yes, who knows, it’s interesting how it goes when others share their experience, it’s almost as if hardship is expected, like ‘oh you will see how it goes when you hit the third trimester’ or ‘oh you won’t be so light about it when you can’t sleep or tie your shoes’ and so forth… but, even those comments and experiences I’m taking as a reference to perhaps challenge them – or confirm them in any case – and really getting to see how truthful they are or if they are just an outcome of perhaps not having remained active enough during pregnancy to keep a relative level of functionality. And again, this may not be a possible thing to do for each one based on previous health conditions, so, not to be taken personally, but if one is sound and healthy, then surely there is no reason to not try out some of these suggestions out.

Also watching YouTube videos of people that have kept a good level of functionality throughout their pregnancy has been quite supportive and inspiring, but not only on YouTube because it has been very encouraging to for example meet a lady on my first day of prenatal yoga and ask her ‘hey how far are you in your pregnancy?’ and her replying ‘Oh I’m on the 9th month, I could give birth today actually, who knows! I’m feeling kind of weird today’ and still go through the entire – yes –physically rocking session of prenatal yoga. I actually sent her a voice message to thank her for her example, which cheered her up after some complications that she had upon delivery and nursing. This was also a cool reminder for me to not keep quiet when I see strengths in others that may need to hear about it in moments of weakness or disempowerment, she thanked me for it even though I only met her once and talked to her for about 10 minutes in total, but that contact was also crucial for a number of reasons, and perhaps someone that I will continue to relate to as time goes.

Why hadn’t I written before? Things had to be walked real time for me to share with confidence about it, it’s easy to write words and ideas of what to do, but walking them, living them and sharing back the results is what counts the most for me, since I then have a tangible reference of how things are going  and how it all seems to be working well for me, which is satisfying – and perhaps it assists in ‘what’s to come’ as in strengthening my character and getting ready for the life changing event, which will surely rock my world around for good.

Another factor is that baby doesn’t like me to remain sitting for long periods of time – and yes even if I switched my office chair for a bouncing birth ball, she likes activity for sure, so she starts kicking when I’ve been sitting for longer periods of time, so I’ve had to move things around in my day to still keep at it with my responsibilities, but also attend and listen to my body and my baby to get food, movement, exercise, sleep and so forth. Right now I skipped my daily walk because we had a pregnancy circle reunion during the morning to meet other ‘to be’ parents and discuss about the general doubts and learn some stuff for the delivery process, which was cool, but then, that involved being out and traveling a bit further away so, I decided to stay home for the afternoon and write this out.

At some point I thought I was going to write more about ‘standing up to others’ fears’ but, I realized that would have been more like a ‘defense’ mode or ‘attacking’ mode to people’s fears that I did allow myself to feel conflicted by at some point when it comes to deciding to give birth naturally, but then I realized that fears are just fears. I have to understand why they emerge, why some people hold them as ‘truth’ to their heart and simply understand that it might also be a cool process for them to see how things can go without fears or ameliorating their fears even with say natural remedies – or plain meds in some cases – to assist the body to walk through some of those fears. In this case it’s more in relation to my mother for example in how she presents this pattern and I’m learning to not take it personally or be influenced by it, but more so understand it and also see myself reflected in them in order to see what I have to also change within me to not follow through that ‘fear path’ that she has – which has definitely also ‘poured through’ into the rest of the family. I realized that I do not need to ‘stand up to fears’ but more like focusing on strengthening our resolve, our will, our determination and our confidence to walk through something that, well, should be as natural as eating for the most part, otherwise humanity would have gone extinct a long time ago, isn’t it?

So I’m learning to not get influenced or ‘determined’ by others’ decisions, comments, ideas, beliefs, perceptions, but rather strengthen my decision, my will, my body, my determination along with my partner who has been a major pillar of support from day 1 in my life, and who has definitely been a key and very relevant person in supporting this current process I’m walking with myself, my body, our baby within and the decisions that this life changing event is bringing to our lives J And we are quite satisfied so far with it, and that’s definitely awesome.  There is nothing like being completely aligned with your partner, your husband, your life partner, your agreement person when it comes to how to walk a pregnancy, a delivery process, a post-birthing process and then the rest of the life of raising a child together with that commitment of bringing someone that will continue to be what each one of us have set ourselves to bring to this world: a point of change, of authenticity in expression, of creating new ways of doing things that are more beneficial to life on Earth and in general, to give a continuation to that decision to live the best that one can, regardless of how ‘the world’ may look like. I’m learning lots from this and I’m sure this is just the tiny peak of the iceberg, the beginning and yes,  who knew I would say this, but I’m definitely enjoying it all – I’ll leave it at that and yes, embracing whatever comes in these last two months that I’ve left until the birthing process with this same approach and attitude I’ve described thus far.

If someone wants to discuss something in relation to what I shared or has questions, comments, please share, I definitely consider we are all in this together and there is nothing more humbling than knowing that this that I am sharing may be of support perhaps even for something completely different to a ‘birthing process’ – but in any other ‘birthing of life’ process that one may be involved in.

Thanks for reading J

 

Strengthening Confidence - Pregnancy blog

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643. Being Ready to Have a Child

 

 Someone asked me in my previous blog about when would one consider to be ready to be a mother? And at first I had no clue of what to respond considering that my decision to be pregnant was definitely not a conscious one, even though I may have been preparing the soil so to speak – which is my body/mind – to it, which I considered I did in a tandem where I focused on a process of healing from some of the most ‘challenging’ aspects of my past that I had been ‘dragging around’, learning to let go and in that, re-directing my focus and attention to myself, my physical and mental wellbeing. Well this became more like a point of focus this year, but I guess it really all started 11 years ago when I decided to walk the Desteni Process for sure and aiming to be a better human in general.

In conversations with my partner and some of our friends, they were pondering how come things seemed to come ‘so easy’ to us as a couple, where we don’t exist in what may be common for most couples like fighting, being in perpetual contempt towards one another and having a hate-love relationship essentially. Perhaps this is not the case for most people reading this, but, I’ve come to find how unfortunately common it is to have the kind of – as they call them -‘toxic relationships’ and how people do embark on – let me say it – daring to have children in that kind of relationship context. Well, back to the question they asked us, the answer I gave is that I had a lot of self-work to do before being able to be in a relationship in the current terms that I am in, that it didn’t come ‘easily’ as it may seem, and that I actually had to go through quite a few trial and error situations where I kept bumping my head against ‘the same wall’ so to speak, where compromising myself and ‘who I am’ would emerge in one way or another over and over again. Of course the problem weren’t ‘others’ but who I was as the starting point of being in a relationship.

The difference this time around is how I approached the person that is now my partner. It didn’t come from a point of desire or need, but more of a genuine getting to know someone that seemed like an interesting person that I wanted to get to know and understand, a curiosity in how ‘he functioned.’ My approach was of providing some support in what he did, which led me to get to know more about him, his life, the kind of ‘wood’ he has through our communication.  Another difference is that – because I wasn’t having any particular ‘interest’ or ‘hidden agenda’ towards him –  I was totally and completely myself – I didn’t have to pretend or portray or ‘handle’ things in a way to keep things ‘flowing’ – which I noticed he also did, like he does with anyone else.

As things progressed I also got to understand how this was a person with a strong character that would not allow much of my usual ‘ways’ in relationships which may end up looking like ‘I want to support you’- which in reality it meant  ‘I want to support you because I want to change you so that you can be the person that I want you to be for me in a relationship’ type of manipulation, which in the end of course is always self-manipulation, nonetheless.

This meant that I stopped trying to ‘change the other person’ or ‘hope they could change this or that in time’ or having things going on that I would just react to and suppress, because! These eventually end up smelling like rotten food that you can’t really ‘overlook’ as time progresses in a relationship – and sometimes, as it’s happened to me, because of not speaking up and letting things continue, one may create an engagement of sorts that then needs to be broken apart for the best of both involved.  That’s the kind of situations I’ve had to walk through and learn from in the past. So now being with a person that is mostly upfront and ‘whole’ in himself allowed me to tell my story as is, have no qualms about it and still find an embracing being that didn’t judge me for what I had judged myself for being like ‘multiple’ faulty decisions or mistakes, but instead embraced me completely.

When it comes to considering someone to walk your life with – and perhaps in consideration of that couple or partnership becoming a parenting team – this was certainly something new and a healthy approach to a relationship, having someone let you know that they only want the best for you no matter what I chose or did. And I did the same towards him. Perhaps this is a bit too personal but there is something quite worthy in someone that can tell you ‘I’m completely fine if you decide this is not for you, but if you are up for it, then I’m completely here for you and we can make it work.’ All the ideas and experiences of relationships I have had were created upon a need and dependency, me deciding to be ‘someone’s joy’ for example, creating a deliberate dependency by ‘giving’ or ‘being’ for another something that they weren’t living or expressing themselves yet. That’s where compromise exists and it is basically impossible to create such kind of dependency when you got a person that’s ‘whole’ within themselves, that have never had a desire for a relationship or wished to be ‘liked’ by someone or anything like that. That to me was something entirely new as a starting point in a relationship and seemed like a very supportive stance and person that I could learn from and also grow with.

I consider that even if this point of compromise is something that I still have to continue keeping an eye on, I’ve gotten better at it. I realized that in the context of relationships it’s easy to go into a fear of loss if one decides to do this or that, and when there’s someone that even though they love you with all their being, they let you know that whenever ‘this’ is not working out for ourselves to be the best that we can individually, that it is completely OK to let go and pursue that for ourselves, that, is something that definitely became a new thing for me to appreciate coming from the mouth of a partner, to no longer live in the idea of ‘bondage’ to someone, but to rather first honor myself. And this is precisely – perhaps – why I am getting to the bottom of this whole point in terms of ‘being ready’ for something, being in a supportive relationship, it’s mostly because and related to learning to genuinely CARE for myself and yes learning to LOVE and appreciate myself individually, first of all.  

One of the things I appreciate about my partner is that self-love and self-regard he has for himself. Some may see him as conceited because of this – I see it though how it is just ‘awkward’ for most people to learn to love themselves and how that translates not in fluffy positive self-talk, but actual actions, changes of ‘life-plans’, changes in one’s daily routine and in the way one decides to be better at whatever one does, doesn’t matter how seemingly ‘menial’ it is. I hadn’t had such example before to be honest, so to me this attitude ‘rang a bell’ wherein I realized how many times we place ourselves in certain relationships to ‘cover up’ or ‘fill in the holes’ that we believe ‘others have,’ so that there can be some kind of codependence formed. And that’s how each one fears end up leaving or losing each other in the end, because one is not actually ‘whole’ first individually.

Back to the chat we were having with our friends, my partner explained this point that I just got to here, that we were two people that were ‘whole’ and saw the potential of kind of working together, sharing a path together, we saw how we could make each other better with our specific skills and innate abilities, a complementing that becomes more of an example, a guideline, rather than ‘doing’ or ‘being’ something for someone else. The ladies in that conversation asked ‘But how do you get to that??’

My partner has his own specific ways which may seem way too ‘simplistic’ for most – to me it seems like it takes a lot of will, courage, drive and self-motivation to make things work, to adapt, to change one’s plans to also consider another- which are not simple traits to develop from the get go, but also not impossible. I shared how to me it has been a process of many years, many mistakes, many falls, many rather unsupportive relationship contexts that I had to go through in order to get to be where I am now. To learn to be ‘whole’ with myself, to be content with and by myself first and to then see how to enhance that with someone that could be in their own way ‘whole’ as well, someone that I can trust would be ‘okay’ by themselves and that there are no ‘knots needed to be tied’ so to speak.

Well, the last point is now different considering that we are going to have a baby which joins us in this journey together – and frankly really  happy about it being with him – and I also consider how somehow we were looking to do this together – or was in the back of our heads – but didn’t really accept it or admit it or thought of it possible. I’m sure it will bring many new challenges to ourselves individually, as a partnership and as a new family, but there’s also a trust in how ‘we’ve gotten ourselves this far’ in a relative short amount of time I’d say and so, we both trust each other that we can do this.

He was mentioning yesterday how it is actually quite the miracle that we can be alive here and today, and not in a fluffy positive way, but more like considering the state of affairs in the world and with life in general, how ruthless it can be, and how we basically can be grateful for what we are, and the opportunity we currently have to be alive and even more so to be preparing to bring another being into the world. I also considered this when I recently had my birthday and I made my Spanish podcast on that day and what emerged to share was gratefulness, gratitude for the life that I currently am, the life that I am bearing, the opportunity we have with our lives even if the world seems to be ‘upside down’, and to keep focusing on how I can ‘give back’ to life that has been given to me unconditionally in every single breath that we take – usually – for granted. This is what has emerged within me, a sense of wonder if you will of what I can get to be, of what we can get to be together as parents and how we can BE the Best of ourselves – as we are continuing to work on doing with ourselves individually and with each other – and for our little one.

