When I first became hapai, all I felt was excitement. The only thoughts in my head were: Millions of women have had children – this may not be easy, but I’ll be just fine. And Why do I have to wait TEN months to have this baby? That’s almost an entire year! I wish I could just get the birthing part over with.
As time goes on, however, I’ve started to realize just how important these ten months are, not only to prepare the baby, but to prepare me. The wave of emotions that have ebbed and flowed over just the past few months have spanned the gamut from sheer terror to absolute trust.
By the end of my first trimester, my thoughts shifted from pure joy to worry and fear. What if there’s something wrong with the baby? Am I doing the right thing by planning for a home birth? And How in the world am I going to actually get this baby out of me??!
But at this point, as I get to know my baby and myself a bit better, I’m really beginning to understand that – when the time comes – this baby and I are going to work together to bring him/her into the world. We’ve still got five more months to trudge through the emotions and hormones that bubble up, but I am truly starting to trust that, innately, I was born to do this.
[I’ve had the belly-pose down for quite a few years now ]
I am learning that – even with an old soul, doula-training, and being around dozens of hapai women over the years – there really is nothing that could have prepared me for my own pregnancy experience. Hearing about nausea, morning sickness, and heartburn was completely different from experiencing it myself. The first thump I felt from the baby was something that I couldn’t possibly understand from anyone else. And the hormones? There’s really no way to explain those in words.
They say when it comes to birthing, it doesn’t matter how many people are surrounding you, you give birth alone.
As I get close to the half-way point of my pregnancy, I’m learning just how true that statement is. In the process, it’s you. No one else can do the work, take away the pain, make it easier, make it go faster or slower. The journey from womanhood to motherhood is one that must happen from within.
Personally, I feel like these forty weeks of pregnancy are teaching me how to trust myself in making the right decisions from within. Time is teaching me to be comfortable in going through the process alone. Yes I’ve got lots of support, but every decision I make right now – from the food I eat to the way I speak to others – must intuitively feel pono [moral/virtuous] to make sure the baby and I are both healthy and happy.
The process of pregnancy is already the scariest thing I’ve ever done [even jumping out of a plane doesn’t compare to carrying, nourishing, and being responsible for another human life], but I’ve also never felt so purposeful and connected to life as I do now.
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