Yep. I’ve enrolled myself in “pregnancy camp”.
Bet you didn’t know it existed?
I discovered it by dumb luck (or was it fate? Divine intervention?) when I was on the internet searching for prenatal yoga classes.
Turns out, I discovered what I would describe as a *pregnancy collective*.
They offer all sorts of things. There are 2 types of prenatal yoga (regular and the “birth prep” intense class). There’s 2 varieties of in-depth birth prep courses for couples. You can hook up with a doula. And there’s also counseling**.
I freaked out around 10 weeks pregnant, because I felt alone, overwhelmed, and unprepared for what I was experiencing and what was to come. I decided I wanted to see this counselor, knowing that she (as a seasoned doula and pre-post birth counselor) would understand my issues with being pregnant after RPL/IF. I also suffer from chronic illness, for which I must take medication during pregnancy/breastfeeding/etc. and I wanted to talk about that too because I’m not like other moms–I have to factor my disease and it’s implications into my decisions about birth and mothering. It sucks to have this burden.
As it was, I’ve also opened up to her about my family issues, because I think about them a lot now that I’m adding to my own family. I think about Mr. MLACS’s family issues too. I want to protect my baby from all this dysfunction. I’m sad that I don’t have more to offer her in the way of family–both of our fathers are alive but have turned their backs on us to make new lives with other women. My Mom has passed. His Mom is alive, and a good woman, but she can be pushy and doesn’t really respect my wishes (she won’t address me directly, she’ll just go behind my back & do as she pleases) which now bothers me because I don’t want her undermining me with our kid.
I think counseling is helpful, even if I just go in there and ramble without anything pointed to discuss. And my counselor makes helpful suggestions.
And last night I started the 6 week intense “birth prep” prenatal yoga class. It’s 2 hours long. The first hour is discussion. The second hour is yoga and meditation.
We all sat in a circle on our yoga mats with bolsters, pillows and blankets for comfort and to accommodate various stages of pregnancy. It felt very cozy. You’ll be proud: I volunteered to be the first to introduce myself. I was supposed to say what was joyous about pregnancy and what is difficult. I explained that I had 2 early losses and used ART to get pregnant this time, so I’m grateful/joyous just to be pregnant. And I said my difficulty is: the fear of losing it (the pregnancy). I didn’t cry, but I felt wobbly admitting it.
Most of the other women were “fertiles”–one got pregnant on her honeymoon. It would be easy to hate her, except she cried when she said what she hoped to get from the class: she’s far from home and family, and looking for support and friends. I can imagine being young, newly married, barely employed, and pregnant–that is tough. Another woman also chimed in that she had used ART to conceive, and I was glad I had mentioned it–maybe doing so made her feel better about it.
The yoga was great and I learned stuff–the teacher/counselor talked about how standing up and leaning forward or squatting opens up your pelvis, whereas laying on your back actually makes it harder to give birth. Makes sense. Every little piece of information makes me feel more confident and comfortable.
I hope I make some friends. I’m open to it. Even if they are mostly “fertiles”, I could see during introductions that we all face our own challenges. I almost felt luckier than them–through RPL/IF I have grown as a person and made so many dear friends (you ladies). I wouldn’t wish RPL/IF on anyone, but I’m proud of my battle scars. And I love you guys.