I used to harbour secret judgey opinions of those pregnant women. You know the ones. The kind Garfunkel and Oates sing about. The smug, glowing, gone-with-the-fairies ones.

It seemed to me that when *Jane fell pregnant 10 years ago, she became the very epitome of Mother Earth. What a joke! Especially since *Jane was my most bad-ass friend. She used to be a pill-popping party girl, drinking ‘hoer-voer’ on tap (cheap sweet bubbly, for those who don’t know) and solving all her hung-over Monday morning woes with greasy McDonald’s breakfasts and copious amounts of tar-thick coffee. We were in our mid 20’s and ne’er a healthy decision crossed her path.

Not a sprig of thyme anywhere to be seen.

The second she fell (hopelessly) pregnant, suddenly her 4am dance-floor gyrating was replaced with early to bed, early to rise sun salutations, and her 2-camel-pack-a-day cackle became a serene, tinkly laugh that seemed to chime out the words ‘Namaste’ every time she smiled knowingly with an absent minded hand patting her globing belly.

I wasn’t so much annoyed with the physical and chemical changes in *Jane as I was with her new found declaration of Smug Motherness: ‘Finding’ herself, and finding herself to be Mother Nature, none the less. She went over to the dark side faster than you can cough and say ‘CONDOM!’

But pregnancy, *Jane said, was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her. I didn’t understand, so I couldn’t let go of the fact that the once tequila-slamming night owl would look down her nose at my recount of that week’s hottest spots, over her steaming cup of boiled grass while I guzzled down the usual double-shot late, and she would smile, pityingly. PITY! At me?! I wasn’t the one who had become a pod-person. I wasn’t the one who was about to have an Alien moment come 9 months and a hypno-birthing room. I wasn’t the one who smugly laughed at my renditions of searching for love in a hopeless place while she said ‘Oh, I’m just so content now that I know what true love means’.

Ugh.

Then, 10 years on, I fell pregnant myself. Suddenly a tear in the space-time continuum opened up and I saw the light. I understood how she had changed so vastly – so quickly. I had a few first-hand experiences with Mother Nature myself, and I’m namaste’ing my way into the third trimester like a boss.

pregnantearthbw5

You may not believe me, unless you have been there yourself. Pregnancy is a ritual – a rite of passage into Motherhood – and with it comes a whole bunch of stuff that makes you feel very differently about yourself, the world, and your former life.

Your Body, the Natural Evolver

If ever there was any doubt, let me assure you: Mother Earth takes you into her clutches and you are not escaping come hell or high water till you get that baby out of you. While your brain works overtime to grasp this concept and your hormones gear up into a frenzy to get you ready for it, your body undergoes this crazy metamorphosis that has absolutely nothing to do with you. Let me repeat that. It has NOTHING to do with you. But it is all consuming.

No matter what efforts you put in, or don’t put in, that belly will expand, hips will shift, bones will separate, breasts will balloon and centre of gravity will move drastically. You will become a walking vessel who suddenly feels: If you can do this, you can do ANYTHING!

And who cares about the fatty deposits manifesting all over your morphing being? It’s all storage for the winter – aka breast milk for baba. I firmly believe that breast feeding is a super power after learning all about the automatic changes being made in my body in preparation, and the iMilk software upgrades that keep on happening once the child is here to keep him alive and thriving…all thanx to this Mighty M factory in my newly up-sized bra. It’s as organic as it gets!

It might make the non-*Jane’s uncomfortable, but I can’t help talking about it in wonder as instinct kicks in. Call it nature, call it design – I was destined to do this. It was written in the cosmos.

A Return to Herbs

We have become so accustomed to easy over-the-counter medications that hit you like a firebomb and keep you going for days, no matter what viral plague runs amok on your insides. I remember a time when 2 Sinutabs and a red-bull would see me through anything. Flu was something that I simply never got, because the second I felt a cold coming on, I would pop those Corenza C’s like smarties, top up my morning coffee breaks with MedLemon and induce a self-made coma at bedtime with Medinite to kill any bugs who dared attempt a take-over.

When you are pregnant, not only is your immune system compromised, making you more vulnerable to all those pesky germs, you can’t take anything for it. Well, almost nothing. Nothing that works, lets be honest.

I got a nasty cold last week which had me flat on my back for 6 whole days. The coughing was so rough I burst blood vessels and my head was so full of pressure I couldn’t bend over to put on a warmer pair of socks. The only comfort I found was in drinking gallons of water and spooning hot mouthfuls of a homemade ginger, honey and lemon potion that could burn the hairs off the back of your neck.

Ginger tea with honey and lemon

Ginger tea with honey and lemon

I steamed my sinuses 3 or 4 times a day with my head held vigilantly over a bowl of boiling vicks larva and a towel draped to send every pore-opening, eye burning whip of vapour right up my nose and into my stuffy brain. When last did you do that? Or should I say, when last did you feel the need to? Never since medieval times has a person been so reliant on herbal remedies, and so thankful for a bottle of eucalyptus oil and a hot bath.

Smell the Roses, and embrace s-l-o-w-l-y

I didn’t understand *Jane, my *Jane, Boomerang *Jane who used to push me to the limit from the treadmill to the nightclub. *Jane who suddenly, once pregnant, seemed to slow down to a glacial pace.

But now I get it. Standing up has become an issue. I never realized how much I used to JUMP in my every day living. Phone rings? JUMP UP and answer. Door bell? JUMP UP and open. Feel like a second glass of wine or a dollop of ice-cream after dinner? JUMP UP and hit the kitchen with bad intentions. I was literally jumping all over the place, until a little thing called ‘Round Ligament Pain’ found me. It’s something all pregnant women get in varying degrees, and feels as though you have just been shot through the abdomen when you make sudden movements. Standing up out of bed in the morning can bring on a ten-minute cramp that will have you crouched over and grimacing like you were just kicked in the groin.

I now understand all the slow walks, and the holding of belly like a security blanket. I understand deep breathing and the candle-lit stretching. The yoga and the naps. I finally understand the desire to switch hip thrusters for a lovely cat-cow pose, and sprints up and down the stairs for a nice little sit-down half way through brining all the groceries in from the car. CrossFit has been diminished to a series of squats and some upper-arm exercises, but I’m not complaining. I love this new body, this channeling capsule of ancient wisdom and maternal secrets. This connection to the Energy that is all around, in and of us. I hear Mother Earth calling, and she’s telling me to hit the snooze button…

Prenatal-Yoga

I’m sorry, *Jane, for ever judging you. Now I get it. You were never smug – or if you were, I’m just as smug right along side you.

Namaste, fellow Methren. See you all on the other side.

Pami-sign


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