Upon the advice of friends who are moms, I sought to meet other women like me who were expecting their first child. I joined a few meetup.com mom groups and committed to an expecting mums lunch. It was an easy group to spot and they clocked me as one of them when I strolled up with my bump. It was a little awkward to jump start conversation but we all had pregnancy in common to help bridge the differences of experience, nationality, age and what not. I got out of my comfort zone of staying home and surfing the Internet and forced myself to engage in pregnant life and life in general.
Since that lunch in December, “The Bumps” group has shrunken and grown with some mums giving birth and other expecting moms joining the group. A few of us are due within three weeks of each other and all live in the East Coast area of Singapore. These women have become my friends and sounding boards, sharing what we’re feeling, buying and doing to prepare for baby. I know I’m not alone in this experience and I accepted the gift of being part of this community of mothers and all mothers who have come before me.
While in my denial stage, I didn’t want to learn about labor and planned to simply show up at the hospital and wing it. However once I began opening up to my mom friends in the U.S. and The Bumps group, I was introduced to new ideas like a birth plan, hypnobirthing and working with a doula. My possibilities expanded as did my consciousness and I began to be proactive about bringing baby into this world. I was able to recognize my privilege to be able to carry a child and made a new choice to work toward our ideal birthing experience.
Eric and I started a hypnobirthing class in January and in six weeks, we learned about the power of choosing peace and calm to birth our baby. We made time to talk about our fears and release them, practice meditation and visualization and bond as a family. We had a shift in consciousness about parenting that strengthened our marriage, which was the opposite of my fear that the baby would hurt our intimacy.
We hired a doula and wrote down our intentions in a birth plan. We switched doctors and hospitals at 36 weeks pregnant in order to find healthcare providers that supported our birth preferences. We got over being polite and deferring to authority and instead made decisions based on what we knew to be best for our family. We empowered ourselves with knowledge and became active parents with the same goal.
By tapping into the spiritual side of this experience, I’ve been able to curb negative feelings and talk about myself as I grow larger and feel the natural aches of pregnancy. Instead of resisting, I accept these experiences and am physically and mentally able to cope much better. I breath through cramps, do stretches during the night when I awake every two hours and when my feet get swollen, I go to the pool and walk up and down to get my blood flowing. I indulge in desserts with a guilt-free smile and remind myself to appreciate the magnificence of my body’s ability to do this.I’ve come to realize all my life dilemmas boil down to either choosing fear or love. When I chose to be open to pregnancy and parenthood, I chose to actively love myself, my baby and my baby’s daddy. I gained friends, community and rediscovered my power as a human being. I’m grateful for this time in our lives instead of resentful that I don’t have my previous life. Life is change and embracing it has made all the difference in my well being.
As I wait for Baby Ho to come, I try to be patient. Yes, I’d like to meet this bump already but I am taking advantage of this time to squeeze in lunches with friends and dates with my husband. Instead of longing for NY or worrying about life with a newborn, I am solidly here in my life as a nearly 40 week pregnant woman. I am healthy, loved and ready for what’s next.
I’ll leave it up to Ciara to sum it up. This bump’s got plenty of reasons to dance.