So long, first trimester. I love you.
So long, first trimester. I love you!
You're reading that right, today marks day one of my 13th week of pregnancy, and if you follow me on social media, or come to the studio, you might be counting back on your fingers, wondering just how early I revealed the news of our second pregnancy. Well, if you're really wondering...I was 8 weeks.
I'm going to share a little bit about when I decided the time was right to share, my outlook on the gift of this second pregnancy and how it all varies greatly from round one with Lennon Patrick. I'm sharing, not because I feel the need to justify my going against the social norm (I pretty much do that all the time)...but because at the root of this story and experience I think there is a light to be found about honoring the self and establishing comfort in different and unknown territory.
Let's start with a little catch up info, just in case you need it. I am currently part of a very loving family of three, John, Myself and our three year old son, Lennon. We're very happy in our life, and that does not mean it is perfect...it's normal, healthy and love filled, complete with ups downs, highs lows, disagreements and understanding. Before we welcomed Lennon into this world, John and I were in that very same boat, only it was the two of us. We shared a deep rooted fear that a child could shake the foundation that we stood on and change the dynamic of our relationship. Thankfully, the Universe saw through our fears, or heard the voices of desire for a growing family more loudly than the fear based thoughts of change and we became parents to the little boy who did more than complete our family and multiply our love for one another.
Now this is not to say that our fears were unwarranted. Lennon Patrick changed the dynamic of just about everything in our life. The first year was definitely the hardest, learning to navigate parenthood was all consuming for us...and still, from time to time, we aren't getting the balance of it all just right. BUT what is stronger than fear is love...and that love that we were so afraid to shake only grew stronger as our norms were challenged and we made our way. (They are still challenged, regularly, so thank God for love).
Continuing on the honest train - I truly had no reason to be miserable pregnant, but I was. There was more fear at the root of this misery, which I will get to later...but from the moment we welcomed Lennon, both John and I were a firm NO for a second. Three felt complete and we eventually found that same comfort were used to as a pair in our family of three. But somewhere down the line, and the timeline gets blurry...we both began to waiver on that once strong conviction. For a long time, if I was saying we should have a second, he was saying no, and vice versa. Then the conversations became more serious...and what I was able to identify was the same fears were keeping us from growing our family, not a true desire to remain as we were. Fear of change, fear of shaking things up and getting uncomfortable again, fear of losing what we have. When I finally identified that fear I was able to surrender control, trusting that the love we have within our family was strong enough for four and the changes that would bring. It's pretty amazing what can happen when we surrender control, we're able to welcome what is meant for us.
Since I am being honest, what I have shared so far is hard for me to share. It's hard because it shows that while we experienced our own internal struggles surrounding pregnancy and family, we truly did not experience medical or fertility struggles with either conception. When we became pregnant with Lennon we were relatively naive to the prevalence of infertility. In more recent years I have seen and felt heartache for friends, clients and perfect strangers, struggling and hurting in wait for their child. I now know, when sharing this that for every infertility story I am aware of, there are countless more unknown or kept private. When we conceived this second baby with such ease, I was overcome with guilt, knowing that while I sat on the fence in fear, many women were on their knees praying for a miracle. I share a lot, and so I began to think, how can I share this pregnancy knowing that I may unintentionally trigger pain in another. It took some time, patience, meditation and surrender, but I finally realized that my guilt could not heal the wounds of another, but my gratitude could soften sharp feelings of heartache.
Through sitting in these feelings of guilt and uncertainty a lot of emotion and reality came to the surface. I began to reflect on the outlook I had during my first pregnancy.
The urgency I had for it to be over.
The need to know what I was having and prepare and control what I could.
The fear of what would happen to my body in the process, what the recovery would look like.
The uncertainty around my ability to continue to follow my chosen career path in the same way and be the same wife and partner I had come to be.
All of these feelings and fears kept my vibrations very low. I did not glow, as they say...even if I outwardly appeared to glow, I darkened every light and gift and opportunity with negativity. I looked forward to welcoming our baby, I truly did...but I wanted nothing to do with the process. I wanted to land at the pot of gold and be happy and comfortable and see that everything had turned out just fine! Not only did this make the time pass extremely slowly, it robbed me of the joy of pregnancy. I lost the ability to be in the moment, because I was so focused on the future and seeing that everything would be the same. Well guess what, nothing is the same as it was before Lennon - and thank God for that! My fears were ridiculous, because I just wasn't in control, so what was the point?
The pregnancy did come to an end, at just around 39 weeks.
I had a baby boy, just as I had impatiently come to find by visiting an ultrasound center at 15 weeks.
My entire body grew, and then with time it found a new normal.
I am still running my business, everyday with a little more patience and understanding.
I am still a wife and a partner.
And none of this is because I sat in fear about it.
When I think back on this "let this be short and quick" mentality, I am not proud. I cheated myself and missed out on the experience of being in the moments that I wasn't guaranteed to feel again...the moments that some women are never able to live in.
This humbling reality and reflection of myself brought me into a beautiful place: gratitude, patience and acceptance. I vowed to myself in that moment of clarity that I would find gratitude in every aspect of this pregnancy, even the aches, pains and stretch marks. I vowed that I would have patience for myself and the entire process. I've seen babies come or go too early, that possibility is not lost on me. I will love and pray everyday that this baby grows healthfully inside of me. I vowed that I would respond to all that comes my way with acceptance, I am not in control of the experience, I am only in control of my response.
I peacefully sat with this in privacy for a little while. I surprisingly felt a desire to keep my pregnancy to myself for some time, (a long time in the world of an impatient, over-sharer). Until one day, keeping this secret didn't feel good. At work, in spandex in front of rooms full of people, I was in my head about my changing body. I felt self conscious and I realized that I was losing the peaceful commitment to gratitude, patience and acceptance. So I said to John, I am not going back to work until we share our news, and he said OK. We took an unexpected day off, went to the beach on a cloudy day, chased seagulls with our son, got fried clams and lobster and told the world that we were patiently awaiting the arrival of our second child. I will always love that memory. I hope to make many more in these next 6 months. With gratitude, patience and acceptance.
So long, first trimester. Thank you for all that you have taught me. I love you.