I write this entry with sadness and frustration.
I overheard a woman talk about how she was 20 weeks pregnant and has already gained about ten pounds. She called herself fat and laughed it off. I stepped in and explained that it’s not just a baby that counts for the new weight, there are fluids feeding your baby, a placenta, the sac, umbilical chord, etc… I pointed out, “There’s a whole lot that comes out of you during birth other than a baby.” She was clearly shocked.
There are so many things that frustrate me and make me sad regarding this situation.
It is a result of low self-esteem and a lack of self-love and kindness that a woman speaks about herself in this way. It is all the doubt and fear and put downs she has experienced in the past that come up, not only in the woman’s daily thoughts and way of being but especially during the time of pregnancy.
It is also a lack of connection to the fact that as a pregnant woman, you have chosen the responsibility to nourish a baby and to bring that baby earth-side after nine months of love, nutrition, and creating a healthy home for the baby in utero. With that decision, whether or not you are conscious of it, you have decided to do something that is bigger than yourself. Eat lots of healthy food, slow down when your body aches and tells you it needs to rest, stretch, workout, maintain that healthy lifestyle, or strive for that healthy lifestyle for the benefit of your baby and yourself during this beautiful, challenging time. It’s not just physical health that we should strive for though, mental and emotional health need to be a priority. Your baby feels happiness and sadness, it hears laughter and arguing. Even in utero, our babies pick up our emotional and mental well being.
I don’t want to write this to talk about the importance of nutrition or what to eat or how to workout. I want to press the issue of taking the time of the nine months to work through the negative self-talk. The hurt we have endured, however it may have presented itself in your life, will come up during your birth as a mother and the birth of your baby. The lack of confidence in yourself will show up when you are in labor where there is naturally doubt and fear that arises, already. It can and will hinder your ability to make decisions for yourself and your baby when push comes to shove, literally. After birthing your beautiful baby, it will cloud your judgement when making decisions for your baby, your girl, your boy, your children. It’s the shitty reality of lessons we must learn, whatever those may be for us as individuals.
Take the nine months and dig deep to break the insecurities and face the very real doubt and emotions that flood us during this time. Dig even deeper to recognize where your insecurities come from and how you can act differently to support yourself, rather than bash yourself. Label your fears, write them down, then burn them. When those feelings come up just as they did for this woman, recognize the emotions say, “Dang that seems like a lot, but I am healthy and my baby is healthy and that’s what matters.” then move on. Change your perspective. Talk to yourself the way you want to build your own child up. If your parents bashed you, it’s probably because of their own insecurities they didn’t deal with, wherever those may have stemmed from. You are a product of that in some regard. Don’t let that interfere with your birth. That experience is beautiful and a beastly in it’s own right!
It is far easier said than done, but don’t allow your hurt to trickle down to your children. It will seep into the way you raise them and it will continue to be your own deep hurt. We have all experienced lives that are very real, painful experiences that cut to our core. I am not saying they will be erased, I am not saying to forget them, but recognize them and use them for your own self-growth.
This is the beginning of a very long conversation, I realize that. The recognition of previous pain is the beginning of healing. As women, there are already so many forces working against us in society, let’s not work against ourselves. Let’s build that self-love. We are a hell of a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit. I’m guilty of it and I know the majority of women are guilty of it. Wake up in the morning and say, “I am woman, hear me roar.” then go out and slay ladies.
With so much love and encouragement,