Another aspect to share about is the ‘preparation’ that has emerged within this at a physical level in my case as well – well in my partner as well in terms of having better living habits, but that’s his story. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I started this year with the full decision to support myself at a physical level, which I honestly had kind of ‘taken care of’ but hadn’t really linked it to an actual process of healing from the things that were causing continuous deficiencies and sickness in the past year. So, I placed myself in ‘self-creation’ mode. I looked at developing a project based on what I wanted to focus on doing to support other people, then I started getting alternative support for my body like homeopathy and acupuncture, which at the same time led me to start going to Qi Gong classes that have become quite a source of physical support and integration of breath awareness along with physical movements, finally getting to actually be more aware of my body and slowing down, which is something I tried doing only at a mind level, but I was missing the body integration. The progress is definitely something one can notice after several months, but today it was quite enjoyable to do, along with the group of people that go there where we had a nice breakfast reunion after the session. I basically decided to create the time for this and I frankly don’t know why on Earth I was suppressing such desire to explore this kind of ‘exercise’ or more shall I say discipline, so that has been a change as well, to focus on physical support and wellbeing.

I also changed some stuff in my daily nutrition, I stopped taking some ‘mixes’ that I had been using supposedly to get a lot of nutrients from vegetables and fruits, but found out that they were causing a problem in my gut, so I started eating other stuff that I now see as more supportive when it comes to feeding myself. Interestingly enough I also diminished my drinking of coffee – the last ‘stander’ when it comes to my self-defined addictions, up to the point where I just couldn’t stand it at the beginning of the pregnancy and have stopped drinking it ever since. I started taking some vitamins as well which were also something I neglected a lot before to do, so as ‘small’ as this action can be, it became a significant difference for me – and thanks for the support to Ingrid S that also assisted with this. I guess the only constant physical support has always been walking, I wanted to start jogging again, so I also started jogging every now and then but not making it a ‘must’ like it was before, but more like listening more to my body when and as I saw it would be doable and up to the point where I wasn’t hurting my joints and it was genuinely enjoyable while it lasted lol.

The first three months were the hardest I must say. I don’t want to paint a horror show for any lady out there, but in my case I had to really slow down and barely went out of my house and yep that was quite a shock and difficult considering I’ve always been able to just go ‘wherever I want’ and have no limitations in terms of mobility. But it also prompted me to appreciate having more stability and feeling generally ‘well’ after that time to get back to walking, which I started doing bit by bit to see how I would ‘handle’ the situation – up to now that I can walk the usual length without a problem. And then I decided I wanted to swim. My partner gave me a membership to go to swim twice a week as a birthday present, and that was something that brought tears to my eyes, because I really enjoy swimming and this was basically a very supportive kind of gift that I am currently enjoying. I had been ‘desiring’ to get some swimming time for years, but I kept placing ‘money’ as an excuse or time as a constrain, which interestingly enough with the pregnancy, I have kind of ‘given myself permission’ to be more attentive of myself, giving myself the necessary care in many ways and yes, I have been pondering why I hadn’t done this before, for myself?

So, this is also something that I share because basically I see that I could have created this kind of foundation of self-care not only because of being pregnant and preparing my body to be a household for our baby, but because of being that household for myself first of all. I definitely want to pass on an example of self-care and continue with it in whichever measure I can once our child is born, because that’s basically what matters the most, that’s basically the foundation of who we are as individuals as well in this relationship and that’s the kind of message we want to give to our child too.

When sharing with my partner about this question I had gotten in terms of ‘when is one ready?’ he mentioned that it’s essential to be aware of being able to ‘handle’ oneself properly, like taking care of oneself, being able to be whole with oneself, being able to ‘deal’ with oneself effectively. I add to this having that foundation of self-support is essential, because even if what may come is generally uncharted territory, one can certainly stand in self-trust to be able to handle things as they come if one has already been practicing and applying ways to support oneself. In this regard, I rather make obvious the enormous support that walking the Desteni Process has meant for me in my life. I wouldn’t be here and going through what I am if I hadn’t gotten myself to support me through the Desteni tools and all the Eqafe.com supportive audios and by the people that are constantly there as a point of reference and support.

I basically wouldn’t have even understood the gift that becoming a parent can be, I wouldn’t even be probably pregnant because who knows the kind of decisions – probably not very good ones – I would have made in my life, if I had continued that pattern of self-compromise and following certain ‘ideals’ of ‘who I had to be’, which contained ‘zero’ references to settling down or forming a family. The latter only started becoming interesting to me in the past years when I began investigating more of my ‘programming’ in relation to how I would see myself in the future, and how that contained a lot of ‘garbage’ created through the kind of ‘culture’ I thought I wanted to be a part of. Now I’m kind of on the opposite track of that and actually enjoying it, which is something I never thought of doing or becoming, but hey courage is something one has to gather and decide to live, it’s there, just have to pull it through.

In the end, it’s also relevant to say that I wouldn’t have felt ‘ready’ for this – ever – because of the plethora of fears I had created around it and beliefs of ‘not being up for it’ or not being ‘the kind’ of person that’s ‘suited’ to ‘become a mother.’ All of it a bunch of beliefs that I decided to let go of because now it’s the real deal of it and yes, not saying it’s like an instant ‘switch’ where I changed my mind, I explained in my previous blogs about these fears and uncertainties, so here I am sharing mostly how I’ve changed my approach since then. I still get a bit astounded when feeling the first movements inside my belly and realizing wow, this is really REAL! Lol. I’ve also been essentially walking what I proposed myself to do in my last blog, embracing this all as a blank-slate, a blank page, a new point of creation and being aware of not ‘clogging’ it with ideas, expectations, fears and whatnot.

I’m taking it ‘day by day’ essentially and more like enjoying the self-support I can give myself, which I wish every single woman in this world could, because it definitely sucks that the majority are not able to have the time or resources to take proper self-care – physically and mentally – and because of that, well, we have the society that we have where many humans from the womb to the grave live lives of distress, lack, improper education and the list goes on with various deficiencies, which in turn become the society we live in. We definitely have to change that, and I realized that such change started with me, right here and right now, so I’m doing that and getting to enjoy it to be honest.

Now, as a general update, how am I feeling or doing? I’d say quite alright really, sure I am noticing a diminishing in my stamina and that means also being considerate and understanding of why that’s happening, and so to not judge myself for having to take naps or take things ‘easier’ – seeing it as ‘ugh I feel lazy’ – but rather reminding myself: I am creating/baking/growing a new being inside me! How else would I expect to feel? Also embracing the actual ‘shocking’ aspect that it can be to see your body get heavier and grow a belly that augments by the day, lol! That’s definitely something I still can gasp at when looking at myself in the mirror, but then, remind myself why it’s happening and how it is also temporary.

Perhaps one of the things I would change from the first months is pushing myself to move a little bit more around, being less grasped by fear of loss and try some gentle exercises and stretches, because I definitely became idle and that had an impact on me physically and mentally, so it’s been great to move a lot more again – but then again, as I reach the last trimester and baby bump grows, lol, new challenges will emerge in my mobility perhaps and other kind of preparations will take place, but, I’m up for it.

Another thing I would say to anyone that may have been similar to me in terms of being the kind of person that always said ‘no’ to having children or never really openly ‘wished’ to have children, to embrace the opportunity if one decides to go for it, to self forgive and let go of fears or beliefs of ‘not having what it takes’ – and instead replace them with creating or continuing to create and build a strong foundation of self support, so that no matter ‘what’ with the newness of this phase in one’s life, one can have that pillar of support in oneself, in that foundation of self-support – like to me it is Desteni and everyone involved in with whom I have walked with for over a decade – a supportive partner and a supportive family – if they decide to and are willing to be involved. In my case I’m quite grateful to have their support and yes, this is when one gets to realize how important it is to have others’ experience and willingness to help because they have gone through a similar situation. So, this is a learning point for me in terms of being able to ‘be that’ for others whenever I get to be able to do that for others too.

I understand that there may be women that are up for having babies without the father, or without the support of a family – and, well, that’s quite courageous, but I’d say even then, it’s probably preferable to find a network of support. Nowadays you can find lots of groups of people with children or willing to support each other in the absence of a partner or family, or because of work. So, yes there’s a way, perhaps I would be more wary of the point of deliberately choosing to not have a ‘father’ for a child, but that’s another story and I have no direct experience of any of it, so I will simply not go there here.  There’s always a way, so this is something that I’ve been keeping in mind ever since deciding to have a baby and yep, embarking myself in total uncharted territory here, but that’s part of life and in my life, I basically have had more of an ‘easy’ life so, I’m looking forward to it, because I am aware how it will become a catalyst for more changes, more challenges and I’m kind of looking forward for that, lol.

So to wrap this up, I guess that there can be a myriad of ‘ideal’ scenarios of ‘when to be ready’ but, ideals rarely come to exist in reality. So, I would rather boil it down to being able to be at a point of stability and having that foundation of self-support – physically and mentally speaking – and as I say ‘stability,’ it may seem elusive for some, but it is not, it does require self-work, and sure one cannot wait to be at a ‘perfect stability’ because that’s more like ideal again, but not necessarily a reality. It’s more about being at a point where you are mostly OK with yourself and not having major ups and downs in life… or who knows perhaps taking such a decision like having a child creates such ‘time-to-pull-up-your-pants’ type of effect where one then gets serious with being the best person that we can, I guess it can work in different ways with as many people as there exist, but these are some of my humble opinions, and who knows? I might be missing out some other essentials or underestimating the whole situation, but, that’s  also ok, I will find my way as I go, so that’s the current approach that I have.

This is all also in consideration not only of oneself – one’s life and one’s body – but about the partner that we joined our life with in a very physical manner that means a new being, a new life that’s to come, that’s why I emphasize on the importance of having a solid and supportive relationship as well as preparing one’s body to give the best support one can as a mother to a child – and the supportive relationship. But, I understand how that may not be possible for some, but whatever you can do and handle, make sure you are entirely ‘up for it’ with whichever may come from it all – this is relevant. Otherwise, there might be backtrackings, regrets and so forth – this is totally about learning to be unconditional for another being and that requires full awareness of what that practically entails. I can be preparing myself for that, but it’s only a concept for now, so I’ll see how it goes once baby is finally here J

Ok so, this is it for now. Nothing of what I share do I imply ‘has to be that way’ of course, I can only speak from my current situation and experience and ‘who I had been’ in relation to this topic, and who I am now as my new approach to it.

If there are any other comments, ideas, questions, suggestions, I’m all eyes to them.

Thanks for reading!

 

Please have a listen to these awesome audios on Eqafe.com about the process that Horses go through when being pregnant… it is a humbling lesson to see ‘where we’re at’ as human beings with our self-awareness when it comes to birthing a new being, hence the decision I also made to support myself to the best of my ability and to the best that my current awareness allows me to


  1. Birthing a new Life through the Eyes of a Horse – Part 1

  2. Birthing a new Life through the Eyes of a Horse – Part 2


  3. Birthing a new Life through the Eyes of a Horse – Part 3

As well as general support for parenting and relationships here:

 Pregnancy

 

Join in if you want to start walking your own process of creating yourself to be the best that you can be:


642. Pessimism and Embracing The Blank Page

 

As I briefly mentioned in my previous blog, pessimism has been one of the very ‘ingrained’ patterns in me that I’ve become more aware of lately since finding out I was pregnant. I have to say that I didn’t see myself as a ‘pessimist’ per se, but I was able to identify this way of being in me based on the feedback that I got from my partner as a way to describe my focus on ‘the worst’ of the early pregnancy experience and the fears and limitations that I would bring up in terms of how things ‘would be’ for the future and so forth.

This all seemed ‘normal’ to me and that’s where this point begins, because! I’ve seen firsthand how the same event can be approached from a very different perspective, one that sees the inconvenience of certain symptoms as part of creating something that will be a life-change in our lives. One that can see the ‘adding’ of responsibility as a catalyst for change and personal growth, one that can bring fun times even with the stuff I could define as ‘a hassle’ or ‘troublesome’ – yep, this rather constructive perspective is how my partner approached the whole thing and I’ve been certainly learning more from him and learning to see living potential in it all, instead of only focusing on all that I could define as ‘the bad’ which, again, is not the best of me that I want to cultivate, it is the worst of me that interestingly enough has resurfaced again, because! Yes, this is a ‘life changer’ situation and one that I ‘feared’ a lot apparently, so I faced the consequence of cultivating all of those fears for many, many years. But I’m also learning to let go of them as I go facing this pessimism in different ways and in some of the most ‘sneaky’ forms.

