by Robyn Jones – B.Sc. (Psych), Goonellabah, Australia
I was surprised to see how I used the quest for perfection to ‘protect’ myself from being criticised and judged and how perfection was in fact impossible, as well as my tendency to want to control others and what was going on around me to give me the feeling of being ‘safe’.
I found these trimesters to be a time of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean somewhat by letting go of these ways of being, which opened me up to the possibility of embracing more of the womanly quality of stillness that is so readily on offer throughout pregnancy.
So as I headed into my third trimester without this incessant quest for perfection or the overriding drive to control in order to ‘protect’ myself, I was feeling vulnerable.
And in this vulnerability what was being revealed to me was my natural tenderness.
The third trimester – surrendering to being vulnerable…
I continued to let go even more of the need to ‘protect’ myself throughout my third trimester, and this opened up more space for me to be more vulnerable. And the more I let go and surrendered into accepting being vulnerable I felt my body loosen up and become more relaxed.
I felt the stillness support me to be more open to connecting with everyone around me and I felt myself become more tender and open too.
So as the birth became more imminent I was aware of some anxiety about how I was going to handle the pain and the possible sleeplessness. This showed me that I needed to surrender even more deeply to being vulnerable and allow the delicate woman I am, to hold me in my natural stillness.
This deep knowing of my stillness as a woman supports as a reminder through the intensities that can come with labour and early motherhood – to know who I am deep within and know I can make the necessary choices to look after myself and my new baby throughout the entire process.
So I allowed myself time to take stock of all the caring and loving choices I make for myself on a daily basis and how these support me during every day.
This allowed me to feel how giving birth was just another day where I would continue to make loving choices for myself as I do every other day.
This clarity brought with it a deeper feeling of being vulnerable and open to whatever decisions may need to be made during the birth and took the anxiety away, so when it came time to give birth I knew I had all I needed within me. I was now ready!
The birth – a time for being vulnerable and open to what is needed…
As I went into labour I felt confident and strong. The labour was quick and intense and I could feel all that was happening and what decisions I needed to make for myself as it unfolded due to the clarity and steadiness I had connected to and deepened while I was pregnant. I was open to allowing others to support and assist me and my health professionals felt this steadiness and clarity in me too, so the advice and support they offered throughout the birth and immediately afterwards was equally steady and exactly what was needed. I considered all the advice they offered and they did not hesitate to carry through any of my requests. I felt so well looked after.
I took a few moments to myself afterwards to honour the experience my body had just been through and to re-group by focusing on the stillness within me.
After giving birth I felt incredibly fragile and very vulnerable for many weeks and knew that I needed to rest my body, as well as take care of our gorgeous new baby. Just allowing myself the space and time to listen to what my body needed at this time, accepting support from my husband and close friends, and continuing to make loving choices every moment I could, made this time so much easier and more enjoyable.
All the work I had done while I was pregnant and leading into the birth had given me an amazing foundation to continue allowing myself to surrender even more deeply to being vulnerable and open. It supported me to give myself what I needed and allowed space for others to help me, which in turn, supported our entire family.
The true beauty of pregnancy…
My daughter is now 1 and as I reflect on this amazing process I appreciate the enormous opportunity being pregnant offers – the true beauty of pregnancy – the call from deep within, back to being the delicate, tender and nurturing woman that resides there.
Pregnancy brings with it the energy of stillness to support us to see with increased clarity what is in our way, release what is not needed, and return to being the woman within, unhindered by the beliefs and ideals that can bind us. This process is also deeply personal and tailored to what each and every woman needs to be supported in her return.
It was a time that I deeply treasure and 1 year on I can feel the foundation of stillness, tenderness and vulnerability that I allowed to build throughout this amazing process, has continued to develop and deepen. I can feel that I am living more of the woman I naturally am and this allows me to connect more deeply to what is needed to truly mother myself, and both my girls in the most supportive way. I am also able to relate to my husband with more tenderness and openness, which is allowing us to heal a lot of what has not been working in our relationship; therefore we are more united and loving with each other.
Pregnancy has been very revealing to me and very supportive of my development of surrendering to being vulnerable as a woman. I now understand the incredible beauty that pregnancy offers and I am now able to share my experience with other women and their families.
Click here to read my first article “The beauty of pregnancy that is rarely spoken about” to read about my first two trimesters and what was revealed to me as I gradually embraced the stillness that is on offer during pregnancy.
What has been your experience of pregnancy and all it has to offer us as women? Share in the comments below.
Original article published on the Mouths of Mums website on January 23, 2016.