In a world that is full of intimidating diagnoses, politically-driven agendas, judgy mom groups, social media, trigger warnings left and right, and the Target checkout lady saying “sleep while you can,” it’s so hard to know where to turn to for advice when you find out that you’re pregnant.
With all of this, the transition to motherhood sometimes feels more like a loss than the most joyous and monumental moment of our lives. It’s okay to feel alone and lost. I mean, truthfully, we are saying goodbye to the only versions we’ve known as ourselves: the maiden. We really won’t ever be the same. But what if that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be like? It’s okay to mourn our old selves in this season. To realize that we are closing the door on the life we had before… but what’s next?
How Can the People Around Us… Affect Our Pregnancy?
What if we started looking at the pregnancy journey and the motherhood transition a little differently than our society does? It starts with who and what we surround ourselves with. Today’s world is muddled with materials, opinions, and options when it comes to pregnancy, so who we choose to be in our circle is most important. Have you ever heard the saying, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” Who you choose to be around and listen to are the people who have the most influence in your life. And at a time when you are most vulnerable, keep your birth team and circle tight. Have a circle that supports, empowers, and encourages you in all your choices during your pregnancy.
I was sitting in an auditorium with thousands of other women when I heard a story that changed my life. Did you know that when an elephant is giving birth, other female elephants will surround her? It’s fascinating. 40 tons of elephants in the wild kicking up dirt, making loud noises, and warning other predators and attackers that they will not get to their sister while she is the most vulnerable. It’s beautiful. What’s even more special is when the baby elephant is born, the sister elephants will cover him with dirt and sound their trumpets obnoxiously loud; encouraging and cheering their sister on as they share with the entire animal kingdom what just occurred.
This! This is what it should be like when other women are going through their perinatal season of life. Whether it’s a season of fertility, pregnancy, or postpartum, we should never stop encouraging one another.
Trust Your Mighty Inner “Mom Gut”
And as the elephant in the middle. The pregnant one. Know your power, too, that you are the best mom for your baby and that you have been given a “mom gut” that you should trust over everything else. That you have choices when it comes to anything concerning you and your baby. YOU are the one. And you can do this. It’s okay to log off sometimes and find the resources that fit what you need instead of the ones that please everybody else. It’s okay to be different. It’s important to go with your gut.
Our babies are hitchhikers on our nervous systems, so whatever we are feeling, so are they, which is why it’s important that we are their #1 protector.
We do this best when our nervous systems are adaptable to the stressors around us that we can’t necessarily control. We should be able to sprint across the street but then sit down and have a relaxing and digestible lunch right after. That’s how adaptable and resilient we are.
My prayer for you today is that you will step into this motherhood transition feeling empowered and confident, knowing that you are the mom your baby needs. That you step into the role of mom with grace. You will never be perfect, and that’s what is so perfect about it. That you are allowed to change your mind, change your provider, change your course… That your body was made to grow this baby. Your body was chosen to birth this baby. And you were made to nurture and love this baby.