Pregnant and exhausted

August 3, 2009

Ground Control to Major Tom

In asking my wife about advice she might give to pregnant women, one of her main points was to speak about how incredibly tiring it is to be pregnant.  This is especially true of the last trimester where she emphatically said that she had never felt so tired in her entire life.

The experience of her body changing, becoming so much bigger, changing balance, hormones, morning sickness, fears (i.e. if she and the baby would be okay, and even if they would both survive the birth process) all mingled to make for a time that was magical but also, at times, extremely difficult.

It is also important that we dads-to-be try to grasp this cornucopia of discomfort and resist our natural tendencies toward self-focus and resentful disappointment that our girlfriend/mother figure is not particularly available to meet our needs. 

My wife’s advice to pregnant moms is to give yourself a break, to not worry so much about eating exactly as the doctors tell you, and to trust that your tiredness is both normal and hard for anyone who has not been pregnant to understand.

So, let’s dedicate today to empathy and sending any extra love energy we might have lying around to pregnant moms who might benefit from compassion, accurate understanding and any random acts of kindness that might strike us.  This serves ourselves, our own kids and all our collective children.

Namaste, Bruce

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcy August 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

I can only smile at this post, Bruce. Your unamed wife and I were pregnant at the same time, both times. Sixteen years ago this month or next, we both figured out we were expecting our first babies with due dates a couple weeks apart. “Drained” is the word I think we used! And a different kind of tired during round two with toddlers in hand. Now these four babies are teens and we are older and tired still! A great journey indeed.

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privilegeofparenting August 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Your post makes me smile too. You guys have so much great mother energy, and now wisdom of experience, that we can hope to send that good energy and counsel along to new moms and moms-to-be and hope that they get as much out of this journey as we have. XO

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Marcy August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I loved being pregnant, especially the first time. I felt both a sense of humility (a member of the animal kingdom) and grandiosity (Mary pregnant with Jesus). If a genie were to grant me the ability to stay 6 months pregnant forever, I would do it. I felt that great. I was sad that my husband would never know pregnancy, that he was missing out. (He was a bit amused by my pity.) We humans don’t gestate much, so enjoy every day (if you are pregnant and reading this comment)!

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beth August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm

One simple way to help a woman in the last trimester of pregnancy is to offer to put on (or take off) her socks and shoes for her. A woman friend of mine did this for me, and I really appreciated it!

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kc August 5, 2009 at 8:13 am

I hate the way this sounds but I hate being pregnant! (I am just getting out of the 1st trimester with my 2nd healthy pregnancy).

I know that pregnancy is a blessing (I had 2 miscarriages) but throwing up to the point of dehydration is not fun. I have had to go the hospital several times for dehydration and please don’t e-mail advice, I have tried everything! The tiredness, nausea and body change is overwhelming, to put it mildly.

Anyway, I just appreciate someone mentioning how hard it can really be buy, YES, in the end it is all worth it once I hold that baby in my arms.

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A.N. August 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm

It is refreshing and inspiring to hear your wife’s voice through you Bruce, thank you both for this blog.

In my first pregnancy the image I had of my self was that of a Venus of fertility, beaming the vitality and sparkly glow, the second pregnancy, on the other hand, was so painful in my lower back and sciatica, that I had to stop all the physical activities including teaching pregnancy yoga for the most of it. I had a toddler on my hip and a harness strapped around me almost all my wakeful hours, that held an ice pack in the place to literally freeze my lower back so I can carry my toddler and play with her and not feel crippling pain. I looked more like a sad, harnessed clown not so ready to bungee-jump into a new stage of motherhood than an impersonation of a goddess like nature.

While teaching yoga to pregnant mamas (for over 8 years) it is evident that there are as many different pregnancies as there are pregnant ladies and one of the similarities that connects us all in this difference is that all of us, sooner or later, have our cross to bare. (Isn’t it true for any human being ever born, weather pregnant or not?) This is where I was blessed to witness over and over again how the community of pregnancy yoga and meditation is our time’s evocation of an ancient gathering of woman, and for the woman and the betterment of the world through each one beautiful belly! It’s a place of silent recognition that you are not different or weird in the way you feel and that there are many of us doing the same thing: just tying our best on the path called motherhood. We even cry together sometimes in release and in relief to coming closer to each one’s own soul and supporting one another through the laughter, dance, tears and prayer equally.

In the past woman were pregnant and gave birth together in nature. They knew that each cell of their body and soul has an ancient memory of how to be pregnant and how to give birth, painful or not. Other woman to help them remember and nurture and love the mother and the child collectively surrounded them. It all changed about couple of hundred of years ago (around Victorian era and the time of industrialization and the “great boom” of pregnancy becoming medical business).

The very nature of birthing our children is pain. Although it is not a pain of a broken bone, it is more like a pain (tiredness, vomiting) that invites us to gently walk towards it and accept it and let go of our fighting, despising or even hating it. It is a pain that, if we allow it, carries us over the thresholds of physical sensation into the soul dance where fear and ego selves give a way to loving and becoming: Letting go of self centered little girl selves and giving a birth (along side our child) into being as mothers that are humbly (or loudly so) willing to sacrifice for the well being of her child first. Taking yourself out of the center and by diving (or bungee-jumping) deeper within, putting your child in the center instead.
Besides, it is the child who experiences most of the pain of being born into our world from the weightless memory of light woven through his/hers entire being.

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