In Control But Slowing Down
During the first trimester of my own pregnancy, I experienced debilitating exhaustion and baby brain (yes, it’s actually a thing). I was grateful to not have any morning sickness. But, performing most of my daily tasks was damn near impossible. I would lose my train of thought mid-sentence and even doze off mid conversation. My Type A personality neutered—I was a full-on Space Cadet. With friends, it was one thing. I knew if I wanted to continue devoting myself to my patients, I had to focus on me. I had to slow down and allow myself to lose control.
I ate well, exercised when I could, received regular acupuncture treatment, and had countless sessions with my Reiki healer. Being a proud acupuncturist, I wanted the acupuncture to cure my exhaustion and baby brain. What ended up being most effective during this phase was actually Reiki. My body was a sponge; every time I laid back on that table, I opened myself to all the energy the Universe could provide.
I now recognize that these experiences were part of the awakening of my maternal intuitive sense. The extreme fatigue a result of my energy field’s draining in service of creating the new life within me. Being a healer, I am constantly giving my energy. It was challenging for me to realize it was time for me to slow down and receive. Like my patients, the practice worked its magic quickly. I started to trust my intuition and I emerged from the debilitating exhaustion. I’m not kidding when I say one day I just woke up and felt better. But I also intuitively knew things about my daughter’s personality; I could clearly see her face and dark hair; my body was making its cravings and needs heard, loud and clear.
“I am constantly giving my energy. It was challenging for me to realize it was time for me to slow down and receive.”
There is No Control When it Comes to Pregnancy
I loved the connection I felt to my daughter in womb. However, I personally found pregnancy to be extremely difficult and well, um, gross. The baby brain, the back fat, the inability to see my feet for weeks, the emotions . . . holy sh*t, the emotions! And of course all of the awkward belly glances, from people curious if you are expecting or if you have just taken a new interest in donuts! Fun fact, people say the weirdest sh*t to pregnant women! I really loved being told how BIG I was or being asked if I was expecting twins—I can’t make this sh*t up!
Around twenty-nine weeks, I woke up one morning with another kind of feeling. This time more off than different—and not in a good way. It wasn’t anything like the inner knowing I’d had earlier. Instead of feeling aligned and “on,” I told my husband that I just felt “off”. It happened to be the morning of my baby shower. Countless family members had traveled to be with me. So I rested a bit, masked my concerns with a smile, and continued on with the day.
A few more days passed without improvement. So, I finally called my doctor and she insisted I come in for evaluation. After a quick examination my doctor calmly suggested I head to the hospital. I agreed. Assuming it was nothing more than dehydration, a bag or two of fluids and I’d be on my way home.
I arrived at the hospital and immediately hooked up to the machines. I was in pre-labor at twenty-nine weeks, six days, and the contractions were now a minute and a half a part. Thankfully, by the grace of the Universe and the amazing medical staff, they were able to slow the contractions and halt the pre-labor. I was given a magnesium drip for 24 hours. A treatment that makes you feel like death warmed up (imagine Gollum from Lord of the Rings when he loses his Precious), but wow was I ever grateful! My placenta had not detached, so I was able to leave the hospital. But from then on I was on bedrest.
Slow Down, Listen to Your Intuition + Lose Control
Grief and regret overwhelmed me. How could I let this happen? I am supposed to be someone who is completely “in tune” with her body and the Universe. Yet, I refused to slow down, lose control, and I was now paying the consequences. Terrified and heartbroken. Had I already let my daughter down? The guilt of ignoring my body’s obvious warning signs for six days consumed me.
My doctor’s hoped to get me to thirty-four weeks. My daughter was on pace to be of good size and taking practice breaths on her own. After thirty-four weeks there wasn’t any concern about early labor. To further complicate the matter (because why not), during my second trimester, I intuitively felt she was not in the correct head down birthing position. Not joking when I say, I just knew she was head up and not budging. During a doctor’s visit I begged my OB to do a quick unscheduled ultrasound— and sure enough, she was breech!
