As I sit writing these words on my due date, I reflect on my own journey through pregnancy and thoughts of my impending birth. Coming into this as a midwife, yoga teacher and Calmbirth educator, from the outside it would seem I had all the necessary tools to deal with pregnancy. I am fortunate that so far, my pregnancy has been completely normal but the enormous impact it has had on my mind and body, has taken me somewhat by surprise.
I have listened to women for years telling me about the physical symptoms they are experiencing and reassured them they are normal, which many of them are, but what I have learnt through my own journey is that even though they are normal, it doesn’t mean they are less significant or difficult to manage, this has been my greatest lesson.
From the very beginning, the nausea and tiredness were overwhelming, but I craved these symptoms as a sign of a healthy pregnancy. In the second trimester, the changes in my torso meant I had muscular pain around my ribs, sometimes so intense, the only relief I could get was lying on a hard floor! But I took these symptoms well as I could see my baby growing and my body making space. And now, in my final few weeks I have experienced pelvic pain, insomnia and general discomfort, and cannot wait to have my little baby in my arms and for my body to be somewhat mine again.
I am excited to feel labour, to feel my baby starting to move down and to begin the journey of our meeting. I feel more than ever the need to practice, to ground myself and use all the tools I have gathered to help me meet my baby in the calmest way possible.
So many times, I have listened to women during their antenatal appointments state ‘they are over it’, how they just want this baby to come. And so many times I have reassured them with the words: “your baby will come when its ready”. Which are the same words I have spoken out so many times to women asking me impatiently in labour “how much longer?”.
Here I am now sitting, writing these words on my baby’s due date, while my own words are resonating in my head and still the practice of mindfulness, of surrender and acceptance is each time a new lesson to be practiced and experienced.
The journey to motherhood that starts the moment we decide to bring children into this world is one full of beauty, sensations, emotions, thoughts, lessons to be learned and one that anytime can take us by surprise.