I am a few months out of being pregnant, and this week spent time with someone who is nearing the birth of her child. It is amazing to think back to that time, but it is strange too. I feel like I cannot remember what it feels like to be pregnant. I remember things about it, like walking slowly, longing to sleep on my back or on my front. I remember the day before I gave birth walking and walking, and the slowness and space in my thoughts and in my movements. But I cannot remember the feeling. I guess it is because there isn’t a context, it is so radically different from how I feel regularly.
At the same time, these last weeks, I have started to feel like myself again. The body feels like it belongs to me. There is an urge to move, to stretch, to work the body that there wasn’t during the pregnancy or for the months after. A different kind of creativity is coming back, I suppose because the energy of creation is no longer linked with the baby.
Sometimes during pregnancy, there are so many unusual and difficult sensations, weight, tiredness, aches, discomfort etc. that we can try to avoid going into the feeling state. Even in yoga, especially in yoga, there are often “exercises” we do, but we do them for the birth, for the baby, to get our body back at the end. We might not do them just for the sake of doing them. And even then, they are sometimes done (or instructed) in ways that encourage the movement, but not the feeling.
There is so much to be felt in pregnancy, the tiny shifts and changes of the body moment to moment. The many emotions that rise up at different times. The fears and the excitement. The projections and the pure not knowing. And what is amazing is that when it comes to an end, it is impossible to go back into that state.
It is always true. Feeling states are fleeting. We change and we cannot remember what it was to be that person we were before. But somehow with pregnancy it is more pronounced.
I am writing this as a reminder before bed. A reminder of life’s impermanence. A reminder of the beauty of the present moment, even when it is challenging. A reminder to be present right now, to what is, by feeling it, and acknowledging that feeling. Everybody says that it goes by so quickly when you have a child, which I can feel is true, on some level. I think it is because the sensations and experience of each moment disappear, and can be remembered but never felt again. Somehow we hold onto moments, and at the same time, they evaporate.
So I am sitting and closing my eyes. Smelling the air. Listening to the quiet, while the house is asleep. Listening to the space around. Savouring the place I find myself at this moment. The particular energy in my body and mind. I invite you to do the same. Pause.
And breath out.
Hari Om Tat Sat.