Thinking Yogi

The intersection of two loves: yoga and writing.

Waiting for baby as a contemplative practice

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With baby #3 fully cooked and safe to arrive any time in the next couple of weeks, I wait. Or rather, I try to go about my everyday life despite the fact that something incredible is about to happen, that my body is preparing for a powerful physical experience, that our family’s life is about to be forever changed.

Friends wonder (and place bets) on whether I’ve had the baby yet, my mom is certain every time I miss her call that I’m in labor, and several nights recently I’ve gone to bed wondering if tonight is the big night.

WaitingI sit in wait with my huge belly and savor this in-between time in a world where waiting has gone out of fashion. Have a few minutes before the next train arrives? Pull out your phone and suddenly you’ve transformed what would have just been a wait into productive and/or entertainment time. But the last weeks of pregnancy are all wait, all wondering, and surrender to the fact that there’s no app for predicting the onset of labor.

I sit in not-knowing with this new person who is either a boy or a girl, one or the other, and though I could have found out months ago I revel in my ignorance of this key fact about our new family member. My dreams are of no help – last night I dreamt of a sweet cheeked blond boy who looks remarkably like my son, but a few nights ago the baby was a cuddly baby girl. It’s not often I get to not-know something so big for so long. Not even a conversation-ending google search on my phone can give me this answer.

I sit in surrender because I have no control over when labor starts, how the birth goes, or any of it. I like control, so this is hard. Meditation helps, as does yoga practice.

I’m practicing the yoga of waiting for baby. Maybe it’s the hormones, but it’s not as difficult as I remembered. I’ve given up bargaining with baby (“Please wait until your grandparents are back in town, until I wrap everything up at the studio, until our teacher trainees graduate…”), realizing this is not a negotiation I can win. It’s refreshing to loosen my grip on schedules and plans and just say “I’ll be there if I haven’t had the baby yet!”

The present is the only thing I can count on. This is always true, but never more obvious than right now. Sometimes I have to stop and catch my breath after walking up the stairs to our apartment, other times I feel strong and vital, like I could walk miles without issue.

I’m overflowing with gratitude to feel as good as I do at this stage of the game. Each time I’m asked how I feel and respond with a smile, I’m careful to not get too attached to this whole “feeling good” business.  While the yoga, meditation, massage, and walking I’ve done throughout my pregnancy certainly helped, I’ve just been incredibly lucky, too. And I know that could change at any time, so I enjoy any day where I can get up from my mat without grunting.

There’s nothing more to prepare: the names are picked out, the carseat’s installed and awaiting a tiny passenger, and we’ve done our best to prep big brother and big sister for the intensity of life with a newborn. Now, again, it’s just the wait.

I breathe in and feel baby wiggle and adjust in the private world of my belly. I breathe out and know there will only be so many more times I get to experience his or her movements from the inside. 

I breathe in, I breathe out, I am grateful. 

My breath will get me through whatever comes next – wait, birth, and afterwards.

 

Kerry is the Founder & Director of Bloom Yoga Studio, voted Best Yoga Studio in the Chicago Reader, Chicago Magazine, and Citysearch. As a practicing yogi, writer, and mother of three, Kerry is all about making the principles and philosophies of yoga real and accessible for day-to-day living. You can find Kerry on Google+.

Comments

  • Tammy Chase Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    Best of luck to you!! I saw you about a month ago while hitting a class and you looked amazing.

  • Kerry Maiorca Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    Thanks, Tammy!

  • Deadre Thursday, 25 June 2015

    Sweet words to ponder, Kerry...
    love to you,
    Deadre

    "Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of Mother’s Love.”
    Maureen Hawkins

    “In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.”
    Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

  • Kerry Maiorca Friday, 26 June 2015

    Gorgeous, Deadre. Thank you for sharing these lovely quotes (and your unbelievable story today!).

  • Natalie Friday, 26 June 2015

    Beautiful and so helpful and true as I prepare for the birth of my first in a few months! Blessings to you. Natalie

  • Kerry Maiorca Friday, 26 June 2015

    Best to you, Natalie, as you prepare for this exciting adventure into motherhood. So glad the post was helpful!

  • Sarah (Joehl) Richards Saturday, 27 June 2015

    Beautiful, Kerry! Best wishes in the coming weeks and I look forward to meeting the little one!!

  • Kerry Maiorca Saturday, 27 June 2015

    Thanks, Sarah!

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