Here’s a snapshot of my morning…
1:17am…get up to pee
3:24am…get up to pee
4:16am…Annabella comes in the room to get a hug because she had a weird dream
4:32am….Check on Annabella and…you guessed it…pee
4:46am…tossing and turning, aching and shooting pains in my legs, hips, pelvis
5:34am….give up trying to sleep more and get up to take an Epson Salt bath
6:05am…do restorative yoga
6:29am…sit down to write to you!
Now given that I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant (a full term pregnancy is roughly 40 weeks…although Annabella came at 42 weeks!), this may not surprise you. After all, the last few weeks of pregnancy for the vast majority of women are at a minimum uncomfortable. Especially when it comes to sleeping. Our bodies need to pee A LOT!
Unfortunately, I also am experiencing something new with this pregnancy. About 2 weeks ago I started feeling intense pain in my pelvic area, especially when putting on my pants and trying to balance on one leg. At first I thought it was the baby’s position or just the normal end of pregnancy junk. But the pain quickly escalated and became more constant. I’m now left with grinding pain internally in my pelvis that radiates out into my groin. Add to that the hip pain I’ve had through out pregnancy and you get one cranky mama! (I likely have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or SPD, which happens in about 25% of pregnancies).
At any given moment you can find me hobbling through my house with a pelvic belt on (likely heading to the bathroom!) or propped up on the couch curled up with my pregnancy pillow and a heating pad or ice pack (sometimes with my computer next to me as I work on my next book!). My intention was to be hiking and dancing right up until I went into labor…I guess the baby, my body and The Universe had other plans.
So what is one to do when experiencing pain…physical or otherwise? Are we meant to get lost in a daze of feeling sorry for ourselves? (I say YES, at least for a day or two!) Or are there other options?
Given the nature of my work and passion, I’m always investigating the higher purpose for anything that shows up in my life. I find this experience on the one hand fascinating (and yes totally annoying, disappointing and frustrating on the other hand!).
As I’ve been preparing for childbirth and I’ve been exploring how to mindfully and gracefully BE WITH pain. I’ve been devouring and studying the amazing book Mindful Birthing and doing a wonderful hypno-birthing program. It has been so valuable to bring all of my mindfulness and daily practice tools to childbirth. To simply notice pain, be with it, and essentially drop the suffering story we often attach to it. To stop the fear spiral that can often get triggered in moments of pain.
So, I’m curious, where in your life are you experiencing pain? Physical pain, emotional pain, soul pain, mental pain? What would it be like for you to drop the story of the pain, stop the suffering and simply be with the TRUTH of the pain?
For me, I notice that if I’m truly present, there are times when I’m 100% pain free. Then there are times, like this morning, where my pelvis burns and grinds, my hips ache, my groin fires electrical surges through my legs and I can simply be still and observe it. Not lean into it, not buy into it. Just BE.
And then there are times where I begin to go into the story of the pain…and my Inner Mean Girl begins to take over and send me down a rabbit hole of fear. I begin anxiously asking how long will this last? What does this mean for my labor? What if the baby is 2 weeks late like Annabella and I have to be with this for a full 4 weeks!? What if I don’t make a full recovery? Why is this happening to me? And on and on and on.
Can you see how much more suffering I’m causing myself? It’s astounding!
So I go back to my breath. And go back to simply noticing what is here right now. And then I do some yoga or I call a friend for support or I cry to get a release. Or I put on one of my hypno-birthing tracks.
Where in your life can you be more mindful and simply BE WITH what is?
With a deep breath,