This ‘pessimist’ core programming certainly started in childhood and yes, due to other circumstances unrelated to my pregnancy, we’ve been opening this up with my parents considering that these same fearful patterns have been spilling out into the children of the family and causing some consequences. So, confronting the situation is serving as a preparation ground for both of us to get to understand how I got to be quite limited by all kinds of fears that were imprinted from a very young age by my parents and within that, us all getting to see how that is affecting the newest members of the family, consequently to understand how these patterns came to exist in us and how they are still having ‘a hold’ on us.

Here I perhaps point out something that is by now a ‘well learned lesson’ when it comes to parents and getting to understand and forgive the ways in which they brought us up, because they most likely also didn’t know ‘any better’ and they did what they could in what they perceived as a way to care and love their children.  In this, there are no ‘hurt feelings’ for how I was raised, I instead enjoy understanding the familial patterns to see where and how I came to be ‘who I am’ and within that understanding, take a more active role in being responsible to change those very things that I’ve seen have limited me – and are Still showing up as limiting in my experience currently when facing the point of becoming a mother, becoming parents.  

I have come to make sense of how this ‘pessimism’ is therefore rooted in all kinds of fears that led me to ‘automatically’ think of the worst case scenarios, ‘all the worst that could happen,’ and it’s been quite astounding to see to what extent I do this on an automatic and “natural” way – meaning, I wouldn’t necessarily see it as something I had to flag-point and become aware of, because I deemed it as ‘care’ or ‘creating a sense of security’ – which by cross-referencing it with my partner, are more like my own conditioning – meaning, my past being ‘brought forward’ to the present and even ‘into the future’ … and that’s exactly what we don’t have to do, but instead approaching every moment, every day as a blank page where we decide how to live and how to face situations or ‘challenges,’ and to no longer kind of predispose myself to ‘facing all the worst’ because, I’ve seen how prominent that exists as a ‘normal thinking’ in my mind, and it doesn’t have to be that way, I have to actually stop seeing it as ‘normal thinking’ when seeing that I’m actually considering ‘all the things that could go wrong.’

It all really starts at that level of accepting and allowing those seemingly ‘small thoughts’ to creep up, feed them – which means go into them, thinking about them – to spiral them out into personality patterns like ‘the fearful mother’ and! Well, I would not want to become that, but I also see that I may face these fears in reality in order to become aware of what exists within me, so that I can become aware of them and change them. How else would I become aware of them otherwise?

I really even once thought that it was a cultural thing to constantly be gasping and fearing for a child’s health and wellbeing… well, nope! It’s more like a family thing that I truly need to become aware of Within myself, instead of kind of only going criticizing it and judging it on ‘the outside’ which in all cases, indicates that there are points I am not yet understanding and so, not forgiving that exist within me as well. This means that as long as I am reacting to it, then, there is less of a possibility for me to actually acknowledge, understand and embrace it in order to see where and how that exists within me, so that I can direct myself in a more flexible, understanding and unconditional way, one that considers the moment, and the present as that blank page and stop ‘re-loading’ all of my memories and fears and past conditioning as a child in my own family.

I noticed this pattern even more so recently where I was looking at a future situation of how people in my environment and their character could ‘affect’ the child and within this looking at it already from a starting point of fear: fear of the child going through the ‘imprinting’ of fears and anxiety that I went through as a child based on interacting with these individuals. And I allowed that to go as far as seeing how we would have to possibly disengage from being around these people to attempt to ‘protect’ our child from that kind of ‘character flaws.’ So here again, realizing I’m still holding a judgment and a reaction, which certainly I allowed myself to be affected by, which in turn I feared could ‘happen to our child’ and then going into ‘wanting to protect the child.’

I realize that as long as I am judging, criticizing, fearing certain attitudes and types of ‘character,’ then I am not yet coming to see ‘who am I’ towards those characteristics and emotions in others so that I can work on stopping my own reactions, realizing that others’ reaction do still create an effect on me – and therefore the child inside – and that it is precisely there where I need to act and apply myself to simply stop reacting and understanding why I get to react to them, so that I can decide in self-awareness to change how I respond in those moments.

It’s very easy to deviate from the point of self-responsibility when attempting to blame others for their character flaws, their patterns, their reactions and thinking that ‘they have to change’ or ‘we just have to avoid them altogether’ instead of realizing how it is only myself that can change how I face those situations and that that will in a huge way determine and be an example of how our child can face, confront and walk through similar situations with people. So it’s not about wanting to ‘prevent’ problems –  because we create ‘the problem’ when reacting to others in the first place – but it’s about being an example of how to best face the situation with stability, understanding and focusing on solutions, not giving space to ‘react back’ to anyone, but to stick to what is practical and reasonable to do. Now this is where the real self-change is at.

This time around again it took a good conversation while walking with my partner to explain to him what I was seeing with this whole thing that I just explained above and get back to Earth about it. I saw how I wasn’t really going to get anywhere with the ‘getting away from’ or ‘avoidance’ plan, I was mostly also ‘trapping’ people in their ‘usual selves’ and assuming how they would behave and be in a hypothetical future situation, which is one of the ways in which we keep ourselves ‘trapped’ and limited in the same personalities, the same judgments of how we believe ‘we are and will be’ and don’t give each other that space and opportunity to outgrow our old selves. 

I also was approaching the situation from already assuming and determining how our child would interpret certain attitudes, voice tonalities, expressions as if he or she was going to already judge it as something bad, negative, etc. when in fact, there is no reaction that is pre-recorded there. It is mostly all learned from the environment and that’s where our role comes in. The example comes from ourselves as parents to stop reacting to others’ expressions in a positive or negative way, but instead keep an equanimity and discernment about things which will in turn demonstrate to the child that one doesn’t ‘have to’ go into fear, worry, anxiety or anything like that if someone else is demonstrating such traits in themselves. This is where the change of character happens, with ourselves as the examples – the rest is then learned from observation and imitation.

Within all of this, I also kept on  ‘scheming’ how to ‘go about’ with certain people or situations in life, where I would most likely end up trying to seclude our child from anything that I would be judging as bad, wrong, negative, destructive. Of course, here I am not talking about some kind of ‘extreme’ unsafe or detrimental environment, I am simply looking at character flaws, which yes, we all do have as well so in doing that, I was ignoring my starting point – which was fear – and not taking these judgments, expectations and future projections back to self, to see what we are now more equipped and have tools to go about facing the reality of the world and the people in it ‘as is,’ without wanting to sugar coat it for our child to ‘be safe from any bad influence’ – but, who determines what the bad, negative, wrong stuff is? I do, through reacting to it.

So, it’s a great point for me to look at and stop reacting in FEAR of ‘what it will do’ to a new being. I also discussed that with my partner and I came to see that ‘the other way around’ is the way to go, to expose the child to various kinds and types of people so that there can be a discernment formed over time about people and getting used to getting along and getting to understand – eventually – why some people are a certain way and make their own decision in how they go about with them.

All of these points have opened up as well in seeing how my family and I are used to handling kids. I may say I am working on ‘debugging’ myself from these thoughts, but in general there’s that sense of having to ‘be careful’ all the time, and having to ‘protect them from anything that could harm them,’ and trying to ‘prevent them from getting sick’ all the time and all sorts of paranoia that I notice has started to ‘kick in’ as the ‘mother/parent’ construct and I definitely can work on stopping it on its tracks at this stage.

Once that I ‘spelled out’ the point – which means talking about it – things changed – but! New points opened up like the ones I have explained here in relation to future projecting how ‘things could be’ – for the worst – and forgetting about rather focusing on ‘what’s here’ and supporting myself to be the best that I can in my day to day, rather than being up in my head fearing and scheming ‘the worst case scenarios,’ wherein I’m not seeing how THAT is actually causing fear and stress within me, which is far more directly affecting the being inside me than any other ‘person’ out there.

Now that’s more of an eye opening perspective that I need to have a clear awareness on, that’s my real responsibility Right Now. Whatever else happens and opens up in the future, as my partner said, then we will deal with it ‘then’ and look at solutions, but no need to start kind of taking the artillery out already and start seeing threats and problems everywhere where there are none for now. So I decide to trust myself in being able to face whatever may come our way with a new perspective.

Something else that assisted me to look at it from a different perspective, is to remind myself how many times whatever I may perceive as something that I could define as a limiting change or something that I fear having to do – yes, stepping out of my comfort zone – are usually opportunities to grow, to challenge, to develop ourselves further and approaching it from this perspective then takes the ‘mind away’ from merely focusing on ‘the worst’ and spending time on scheming only ‘in the mind’ what I would do in such ‘worst’ that is not HERE at all. It is a waste of time and as much as it might be just ‘ok’ to consider certain potentials, I do have to make sure I am not creating a predisposition to ‘all the worst that could be’ and feed that in my mind as if that is a sign of ‘care’ or creating some kind of ‘security’ for our child, because in the end the starting point and origin is still just: Fear.

I had also been worrying about how to go about these let’s say ‘out of the ordinary’ ways – in comparison to how things are ‘usually done’ here – which we are planning to apply with our child, which may stand in direct contrast with, for example, how other people in our family do things and how they approach their own children, etc. So in this, I also realized that there was that same fear of being judged or going through what I ‘went through’ when I started doing some radical changes in my life over a decade ago and I basically had to step-away from my family for some time, because I just could not really ‘get along’ with them.

What I didn’t consider back then is how I was reacting and judging them all the way, that’s what caused me to find it – apparently – ‘impossible’ to be around them, and this also came from a secret desire for them to do things ‘my way’ or ‘do the same process I was walking’ and in general just causing more and more conflict until yes, it was for the best that I simply stopped seeing them as often until I sorted out my own conflict projected towards them and learned how to Understand them and so be able to be around, know our ‘boundaries’ so to speak and still be willing to share and open myself up whenever asked or needed.

So upon realizing this, I have seen how this is one of those situations where I am projecting already ‘My own experience’ onto our child and this is quite the red alert as well, because this would be caused by nothing more and nothing else than my own prejudices, judgments, ‘loaded memories’ that would in turn surely would be super limiting and causing a new being to be conditioned by ‘MY’ experience around certain people. This means: the work that needs to be done is entirely WITHIN MYSELF, instead of starting to project onto others how I believe ‘things will be’ for our child based on my own past, which I now have to prove I can truly let go of – and embrace the blank page that’s growing within : )

Within this, then it was also supportive to have another one of those lengthy talks with my partner about ‘who I was’ in my family and how I came to single-myself-out from it and how I remained in judgment towards them as if that was ‘the only way to be.’ But, I realize that if I apply my own mindset towards the child, the actual consequence would be caused by myself, not by ‘others’ and that I would then be recreating the same problems and patterns I lived through for most of my life.

So, within all of this, everything of course points out to myself, to learn to be more unconditioned, to learn to see every new day as it unfolds as a blank page that we are freshly writing on and that each blank page does represent that opportunity to re-wire myself, to change the old programming of fears, worries, what ifs, pessimist attitudes and bleak future projections and instead, welcome the potential of the new phase that’s opening up. This means stopping feeding any idea of wanting to ‘save’ or ‘secure’ the child from certain things because, yep! That can lead to paranoia of not wanting the child to see the light of day so to speak, which is of course parental abuse as well. This is an exaggeration of course, but I’m playing it out this way so that I get to remind myself ‘what I’m doing’ every time that I go into my mind and start scheming things from a starting point of wanting to ‘prevent’ certain things and realizing it comes from a point of fear that I have to simply let go of.

How can this be practically done? By being able to self-forgive it out loud in the moment as it happens so that I can then lead myself back to realizing how this is not about ‘the child’ or ‘others’ but myself bringing up all of these ‘loose cannons’ as fears that I had not become aware of yet, because yes, this is certainly a new phase in my life and within that, there comes a whole new and uncharted territory that I can simply work with and face as I go with this kind of approach towards these seemingly ‘simple moments’ where I go into my mind and start fearing or future projecting some ‘worst case scenarios.’ That’s entirely possible and in my hands to do, and whenever I may ‘still’ see some of these fears as ‘very real,’ then that’s when I can talk them out, communicate them and cross-reference them with my partner and any other person that I trust their judgment on and create solutions – or simply get to understand a situation to then decide how to best act and approach it.

It may sound as if this point is quite ‘big’ within me, and it probably isn’t, lol. But I do like to in a way create awareness on it as if it was already a ‘big deal’ because it ‘could’ escalate if I don’t see it through this magnifying glass and understand what I am accepting and allowing whenever going into fears, judgments, prejudices, future projecting the worst and so on. Otherwise, I would go ‘brushing it off’ and I have seen the kind of ‘accumulation effect’ that we can create in our minds, where we then end up getting into a point or experience where things seem too big, too heavy, too difficult to change, because we allowed all those small moments of ‘feeding the patterns’ to go unnoticed – and therefore not taking responsibility for them – and that’s where I then go compromising my own standing and self-awareness.

