So, the other day, Kylie and I posted this super-fun picture on Facebook, and it’s about time that I post it here too:
We’re expecting a baby in January!
This is perhaps the most exciting, most nerve-wracking, most crazy, most physically spiritual adventure I’ve ever embarked upon. I don’t even know what to say sometimes. Most of the time, I just say that it’s alien.
I have a human growing inside me. A human.
This has very practical ramifications, like the fact that most of my jeans and fitted skirts don’t fit anymore, although I can still hide the tiny bump if I want to. It also means I’ve discovered the AMAZING length of maternity shirts–the length is heaven for a long-torso. So comfy.
This also has incredible spiritual ramifications. Like, for example, what does it mean that for nine months, my body carries two souls? I’ve got my soul, and then there’s this tiny little soul centered around my abdomen. Does the soul come fully formed? Or does the soul form as the body forms? Is the baby’s soul cushioned by my soul right now? Kylie and I debate this from all kinds of perspectives (which is why I married someone I at one point nicknamed “The Existentialist”).
At church, we sing a song called “Skeleton Bones.” It’s a very weird song with physical imagery, starting with these lines: “Peel back our ribs again / and stand inside of our chest. / We just wanna love you / We just wanna love you, yeah.” Weird, right? First of all–RIBS CAN’T PEEL. Second of all, it’s using plural pronouns (our) and singular body parts (chest). That’s weird. It’s a weird song. There’s always something for me to think about when we sing this song (which is probably why I like it more and more).
The gist of “Skeleton Bones” is very present and beautiful: “Jesus, come inhabit my body. Let me physically experience your Spirit living inside me.”
So last time we sang this song, the final stanza caught my imagination:
We want your blood to flow inside our body
We want your wind inside our lungs.
I put my hand on my belly when I sang these words. These words are HAPPENING –only it’s not (just) between Jesus and me, it’s between me and this baby. This baby has my blood bringing nutrients. This baby is using my breath. And if the Holy Spirit is permeating me, that means the Holy Spirit is also permeating this baby, fanning life into its tiny little form, knitting its tissues together.
And I’m supposed to have words for this experience?
At best, I come up with this: I can’t imagine pregnancy without yoga and meditation. Yoga has cultivated such a strong body awareness in me that I sense these alien changes in my body. Yoga gives me tools for dealing with fatigue, with nausea, with some of the uncomfortability.
With meditation, I can focus on the breath, feeling the breath enter my body, imagining the breath swirling around this tiny creature inside. I can send the baby waves of peace. When I’m stressed or anxious (which all the baby books say is BAD for the baby), I can calm my emotions with the breath and bring my body back into balance. “Here we go, baby,” I think. “Better endorphins to help you grow.”
With yoga tools, I just watch and bear witness this tiny miracle inside. That’s my role. God’s doing all the work, and yoga helps me be present.
So… this blog will pull in yet another focus for the next few months: the land of prenatal yoga as yet another intersection for yoga and Christianity. I don’t see any way around it–this pregnancy is changing both my yoga and my spirituality, and that’s going to have an effect on what I say here. I think it’s gonna be good.
We’re still (obviously) going to look at the intersection of yoga and Christianity. But you might see some prenatal yoga sequences, meditations, and reflections. We’ll talk more about surrender and wholeness and yoga for the every day.
And you might only see one lengthy blog post a week instead of two. There’s just too much going on for two posts. But that’s okay–just another way in which this baby is already changing my life…
And now to answer the frequently asked questions:
What happened to Coconut’s tail, and how did you get her to pose for the picture?
Her tail’s just bent, not absent. She was happy in the sun with her people. As for posing: I wiggled my fingers. Seriously. She loves me and watches my every move. She also loves Meeple, although she doesn’t quite comprehend that she will have a competitor for my affection. For the time being, Coconut has taken to sleeping next to my side, adding her warmth to the oven.
Are you going to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl?
Yes, we’ll find out at the 20 week ultrasound (we’re 16 weeks now). That is, of course, assuming that the baby cooperates with the sonogram. And, yes, we’ll let you know.
How are you feeling?
Pretty great, actually. We’re in the second trimester now, and the first trimester was relatively easy. I had minimal morning sickness (like, none), and was just super hungry and super tired. My biggest physical stressors have been a mild cold and some SI joint pain that hurts my hips sometimes.
Where are you going for prenatal care?
The Midwife Center in Pittsburgh, which was highly recommended by several experienced friends. The midwives are all medically trained nurses who have gotten their masters in childbirth. They’re super particular about who they allow deliver at the center itself, and if there’s any chance of risk, we’ll deliver at the hospital with the midwives. We’re really excited about the care we’ve received with them so far, and excited about going through the delivery process and newborn care with them.
What’s your nickname for the baby?
We’re calling the baby Meeple right now. “Meeple” is the word for the little wooden person-shaped object that keeps track of where you are in a board game (see the black object in the photo above). We’re nerds, and this baby will probably be a nerd too. Also, the baby was the size of a Meeple when we told the grandparents about Meeple’s existence.
Are you excited?
YES. And scared. And well-aware of how much this baby will change our lives. We know you can’t ever be really ready for a baby, but we’re ready to learn. And we’re really, really, really thankful.