When I first found out that I was pregnant I was excited but I was also completely overwhelmed. In one instant I was transformed from a relatively carefree woman into an incubator that had to watch what I ate, what I drank and what medication I could take.
When I found out I was pregnant, I cried– happy tears, I think, but mixed in with a heavy dose of fear that began to almost immediately well up inside me. It was all very unreal and grown-up and I didn’t know if I was ready.
My husband and I had recently watched a documentary where they stated that the emotions of the mother affected the development of the foetus growing inside her. They said that if the mother is stressed and afraid, the baby experiences these emotions through her – as these stress and fear hormones are released into the mother’s system, the child experiences her accelerated heart-rate, the tightening of muscles as she tenses, etc. This helps to prepare the child for the kind of world it is coming into.
I wanted a calm, confident child not one riddled with insecurities and hobbled by imagined shortcomings. It was very important to both my husband and I that I remain calm and relaxed as much as possible throughout the pregnancy.
But, as my pregnancy developed, the fear began to get grow, to the point that I couldn’t enjoy the pregnancy at all. My fear was miscarriage. My mother had suffered four miscarriages and I was so afraid that I would do something wrong and lose the baby. My husband tried to calm me down but in my mind I was tormented at all times by this nagging fear, a fear of loss and a fear of disappointing those who were so excited about the pregnancy.
I work with hypnotherapy and so I’m no stranger to the power of the mind. I knew that my first recourse to clearing my fears was to change my perspective.
So, I began to meditate in earnest, picturing first the little glow of my child’s heartbeat within my womb. I pictured her safe and snug, growing day by day and then I imagined holding my healthy baby girl in my arms. I tried to imagine what it felt like to love someone so much and then I allowed that love to travel to my womb, filling that space with love.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. I have found this to be true in every area of my life, and it certainly pertains to meditation. The only way to feel the real benefits of meditation is to consistently ensure you make time to do it – the more I meditated, the more deeply I was able to relax and surrender myself and the more easily I was able to capture the essential feelings of love and safety.
Slowly I began to believe these feelings and they allowed me the freedom to become excited about my pregnancy. As time progressed I began to ease into things and as soon as I noticed myself becoming too fearful about some predicted outcome, I would remind myself to relax and breath.
Meditation not only helped to calm my fears but slowly and gradually I began to actually release those fears and allowed myself to feel safe.
Most importantly, I finally began to trust that my body had it all under control and this realisation was the first step on my journey towards truly empowering myself .