As tantrums usually do – my anger came to an end. I was 31 weeks pregnant and busting along the life trail acting as if I wasn’t pregnant at all. I was teaching six yoga classes a week and making sure that I worked out daily. With my other two kids I gain enormous amounts of weight (65+ pounds) and became completely inactive and miserable. I was bound and determined to not let that happen again this time around. I already didn’t feel pregnant so going 1,000 miles per hour didn’t seem to bother me much. Until it did. Life rarely allows you to go full speed ahead ignoring a part of your life without throwing a major speed bump in the road to slow you down.
I was 31 weeks pregnant and had barely gained 13 pounds. I woke up one night with some serious cramping, luckily the next day was my OB appointment. I went to the appointment and told her about the cramping. She decided to check me to find out that I was already 60% effaced. She followed that with a fetal fibronectin test which came back positive. These two factors put me at risk for preterm labor. I was told to reduce my activity to walking and to stop any activity that caused contractions – which was everything. Doing the dishes, going grocery shopping, yoga, and basically standing any amount of time would cause me to start having contractions. I would wake up at night with them and have to get into the bathtub to get them to go away. It was a lot. The potentiality of having a baby at 31 weeks encouraged the way I was traveling in life to come to a screeching halt.
I’m the type of person who lives in extremes. This makes my husband cray cray. He always reminds me that life doesn’t need to be an all or nothing affair. This is a lesson that I’ve been working on for some time but one that I still don’t have the greatest grasp on. This was yet another opportunity to work on balance in my life. My husband assured me that nothing that I was doing was worth having a preterm baby and the expenses that would incur short and long term from this baby coming early were not equal to the amount of money that I was making teaching yoga. He encouraged me to pause the schedule and just enjoy being pregnant.
I couldn’t argue with that. I stopped teaching yoga temporarily and slowed my activity down. There were many days of napping, movie watching and long baths to get contractions to stop. It gave me a lot of time to think and to get in tune with this new life that I was bringing into the world. Until this point I hadn’t stopped to enjoy the act of being pregnant or to grasp the gravity of what my body was accomplishing on a daily basis. I hadn’t ever enjoyed being pregnant to be really honest with you. The first two pregnancies came with many complications and discomforts. Being pregnant was a quite miserable experience for me until this third time. With the exception of the preterm risk, I was feeling really good this time around.
-Me feeling sorry for myself and taking a picture for my husband to prove how miserable I was-
I think that we all find motivation from different sources. I find healing and motivation from words among others. When I find myself in this sort of mental rut I search through books and such to find the right combination of verbiage to realign my soul. On one particular day while lying in bed trying to get contractions to stop, I came across this quote by Lao Tzu:
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
This quote resonated wholeheartedly with me. Up until this point I was resisting my current life changes and it was making me miserable. I had to wake up and see that what I wanted or thought my reality should be, was not what my reality really was. I needed to change the story of my life from I’m Rachael and mom with two kids in school, who teaches yoga and runs her own business to - I’m Rachael and mom with two kids in school, who teaches yoga and runs her own business and who is also pregnant and who is also going to be a mom of a baby again soon. I had to really sit with my new reality and be okay with it. I think so many times as humans we get caught up in what we think our lives should be versus what our lives really really are. We get caught up in the appearances and fantasizing about our perfect life and all of the what we “should” be doings - instead of dealing with what is actually tangibly in front of us. We are pretenders and are a society of living a life only to look good on Facebook or in the eyes of others. I encourage you to take a step back from the idyllic image that you might be trying to play in your life and assess if that matches up with who you really are and what your life most certainly is.
For me I needed to make a mental adjustment. I needed to shift my focus. I could still be and do all the things that I wanted to do before I got pregnant but I could no longer pretend that this little life wasn’t happening. I needed to spend time and attention on growing this new little human and realize that my goals and dreams of business owning and yoga teaching and having older independent kids, was still part of my reality, it just wasn’t the full of my reality. For now, I had to be okay with slowing down and tending to the part of my truth that was lacking my attention. I had to embrace letting life flow freely in whatever way it wanted to instead of trying to build a dam to halt it. Whenever I found myself going back to tantrum mode I would invasion my life as a river flowing freely, beautifully, and effortlessly forward and let go of the blockages that I was trying to place in its way. I just keep repeating to myself, "let life flow freely". Being pregnant was nothing that I could change and continuing to waste time wondering why at this point was just a massive, senseless use of my time and energy. I was 31 weeks and had NOTHING for a baby. It was time to dive into this baby and pregnancy thing for the last time…hopefully.