My precious little nugget, Zadie was born one month and one day ago. It has been the most incredible whirlwind and I don't know where to start telling the story ...
I spent my entire pregnancy trying to prepare for motherhood. Trying to prepare for that moment that happened on March 13th when she finally came into this world and took in her first dramatic breathe. It was nine months of journaling, questioning, meditating, crying, praying, laughing, reading, listening, singing, dreaming, wondering, connecting, all of this was an effort to prepare myself for the gravity of being responsible for another human life.
Even though I as struggling with nausea throughout my pregnancy, I tried to stay as active as I could. I would take classes several times a week at my partners gym. The balanced approach of focusing on strength, stability and some flexibility was perfect. He gave me modifications through each trimester which helped me feel empowered to change things up when they didn't feel great. On the hardest days I would do mini spin sessions or go for walks.
The mental battles were even harder than the physical ones for me. In my third trimester I went to see a psychiatrist, in a sense to ask her if my overwhelming emotions were harming my unborn child. The conclusion of course was that my mood swings and stress levels were normal considering the circumstances (both the pregnancy and the many big life changes I was adjusting to all at once). I was "coping well" she said at the end of our session. Whether my emotional state was normal during my pregnancy is a question I will probably continue to revisit for years to come. I certainly hope not. I suppose one thing I discovered from that visit is that it is not uncommon for women to have low lows and major mood swings during their pregnancy. The deeper realization for me was that I didn't want to live a life just coping.
Fast forward to now and I have the most beautiful, sweet, magical, fussy baby on the planet. The one thing that I have felt from the very beginning of my pregnancy was the intensity of my state of mind, my state of being been essential to another humans ability to adjust and thrive in this world. This is a responsibility that is far deeper than eating the right things, avoiding the wrong things, doing the right workouts, buying the right diapers, researching the best hypo allergenic detergent and cleaners, reading all the right blogs and the latest baby research. It's the work, the gritty internal work, that must be done continuously with diligence in order to grow, to thrive and live a fully.
A couple days after her birth, the euphoria started to wear off, my hormones started crashing and my anxiety started coming back. What if she's unsettled because I'm unsettled? What if I didn't do enough during my pregnancy to give her a calm, well adjusted start to life on this earth? What if despite my efforts I'm not capable of settling the deep seated (perhaps generational and/or genetically programed) anxiety. These are the moments when you start forgiving your own parents for the ways you think they failed you in life, because suddenly you realize that they, like you, are simply human.
So here we are, one month and one day into motherhood. Zadie has spent 31 days on this confusing planet of ours. What I know for sure is that there is no beginning or end to the love that I feel for her. It is a feeling that is impossible to explain and the reason that no matter what there is a drive to move forward, to do better and to be better.