Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reflections and Ponderings

I've been reflecting on how I've spent this pregnancy so far and I can joyfully say that I have no regrets! What an amazing feeling that is. I haven't been able to say that about any other pregnancy so far. Each one carried some form of compromise based on fear or impatience that I was soon to regret and had to make peace with later on. This pregnancy began with a simple knowing (that I think we all have as women) and no need or desire for confirmation via peeing on a stick or anything else. Why would I? It wouldn't make the pregnancy any more real unless I believed that it would. Many of my choices stem from a deep desire I have to come out from any thinking or belief system that supports the need to validate everything externally when the answers are within. I am not perfect, nor have a arrived, but I am on a journey and this pregnancy has been one of many changes and lots of personal growth. I did not have any desire what-so-ever to see a midwife in order to have the security of "care" should I get in trouble with the authorities (a somewhat irrational fear since I'm doing nothing illegal!) This alone has allowed me to enjoy a pregnancy without any fears instilled by something like a doppler that couldn't pick up a heartbeat early on, or a midwife with her own birth fears, doubts and legal restrictions. I have not had to lay down and let someone painfully palpate to figure out if baby is breech at a point in the pregnancy when it makes absolutely no difference at all (honestly, I am not at all afraid of a breech birth after having faced that challenge in my mind with Justus's birth when I mistakenly thought I was touching a bumm and had a little moment of panic and shot him out in one contraction LOL) and I have not had to sign any papers saying I take resposibility if my child dies since I refuse to follow medical advice (nice!).

I do see a Naturopath for digestion issues and did request blood work from her at the beginning of the pregnancy to check my iron levels as I knew they were really low. I wanted to know exactly what was going on with my body and why I wasn't able to fully absorb the good amount of iron I consume. Turns out there's a lot more to iron deficiency than just knowing your deficient. It's important to know *why* so you can work with your body to increase the levels. For example, in my case it wasn't a lack of iron sources in my foods or supplements, it was a lack of my body's ability to extract nutrients and make use of them. So instead of doing what all of my other doctors/midwives have done in the past, which was to increase my iron intake, my naturopath supplied me with specific cell salts to help my body absorb the iron I'm taking, and we also agreed on weekly, then monthly injections of b-12 as I was insanely low and apparently that was the root cause of my terrible morning sickness and the lethargic state I associate with the first trimester. After we began the injections my energy levels shot right up and I've been feeling great ever since. This all still falls under general care as far as I'm concerned and I don't in any way regard it as "prenatal care" and neither does she. It's been wonderful to have a natural doctor who is completely supportive of an unassisted pregnancy and unassisted birth. It's allowed me the ability to peek in on what's going on in my blood on *my* terms for my own reasons. Could I have survived the pregnancy without the blood work... of course. I would've likely been super tired throughout and chalked it up to being "old" (32 HA!) and pregnant! I say that because I remember my mother being pregnant with my younger sister at exactly my age and she would often say how tired she was and how pregnancy was best handled by the body at 21 yrs old. So without having insight into what's actually happening I might have simply continued in a belief that wasn't at all true. Perhaps maybe my mom was b-12 deficient and low in iron? Who knows. I will not be checking my iron levels again this pregnancy because as you get further along your blood volume increases and sort of dilutes the amount of iron. So I will likely see lower numbers in spite of all of my efforts based on that alone and I don't want to cause myself needless worry. I will continue with my supplements, healthy eating and regular exercise and as long as I'm feeling fine, it's all good.

Oh and best of all... I've not bothered getting on a scale! How liberating as a woman to not give a crap how much or little I've gained!!! We focus so much on weight in our culture, it's amazing how many people feel the need to ask a pregnant woman, "So how much have you gained so far?". The woman might either feel fat for gaining more than what some pregnancy book told her to, or she might even feel proud of low weight gain that might just be the result of poor eating habits in an effort to stay thin. Who CARES about weight? Not me :-) I tell you, I walk past the mirror several times a day and marvel at the curves my body produces when pregnant! My butt has never been so plump and round. My breasts are feeling full and heavy with milk and that sexy feeling seems to increase the further along I go. I deflate to a size 0-1 at some point in between pregnancies and so does my butt and breasts. It's awesome to be able to enjoy body parts changing without having to go under a knife! I wonder how that must feel for hubby's? Always having a variety without ever having to leave his marriage bed ;-) I gotta ask about that one!

Some other things that have radically changed resulting in a different experience is my willingness to think outside of the boxes I've trapped myself in over the course of my life. Everything from religion, spirituality, thoughts, emotions, reactions, close mindedness, stubbornness, negativity, auto-responses, poverty mentality, etc. I've really come out of all titles in my life to allow myself the freedom to just *be*. This is something that has absolutely terrified my since calling myself a Christian. There was this constant fear of being in rebellion towards God if i asked too many questions and even more frighteningly, finding answers that were not written in a book! It's hard to explain exactly what I'm talking about. I need to live in Love, and having so many religious fears was not allowing me to even experience Love in it's true sense. Of course religion was not the only thing I used to stuff myself tightly into a box, but it played a HUGE part. I feel a tremendous weight lifted since I decided to step away from it all. I should clarify that religion and spirituality are NOT the same thing. Religion is what man tells me to believe and spirituality is what exists (for me) when I let go and just be. Now I am free.

So what does the rest of this journey have in store for me? I do not know. But I am LOVING the ride :-) This pregnancy has been one of giving and receiving. I've embraced the side of me that desires luxury and comfort without guilt. I have let go of worrying about what people will think if I do "abc" or think "xyz". I'm doing EXACTLY what I want and giving myself EXACTLY what I need and it seems to be benefiting everyone around me. Imagine that! Am I making everyone happy? Of course not, but that's not my responsibility is it?!

I am really looking forward to the coming weeks of practical preparations like getting all of what I want and need for the birth, getting everything together for the baby, spending time focusing on the kind of birth I desire and eventually shutting off the outside world for a bit to enjoy a silent pause before baby arrives. These are exciting times and I have never been so at peace and so happy (seperate and often in spite of external circumstances) in all of my life. I feel like I can breathe!!! Limmited lung space and all... I can finally BREATHE!

No comments: