My Pregnancy Journey - A Personal Experience

Name withheld

The first trimester – the delicate months: running up to the three month scan is a very daunting period. Having had a miscarriage once, I was well aware that my enthusiasm of being pregnant a second time could be cut short. Instead of spreading the news fast and starting thinking about purchasing a baby cot, baby clothes, my husband and I were very content that we were able to conceive again. Our hope was high but modest. I was just finishing my makeup artistry course and the weather was getting beautiful – spring that year was particularly attractive – trees were in bloom, a little earlier and the warmth of the sun was welcoming. The atmosphere felt good and so was the energy surrounding us. Thankfully, I had very little to do in those days – I didn’t have a job to commit to and could leisure myself in luncheons with friends or strolling the streets of our neighborhood in search of inspiration and quietness. A quiet and luxurious time to care only for myself and the baby growing inside me.

Early July that year, we celebrated my Makeup artistry certification by throwing a party for about forty people. It was an enjoyable and a successful evening – everyone was entertaining themselves, drinking, eating and dancing the night away. In my peaceful way, I was celebrating the happy event (carrying a child), fearlessly, sipping my non-alcoholic beverages without no one noticing. It was a well kept secret affair; an agreement between my child and I. Together we were going to make it. I had the determination of a courageous warrior, quietly, looking after myself and making sure that the baby will be receiving the best care possible.

During the preliminary period, I didn’t set any agenda to attend a pregnancy yoga class, at least not an asana session. Instead, it was a trimester for contentment (Santosha). Rightaftermy12-weekscan,whenthepregnancygotreconfirmedwith signs of a baby life, there was a spur of confidence. The natural need of adding more activities in my daily life came rapidly: the weeks that followed were filled with pregnancy yoga classes – not only my mood was set on a happy frequency, my

energy was picking up too and gave me that extra exhilaration to reward me with rigorous physical exercises. The classes were well led by a soft spoken yoga teacher who was a mum herself. Her classes were always full and we used to sit around the room under a beautiful glass ceiling that allowed the sun to shine through, hitting the middle of the floor. The beginning of each class was always convivial with each of us sharing a bit of our journey as a mum-to-be. The faces were becoming familiar week after week; friendship would form at times, with equal support for one and another. Some women had a very athletic body and could withhold the most demanding poses. I did what I could and was satisfied that most of my asanas were looking “beautiful” while my belly started showing a little more every day. The bond between the teacher and the students was cemented upon trust – her knowledge and unfeigned guardianship of our wellbeing made an important difference – cultivating a positive attitude towards pregnancy and childbirth.

When I was not building muscular strength, nor working on my pelvic floor on the mat of a yoga studio, and without the awareness of “Garbhasanskar”, I was reading books of short stories to my baby and sometimes playing classical music to please her ears. My diet was well thought and considerate with the occasional treat of a french patisserie.

As my belly was getting fatter and my body slower, the lassitude grew deeper. My yoga attendance was becoming difficult and almost non-existent, especially around theeighthmonth. ButIwasn’tgoingtogiveupmyphysicalactivityaltogether:itfelt that when things were getting tougher, I needed to practice yoga even further. Especially when scans and testing were becoming more and more frequent; when visits to midwives and hospitals were increasing – the anticipation of labor was getting more real and nearer. That eagerness to finally meet my child, and to get back in my former body suddenly clashed with the fear of birth pain and concerns for the baby’s wellness. The memories of the third trimester were dominated by the extra weight – my baby girl was taking ample space inside. My bed had additional pillows to support every part of my body, leaving little room for my husband. The mornings became more challenging – the mammoth effort to get out of bed and find my way to the bathroom. Everything was suddenly getting slow and confusing – even getting dressed was a burden: the clothes not fitting anymore, the lift of the leg to get into a pregnancy jean soon to become another reject in my wardrobe. After

two hours of preparation, I had enough will to hop on the bus to attend at least one class a week – one class that would allow me to be with other pregnant women and not feel completely alone in this journey…even though in the end I was going to do it alone in partnership with the baby cooperation, the midwives’ assistance and of course of my husband’s encouragement and presence. The final stage, prior delivery, was as important as any part during pregnancy – surrounding ourselves with a friendly and supportive community – even more true for me who was living away from home and didn’t have my own mother for guidance or shoulder to rest on. In the end, my birth plan didn’t go like I had anticipated but the care of my husband and the midwife on that day made all the difference. A healthy baby girl was born.

Pregnancy is a phenomenal event in a woman’s life…I think. It has many challenges, and above all it has many life lessons. Because of modern society, we often adapt ourselves to daily demands coming from our own family, communities or workplace while carrying another life in the womb. It was a blessing not to have the pressure of a job to go to during my pregnancy and to live in a city where pregnancy yoga classes were easily accessible. Would my pregnancy be different if I hadn’t taken any yoga class or didn’t enjoy each stage quietly? I believe, I would have had a different experience. And in hindsight, I wish I had had knowledge of “Garbhasanskar” then – I would have done a few things differently…not better, but differently.