Tag Archives: mother to be

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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