So, all in all it has been cool to open up these points and even get to discuss them with my parents to understand ‘where’ they got those fears from, how they affected their lives with them and yes also get to understand that, to them, some may be quite difficult to change, but that’s where I also then have to see the opportunity that I currently have in my hands to ‘change the tide’ when it comes to those family patterns that have been already passed on to the younger kids in the family. It’s not like ‘they are screwed’ now, because there’s always the opportunity to take self-responsibility and later on as they grow, they also can decide to change – or not.

My point remains in reminding myself that the child to come is a blank page as well and that I have to be of utmost care to not approach that opportunity to raise another being with fears of ‘what runs in the family’ or ‘what has happened in the past’ or ‘what I went through as a child,’ because THEN I would most likely be conditioning all of that and imprinting that through my every move, voice tonality and interaction with the child.  I often criticize – judge – parents that see their children as ‘the problem,’ and still gets on my nerves to see how it seems impossible to look ‘back at themselves’ – as parents – to see that their child came into this world as a blank page – sure some genetics and so on – but most of who they turn out to be is determined by the environment – a.k.a. the parents, mostly.

I consider I am at a timely stage where I can create a big point of awareness within me of stopping projecting my own fears and what I defined as ‘bad/negative experiences’ onto a new being, and rather focusing on understanding my experience – which to me comes through nicely when communicating about it with my partner which always leads me to a resolution, a point of realizing where and how I need to be the change, while also knowing yep! Can’t create a ‘perfectly clear ground’ for another being and mostly being ok with the fact that I’ll face things as we go and that it is OK as well to make mistakes, learn through consequences, etc. Otherwise I’d go into control-freakism aaaand nope! We don’t need that either.

So that’s it, hope that this may be supportive for any of you, not only parents or parents to be, but anyone facing some of ‘the worst’ that exists in our minds in a seemingly ‘normal’ way. I would not have been able to bring myself through clarity without all the Desteni tools of self support and the invaluable self-supportive material available at Eqafe.com, specifically the Parenting series and everything else that you may find there as a way to understand our minds and so understand the ways that we can change that which we see no longer supports a new way of being and living, for the best, that is, embracing the blank page every day.

Thanks for reading!

 

Pessimism

 

Join in if you want to start walking your own process of defining your Self-Honesty


641. Early Stages of Pregnancy: Doubts, Fears, Worries and Getting to Own the Decision

 

 This is a long overdue blog, but there are a couple of reasons why I wanted to write and share about it once that there were certain points ‘in place’ for me to openly do it. This is about the most important decision I’ve made and am still actually learning to walk in my life and to get to a point of owning it, which will mean stepping into a new phase in my life, stepping into ‘the unknown,’ into what throughout most of my life had defined as ‘the most fearful thing’ I ever could think of doing – or the ‘biggest fear’ that I could name whenever anyone asked me ‘what is it the think that you fear the most?’ and one that I thought myself to be quite certain of when it came to ‘saying no’ to it – and yes, I even may declare myself as a ‘culprit’ for having also at times attempted to discourage people from doing, since I also went through a phase where I considered overpopulation was ‘the problem’ in our world – and not the nature of who we are and so ourselves being the solution, not the ‘quantity’ – but, I’ve learned my lessons and have given myself the chance to evolve from such limited mindset that was part of some brainwashing I went through when being a ‘concerned teenager.’ And yes, I truly thought that it wasn’t going to be something I’d have to go through in life.

Well, as always, Life says ‘here I come’ and change knocks at your door and….! I am now four months pregnant (!) and the idea of bringing a child into this world with the best person I’ve known and have had as a partner is an idea that is now sitting quite well within me and I am embracing more and more as days go by, where there is actual joy and gratefulness emerging as we continue to establish the foundation of who we are individually, what we would like to provide to our child and the benefits that we can create for a new person coming into this world, for ourselves and better so, for society and the world at large… but! This wasn’t my immediate experience and it’s been a process to get to that point – I’d say it still is – so this will be about sharing the experiences I’ve been having throughout these past months.

First of all, I didn’t want to share how fearful I was and still not having walked through those fears in a way that could be supportive for others to read and possibly learn from. So, this will be a detailed explanation of what I went through when finding out I was pregnant and being open about the fears that emerged, the uncertainties, the comparisons, the prejudices that yes perhaps I didn’t even dare to confront within myself, but that I deeply experienced and had to eventually work through within myself with the support of others to as well to it, which otherwise would have probably made this a lot tougher.

I found out in May 22nd that I was pregnant with a simple pregnancy test. I had my suspicions since I’m quite regular with my period and there was already like a 3 to 4 day delay, and there were other unusual ‘symptoms’ that I wouldn’t get in my regular period. This is not my first ‘am I pregnant?’ type of ‘scare’, but this time I was doubled-troubled about it, I feared it more than other times if it turned out that it could possibly be a ‘yes.’ Somehow in the back of my head I kept the idea of ‘possibly’ perhaps, maybe, somehow having a child later on, but interestingly enough somewhere last year I had made a very ‘clear’ decision to not go into the ideas of having a child – at least for now, or so I thought! Lol. Even though being honest, the thought did emerge based on the relationship I have with my partner, but then I simply went into a more ‘rational’ view that included certain fears about finances and being able to provide for a child up to the time they are  capable of supporting themselves. Yep, since then the money concern emerged as well.

But I have to backtrack a little bit because the whole context of myself throughout this year is quite interesting to look at in what I now see almost as a ‘preparation’ of what would come almost in the middle of the year. I decidedly started the year with what I have defined now as a healing and self-creation process, which involved walking the decision to support myself to work on some points that I had just been dragging around and that could ‘possibly’ be linked to causing some health issues – which were actually intermittently happening throughout the past year – and I decided to look for alternative ways to support myself instead of only resorting to taking medicine and hoping that I ‘eradicate’ it that way. In a ‘shout out’ to get support,  I took the offer from my fellow life-processer walker and sharp-eyed friend Leila to have a Life Alignment session with her for support, and I would say that such session at the end of December of last year  turned my life around for good.

 Leila’s support and session assisted me tremendously to become aware of certain patterns I was still defining as ‘having to carry them’ to finally come to understand, forgive and let go of them, which were most likely the emotional issues causing the consequences I was facing at a physical level. Through opening up all the points that came up in that session and taking the route of the suggested alternative support, I was able to open myself up to a healing phase and at the same time, to really step into a point of self-creation that I had kept ‘on hold’ because of, in a way, still ‘torturing’ myself with the past and not really forgiving myself completely.

So, from January on after that session with her, I visited a regular doctor to find out what I had – which yes had to do something with the reproductive system – and decided to go to alternative therapies to assist with the healing and body balancing process, while knowing that there were very clear points I had to work with and process emotionally as well, which I did as well and it definitely turned my life and inner presence around as well. I started taking Qi Gong classes which I definitely enjoyed, as well as getting to hear these other two alternative medicine specialists on ‘my case,’ which assisted me a lot as well to have that understanding of how I created my own symptoms and recurrent illness – and in a way, reinforce the perspectives that I had been ignoring: being able to self-forgive and let go. Yep, at times we can be stubborn in believing we have to ‘hold on’ to something as some kind of ‘pay for the sins’ – not recommended at all, folks.

I started focusing on what I wanted to create and do this year. I started working on developing a workshop related to developing self-introspection and self-creation through the creation of art. Here my friend and terrific Life Coach Joe Kou assisted me personally with grounding these plans and projects, along with my workshop partner to ground and refine this project we had and getting to define what we wanted to actually give to do and provide to others. I was quite excited about the whole process and I’m still grateful for everything that I got to learn and – most importantly – get to define for myself in terms of ‘who I am’ in my ever ‘doubtful’ type of relationship with art. The project may be on hold, but I’m quite certain that all of these talks with Joe also assisted me to tap more into my personal potential and getting back in touch with my creative capacity again, lol, perhaps the creative capacity emerged just in a ‘slightly’ different way, lol.

I consider that all of these initiatives to support myself and the changes that I embarked myself on at an internal and external level – like setting myself into a point of self-creation and ‘breathing life’ into myself again, gaining a new perspective on life – contributed to ‘opening the gates’ to something else that I had not necessarily planned or expected, lol. Interestingly enough all the alternative support I had was also focused on getting my reproductive organs and general hormonal system balanced out. I also did some changes in my diet, but I still had some deficiencies like feeling sometimes very weak and so on. Interestingly enough, I actually didn’t want my ‘next period’ to come, because of the last massive blood loss I have had, and what would I know? That such period never came… Lol! Well my body is wise after all.

So back to the point of finding out ‘the news’ and how this time around I felt very different to go and get that pregnancy test, I was actually fearful, I even got a bit pissed on the way back from the pharmacy which is a pattern I ‘thought’ I had already ‘nipped in the bud’. I recognize that I was simply quite fearful. Well, I came home, did the test and hoped that the faint line that appeared was simply a mistake, that it wouldn’t mean a POSITIVE result. See, I actually thought I was having some delays because my body had been quite wonky in the past weeks prior to my ‘period date,’ or I thought that all the homeopathy and acupuncture sessions would be destabilizing my period a bit, but it wasn’t like that. I asked Leila about it and well yep, she let me know that even if the line is faint… it is a YES. Lol, I had not read the pregnancy test instructions properly either it seems, since I later on read that was a common thing to happen even if it was ‘very faint.’

I called my partner right after I found out. I was quite shocked and didn’t know what to do, it’s almost as if I just wanted to ‘go back in time’ and avoid it all. We decided to talk it out at night when he came home. And his response – as always – is that of taking absolute responsibility and supporting me in whichever I decided. Yep, this was tougher in a way because he said he would be ok with whatever I decided – to have the baby or not – because of me being the one that would actually go through the whole physical process of birthing the baby, and yes understanding the role of the mother in it all. He stood firm in his disposition for whatever I decided, because he simply wanted me to be ok with it.

But, as he explained this, I saw that I just didn’t have it in me to say ‘no’ to this – and his calm and assertiveness to receive the news definitely gave me an example of how one doesn’t have to ‘freak out’ as one may expect.  This is where the notion suddenly hit me: a new LIFE is taking place now in your body as we speak and this is not a matter of chance. This is a result of me also having a relationship with my partner and acknowledging that, ultimately, there’s always that chance of getting pregnant even if there’s protection involved. And at the same time, I knew that it was only what I in the moment called ‘the worst of me’ that would say ‘no’ to it, which were a bunch of fears, self-definitions, comparisons, self-doubt and general uncertainty that would prevent me from saying ‘YES, let’s do it’. In other words, I knew that only ‘the worst’ part of me – or the weakest one – would say ‘No,’ because everything else can be worked out, like in terms of finances which was one of my biggest ‘fears’ around the idea of having a baby, but that has also changed as time has progressed and we’ve both opened up this point and I am very much learning from what I could say is more like my ‘partner’s process’ which has everything to do with entrepreneurship and financial education – which actually also touches on very similar principles that I’ve walked on for these past 11 years.  Money hasn’t been my ‘forte’ but I am learning a lot from how my partner currently approaches it, therefore I am learning to not only see fears and lack in my relationship with money, but rather learning HOW we can make things work and genuinely decide what is of real value, which we both agree on is not a ‘ton of material things’ in that sense, but rather seeing the actual wealth there is in the education that we can provide for the child as well.

Before this moment condensed into a reality, I actually have had a dream on April 16th where I would realize I was pregnant, and it felt extremely real, or dare I say ‘frightfully real.’ I would think something like ‘Oh oh! I’m pregnant, this is actually happening’ and I would kind of move to making a decision about it and I would think to myself: ‘Well, I guess it’s time to grow up now’ And my presence and nature would be that of embracing it, of actually accepting it and being ok with it. Only afterwards did some financial fears emerged about ‘how I would go on about it’, which I guess is one of the most common fears that emerge whenever you start planning to have a child or are already pregnant. I woke up from that dream and said  to my partner ‘I had a nightmare! And proceeded to share what the dream was about, Lol! But I let it go and didn’t make much of it.