Yes, when we slow down and pay attention, our intuitions are f*cking brilliant! Taking everything into consideration, doctors insisted that I schedule a date for a C-section for thirty-nine weeks on the dot (again assuming I could get there). I was on board with the plan, but it crushed my Spirit. I did not imagine this journey. I never wanted to choose my Daughter’s date of birth. I wanted her to decide when, and how, she would come into the world. The birth story can be very telling of a child’s personality. Having her surgically removed her from my womb, on a scheduled date, was not the magic I imagined.
Although I had seemingly no choice on how her birth would take shape. I decided to take something into my own hands. I decided to stop trying to control everything and start trusting what the Universe would allow. Knowing that Mother Earth would catch me (and my daughter) if I fell. During my bedrest, I used the time to let go of control and connect more to my daughter’s Spirit. Things I instructed my patients on all the time but, never felt the true importance of myself before. Karmic sh*t right?
“I decided to stop trying to control everything and start trusting what the Universe would allow. Knowing that Mother Earth would catch me (and my Daughter) if I fell.”
Listening to my body and listening to her, I was now trusting my intuition. I knew she was strong and growing. I knew when I needed to rest and when I was ready to make that embarrassingly tiring journey from bed to couch. I knew exactly what my body needed. As I could intuitively feel the motherhood metamorphosis happening, my body was beginning to transform from woman to mother.
Bye-Bye All Control (Birth, Baby, + Work, Oh My)
At thirty-five weeks, my doctors gave me the okay to treat a few patients the following week. I made the appointments, excited to see my patients—but inside I heard whispering that I’d inevitably need to cancel them. I’m completely serious when I say I felt an internal pull signaling that I was not going anywhere. Sure enough, at 36 weeks to the day, my water broke at 12:15 pm. My daughter was born shortly after at 3:05 pm. I still had a C-section since she remained breech (my stubborn little Scorpio), but she chose when to enter the world. Knowing that she decided when she would embark on her journey filled me with joy. Together, we had made it.
When I returned to work postpartum, it was very clear the journey my Daughter and I undertook had greater purpose. I was all of a sudden attracting a very different set of patients. Women trying to conceive, expecting mothers, and new moms. I had always treated fertility and women’s health, but the rate and consistency of new patients coming to me for fertility and pregnancy care increased exponentiatlly!
At the same time, current patients— mothers I had treated for months or years—would ask how I was adjusting. All with the same heavy, concerned stare. I knew exactly what they were asking about. Was I keeping my sh*t together or hanging by a thread? Let’s be real, first there were all the pregnancy complications, and now there was the exhaustion and sleepless nights, the demands of breastfeeding, and finally the dramatic change in marriage dynamics.
While pregnant, everyone wishes you congratulations and shares in with the excitement. However, no one truly prepares you for the loss of control that inevitably overwhelms your life. It’s not necessarily the magnitude of change that catches first time mothers off guard, rather the pace of change that leaves you in the twilight zone. In their pleading eyes, they reflected my own emotional turmoil in transitioning into motherhood. I clearly was not alone.
“It’s not necessarily the magnitude of change that catches first time mothers off guard, rather the pace of change that leaves you in the twilight zone.”
No Control– It’s All Good!
Even after I felt re-adjusted in my own body and life, I still got the same question from my postpartum patients almost daily: “Why does no one talk about this stuff?” I had just lived through a difficult transition and sh*t show of a pregnancy. I am now able to assist these women through their fourth trimester challenges (and beyond). Listening to their struggles, awakening their Spirit through acupuncture and Reiki, and reminding them that they are Woman, adaptable, and connected to the Divine. I emphasize the profound intuitive strength that lives deep within the female subconscious. Woman was chosen to conceive, and not Man for a reason! Know you are not alone, we are all hot messes just hanging by a thread. Some of us just wear more concealer under our eyes.