I’m not sure how to begin this post. Though I don’t want to down play this amazing news, I’m eager to share this butt-kicking unexpected process that transpired as a result and is changing my life. The impending birth of my first child has made me grow in so many ways, I’m not sure where to begin. Yes, this sweet baby is due in August. I’m praying for Leo; I love those fire signs!
What I want to share most with you today is what I am finding so unexpected and life altering (besides the obvious of having a child at this point in my life): The fact is,I’m truly in an altered state. The amount of joy that exists, quite literally in my cells, is something I never thought possible. It’s beyond what I imagined could be contained in my person. All I can see these days is beauty—these hormones are great!! Not at all like the ones we suffer with PMS. These days I feel like what people explain a “Molly” high might be. I love everyone and am filled with compassion and joy! But as humans we live in duality so I thought I might share some of the less talked about feelings that have surfaced with the coming of this new life and the letting go of my own, the way that I once knew it.
I have had the privilege of living a wonderful life that centers completely around me! I care deeply for my students and for my community at Reflections, but my life has always been lived on my own terms. I have molded a life built on physical image and freedom – though I didn’t actually realize it until it was being threatened. How I looked played into who I was and the health and clarity I represented. In the last four months, both of these things have been challenged to the core as well is how I thought a pregnant woman was “supposed to feel.” I had this notion that if you were about to become a mother, you invisibly became the Mother Mary and those sweet hormones I mentioned made you think of nothing other than your unborn child, that you would care only for this child without thought of yourself or at least without the resentment for how your life will literally never be the same again! Hmmm–not so much! I find myself in the process of looking at my choices and having to modify so many things for the life of my child and it isn’t even here yet! You know what? That’s hard!
I have always had a clear understanding of my body. I can honestly say I had a deep relationship to it and trusted it. I knew how to feed it, how much sleep it needed–I was great at knowing how to push the limits and it responded with health and energy. These days it’s doing the craziest things and I feel I have lost the thread here. Once you figure out one thing, there is another you have to integrate, not least of all the drastic changing shape!! This is equally hard to come to grips with particularly if your life has been in some way centered around being an ambassador of health and wellness. For example, I was called to do a photo shoot for a yoga line and when I told them I was pregnant, they never even wrote back! Ouch!
The one thing that hasn’t changed, thank God, is ME. How I look at the world and the len I look through to understand myself is steady and still intact. At first I was quite disappointed in myself. How could I think of anything else but this child? How could these superficial things matter to me? Am I really living what I teach? I finally, decided to stop feeling ashamed and start looking deeper. This little bundle of tired, achy and often nauseating joy was changing my life. What was even harder to come to terms with was that it wasn’t me changing me , it was this baby changing me and I, or my ego, was feeling out of control. From the moment I found out about the coming of this child I was 150% happy. But the truth of who I now was or what was about to happen to me was not even close to becoming a reality yet.
This feeling of being out of out of control was hard to come to terms with. When things really started to change, I remember looking at the beautiful young woman running my studio talking about the care-free things they were doing and having to pause and say, “Not me, I can’t just fly to Bali with you next September. I’ll have an infant to care for”. I’d look at how adorable they looked in the new tights we got in at the boutique while all my go-to clothes I used to feel great in started to feel tight and uncomfortable. Shopping pregnancy wear is just not that much fun.
I need to say I am very lucky to have a partner that truly thinks I look beautiful. Feeling how he sees me helps me to embody the sensuality inherent in this transformation, which does exist. I am loving the fullness of my body in a way I never had before. I feel more sensual then sexy which I like very much; thank you my dear Ed, you make this so much more enchanting. The truth is I don’t feel sexy in the way I was used to, which was actually more of an external experience. I notice the subtle shifts in how people interact with me. Though I don’t think I actually consciously registered it before, people do interact differently with an unencumbered woman then they do with a mom. People actually call me Ma’am. OH MY GOD! I am a Ma’am now officially! I’m being honest now, right? That stung! Who “I am” was transformed almost instantly into — a mom! Is anyone really ready for that?! What does that even mean? Nine months seems a short time to actually integrate that concept. Let’s not even bring up the issue of what it feels like to be responsible for someone else’s life when you wonder how well you are doing with your own and instead stick with the growing pains that come with the mom and a persona concept.
What I am currently dealing with is taking off my clothes and seeing parts of me I remember and then noticing other parts and saying “whoa that’s crazy looking!!” Or looking at my life and feeling “yes of course I can do that” on my lips and instead hearing “no, I’m sorry, I can no longer make that kind of commitment.” cone out of my mouth. I realized I had to honestly sit with this for a while because it was getting to me. It was actually in meditation that I came to a genuine understanding, and then respect, for the stages of life, and the knowing that they exist for a reason. I think as New Yorkers, we stay in some arrested state of development holding on to an idea of youth for far too long. At least I did. Watching the Oscars, I was keenly aware of the genuine beauty in the women who were moving gracefully into their maturity and those who Botoxed themselves in to denial.
What I am allowing myself to feel now, with the help of the love and admiration of my partner (he seems to see real beauty in my changes and it helps me take on that shape that feeling), is that what is happening is richness not a loss. I am maturing and this baby is helping me grow-up. It is pulling me out of the narcissism of an extending youth and bringing on my next journey where I have to do it all differently. I believe there is so much physical change inherent in this process, because there will be very little similar to my old life’s journey. Its like a metamorphosis of my soul. This is a new life with new rules and new experiences. I will of course miss my old friend, but I feel I’m about to be a better version of her, one that finds joy in guiding the life of another, one that embraces sacrifice instead of resenting it, one that perhaps finally understands the letting go of the ego and embraces the selflessness I have been teaching for 25 years.
I know the dear mothers and fathers out there reading this will say that I still have no idea how much my life is about to change. I agree! What I do know is that I have redirected my inner life mandala and I am no longer resisting the change but I’m in its full embrace. I am finding a new beauty and grace in change and feeling myself more excited then frightened. I have some inkling that this is how it is meant as it propels of our personal evolution and I’m into it! I am most happy to watch how I grow as a person, and how we grow as parents.
Life is a real trip isn’t it—and babies do create miracles!
If you resonated with this post, you may be interested in our 5-week PreNatal Yoga Class, which begins April 2, 2014.