10/23/15

A Few on Friday (Pregnancy Edition)

For the sake of wanting to remember a few high points (and low points) of this blessed event we call pregnancy (and hopefully to help someone else out, too) I figured I'd bring back the 'ole Few on Friday for a little list action.  Here goes:

1.  A pack of big t shirts are the real deal.  I picked a pack of XL men's v neck ts at the beginning of this journey and they've served me well.  Helps in the beginning when it just looks like you've been eating to much late night.  Now they are starting to look a bit like that beloved 90s classic the Baby Doll Tshirt but that doesn't stop me from sleeping in them.    

2.  Reading is good but like dessert, should have been enjoyed in moderation.  My two favorite pregnancy books were Mindful Birthing and Our Bodies, Ourselves .  I absolutely overdid it with the "natural" birthing books; at this point they just mock me and my scheduled c-section from a shelf.  However, knowledge, for me, lessens the anxiety and I enjoyed learning as much as I could about whatever I could.  Mindful Birthing was a wonderful way to prepare for whatever comes, even if what comes isn't what you'd hoped for. 

3.  Rituals have made things more fun.  98% of Fridays during this pregnancy have started with a cafe au lait and some sort of treat from Bottle Tree Bakery.  Also, I've read Peace Is Every Step out loud to the baby and enjoyed feeling his/her responsive wiggle.  Hopeful for a mindful little weeble.  And hoping that the little weeble isn't actually a giant turkey and cheddar croissant.  That would be awkward.  

4.  Searching the hashtag on Instagram of however many weeks pregnant I am at the time hasn't helped me.  At all.  Even a little.   

5. Pregnant Chicken is hilarious.   

6.  I became attached to how I wanted this pregnancy to wind up and never imagined how thrown I would be when it didn't work out like that.  Breech baby = scheduled c-section around these parts and since I don't want to bring this baby into the world feet first in a birthing pool in my kitchen (What would Big Browne think?) looks like that's the direction we are taking.  Of course, fingers still crossed for a last minute flip!!  

7.  Staying active has helped.  I've slacked off a bit here towards the end but am proud of myself for walking and yoga-ing as much as I did.  If you are pregnant and have access to a pre-natal yoga class, get yourself there immediately.  Your hips and back will thank you.  If you don't have access to prenatal classes then hit up your local gentle classes or join YogaGlo.   

8.  I've gotten depressed at times.  And I've felt really guilty about it.  And then I found acceptance.  That was a proud moment.   

9.  It's amazing what people say to pregnant people.  Here's my list of "favorites." 

"Are you sure you're not having twins" (yes, pretty sure, thanks)
"I knew when you were talking about all that natural birthing stuff it wasn't going to work out for you." (wow)
"There's not way you are going to make it to Monday" (thanks random person that is not an OB GYN)
"Breech babies don't turn because they can sense their mother's ambivalence towards the birth" (read on a message board, no words for this one)
C-Sections are for sissys! (ummmm.) 

10.  My tribe has been invaluable.  Pregnant women, moms, ladies without kids, random kind people, my family, my husband, the big browne hound.  Thanks be to God for all of them. 

11.  Nesting has been a blast.  

12.  Amazon Prime as been a(n) (expensive) blast.  My recent order included a Bose wireless speaker, newborn socks, DoTerra Balance Essential oil and a pack of Always overnight extra heavy maxi pads. 

13.  I'm going to miss feeling this baby move AND I can't wait to get him/her on my chest.  Oh, the duality of our feelings....

14.  I got my wedding ring stuck at one point and it was a wonderful lesson in the benefits of not procrastinating.   

15. I've done what I've needed to do to help myself to feel better and I think that's a good thing to allow yourself to do.  I slathered peppermint oil on my belly, played Paul Simon down at my crotch, flipped upside down (if you want to make someone anxious when you are 38 weeks pregnant, flip upside down without warning) all in attempts to flip this child.  I've also not done any of that some days and instead walked waddled my happy self to TCBY for Waffle Cone Wednesday.  Find your balance.  Do you.

That dresser causes an optical illusion with that baby belly.  Trust me, it's huge.  

  


5/22/15

Yoga Sutra 1:14

The last time we spoke, I was starting my trek to become a Registered Yoga Teacher through Southern Star.  It's only fitting that I check back in, 7 months later, the morning that I'm heading down to Flowering Lotus Meditation Center in Magnolia for the final week of training.  I found myself with a few minutes to spare (before Bottle Tree opens, duh) so I figured that I'd share my final paper in this space.  Our assignment was to write about how one of the Yoga Sutras has impacted our lives....hope you enjoy! Happy Friday!



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Sutra 1:14

            Truth time.  About halfway through this teacher training, I didn’t want to do it anymore.  There was no specific event that triggered this change of heart, more a combination of slightly uncomfortable factors:  a dislike of practice teaching, a guilt related to never quite understanding the material and never quite studying enough, a desire to have my Sundays back.  I didn’t quit, though, because I’m a big believer in the universe giving you what you need when you need it.  Since I’d signed up for this training I figured there was a pretty cool lesson nestled somewhere, something cooler than nailing a handstand because let’s be honest…I’ve got a minute until that happens.  If the lesson didn’t reveal it self, I thought, I’d walk away with a deeper understanding of a practice that I love and no one would be hurt.  Not to bad either way. 
            Over time, as they usually do, things started to fall into place.  The morning after I found out I was pregnant I stumbled out of bed at 5 am, got dressed, headed to sunrise yoga.  Why?  Because Sri Swami Satchidananda nailed it when he translated Sutra 1:14:
Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness. 
            It’s almost like something beyond my consciousness pushed me out of bed and into my yoga pants.  Of all mornings to skip, that would have been a good one to.  However, doing things that help, helps and this is an obvious fact that I always like to ignore.  My mind stuff stays pretty active, it got even more active after finding out there was a baby on they way.  I thought about all kinds of things that I didn’t have any control over: selfish thoughts, comparing thoughts, fearful thoughts, planning thoughts, panicked thoughts.  Then I remembered that I did have control over something.  I could attend my practice without break and in all earnestness.  That I can try and do. 
            Practice of this sutra in daily life reminds me to give sincere and regular energy to the things that help and try to stay away from the things that don’t help.  Daily meditation practice, either through a seated meditation or practicing mindfulness as I move through my day can calm the mind stuff, helping me to feel less reactive and more confident.  Reading of helpful books can help to nourish my mind and (kind of) prepare me for what is coming up next.  Regular asana practice helps to feel strong in my body (and less like Jabba the Hut) and more aware of physical and emotional sensations as I experience them.    
            It’s easy to get wrapped up in the quickness of life, forgetting to pay attention to the stuff that helps. It’s also easy to feel guilty, worrying you aren’t doing enough and aren’t doing what you are doing well enough.  Sutra 1:14 reminds me that a sincere and regular practice of yoga will lead to countless benefits, one of my favorites being that your lesson is always there…sometimes you just have a wait a bit for it to reveal itself.