So once that we were discussing about the pregnancy that night of the day we found out, I remembered that dream and how I had afterwards assessed that it had been ‘the best part of me’ that had stood up in the dream to be ok with it, accept it and embrace this maturity or new phase and ‘letting go of the childish me’ so to speak, which I know is also quite the problem in my generation, which involves not really wanting to take responsibility for ourselves, and ‘worse off’ not for any other either.  I also knew that in a way I was holding on to this belief that I had always said to everyone when asked about wanting or having kids and always saying ‘No, no, no… Me? No! that’s not for me, I won’t have kids. That’s the most important decision in life and the most important job in the world, and I respect parents a lot, they are really brave, hat’s off, but that’s just… not for me.’ But deeply inside knowing this was in fact cowardice and so in a way I realized that the time had come for me to face one of those ‘greatest fears,’ which I opened up about – to a certain extent – to my partner.

There was a sense of responsibility as well but also of understanding how I just was very scared of assuming now my decision and responsibility. I can definitely say that such discussion was assuring for me from the perspective that he assisted me to dispel some of the most immediate fears around money, about ‘not being capable’ of doing this and rather seeing the possibilities and how this kind of challenges would actually support us to grow more and to give ourselves another purpose to our lives together and in our personal development. I realized later on that, as he said, this was our chance to actually create some change in the world, which it certainly is. I’m glad as well how this is something I came to understand some years ago where I went from seeing kids as ‘a burden to the planet’ to more like the opportunity actually change the current state of affairs in humanity over the generations, and what a better way and opportunity to do so than with being able to raise a child.

At that moment I decided to say ‘Yes, let’s do it’ but it wasn’t a FULL decision made with the wholeness of my being. I still had the fears, the uncertainties, the fear of losing the baby in those first 3 months of gestation, the fear of going through problems that would not enable the proper development of the child, fearing that my body wasn’t ‘fit for it’ yet, etc. These fears plagued my head for weeks – and yes I accepted and allowed it. I knew that I had said YES and went on with it, but a part of me was simply fearing that ‘it would not happen,’ that my body was not ‘at its best’ to be carrying a baby. I also feared letting go of the plans I had recently created, I feared letting go of the ‘ME’ that I’ve known and the idea of just having to ‘do what I please’. Yep in essence, I did go through a mourning process in a way of having ‘my plans’ changed and then at the same time not having anything certain yet – nothing is, still – but in my mind at least it is now ‘safer’ to say that I am pregnant because of the amount of time that has transpired and because I’ve seen the baby developing really well in the womb J Who knows, yes anything can happen, but then I also walked another point that I will describe later on in terms of not being defined by the outcome, but walking a decision regardless of it.

So for me in general, finding out that I was pregnant, that WE are going to be parents and bring a human being into this world wasn’t immediately met with enthusiasm, happiness,  joy and jubilee – as I had perceived ‘I should have done’ but why? Because of my fears, mostly of the pregnancy actually ‘not sticking,’ of my body not being ‘fit’ enough to develop another life within me, not having ‘what it takes’ to bring a child into this world. These were mostly the fears that became an incessant type of doubt and uncertainty throughout most of the first weeks. And the fears then sparked up more and with some pains I had that demanded me to be ‘taking it easy’ most of the time and minimize my activity – like barely going out for 3 months – and then on top of that the nausea started kicking in… I just felt like in a limbo. That’s all I could say to my partner for some weeks ‘I feel like in a limbo’ of not being able to truly say ‘this is certain, we are having a baby’ or not, and yes there is that ‘weight’ over me to in a way ‘make it happen,’ but fortunately enough my partner was always supportive and considerate and not really concerned if it couldn’t get to form and ‘happen’ as expected. But he also taught me to stop expecting ‘the worst’ all the time, which I am still learning and frankly once again getting to step out of, since it’s almost as if my old-age pessimism kicked back in.

The nausea so far has been the worst of the pregnancy process up to now, I mean I don’t want to discourage anyone with saying this, but I do want to be as realistic as possible because this is my experience and I really felt like a zombie, like constantly ill for weeks on.  I also felt ‘odd’ for not being so ‘happy’ about the news at first  – even though when sharing the news to those closest to me, it felt like there was a sense of joy in it, but that I couldn’t just for now ‘take it for granted,’ so I would just go back to the limbo-phase of smiling but deep inside me, not really being certain of what I was ‘getting myself into’ nor if it would physically ‘work out, or that I had ‘what it takes’ to pull it off.  

I must say that abortion (miscarriage) had not been in my mindset or radar before, this I mostly got as a ‘real scare’ because of knowing of a situation from someone I know that went through it and that kind of placed it in my awareness and, yes, what can I say? I moved the least I could because, it would hurt and be painful to just go walking to the store close-by. I felt like crippled because of not having my ‘me time’ every day to just go out and about with my long walks and generally longed for ‘feeling fine’, but I also realized this was part of a process and decision I had agreed to go through and that I had to actually care about another’s life developing within me, one that me and my partner had planted as a little seed. And because yes a 20 minute walk ‘at my usual pace’ had detonated a pain that actually got me in pain and therefore in crying and fearing that I would be placing this baby’s life at risk, I decided to keep myself resting and that was definitely a tough time where even writing became very repetitive and somber with describing only the worst of the experiences, and found it difficult to see any ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ I knew that this was taking a toll on me, so I reached out for support again.

Once again, it was through Leila’s support with her Life Alignment session that assisted me to actually open up this ‘limbo-mindset’ and get to face it, even though I had seen the fears moving in my mind and me demonstrating it and acting them out in what became, I would say,’ the pessimist me’ that was ‘waiting’ just for the time to pass so that I could have ‘some certainty’ of actually being pregnant, actually having a baby or not. More like desiring to have some ‘control’ over the idea of being pregnant or not.  Through the session I was able to face and open up the fears about ‘it not really happening’ and I actually allowed myself to realize I was in fact fearing not having the baby, and that I was at the same time in a way mourning or letting go of ‘the old me,’ and I got to see the ‘big’ point that I’ve seen comes up in my life when having to take care of another being: selfishness. And that whole idea of ‘me, my time, my life, only doing what I want and what I like’ and having that self-definition printed on me like my creed, a very limiting one to be honest. I actually cried out when realizing through the session how I was in fact preventing me from embracing, being happy and joyful about the pregnancy because of not wanting to create ‘a bond’ with someone that I could ‘lose’ or see not ‘happening’ if something went awry.

I’ve also taken this as if Life was also throwing this ball at me kind of like saying ‘So you speak of supporting life, and life in equality, and wanting the best for all eh? But you don’t want to actually have a child and see what it takes to actually care for another life as yourself?’ Well, this is my characterization of it lol, but I saw my own principles and words ‘staring back at me’ and this also led me to see that it was – again – only the worst of me that could be fearing stepping into a new phase in my life. Leila assisted me to realize there was a mourning process of letting go as well of ‘the me and my life that I’ve known up to now’ but most importantly, I was able to admit to myself that I actually wanted to have the child, I just feared not having it and having to go through the loss and the pain that goes with it.

In a way, I was creating a detachment  as a defense-mechanism to the whole idea of being pregnant because then my logic was ‘If it doesn’t ‘stick then I would not feel ‘attached’ or already ‘hyped’ with the idea and having let everyone know about the news.’ It became something like a ‘safe spot’ to be at, to not be so defined by the idea of having a child, because I still ‘could not be certain.’ Well, it then became obvious how then how my decision to say ‘Yes, let’s do it’ contained this whole point of uncertainty and fears in the background – and selfishness as well, making it about ‘how I feel’ instead of actually rooting and being up for giving it my all and being my best at it for something that I am deciding to do along with my partner.  So this also took some time for me to assimilate and actually open up to the new and actual change in life.

What opened up in that session also enabled me to discuss these points with my partner, and he was able to understand what I meant when I would say ‘I still can’t believe we are going to have a child’ – which he would understand as some kind of pleasant surprise statement, but to me it was a real ‘I can’t still be certain of it’, I still can’t ‘wrap my head around it,’ and also because of the early stages of it. So that was yet another very supportive talk we had, where we got to open up one of my most ‘ingrained’ traits, which is yes, pessimism and almost expecting the worst of all things to happen at any moment. So I got to open up about these and other fears, which is also where I got to see how my own mindset was generating this sense of uncertainty and fear, and how I wasn’t allowing myself to fully LIVE the decision of having a baby and instead, being almost like ‘leaving it at the hands of life to decide what would be or not be.’ And here it’s very relevant to make a distinction as well because sure, it could have or could still happen that it doesn’t work out, and that then would be something for me to get to understand, learn from, embrace and move on with. But I no longer fear having to go through it as I did at the beginning.

The main point here is how I was creating this whole fear and uncertainty because of not realizing that I could decide to be OK with either/or scenario as well. I was defining myself already by the idea that ‘losing the baby’ would be a bad, negative, painful process and that would ‘define me’ somehow – so that’s how I then would ‘prevent’ going through all such ‘negative things’ by remaining in that limbo = not being truly standing in and as my decision to have the child, because then logic said “If ‘something happens’ = It would not be something that I was already ‘attached’ to, or future projecting about.” Well, this was quite revealing to me in how I was in fact standing only in fears and prejudices. I had to stop. My partner was awesome in discussing this with me, he is in fact the most supportive partner I’ve ever had and has been an exemplar pillar of support for me since day one, and he was able to assist me to face these points and to realize that I didn’t have to be defined by either outcome, that either way: Life goes on and we will be fine at the end of it all.

An interesting thing though to realize is that at that stage and having walked our first months with the pregnancy together, I realized that based on how enthusiastic he was, how he pushed himself to from the get-go get himself ‘moving’ to do things he needs to do to have sufficient time and financial support for when the baby arrives, and how every single day he would wake up with a smile in his face and saying ‘we’re going to have a baby!’ that even if this didn’t ‘happen,’ I would still go through the whole thing again to try it again. Lol! I can’t believe my words, but it is so. Based on the values that we share, the ‘who we are’ that we can share with a new being definitely becomes an attractive idea that overrides everything else that I also feared like the actual pregnancy and birthing process, the incessant crying, the growing pains, the discomforts when they are little babies etc.… that goes to a secondary stage when placing ‘what we both have to offer’ to a child, not to mention that he loves children and is quite a natural with them, treating them the same way as I do, not from an ‘I’m an adult and you are a child’ type of starting point, but one of equals and talking to them as the fully formed beings they are. And so that does fill my heart with joy in a way, to work together now on someone else based on seeing how well we get along and how supportive and loving we are to each other, as in really assisting ourselves to be the best that we can as individuals.

What has emerged within me therefore is an actual gratefulness of this opportunity to bring a child into this world and I basically turned my stance around from indecision, fears, what ifs, future worst-case scenario creations to rather being able to trust myself in this, to know that we can together handle this because we got the foundation that’s most important – from my perspective – a solid, supportive and loving relationship where we each have demonstrated each other to support ourselves to live the best that we can be, and that we haven’t ever ‘pushed us down’ to become the worst of us, but quite the contrary, and this has been a daily living thing, which has shown tremendous results in both of our lives.  

I am not fearful or ashamed to say that this time around, I wasn’t the ‘strong one’ with this whole new path and decision in my life, I wasn’t the one that would ‘help the other’- as I was used to – to come to terms with something. I was definitely the one that was supported by my partner who stood solid and quite optimistic about the whole thing. It was definitely another point of ego for me to let go of, because I had always believed that in my relationships, I’d always be the one to ‘help the other out,’ and I am actually glad and grateful to be with someone by your side that is there to support you when one is crumbling in fears and in a general low. So, it is also safe for me to say that as much as the decision was placed ‘on my plate,’ I knew that this decision would not only impact me of course, that this was part of my partner’s life process and a point that was opening up for both of us in the path we decided to walk together J And I couldn’t be happier about it now that I’ve come to assimilate it, embrace it and root for it as the days go by. 

But, who knows if I haven’t had a supportive partner or someone that was as pessimist as I was, or as fearful or only focusing on ‘financial problems’ or seeing it as a ‘load’ or doubting themselves in not being able to ‘pull it off.’ I guess that things would have been a bit different, but this is also a general point to become aware of when being in a relationship and not having a super secure method to avoid pregnancy – if not desiring to have any children –  to be aware of the possibilities of getting pregnant and making sure that one is in a supportive relationship, that one can actually step into that possibility of having a child together and know exactly where each other stands in it. Otherwise, this is also a problem in humanity where people just ‘get together’ because they ‘like each other’ or have some ‘fun together,’ but have no idea of where each one stands in the ‘hypothetical’ yet very possible scenario of having children which it surely is a life changing situation.

In my case, that is something I considered, I observed and assessed and ‘tested the waters’ on with my partner to know where he stood in such potential situation. It would have been quite different if ending up pregnant with someone that perhaps really dislikes children or wants to just have a partnership relationship forever. So even if this wasn’t planned, I sure knew where my partner stood about it and now I embrace that unconditional support that he has become for me in my life and receive it in gratefulness, instead of perhaps going into regret for not having stood up and being ‘my best’ from the get go – this is part of the things I probably had to learn and experience firsthand to then be able to root or ground myself in this life changing decision.

