We’re in our own little advent now, waiting for the baby girl in this home stretch. It’s weird to know that soon I will have to be physically ready to run a marathon… but I don’t know when that marathon will happen.
And when it does? My world will change completely and utterly.
It’s a weird time for us–but beautiful too. I find myself laughing a lot, eating a lot, and daydreaming a lot. I doodle my daughter’s name over and over like a teenage girl trying out the last name of her crush.
Because the due date is so early in the semester and my recovery and adjustment to parenting will take most of the semester, I am not teaching this term. So my days look a lot like my summer days: I leave the house at least once a day, do some sort of physical activity to train for my inner marathon, and write my book.
It’s the book that makes the waiting bearable. I have such hopes for this book–mostly because it’s not about me. Every day I get to sit down and write about awesome people. Right now, I’m writing about one of my favorite people on the planet, and it’s inspiring writing. Her character on the page reminds me to breathe.
To breathe into the waiting.
Breathing into the waiting is living yoga in a new way. I can want the baby to come today, just like I want to sit in Lotus today–but the likelihood of either happening today is pretty slim (even with the pregnancy hormone relaxin!). So I accept where I’m sitting today, how my knee is feeling, how my belly is feeling, how her kicks are getting stronger, how I can tell she’s running out of room…
I’m not sure if I’ll get another chance to write about yoga before this baby’s birth, so I wanted to share a couple of observations about yoga and pregnancy and why they dovetail so well together…
1. I’m really glad that I had a strong yoga practice before pregnancy. Pregnancy is a great time to be attentive to your body, but it’s a bit of an awkward time to get to know your body. It’s constantly changing.
2. Over and over throughout this pregnancy, I’ve used savasana and the twenty-minute rest to regather my energy for the rest of the day. I’ve laid down in my office, other people’s offices, the living room floor, the back room at my husband’s store…
3. The skills developed over time in yoga are the same skills they tell you that you need to have for labor and delivery (I’ll test the truth of this some time soon…):
- Breathing into tense pain–like holding a lunge for a long time and breathing into the burn of the thigh… only a lot more intense.
- Holding only the muscles necessary for the pose, and relaxing the nonessential muscles. In other words, you’re not holding the lunge with your shoulders or your face, and you can’t push with your face either…
- Savasana and the ability to relax–apparently this will be helpful between contractions.
4. Prenatal yoga provides great accountability to slow down your yoga poses, practice your kegels and squats, and meet other new moms. Prenatal yoga classes create a fun, lighthearted community–you gotta be able to laugh about your inability to hold in a fart.
5. Meditation to connect with both God and baby. One of my favorite things is to imagine breathing in the ruach life-breath of God and to imagine that breath pouring into this baby and growing all her tiny little features.
For now, we wait and breathe until she comes and breathes that ruach breath for herself…