Things are getting a little etheric around here. Strings that somehow effortlessly hold the world in place appear to be dissolving and I am adrift in a new space. The hinges at the periphery of my mind feel transparent and loose. And I suppose that this is me melting into the portal that is childbirth. I’ve been here before. It’s been awhile, but I’ve been here before.
I think I am so close and so remote all at once. I have begun to lie awake at night with that certain feeling that something is going to happen and I’m not exactly the driver but I’m not quite the passenger either. I’m waiting on the vague guarantee of my next becoming.
And like most folks late in their pregnancy, I am tired. My body feels strange and uncomfortable. I am extra tender and teary. And I have circled back around to a trigger and a fear that I thought was mostly mine to navigate in the early stages of this pregnancy. But it is back. And more often than not these days, it has me in its grip.
I have read enough, in on-line and social media support groups, to know that a subsequent pregnancy after loss can be riddled with a nervous and paranoid fear. Not exactly irrational but not quite rational either. The statistics are what they are and loss is a part of life. It is the fear of someone who has had their eyes made open to the very real and fragile and perilous nature of life becoming. The lack of certainty. A void from any guarantees. I don’t think that I was paranoid in the beginning of this pregnancy. Yet, I was definitely guarding my heart. And it was relatively easy to in the beginning when my idea of who this new little one was so fresh and foreign and I was still so within my life before. I guess that my trepidation and hesitancy made sense in some way then.
Many women carry this fear of loss with them through the whole of their gestations. I understand why. And my heart hurts for them. But that really wasn’t me. Most of this pregnancy was busy and excited and filled with this new family wide unfolding. I have enjoyed it much more that I thought possible. My fear was not sitting right up close to me the way that it is now again.
As I near the end of this remarkable stage in my life, where I carry a member of my family inside my body, all strong legs and a big Newlin bottom, I am enthralled with this little one. As the tethers on my mind, body, and emotions loosen to help transition him in to the world outside of my body, I am often consumed by the fear of something going wrong, of him stilling inside of me, of his arrival never happening.
My midwife sent us some materials last week discussing the risk of stillbirth in the last few weeks of pregnancy for women over 40 and the medical recommendation for induction at 38 weeks. None of the research outlined is definitive or compels us at all to make a choice to induce, the outcomes are so similar and the risks are so vague across the board. But it has been unsettling for me. Even though I can see it for the feeding on fear and the discrediting of women’s intuition and trust that it is. And still. In the moments when I cannot remember how long it has been since I was well kicked… have there been 10 in the last 2 hours?… then I start to slip a bit. Even sitting here writing this right now- he is so incredibly active and distinct- and my eyes are still wet.
So I guess, to all of the women who have lost their babies before they were born, in whatever ways and at whatever stage: I see you. I feel you. And I know that those are hurts that while they may fade, are truly never gone. And I think also and maybe in contradiction to all of this wanting to bring a strong, healthy baby forward into the world, there is also this strange part of me that wants to stay pregnant forever. Because right now he is mine. And once he is born, he really isn’t anymore. Which is how it should be. Which is beautiful. But a mama’s heart is a tender place.
OK. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. Here is a short little sequence that feels good to me. Some modifications. Do what feels good.
Vrksasana, Prasaritta Padottanasana, Ardha Chandrasana, Parsva Utthitta Hasta Padangustasana
Crescent var., Wide Uttanasana, AMS, Vasistasana var., Ustrasana, Lunge w/ a quad stretch and a twist, Virasana w/ gomukasana arms, Ardha Chandra Chapasana
Prasaritta Padottanasana, Skandasana, Baddha Konasana, Uppavista Konasana, UVK w/ a side stretch, Agni Stambasana, some backbends over the wheel….