There are so many other things that have opened up in relation to walking now into a bit of a more ‘certain’ phase of the pregnancy, like looking at how it will change our lives, the ‘letting go’ of ‘me/my-time’ for some years, but at the same time actually being glad about it because it is in fact an opportunity to test myself in a whole new terrain, to learn more about myself, to learn to work in a team with my partner, to learn to live that unconditional love and care towards another being, and be that which I would want every newborn child in this world to have: a supportive environment, a supportive family, a pair of individuals that are preparing themselves to do the best they can to bring up a life in this world that can continue our individual paths to become better human beings in all that we do. It is fascinating how to me this is what excites me the most and knowing that this is a child that will contain both of our lives and paths to in a way, re-birth ourselves into the best, to assist in the process of possibly getting to correct the things that we both know is the worst of us and to be able to in essence create – perhaps – a better version of ourselves and of our parents in this forthcoming phase of our lives.

So in essence, now that the nausea has subsided, now that I’ve seen how the baby is doing, there’s more of a sense of certainty around it. And even with the process of planning, placing ourselves in the position of ‘preparing’ to the next year when baby arrives, is opening up so many cool discussions between us where I get to be more and more certain and actually quite happy and grateful to be carrying a life that contains my partner’s life as well, because he is quite an extraordinary human being that has demonstrated, in a rather short period of time, to be able to turn his life around in ways that few people I know have been able to. That assists me in my own trust and confidence to walk into this new phase in life.

It’s also very relevant for women to have that kind of support in a partner considering that I have seen how there are emotional upheavals, there are changes one goes through in the body and that having a partner that doesn’t react to my ‘emotional upheavals’– but understands it’s part of the process –  that gives comforting words and caresses, that doesn’t judge my body as it goes through its changes, that helps me to see that the discomforts and so on is part of the process for something better to come is something that I am truly grateful and learning from, and absolutely relevant and a great example as well for me to see how it is possible to face even the ‘difficult parts’ with a better sight on things to come. So if you are a male reading this, it’s best to also do your part on getting to understand what women go through in pregnancy, which is what my partner has done in his spare time, even to the point where he has now gotten to explain certain things to me, because he’s made the decision to be there all the way to support me and wants to be, what he calls, a ‘second mother’ lol, and not be the typical father role that is portrayed in pregnancy books-  or at least the older ones that I got from my sisters J

So to me, as important as it is to be taking physical care of myself, having proper nutrition – after a few of the rather not so supportive ‘cravings’ I gave into in the first weeks – gaining more confidence in going for walks, stepping out of general fears and doubts of ‘being able to do this,’ and more like embracing the being that is growing in me it is also important to have that equal stance from the other in the relationship. So as with anything, I guess for anyone reading this my suggestion is to yes prepare the body and one’s mind as much, but to also fully, fully disclose and talk things out with your partner first and know ‘where he stands’ in it all, because it does require great courage to embrace this in the best way possible. Sure we all got our points to walk, but that’s where having that support in one another comes in to face such experiences. Well, I say this, but I bet my partner would simply say that any challenge in life is an opportunity to motivate himself more, a challenge that makes him just push himself and see the benefits that it creates, which become a well-rounded purpose in life and that to me is quite an example I am learning from and grateful to be walking along this new path with.

To me this whole process has taught me how I don’t have to play strong all the time, or still fall into the belief that ‘I am the one that should save or assist others,’ but rather recognize my own weaknesses and be ok with receiving support from those that are around me and to ask for specific support when needed, otherwise, who knows where I would have been without the support I got from my partner, my immediate family, Leila, Joe and the people that directly worked on myself and my body with the alternative therapies, which I am also grateful for having the opportunity to have.

I realized it is also OK to not be initially happy, ecstatic, joyful and jumping up and down about the idea of being pregnant. I understand that I don’t have to compare myself to how other women – specifically – have faced their pregnancy or motherhood process, and I kind of knew that I set myself up to this kind of uncertainty and fears because of me having fed the fears of ‘having a baby’ or ‘becoming a parent’ for most of my life, it was ‘THE’ most feared point in my existence, and I held it as a very ingrained belief. So this is another learning point to become aware of what we say ‘never to’ and realize that Life may have a different plan for us and that we may actually end up facing such things we ‘fear the most’ and that it is actually not something to fear, but to rather take on as a challenge, an opportunity for growth, for change and to embrace the opportunities and paths that it will entail.  And that it is ok to not be all smiles about it, but take it as a very physical process of growth and development that it is and eventually as the very real responsibility and opportunity to challenge myself that it will represent with all that entails to be a parent, and be definitely fully UP for it – or at least knowing that I can trust myself to work on the bits I may go facing and being uncertain of, or the mistakes I may make. It’s all part of life.

I wake up every day aware of being pregnant and that is quite something to see growing in my body, but more so enjoying as well how this has opened up so many potentials in our lives in how we can best support a new child coming into this world, how to best prepare us, how to be also OK with making mistakes and facing the unexpected too, to not try and have everything ‘under control’ or attempt to ‘know as much as I can’ either. I am also allowing myself to simply take it easy with it, focusing on our physical wellbeing and continuing building the bond with my partner through it with the expectation of a third person coming into our home J He says we will be having so much fun, and I’m so glad he sees it that way because it is contagious how he can talk about what I would’ve defined as ‘tough things to go through ahead’ and he’d see it as something funny to go through, something challenging that can push one to the limits of seeing how much one can stand through. Lol, anyways it has assisted me a lot to have a different outlook on the idea of becoming a mother, becoming parents and yes, why not, also leaving that ‘selfish-me’ phase behind, which sure might be challenging, but hey, this is what Life has now placed on my plate, so that means I’m ready, I can take it, let’s do it J

Thanks for reading if you got up to here! I’m open to any feedback, questions or comments – or any topic that may require going into some depth.

For Spanish speakers, I’ve been sharing my weekly process within the pregnancy and reflecting back on how things apply to anyone else in their lives in my Encausarte Podcast from Episode #23 on.

Recommended series! Parenting on Eqafe.com

 

Life Emerges

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640. What does it Mean to Consider Others’ Minds?

 

I shared a situation that I got involved in today at the Desteni group chat where I reacted to other two people’s conversation that I was stepping into as I was getting in the car to go somewhere with the pilot. The conversation was gossiping or talking negatively about someone else and the conversation was leading to a lack of focus at the wheel by the person whose car I was getting into. So, in my attempt to stop having to be part of something that ‘I didn’t want to be a part of’ – the gossip – and steering the pilot’s focus and attention to the road, I made a comment that eventually got heard by the person on the other side of the line. I said ‘I don’t want to hear gossip’ – yes, I said it calmly and not in a loud voice, but still it caused a reaction and the person on the other side of the line ‘got the message’ and ended the conversation. The person I was with in the car got visibly bothered and angry about me voicing this out loud and ending up being heard by the other person.

Now, at first sight one would say ‘well yes, you had the right to do that, gossip is bad and you did what is best for all, which is to stop the ongoing conversation if it is simply talking badly about others’ – but, the reality is that, that is the way I would prefer to think of things and be righteous in my ‘right’ to ‘speak up’ and call people out if they are ‘talking shit’ about others. But, in reality, based on me understanding what reactions do and what my words may trigger in others – which I didn’t really consider at the time – I actually could have done better in how I participated in that whole situation.

After discussing it in the chat and opening it up with several people, I agree that I could have breathed through the gossip. I realize that a part of me actually got ‘involved’ in it by placing my mind into it and so judging it, otherwise, I would not have reacted to it. It wasn’t a situation where I could just ‘walk out’ of the environment or the situation since I was getting into a car that was going to be in motion, and I was actually aiming to get somewhere at a specific time.  I ‘should have known better’ and not judge or react to the conversation that these two people were having. It wasn’t my car either and I wasn’t asked to intervene or to give an opinion either. Instead, I could have focused on what really became an actual problem, which was the lack of focus of the pilot at the wheel.

So, I realize that I did react to what was being said, where I considered how unbearable their words were and what their ‘intensity’ was when talking about other people and their particular context, which I also considered to be greatly lacking in consideration and understanding to others on their behalf, but, there I a didn’t consider from the get go how ‘calling out the gossip’ in a situation that I just got into, in someone else’s car gave me no right to intervene in such a way, because in essence yes it was a ‘private conversation’ yet held through the car’s speakers, which is also why my remarks were openly heard. I had no problem with this, but the pilot of the car did.

So the actual fear factor involved is that I actually feared for a car crash due to the lack of  attention and dexterity that the driver was showing as a result of trying to focus on me giving directions and keeping ‘at it’ with the phone conversation in the car.

After assessing it and also talking it out with my partner, I realized that I also took the point to another level by trying to explain and clarify things afterwards the whole ‘reaction’ took place. Here I didn’t consider that, if someone is ‘already in a reaction’ they will most likely be extremely bothered by me trying to talk them out of the reaction or asking what was really wrong or trying to clarify things… I honestly haven’t considered that if someone is already quite pissed, the best is to keep quiet, instead of trying to explain myself and give examples or even alternative solutions to the kind of situation. I had not considered that if a person is in a reaction… no matter what I try and explain, it will most likely not even be heard if the other person is not really working on easing their reactions, or feel equally righteous about their reaction.

So, something that I also forgot in this moment – and I must say it was also fueled by a fear of actually getting into some kind of car crash because of the lack of attention to the road – is to take responsibility for MY reactions first and foremost – in this case, towards the gossip itself – and to instead focus on directing what was the priority in the moment, which was: the driving, the attention and the focus.

I even considered that I could have done better by actually speaking out to the other person on the line – since they could hear me anyways – and explain that the pilot was losing focus and attention on the road because of the conversation, so please calling at a later time. But I didn’t, because I reacted more to what was being said and creating the idea that ‘I was now being a silent participant of the gossip’ and I simply didn’t want to be a part of it. However, that’s also an excuse that is not looking at the source of the point, which is my reactions towards the conversation, the words and reacting to it as gossip in itself, which caused me to want to ‘voice myself out’ in the moment and then causing more conflict in the situation than the one I was trying to ‘get myself out of’ in a third party manner – and no this didn’t make the journey ‘safer’ or ‘calmer’ either.

It is cool to share this kind of things with others and gather perspectives, because I then am able to expand a lot from what I usually consider and also from taking a regular person’s perspective, like my partner, because he isn’t walking this process, yet he also sees how at times the way I word things out can be misunderstood and this is one of those things that I agree, not many can actually understand what I mean and how I see things and can simply become like word-bullets that people react to even if the context and starting point in which I am saying is not ‘aimed’ to hurt or be offensive, but this is also my point to work on and practicing communicating with ‘regular words’ or more descriptive to people that may not fully ‘grasp’ what I mean when I say ‘you are not being supportive at this very moment’ – because the pilot person then took it as if ‘they hadn’t been supportive at all’ and I was being ungrateful… instead of my initial intent which was to explain that having someone with me with such reactions towards me wasn’t  supportive for me if they couldn’t let go of the reaction based on the past moment in the car, also considering the situation that we were heading to.  

So, lesson learned: I have to find other words to explain what I mean and to learn to simply keep quiet and understand when a person is in a reaction about a certain situation and that it doesn’t mean that they now ‘totally’ want to get away from me or disregard me. So, keeping quiet is not something I usually apply, because I believe I have to ‘make things right’ and ‘explain myself’ but, if a person is already in a reaction, the best thing is to have the thing just cool down and not open it up until the waters are calmer on both sides.

My responsibility remains the same, I have to check my own reactions and if I am getting into someone else’s car and they are driving me somewhere as a favor, that’s it, I have to get used to whatever they are listening to or whatever conversation they are deciding to put in the speakers for me to listen to as well. I also considered that I could have just listened through the conversation and perhaps later on once everything is done and we could arrive safely to our destination, to give a perspective about how to possibly approach the situation where someone else’s words or deeds are being judged, and to consider ‘more than what meets the eye’ which is how I know gossip goes when we assume things and don’t really consider what may be going on in someone else’s life, but we then find it very easy to just talk badly about others without placing ourselves in their shoes, and fully consider what they were going through, and the same on the other people’s side, to understand is to be able to forgive as well.

Ultimately, as much as I would have liked that moment to possibly assist the people involved in realizing ‘hey, it’s actually not beneficial for anyone to be talking crap about others,’ I also realize that my intent should not be in ‘wanting to change others’ – ever – because! I’ve been there, done that and have fallen flat on the ground with it as it should be, because change and self responsibility is about ourselves, not about ‘doing it to others’ or wanting to impose something to others, which yes, Marlen knows quite a great deal of, but it still slipped out again today, even if in a more ‘composed’ way, it still caused reactions in others.

