We talk a lot in self development circles about being present in the moment. Pregnancy has brought me into my body and into the present moment in ways I never thought about before. For one thing, I have a little being who will literally kick me occasionally to bring me back to paying attention to my body. That is a wonderous and startling and strange experience, certainly. And every movement brings me right to where I am and feeling my body. (My bladder also gets my attention fairly often, but that's another story...)
When I cook, I think more consciously about what I'm eating and I put more thought and love into it because it's for my little one. I'm taking self-care more seriously and trying to stay in optimum health so I can have a home birth. I'm drinking the amount of water I know I should, when before I sometimes missed. I have been lucky not to get too many bad side effects- no crazy cravings, not much heartburn, etc. But when I do get a pain or ache, I'm intensely aware of it so that I can make sure nothing is wrong.
I'm paying more attention to my body's cues. When I'm tired, I rest. When I'm hungry, I eat. I often have to move and stretch, so I'm getting up from my desk more often and sitting on a yoga ball at my desk sometimes. These all bring my attention back into my body. I'm enjoying reading and sleeping in and all the little moments to myself right now, because I know that soon those will all be different. When I bend over now to pick up something, I'm reminded that there's a little extra in my middle (although I'm very happy that my mobility is still mostly uninhibited). And I look at myself in the mirror all the time- looking for any changes or developments.
I've been taking more self portraits, to track the belly explosion, and noticed that people are so supportive about appearance to pregnant women. None of my other profile photos have elicited so many compliments and "You're glowing"s. Even when they're dimly lit and my hair is barely brushed and I am certainly not glowing. I think there's a lesson there for how we can support others- when a friend posts a photo, we should always tell them they're beautiful. Because we can always see it and they sometimes can't.
The bigger lesson, though, in all this, is that why do I have to wait until there is a baby in my body to care so much for me? Why can I nap now but not before? (Partly because the exhaustion won't let me get by without napping, but still, it's not fair to my body to push past tired.) Why am I paying attention to everything but what my body feels like right now?
I'm hoping I'll remember this, at least in glimmers, when I'm a mama, because I know mamas are the most notorious about forgetting themselves and their bodies. Maybe that's part of why we start out with these 9 months of intense presence, so we'll have something to remember when there are other beings calling out for our attention 24-7.
And I'm hoping that you'll be inspired to give yourself at least 20 minutes of paying attention to yourself today.