Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I've been wanting to write for a while now but the time to do so seems to elude me. Here it is probably a month later and I am just getting around to jotting a few words down. It's been a good couple of months off. It's been all about family, healing, love, and transformation. You'd think since this is my second child that the transition into motherhood only applies to the first child but that is not the case. I find that I have been changed by my second baby too. Changes have occurred in my body, mind and heart.
I look at my body and the changes are both subtle and obvious. From the linea negra, the vertical line on the belly during pregnancy, to the massive outer changes in my physical form. The fading line that runs the length of my belly is subtle, but I notice everyday that it is lighter than it was the day before. The shape of my belly is the most obvious and visible sign of change I see as it went from very full and round to, well, sort of flat and squishy. I guess it could be likened to a balloon that has lost air. They are both bitter sweet signs that my pregnancy is over. And in some ways I miss being pregnant. I miss the fullness and feeling of my baby swimming around on the inside because I know that I will never have that experience again and it is pure magic. That being said, I am filled with such joy that my daughter is here on the outside for me to see, to feel, to love, to hold, and I am incredibly grateful and honored to have had the privilege of being pregnant, of holding a caring for this most precious little being so full of love and light. Lila is a stunning little girl and has already brought us great joy. I really feel that her arrival has completed our family. Lila has brought a new energy and balance to our family that I think we have been in need of and we are simply so glad she is here.
As for the changes in my mind, well that seems to be an ongoing process. One shift in my thinking that has happened, though, is the idea that I need to embrace the birth I was given. I think I have been fighting with that idea and there seems to be this tug of war happening in my head where one side of my brain continually asks the question, "what could I or should I have done different that might have changed the outcome of my second birth?" The other side of my brain is reminding me to simply let it go and embrace the birth I was given. I am no less strong, capable, or loving because I did not have a natural, vaginal birth. I have to gently and consistently remind myself of that fact. My mind is an overactive place, so I have to do what I can to help it rest and make sure I am staying focused on the good and continue to cultivate a sincere but positive outlook. That takes some practice. Who am I kidding, keeping my mind in check takes a lot of practice. When I think better, though, I feel better and that is worth knowing and noting because the knowing better helps me choose better.
When I stay focused on the good, such as the fact that I had a good birth experience up until the end when it got crazy or that my daughter is healthy and seems to be free of any residual damage from such a rough ride, my heart swells with love and deep gratitude. I can't help but be moved to tears at the thought of it all. I can't help but feel immensely grateful for our good fortune on so many levels. I look at her and marvel at her beauty and smile at her bright, innocent presence. What a joy it is to have her in the world. And as is obvious, the birth of my daughter has opened my heart just that much more to show me that more love is possible. To care and love for anyone in such a way is a gift.
And now I am back to teaching, back to life as I knew it before Lila and it is different, or I am different. Either way, things aren't the same and that too requires another adjustment on my part. This is a time of me getting reacquainted with my body and self again. I feel so much like I am at the beginning again. The momentum is gone, so it is time to rebuild. It's a humbling and exciting experience. In this time where I feel like I need to review and refine, I don't want to forget that there is a foundation of knowledge and knowing already there. This is simply an opportunity to get better and grow more fully into my authentic self as a mother, a student, a teacher, and a human being.
Let the new journey begin.