So, as much as I could be thinking ‘oh my god, why did I do that, what was I thinking, why didn’t I take my own responsibility and felt the right to say what I said?’ and feel bad about it, I also realize that I wouldn’t learn anything by only staying in feeling guilty about the situation. I instead have looked at different ways in which the same situation could have unfolded which involve me keeping quiet and watching my own reactions – putting a guard on my mouth – as the event developed, focusing on giving the right directions and perhaps only later on giving a perspective to the pilot, since the relationship is quite close and I consider I am able to give an opinion even if unrequested, and to perhaps give another set of considerations towards the subject of the gossip – there I am not judging the gossip, but rather seeing where there might be assumptions, judgments and a lack of ‘placing yourself in someone else’s shoes’ type of consideration.

Another option is that I could have intervened in the conversation by saying ‘Hello x person, look this conversation is distracting the driver, so would you please call by at another time – thanks’ – though some might still find this intrusive or disrespectful. So yes, I have to watch out for that kind of situations as well considering it’s not ‘my space’ and there is something going on as I step into it.  And another option was resorting to doing some hand signals to say ‘cut it off’ to the driver in order to simply focus on the road and the direction we were going. But, that didn’t even cross my mind since I am usually just quite direct, but I have to develop some ‘tact’ in relation to other people as well – which doesn’t mean to ‘back off’ and suppress, but simply to consider the moment and the people involved as well.

I also have to consider that yes, some people might be more reactive in their minds and that calling them out for something like ‘gossiping’ can be deemed as offensive. In this, the context is relevant as well, some people might know where I stand in relation to not being a participant in that kind of stuff and others aren’t – sometimes people get ‘carried away’ by the kind of ‘energy’ that floats out from talking gossip to the point where it’s as if the righteousness that it is being talked to could give a certain ‘high ‘to people, and that means losing one’s ground. I know it because I’ve done it, and that’s even with feeling so very righteous about it like criticizing a ‘bad government’ or politician or ‘the system’, which were my ‘specialty’ piñata-like topics to hit on every time that I could back in the day.

So, with this all being said, I have to learn to consider others more, otherwise, people will simply react more and possibly cause more conflict if the person is reacting, they still lose focus on the road if I keep trying to ‘explain myself.’ I have to learn to let it all ‘cool down’ and keep quiet and possibly change the subject in the awareness that I am not avoiding to talk about it – because I usually do exactly the opposite and insist on ‘opening it up’ – and realize that some people deal better with a  moment of anger or frustration by keeping quiet, not discussing it any longer and not questioning their actions right after ‘the facts,’ because…. It usually leads to no growth or learning process because the reactions are on the way, and that’s something I know very well so, I can’t expect someone else to be entirely ‘ok’ after such kind of situation just because I feel ok and calm about it. There I have to extend my consideration to the other person’s mind and state of being and understand them, even if I was fine about the entire situation.

In conclusion, I can’t expect people to handle this kind of situations like I would or be wiling to ‘be self honest’ about their words and deeds if that is not what they are ‘into’ doing in their lives. If I decide to step into someone else’s ‘world’ or space for a moment, I have to be willing to walk through whatever is going on with them if I am asking them for a favor, and if I see that it is an ongoing pattern, then I can simply voice out why I don’t find it supportive to be in that kind of situations – if they are often – whenever I get to drive around with them and find another way through. So, it’s about communication and finding solutions and seeing what is important for each person and be willing to understand that, otherwise, I do become a tyrant in someone else’s land and, it’s not an uncommon trait in me that I actually have to change.

I share this because it might be very common that some of us may feel ‘righteous’ to call people out in certain moments by believing we are stopping certain kind of abuse or situation that we deem as consequential or negative. In this case it wasn’t my intent to call them out, I voiced what I wasn’t ‘willing to be a part of’ but it ended up still coming from a reaction and being received as an offense and as a calling out, so, that’s where I see that I have to be careful of how I say things and what my starting point of it is and ensure it’s not coming from a judgment that causes a reaction. Otherwise, I become the very gossiping that I am judging by judging the gossip in my mind and reacting to it, so, in wanting to prevent myself from ‘being a part of it’ I became a part of it by giving it my awareness and ears and taking it ‘in’ and reacting to it in one way or another, which is then, defeating the whole purpose of ‘stopping the gossip’ in the first place.

There’s a quote I read yesterday from Nietzsche “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster…”  it’s interesting because I had mostly always remembered the second half of the quote but never really ‘registered’ this first part, and it is so important to consider that, in my attempt to ‘stop something negative’ going on, I created or caused more conflict, negative reactions in others. So, instead of ‘trying to fight’ what I am judging in a moment as bad, evil, conflictive, I have to understand it, to remind myself that calling it out from a reaction won’t lead to an outcome that is supportive for anyone – and instead, get to understand why people tend to gossip, what it ‘gives them’ as an experience or what the righteousness about it all indicates about themselves, which then in itself also gives me a good idea of ‘where they are at’ in their mindset, in their experience in the moment, and so, realizing there are already reactions going on that I must consider if interacting with the people involved.

Then, ultimately, I wasn’t part of the conversation, it is also as if I had stepped into a taxi and the taxi driver was having the same conversation with an unknown person… well If I had ‘called it out’ by saying ‘I don’t want to be part of this gossip’ then I would have been surely kicked out of the taxi. So, I took it personally also because of the relationship with these people and what I consider was ‘unfair’ in relation to the subject they were talking about and the way the subject was talked about as well, so it also indicates my own judgments.  So that’s also a good way to put things into perspective where the relationship with these people form a reason for me to try and ‘stop it from continuing’, like preventing ME from being a tacit participant in it – when, well, if I did the same about Everything that goes on in this world that I judge as bad, negative, harmful or consequential? Then I would be wanting to ‘call out’ a lot of problems that happen every single moment and ‘not be a part of it,’ isn’t it?

It would have been a very different story if I was asked for a perspective or if I was there from the beginning as a known participant in a situation of gossip – and one that I could simply turn and walk away from as well. So, I recognize my flaws in this one, while also realizing that it is cool to give feedback to the closest people that I care for, but sometimes even that, can be unrequested and not really wanting to hear my perspective on certain things. This is also to ‘let go’ of wanting others close to me to ‘open their eyes’ about certain things that I consider they could change and are damaging to themselves, and instead, be an example of that with my own living and the way that I can express myself when talking about others, one that is understanding and considerate, so that is where it all begins, within self.

Thanks for reading. 

 

And! Because I recently translated these to Spanish, if anyone can identify more with the ‘feeling offended’ side, this is a great series to follow through and support yourself with:

  1. Offended: All About You – Atlanteans – Part 315
  2. Offended: Understanding and Changing in Real Time – Atlanteans – Part 316
  3. Offended: Inferior|Superior – Atlanteans – Part 317
  4. Offended: Stop the Polarity Game – Atlanteans – Part 318

 

Control

 

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639. Reconciling with the Artistic Expression In Me

 

It’s been a while since I shared a blog. I’ve been on a ‘writing diet’ where I write at least 3 pages on a daily basis in my personal diary or notebook which is something I begun as part of a process I’m embarking myself on to reconcile myself – yes, once again and yes embracing the process – with my artistic side or artistic interests which I’ve been basically focusing on investigating and aligning throughout these past months. I’ve been realizing some of the most ‘shady’ aspects that I’ve allowed to get in the way of me continuing to express myself and I decided to write self forgiveness on these points along with some realizations and share them, since I’m aware many can be at a similar situation with any given aspect in their lives too.  

I forgive myself that I haven’t accepted and allowed myself to realize I created a sense of being unworthy when it comes to expressing myself through creative means simply because of being told that no one would buy that, no one would like that and that I had to do stuff that most people liked in order to be paid for it, which then became a way to constantly create a hellish experience within me while creating, having to satisfy these invisible people that I believed I had to please and within that, causing that split within me where expressing myself in a more intimate and unconditional way – as it was in the beginning when I started – became a thing of the past and I then had to ‘use my skills’ to ‘be bought’ by others, and in doing so eventually wanting to once again distance myself from doing anything creatively.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to hold a negative experience to the idea of my work being valued in a certain amount of money where I’ve judged such amount of money as ridiculous and just not worth the ‘thing’ that I created, which I then believed was something good or positive but slowly with time I allowed that notion to sabotage me from continuing to create because I then would be having to ‘think in money terms’ when creating, which became a departure from myself – because art for me was not intended to be a ‘product’ but it was a very personal, unconditional and dare I say innocent form of expression with and for myself that I then allowed to be influenced on ‘why I do it’ and ‘what kind of stuff’ I should do, missing out the point of it which has always and should always be Me and the process I’ve been walking, which is what any form of expression for me is really about.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a silent inner war in relation to art and monetary value where I slowly but surely sabotaged myself from creating anything as a way to not have to see it as a product – instead of seeing that I could have simply realized that I was  attaching some monetary values to something that should be first of all a point of self-expression and communication, where an economic value would come only if and when I would decide to offer it for selling it and only when and if there could be any potential person interested in buying it, therefore leaving all of that as a secondary purpose to it, not ever forgetting that my main purpose and value is for myself, for my own satisfaction, expression and enjoyment – otherwise I now see I corrupt myself by thinking in ‘money terms’ other than me expressing me and sharing unconditionally.

I forgive myself that I haven’t accepted and allowed myself to realize that the moment that there was a struggle in my head because of having others’ opinions, views or expectations of ‘what I need to create’ I should have stopped and not allow myself to go there, since that is not the reason why I signed up to do anything creative in the first place, I did it as a point of curiosity and exploration for myself, to communicate myself with myself and then it became something I would have to do as a profession to be paid for and satisfy others with it, which is not a ‘wrong’ thing to do either, but that’s not where my true passion is for in it.  I totally buried myself under those ‘expectations’ I projected upon myself even when I believed I was doing something ‘for me,’ I would still be having ideas of ‘having others liking it’ in the background and in that, I corrupted my own expression which I see has of course nothing to do with the ghostly voices in my head of ‘others eyes’ on it,  because they were entirely brought up by myself and it then became in a bundle of  fears around it that I now see I used as a justification to not continue doing anything creative for a while.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to many times create a dissonance, a split between ‘what’ I had to do instead of asking myself who do I decide to be and according to that direct myself, because of having fallen on the usual ideas where I would have to choose one thing to become ‘something’ in life– like having a certain title, career or diploma – in order to perform certain tasks which show me the extent to which I have been mostly perpetuating the same kind of labels and boxes wherein we have defined ourselves to be just ‘one thing’ and only be that ‘one thing’ throughout a lifetime, instead of opening up the endless possibilities that are in fact possible if we tap into that source of what and who we really are and so expressing that into any aspect of our lives, regardless of ‘what we do.’

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to split myself between the idea of supporting others and making that my living purpose and my own natural tendency an d interest on artists and artistic creations as a source of both enjoyment and understanding to me, and in doing so, I ended up creating a division from this natural expression and judging it as selfish, as a waste of time, as shallow or without any consequence in others’ lives, without realizing  that in doing so, I was cutting up, chopping off a part of myself in such judgment process wherein I then created a constant push and pull friction game towards that inclination that emerged from a very young age in me and that I judged later on as frivolous and part of my ego-creation.

I realize currently how yes from a very innocent and instinctive move to paint and draw, I then turned it into a an expectation of making it my profession and then buying into the idea of that having to be my way to ‘climb up the ladder of success’ and feed my ego with dreams and ideals of fame and recognition, where – even though I had the idea of ‘doing so to help to save the world’ – the motivation was still the aggrandizement of my own persona, which is why I then took myself to the opposite side of not wanting to show what I do, not wanting to share it around and judging others that would dare to do so as egotistical or seeking others’ approval, which only stands as my own projection of my own judgments and what I’ve done towards myself, which I realize is a product of tainting my expression with the norms and ways we have created the current system wherein art has also become an industry which is not wrong in itself since it can be considered work itself, but to me art does go beyond the ‘final product’ but I’m definitely more interested in the person that is behind the work of art which is where I see that lies my interest on the artistic field.

I forgive myself  that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to taint my expression with the ideas of ‘what I would have to do’ in order to sell or in order to have other people like what I do, which I realized has been a rather painful process considering that it doesn’t mean I have to make money out of what I decide to express in a very personal way of communicating with myself, which I can share unconditionally without having to make it ‘fit’ certain market standards or having certain ‘qualities’ which is what I’ve then come to experience an inner conflict with, because my aim is to use art as a way to communicate and to see myself, to understand and learn from myself and enjoy while making it and making that very personal and sacred moment where it’s just me expressing and communicating with myself.

