This Thursday, I had the very special, emotional, beautiful experience of taking my first prenatal yoga class. I guess you could say I’ve been waiting almost three years to take this class. And, it was everything I hoped for and needed it to be.
After 2.5 half years of trying, multiple fertility procedures, and 2 miscarriages, we are 14 weeks pregnant. I’m not going to lie and say it’s been all beautiful, because if I’m honest, the truth is it’s been hard, scary, uncomfortable, AND beautiful. The weeks leading up to my transfer as well as the first 10 weeks of my pregnancy were filled with daily (sometimes twice) intramuscular shots of hormones. Halfway into those and still today, there was vomiting daily (sometimes twice). There was significant exhaustion, leading to brain fog that led one my undergraduate students to ask me if I was high, due to my level of spaciness. That was embarrassing. And, then there was this:
Aside from the physical ups and downs, it has also been a mental and emotional roller coaster. Knowing first hand many of the things that could go wrong in those first few weeks, it was difficult to let myself get excited and fully connected with what was happening. It was a natural inclination to protect myself from the worst. But, as I slowly started to share the news with friends and family, their love, support, and excitement became contagious. It began to feel more and more real. My energy began to return. And, although I still begin most days with my face over the porcelain goddess, I’m finding myself far more ready and open for what each day presents.
Which leads me to my first prenatal yoga class. I’ve been hesitant to participate for many reasons. The fear of loss. The fear of loss of my breakfast, etc. I’ve known the benefits for a long time, from both teaching the class and hearing such incredible stories from students past. But, for some reason, I still wasn’t ready to begin my prenatal practice.
This Thursday, I decided it was time. I told myself I would listen to my body, not do anything that aggravated my nausea or made me feel uncomfortable and just see how it goes. Well, it was amazing. It felt as though each pose was geared toward just what my body needed (which it was, that is what it is all about!). It showed me where I was holding tension and tightness that I didn’t even realize. It calmed my mind and my breath. It made me feel like part of this community I had so longed to be a part of but was afraid to allow myself to belong to. And, perhaps most importantly, it provided me with the sacred moments to connect with my growing baby in a way I had been so afraid to do.
It happened unexpectedly. Nicole, the wonderful teacher was leading us through our cat/cows. And, as we exhaled, rounding our spines, she said, “hug your baby toward your spine.” It may sound silly, but I honestly said to myself, “oh my god there’s a baby in there. He/she is part of this movement. I’m doing this for us and we are doing it together.” And, it all hit me. I wasn’t afraid. I was happy. I felt overwhelming love for the life growing inside me, for my body, for the practice, and for the incredible community of women I was surrounded by who were all going through the same thing.
As I lay in my savasana, I kept my hands on my belly and with each breath, I repeated the mantra, “we are in this together.” Because we are.