Tag Archives: mother to 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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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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