Yes, I'm still pregnant. And no, I don't feel in any rush for it to be over. This time, I know what the first few weeks of new born life look like. Whilst my heart flips at the prospect of finally holding my baby boy in my arms, and I await in anticipation of that oxytocin fuelled explosion of love and hormones, I also know that sleeplessness awaits me too. Each day of no baby is an extra day I have to rest and do lovely things, which I am embracing, safe in the knowledge that my baby will be in my arms soon enough.
So today, as I hang out in a cafe whilst our bathroom damp is sorted (joy!), I have found words spilling from my mind and onto my laptop about the waiting and anticipation and I wanted to put them down here, just because.
Lucy, my doula (/actual angel from heaven) sent me an article all about these strange, raw, wonderful, hormone fuelled days and weeks at the end of pregnancy. In German, "Zwischen" means 'in between' and the author of the article has coopted it for pregnancy, and it is wonderful.
Since I slowed my work down in January, and created some space in my mind, I began to feel everything so very deeply; It's like I was gifted with a 6th sense. I feel both stronger than I ever have and pathetically vulnerable. It can be both soul expandingly beautiful and crushingly painful in equal measure, and I don't think I've experienced anything like this before, probably because I've always been so busy doing other stuff to allow my mind to get to a place like this. All of this is new to me as in my last pregnancy I worked right up until the day I was induced. So I am quietly observing it all; trying to simultaneously soak it up, weep it out, hold it tight.
Unlike my last birth, I genuinely feel that my choice to treat this time of preparation for birth as sacred and deserving of time, love and thought has elevated things to a much higher place than I even knew existed. I began this pregnancy full of fear but I've ended it feeling so calm and confident. I know I'll hold this and thank myself for it, regardless of how the birth unfolds.
How I am embracing the last days of pregnancy
- After the hectic few months leading up to Christmas where my feet barely touched the floor, taking time to have long candle lit baths and listen to my birth affirmations has been blissful.
- Allowing my mind the time to meditate on the lovely birth I want; on holding my baby at the end of it.
- Capturing my bump in photo's. I love being pregnant but hadn't taken any bump photo's until this month. I am very lucky that my husband is a photographer and I feel like he has captured how I feel right now so well.
- Giving myself time to really slow down, focus on my breathing, and deeply relax. The high that comes as a result seems to last for days. I think this is generally one of the gifts of meditating but the pregnancy hormones make everything feel stronger.
- Using Franki'es kindergarten time to relax: Sitting every afternoon with my feet up by the fire.
- Napping. Allllll the napping.
- Repeating my affirmations. I am calm, I am confident, I am safe. I give myself the time and space I need to relax. I trust myself and my inner wisdom. I trust that my body knows exactly what to do. (This is all from my wonderful hypnobirthing sessions)
- Nourishing myself with healthy food.
- Allowing myself the space emotionally to just be. Ride it out.
- Indulging in some nice nesting bits. Setting up a little baby nook. Sorting through the newborn clothes.
I so wish I had given myself time to honour this sacred space in my last pregnancy, and I fervently hope that this is something that other pregnant women can experience too.
"To give birth, whether at home in a birth tub with candles and family or in a surgical suite with machines and a neonatal team, a woman must go to the place between this world and the next, to that thin membrane between here and there. To the place where life comes from, to the mystery, in order to reach over to bring forth the child that is hers. The heroic tales of Odysseus are with us, each ordinary day. This round woman is not going into battle, but she is going to the edge of her being where every resource she has will be called on to assist in this journey.
We need time and space to prepare for that journey. And somewhere, deep inside us, at a primal level, our cells and hormones and mind and soul know this, and begin the work with or without our awareness." - The Last days of Pregnancy: A Place of In Between
This is what I'm thinking about as I hum to myself, potter and nest and hug Frankie-Rose as often as she'll allow (not very often!)
See you on the other side...
P.S I have scheduled some blog posts for the month so I'll still be around in a way, both here and over on Instagram.