I recently read an article on the space we occupy just before birth.
A weird, transitional, no mans land.
The space of what you once were, and the space of where you are going, and who you are going to be.
Transition is always such a juicy place to be in, it’s often very uncomfortable, as you are leaving the boundaries of the known, the safe, the tried and tested, and you literally have to shift and transform into something new.
Juicy, and utterly terrifying if you ask me.
This is where I am right now:
A space of Transition.
Not because I am 39 weeks pregnant, round, swollen and lacking sleep, no, this kind of discomfort is on a deeper more spiritual level.
It’s occupying the realm of the unknown.
It’s leaving my role as wife, doctor, daughter,sister, and transitioning to the role of a Mother.
A brand new role for me, and one I have always revered.
I understand what this role entails, and the enormity of it has left me feeling quite unprepared.
In all honesty, I don’t think you are ever prepared for the journey of motherhood, but I do believe there are tools, rituals, and birthrights we can use and employ to help us transition a little easier.
I have done some research into this transition, but the work I need to do now in no longer cerebral, it is emotional, kinesthetic and spiritual.
It’s as if, I need to leave this earthly world for a while, and go and meet my baby In her spiritual space, make her feel safe, secure and connected, before I can bring her home to meet everyone else.
I literally feel her pulling me there and the only way I can go and meet her, is to let go of the control I have over my earth bound life.
When I talk about control I talk about the superfluous events of our everyday lives.
The need to make sure everything is perfect: the house cleaned, dinner cooked, business demands met.
Control is a funny thing; we think we own it, but more often then not it owns us…
“Is the baby room ready? Birth plan in place?
Is the travel system set up and waiting for babe?
What type of nappies are you planning to use?
Will you breastfeed? Have you got these types of dummies? When are you due?”
These are all things we talk about, share with interested friends or well meaning family members, it’s the superficial details that we start to focus on, perhaps even obsess over, and unfortunately they take up space in our consciousness and take away from the real work, they sap the energy we need to go deeper, in order to make the final transition into motherhood.
So how do we let go?
We Make time for it- it’s a slow process.
It’s an unfolding…
Setting aside time every day for you and your baby sets the tone for bonding and connection after birth.
By creating this routine, you have chosen to honour this powerful transition, and the love and dedication that it requires will build up your reserves for your future relationship.
Give yourself space to feel all the juicy, uncomfortable, terrifying feelings and emotions of the unknown.
This has been such a weird one for me: super happy to meet this baby girl, followed by extreme sadness at the loss of my old life, followed by a fear of not being able to work or run my business at the same intensity, and then again the feeling of complete euphoria for creating a beautiful human life with the man I love the most.
It’s crazy, it’s tumultuous, and quite frankly it’s exhausting.
Yes, emotions are real, but they don’t have to take over your life… in these moments, I am reminded of the sage yogic wisdom of “non- attachment”.
Yes they are there, yes you are feeling them, but you are not these emotions, and they can simply move on like a passing cloud.
Perhaps easier said than done, but again, making space in my day to be a little more mindful and to just observe the fluctuations of the emotions has helped me to remain positive and a little more grounded.
I thank my YOGA practice for this everyday.
Another tool I have picked up, was shared very recently with me, by my own wonderful mother:
“Make peace with not having all the answers, not having all the details in place”. The reality is that we never will, so why waste this precious time obsessing over nursery decor, when you could use the time to connect in with your changing body and develop a relationship with your baby.
Iv taken her advice, the nursery is pretty plain and ordinary by Pinterest standards, but I have enjoyed regular conversations with my little womb occupant instead, and I feel it has helped to develop our bond as mother and child.
I know she doesn’t care what her baby room looks like, but the energy and time I have dedicated to building and strengthening our communication can only help us navigate a far better labour, and birth together.
My midwife had prepped me on this since first conception, she has told me how I will guide, and encourage this little girl to be born into this world, my voice is the first voice she knows and trusts, and my voice will bring her down to Earth.
What a responsibility?
But wow…. what an honour to play that guiding role.
I have read that women who regularly chat to their babies in the womb, have a much easier time chatting and understanding each other as they start their breastfeeding journey together, and begin to grow as mother and child.
This time of transition has left me feeling a little bit vulnerable and open, it has provided me the opportunity to examine myself, explore my feelings, and to move into a slower pace, one that requires less cerebral functioning, and more mindful awareness.
This transitional phase has also left me at a loss of direction. We live a life of deadlines, and impatience. We are groomed to move from point A to point B as quickly and as swiftly as possible, and waiting for your baby to choose her birthing day, really reminds you that you are not in control here, you are simply an element to the entirety of this wonderful experience.
I found this incredible quote today… and I feel it epitomizes everything that is transition.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Growth demands temporary surrender of security.” – Gail Sheehy
So I have decided to let go of the security, and surrender to the unknown, soften to the idea of the unexpected, honour the wisdom of my little girl, and allow HER to choose her birthing day.
Transition allows us an opportunity to shed another layer, to unfold and experience a deeper growth, and in doing so observe and understand the joy of really living.