I realize that the moment that I place ‘others’ or ‘the public’ as the ultimate outcome, I distance myself from myself, I move away from that very core point that got me into wanting to create art in the first place and it becomes a job, something I have ‘to do’ for money or to be able to be ‘sellable’ and in that, losing my own essence and shaping myself into whatever I am believing ‘others’ want to see and get from me, which is entirely created in my own mind and as such, there has never been ‘others’ or any form of exigencies, it’s all been me allowing my own judgments and ideas to influence and maim my own creativity over the years .

I realize that the various comments and opinions I got over the years were all standing as expressions of their own views and standards, and to me they represented moments where I would have had to fully stand as my expression – but I didn’t. And that’s why every time I would succumb to certain demands, I would feel a little more lost in it all and ended up feeling meaningless and purposeless – shallow – in the whole process of making anything related to art, even doing any form of indoor decoration because of then tainting it as shallow, superficial or non-substantial or supportive to life itself – defining ‘life’ outside of myself as ‘others’– instead of seeing that I am the source of it and the ultimate end point of it, if it exists in me – and me being part of the whole – there should not exist any limitation to this point of expression that is intended to see ‘what comes out of me’ as an individual, simply to see ‘how I am doing’ and express it in ways that I may not be able to do so through words at times, and so seeing that it has been essential for me to draw and paint things that are just inside of me and come out as an extension of myself, that are devoid of a certain ‘receptor’, which I consider is the actual essence of what any form of art is, an externalization of the creator because of the sheer will of the creator itself to have it happen or just ‘be’ for its own sake.

In my case I have decided to make of that art not something that I ‘have to do’ but something that I can decide to express as part of my self-communication, self-enjoyment, the creation of that me-time that I now know I have to give myself and create for myself since I have shaped my life and time around all of the other doings that I require to do as a way to survive and as a way to relate to others, which simply require a balancing point so that I can in fact give me and create more time to do it and stick to it the same way that I stand in a disciplined and responsible manner to any other responsibility and duty I have.

I realize that If I cut out this limb of mine, this part of me that has continued to be a relevant aspect of my life, I’ll end up feeling forever frustrated for not having had the guts to give myself the time and courage to do it, to make it actually OK and acceptable that I create time for me to continue developing any form of creative expression that satisfies that self-communication and self-understanding beyond the usual self-writings, because that stands as something that can break the mold of what I regularly do on a daily basis and what I dare to say to myself through words only.

I also understand the importance of creativity, it is that ‘creative germ’ that is needed in all of us if we truly want to ‘break the mold’ and create a better world because otherwise, as I’ve seen for myself, we can just fall into the comfort of how things usually are and have been and not having any new things or challenges coming our way and getting too complacent and obedient to whatever we have all collectively come to believe is how ‘we should live our lives.’ And I know that it takes courage and a real sense of authority and will to decide to not fall into such expectations and categories and live differently, which then doesn’t become a constant ‘against the flow’ rebellious type of process as I used to do it before, but it becomes simply living the realization that this is the actuality of myself that is no longer seeking to be liked, appreciated or conform or fit in, but embraces that individuality devoid of judgment and expectations, and simply decides to get back in tune with myself, to be ‘here’ rather than seeking to be somewhere else or be accepted by others here or there.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to maim my own authenticity whenever I allowed others’ comments, opinions – or the lack thereof – about what I do creatively to affect and define the way that I relate to my works of art, where I then stepped into the realm of valuing opinions and judgments and forgot to look at myself, asking myself why is this important or relevant for me to do, what it means to me and why it satisfies me or not to do it.  

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to become too concerned with monetary values and I realize that it is not about saying that selling my art is wrong or an act of self-interest, but that should come as a byproduct of me first standing fully in absolute congruence with my creation, where I can be sure there isn’t any noise implied in its creation while having thoughts about possibly selling it or thinking what colors would be liked more by ‘the majority’ of people, or what kind of stuff would be ‘easy to appreciate and like’ and hang on a wall or have around – and instead focus on simply being me, expressing me because I can see how I have been living that within myself and I have stood up when realizing I’m about to enter into a ‘shaping’ process that doesn’t respect me – but I haven’t done that with my own artistic expression.

I realize how easy it is for me to get into that shady space of not sharing or showing myself, all having to do with holding ideas about ‘who I am and have been’ in relation to a particular ‘personality system’ of having been placed in the spotlight at a certain time in my life, creating and building expectations upon myself that I then couldn’t fulfill because they, of course, came from a place of separation, of arrogance, of superiority and idealism that can’t be in fact satisfied because it’s not coming from the truth of who I am and who I want to be.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define me according to people’s opinions and values given towards me, where they all in fact felt phony to me ever since being a child and receiving accolades, it became a great nuisance to be told all of these good things and being praised where I eventually wanted to ‘not be singled out’ and hide in the background, to not stand out and in doing so,  I ended up diminishing myself because of having created a negative experience to being the source of opinions and critics, even if they were favorable, it seemed unfair and unreal for me to be able to define someone based on numeric characters or only a few characteristics that were ‘worthy’ within a particular system, like in schools.

That’s also why I wanted to do something that could enable me to see myself outside of values and titles that we are supposed to get in society, that define ‘who we are’ and that’s why I started doing what I did within an artistic expression – that I later on ‘vandalized’ with adding all kinds of judgments, opinions  and expectations to it and I perverted it and turned it into just another ‘thing’ that one ‘does’ in the ‘system’ and that’s it, it’s like taking the life out of myself by turning that which was once very personal and unconditional and a point of enjoyment to me and turning it into a show ‘for others’ and to find ‘my value and worth’ in society, which I then failed to do as I should, because it would have led me down to another rabbit hole if I had been successful at that.

I also realize that it’s not that ‘others’ are the problem in fact, since they are me. In any case each person stands as a good mirror where I can look back at myself and see what I can learn from it to either expand  myself or try out new things, without any longer seeking to be liked, accepted, valued or appreciated that way, because I realize that such values are in fact standing only in the eye of the mind and can only serve a way to ‘see’ things, but it’s only me that will ultimately know WHO I am behind WHAT I decide to do, whatever it is.

I realize that we lose ourselves many times in the eyes of others and allow ourselves to get quietly and deeply hurt and don’t dare to speak it out in the moment, because of fearing to come through as sensitive or immature – but opening up about those aspects that were impactful for us is the first point, to realize that many times there have been assumptions, misunderstandings and a general projection of who each person is in relation to their opinions and comments. I realize that I also have been able to consider certain constructive aspects from what others say about my work, but even with that, I realize I have to define what I will accept and allow as feedback and what I won’t because to me, artistic expression is that one sacred place where no others’ ‘laws’ or ‘ways’ apply and where I can in fact transcend myself and my limited views, beliefs and morals. I desecrate that space, that part of myself every time that I use someone else’s words as a reason or justification of why I should do something a certain way or why I should just give up trying to do anything creative.

I also realize that in my mind I have been the only one that has decided to give such amount of focus and attention to what others may or may not say – critically and constructively – and that I am the only one that can allow that to affect me in a negative or emotional way.  I realize that as one goes strengthening that sense of self-worth, self appreciation and being congruent with the expression of ‘who I am’ and ‘who I decide to be’ and what I focus on continuing to create and express no matter what may come my way, it should not change who I decide to be in that expression.

I can use the feedback  to make myself grow and expand and consider other perspectives, but reacting negatively towards it is entirely a self-created decision that I now realize I have the total capacity to work through and release myself from, which can leave me with a better understanding of who the other person is in their words and their way of seeing things and their relationship to what I do, but ultimately to not take it personally.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to compare my own expression, the unique actions and movements and expressions that I have to any other human beings’, which has led me within a never ending unfulfilled experience where I became the outflow of my own judgments and allowing that to maim my creative expression by giving up on it.

I realize we all – each one of us – is part of the whole that expresses in a unique way, which doesn’t make it more or less than or ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than – it is about embracing the multiplicity and learning to see it as that unique expression that it is, where I realize that I have made and turned myself into my own worst enemy when constantly deciding what is ‘good’ or not in my own eyes and then ending up projecting those judgments towards my own creations, which results in self-sabotage.

Currently I realize looking back how what I’ve done just IS and they are all testimonies and registry of the various phases in my life that I don’t have to feel ashamed of, since they were a relevant and important aspect of who I was at the time, a part of me, a reflection of me in that space and time and if I don’t embrace and accept myself and decide that such expression had its right to be at the time and represent me, who else will? No one.

I realize that my curiosity and general inclination towards some artistic expressions like music and visual arts have been a form of food for my beingness, which at some point I tried to simply distance myself from within the belief that they were just distractions or my own way to ‘escape’ from my reality. And I realize that at times, it might have been so in the past, but I surely realize that is not my starting point at the moment but the other way around.

I now see the potential in art and artists as part of what’s worth living for in this world, because I’ve gone from loathing humanity to appreciating every person that I get to know more about and seeing a lot of valuable things that I can learn from which I’ve come to do through watching documentaries, reading about artists lives and any creative genius, which I ultimately see as one of the reasons why I want to continue being me and developing my expression,  not only to support others but to get to contribute back in the ‘creative pool’ from where I’ve been nurturing myself from as well, because that’s how I’ve gotten to appreciate the life that is in each one of us and that manifests in all of these multiple ways that are worth getting to see and appreciate for who and what they are.

My starting point is not to feel ‘original’ since we are ALL original since we all come from the same and one origin point that we all express in a variety of ways that actually makes this life worth living and so, it’s absolutely worth getting to know one another and getting to connect with those that may be walking a similar path and living purpose to the one I have, which I’ve seen is quite feasible as well.

My current starting point to develop myself in relation to any form of artistic creation and developing communication and comradeship with fellow artists is because it’s proven to me how this particular sector of people in the world that, according to how I see it, dares to live ‘outside of the norm’ within their minds and so in their lives and dare to share that in any way that reflects their inside world, that reflects their particular inner experience are the front runners of changing the way life is lived and how new structures and ways can be created that benefit more of humanity and life in general.

 I’ve seen how easy it is to connect to that same common sensical level with people that are working or have experience in any cultural or artistic field, we just can click in one moment because there’s that same or similar understanding of who we really are and what’s worth working and living for in this life.

I was discussing with my friend about art in itself and it got me to think how I don’t have a particular fondness for certain works of art based on taste, but I surely get to appreciate the ‘who’ is behind that work that got to master themselves to put in the practice, effort, dedication and willingness to do something that perhaps was completely ‘out of their norm’ and did what they had to do in order to get it out of themselves and manifest it as a creation in reality; some others might have done it from a more natural talent that they just could effortlessly express, but in either case, there is a willingness to express and to me that is implying that there is an awareness of the creative potential we all have and can use to benefit our lives. How?

To me it is a primordial and basic point of nurturing your being, of expressing and so sharing it if one’s up for it. They are all bits and ways in which we go stepping out of the ‘usual patterns’ and dare to cross our own limitations and in sharing them, we assist others to do so as well. I also had to let go of the ideas of wanting to share or inspire others or wanting it to be ‘seen’ or ‘liked’ by others. It’s very similar to this process and writing where, whenever I place myself in a position of wanting to ‘share with others’ I miss out myself as being my own point, my own source, my own end of such creation. So now, If I find it supportive, then sharing becomes simply an extension of that self-support being in fact something that I see could benefit others because it is benefitting me.

This is where I can decide to own me and my every step of the way in my own creation, which I also relate to the way I’ve been able to own my decisions and choices in life and all the mistakes I’ve made, because they now make me who I am and I can look back and see that they are all part of the building blocks that I can now constructively use as part of the experience that makes me who I am today that may become stories of support to share to others as a way to learn from my own doings and wrongdoings and get to express the better version of ourselves.

 

Thanks for reading

I absolutely recommend listening to this series to anyone that’s interested in this kind of topics and specifically feeling meaningless, purposeless or feeling like there’s something yet to satisfy within oneself as a living purpose


  1. Meaningless: The Undefined Self – Atlanteans – Part 346

  2. Meaningless: Searching for Meaning – Atlanteans – Part 347
  3. Meaningless: Redefinition – Atlanteans – Part 348
  4. Meaningless: Self Forgiveness Challenge – Atlanteans – Part 349
  5. Meaningless: Standing as a Self Directive Principle – Atlanteans – Part 350
  6. Meaningless: Giving Yourself Meaning – Atlanteans – Part 351
  7. Meaningless: Fulfillment – Atlanteans – Part 352

  8. Meaning: Finding Meaning in a Cruel World – Atlanteans – Part 353

 

Losing My Limb

 

Join in if you want to start walking your own process of defining your Self-Honesty


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