I'm expecting the birth of my daughter shortly; it could be any day now. As the time draws near to her arrival, I'm trying to settle into the immensity of what has happened and what is going to happen. I'll be walking (waddling) down the street, passing moms and dads and their babes, and I think to myself, I'm going to have one of THOSE soon. It is so overwhelming, and exciting, and OVERWHELMING!
Throughout my pregnancy, the question I keep coming back to is: Will I be a good mother? All of my doubts, insecurities, and fears have risen to the surface in full force over the past nine months. Am I ready, can I do this, will she be healthy, and will I know how to provide her with love, comfort, security, and stability? Have I done enough work on myself to overcome the patterns and belief systems passed down through my family? Will we have enough money, is our apartment going to be big enough? ... The list can go on and on and on.
During the first three months of my pregnancy, I was still very much in my old patterns, living on adrenaline (fear) fuelled by caffeine and nicotine, using work and everything else to distract me from what was happening. I definitely was not in my body, and I certainly was not connected to the life growing inside of me. But I believe that my daughter was already becoming my saviour then, even though she hadn't yet entered this world. It became harder and harder to ignore what was happening, and my world came crashing down. Or so I thought.
Just before the fourth month of my pregnancy, it became unavoidable: I knew I had to make changes. I felt like I was breaking down, and yet I had a level of clarity and acceptance about the changes I needed to make that I never had access to in the past. I was in a whole pattern of existence that was not sustainable and I had to let EVERYTHING go. For me, my EVERYTHING was letting go of the career I had been at for close to nine years. I had to stop the pattern of fear, let go of the stimulants, and let my whole being come down to earth and get grounded. It was about letting go of my need to control everything, about feeling responsible for others, and ultimately it meant I had to have faith and believe in something bigger than me.
With the love and support from my husband and the guidance from someone I consider to be my spiritual mentor and friend, I was able to let go. I resigned from my career, and after my last day I allowed myself to rest, walk slowly, and do whatever I needed to do for as long as I needed to do it so I could let go of my addictions to stimulants and the pattern of fear. I cocooned myself with people on a similar journey as me while attending training with my spiritual mentor. Over the course of this training, I started to tune into my body, my pregnancy, my baby, our path. I was coming to understand what it really meant to let go, to have faith, to believe in LOVE as the energy of the universe — not fear.
It felt so amazing to be able to connect to this little being inside of me. I know she has chosen me, she already loves me, and it’s been her directing me to make the changes I needed to make.
By letting go, slowing down, and opening my eyes, I have been shown I will be taken care of. By letting go of the work I had been doing as an administrator, I was instantly given opportunities to explore creative avenues and sides of myself I hadn't really given time to before. I have been leading workshops on addiction and healing, seeing Reiki clients, and teaching more yoga classes.
As I moved into the middle of my third trimester, I was brought face to face with another piece of my life that was not working and had been ongoing for some time. My relationship with my mother has always been quite challenging; we have never been close, even though we have tried at times. All of my immediate family members, including me, are addicts and/or alcoholics. We also have a lot of sobriety, yet sobriety does not necessarily mean emotional wellbeing. In spite of our sobriety, my relationship with my mother was more difficult and upsetting than it has ever been in the past. It became very apparent that I needed to cut all ties with her and release myself from any guilt I may feel in doing so. Making this decision came easily in the height of my anger, and now with some distance I realize I needed to be that angry to make this choice. In time I can re-evaluate, but for now my focus needs to be on my daughter and myself. I would like to be able to come to a place of compassion toward my mother, which means not taking her actions or inactions personally. It is a work-in-progress.
I have always envied those who had a relationship with their mother, which I desired. Yet I have been provided with many strong, loving, nurturing, and caring women mentors, and at this time in my life, when I am entering into motherhood myself, I needed to realize I AM MOTHER. It's time to stop looking outside of myself and to nurture these qualities within me, for myself and more importantly for my unborn daughter.
Not only has my pregnancy been a lesson in letting go of my patterns of fear, but it has also been the lesson I needed to let go of my desire to be responsible for others. I have taken on the role as mother and caretaker in whatever I do with my family, in my career, and in past intimate relationships. I shoulder the responsibility, I initiate the action for change, but in the end it was never mine to take on. It often left me feeling frustrated and resentful, but my ego liked the attention: it made me feel important, and in my family, to be needed meant to be loved. In the past few months I had no choice but to let go of feeling responsible for others because I needed to really take care of myself and get healthy for me and my daughter. My mothering has often been misdirected, which is why it’s no wonder I needed to fuel myself with stimulants to do it. In redirecting my energy toward the wellbeing of my daughter and myself, I am aligning this energy to its rightful place, and therefore my old patterns will no longer be necessary.
Now with what seems like only days left before her arrival, I am looking back at my pregnancy and feeling grateful for every step along the way. It's all been in preparation for my labour, her birth, and our life together. I believe my first step along this path began more than ten years ago when I decided to get sober, which was followed by thousands and thousands of other steps to keep me moving toward where I am today. I no longer have to live in my old patterns; I get to be fully present for myself, for my daughter, for my husband, and for our family.