by Ellyn S. Hutton BSN, RN, LMT, ERYT, Teaching Pregnancy Yoga for 20 years
“I felt the silky translucent fluid caressing my nimble infant body, the rhythm of my mom’s heart beat keeping time. Then I heard the crying… my mom crying…. I felt it deep in my soul, tears laced with fear, fatigue, abandonment. Wait for me mom, I will bring you happiness, I promise…”
I was as unprepared as the next person to find myself reliving my womb experience. Racked with a relentless headache, I had asked a local energy worker to help me through Reiki, a healing touch using ancient symbols and connection to Source. Instead, he with his background in psychology asked me to trace my pain and there I was, sobbing with and for my mom.
Just to cut to the quick, my mom is one of the best people I know. She is loving and kind, and actually joyful. Finding the silver lining in most anything from hanging the clothes on the line to cleaning the house, a trait, I admit, was not passed down to me. I am a happy person, but housework does not give me the same rush!
Nevertheless, my mom had a very hard time adjusting to being pregnant with me, her 3rd pregnancy in 3 years. She told me she cried throughout most of her pregnancy and I arrived very fussy, upchucking most of my intake for about a year. Her mother was not much help as she and dad were transplants from central Pennsylvania. Relatives were not available to help the growing brood.
“Wow!” my energy worker, psychologist exclaimed. “How interesting that you are helping women have better pregnancy experiences through your work with massage and yoga.”
I often wondered what gave me such a love of working with pregnant women. I had not been gifted with a child of my own, so I was somewhat of a voyeur peaking into the lives of the women I met through my work. Could I be of help, having not experienced labor myself? This question often plagued me, but the work continued in spite of my doubts.
Many of us may feel lost, overwhelmed, and even lonely as we try to navigate through life and accept our responsibilities. Pregnancy is supposed to be joyful and radiant, and of course, often times it is and they are. But what if we fall short of the expected enthusiasm, or we simply don’t feel good?
In this tech-savvy world, we can often find ourselves connecting at a surface level, but still very disconnected intimately. Like my mom, women may feel quite sad and scared in their pregnancies. They are seeking a sisterhood of motherhood that is sustaining and supportive, only to find a third party option, a poor substitute that disappears with a mere click of a finger.
The village is essential as we try to cope and adjust with life’s issues and welcome our new little ones in this fast paced ever-changing world. I believe we need supportive relationships now more than ever due to the accelerated demands of life.
These deep sought after relationships foster my calm. In moms to be, this serenity filters down to the little one and reflects in the heartbeat of all humanity.
If you are feeling lost, afraid, or even uplifted and joyful, seek out a sharing community. Beyond professional therapists, there are mom’s clubs, support groups, and prenatal yoga classes that allow for sharing, comparing, learning, laughing, and sometimes long lasting friendships for both mom and baby.
We are parenting the future of our world… together. Reveal your joys and fears. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sharing tears is therapeutic too! We are the village and we can make it the best village ever, letting it thrive with acceptance and love. Let us be role models for this new generation, because, as you know, our babies are listening.