Six months already and it’s hard to believe it’s going so fast… On 7 December a friend of ours from France came to stay for a week. After that she went to Orchha for another week and came back – on her return, she told me my belly had grown quite a lot bigger in two weeks… And it’s true. It’s funny how it doesn’t seem to grow much for quite a while, then one morning I wake up and “Pop!” it sticks out more…

Now it’s really round and hard, it sticks out more than my boobs, and my belly button pops out…

Health update & feeling alone with my educated approach to pregnancy

I am now in my 26th week of pregnancy. According to the doctor in Delhi I am due another ultrasound to check on that early diastolic notching thing. But I don’t know if they can check that in/near Khajuraho, I’m still taking the supplements Doctor gave me, and according to how good I feel, to how much my belly has grown, and to how much Baby moves, I assume everything is fine. I am also due a blood test about now, to check on iron, glucose, and albumin levels. This we will go and get done soon, after New Year. I also want to get my blood pressure checked although it usually always turns out perfect… It’s a bit ‘funny’ sometimes not to trust any doctor around here. I feel very alone with my ‘educated approach’ to pregnancy in Khajuraho. I have my (amazing) books, my internet resources and groups, my yoga and my breathing practices, my Reiki and my visualisations (if I can call them that way?), my inner awareness, my trust, my faith, my love! And that’s it really. I’ve had all my check-ups in different places because no good one is available here. Now I won’t travel anywhere until I go to Varanasi in about two months to wait for the birth, so what am I supposed to do, apart from trusting and having faith and being happy and positive? We will check out another place for another ultrasound, but let’s see… In the meantime, all I have is my beautiful sadhana

Well-being & Iyengar yoga

I still feel very good and healthy. I haven’t suffered from fever or even a cold (touch wood), which I attribute to yoga and breathing awareness/ relaxation, healthy fruity breakfasts and food, sound sleep, covering myself well (many Indians just don’t wear enough clothing when it’s cold!) and drinking hot water. And I have none of these ailments books talk about at 6 months of pregnancy – no heartburn or constipation, no heavy legs or swollen ankles, no problems sleeping, no backache, nothing at all! The only thing is, I sometimes feel uncomfortable around the left side of my rib cage. I think this is because I tend to shorten the left side of my trunk more than the right, but then I stretch up and it goes, or if it’s too uncomfortable I take the time to do a supine virasana or a supine baddha konasana posture on a bolster for a few minutes, and then I feel a lot better. I have read many times that the best position for sleep when pregnant is to lie down on the left side. That’s what I have always done (for years) when I’ve had a heavy meal or when I feel bloated, because it helps with digestion. So when my belly feels particularly heavy, or for a nap after food, I always lie on my left side. Usually I feel that same left-side rib cage discomfort after I wake up, but recently I noticed that placing a pillow underneath helps… Another discomfort I’ve had is feeling like my belly is too full (especially after food) or stretched out too much, around the rib cage above the baby and below the chest, I guess where my digestion organs are compressed. But this is normal, and again, the same above postures really help to get rid of the feeling completely after just 10 minutes. Ah, I’m so grateful for my wonderful Iyengar yoga! ♥

Sleep!

I do sleep more – I have a good, delightful nap almost everyday – and wow, how I enjoy it! Yesterday I slept for a whole two hours. Half-way through I woke up, but somehow I was still half-asleep, in a sort of daze. I could hear what was going on around me, but it was just impossible to move. When I woke up, another whole hour had passed! Deep, sound, beautiful sleep. I dream a lot too. Sometimes very nonsensical, really silly dreams – but I forget a lot when I wake up. Apart from sleeping more though, I feel absolutely fine, almost normal, and there are still moments when I forget I’m pregnant.

Baby moves and lying down

Baby is moving a lot now, and it’s really fun! Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, went for a pee (I pee a lot, but somehow I only pee once in a night and unlike what the books say, it doesn’t disturb my sleep!) and went back to bed. I lied on my right side, and Baby started moving a lot in the very bottom-right side of my tummy. It was really funny, surprising even, because s/he was… tickling me!! I almost had to giggle, and I certainly couldn’t sleep like that. So I lied on my back – it was a lot more comfortable, Baby no longer bothered me in that position, and I went straight to sleep. Yeah, that’s another thing I’ve read about after the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy: You’re not supposed to lie flat on your back for long times, because the weight of the baby will press on your inferior vena cava. Well, so far so good with me… Lying on my back is still very comfortable, especially when I have a pillow or bolster underneath my knees to stretch out my back. (If I lie on a side, I like to keep a pillow between my legs, too.)

Energy yoga

My aforementioned friend, Joelle, brought me another two amazing pregnancy yoga books that had been recommended to me, and which I therefore ordered and got sent to Joelle’s address so she could bring them to me (rather than trusting the unreliable Indian post). I’ve already read the first book, Martine Texier’s L’attente sacrée (“sacred awaiting”), and it’s absolutely amazing! It describes a very soft kind of yoga that gives incredible insight into the pregnant body. How to stand without arching the back too much (the trick is to turn your thighs inside out!), how to breathe abdominally through the back of your trunk and kidneys, not to blow the belly too much like a balloon, and many exercises to become more aware of all the body parts involved in birth – the pelvis, the perineum, etc. So I’ve started alternating between prenatal Iyengar yoga and Texier’s “energy” yoga… I love it. I can’t wait to read her second book, Accouchement, naissance : un chemin initiatique (“Delivery, birth: an initiatory path”)…

Vipassana, violin (or lack thereof) & Reiki

We’ve been really busy with the homestay lately. December was incredible especially, as apart from that week during which we held our marriage ceremony, we were almost always fully booked! And so it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with a full-on sadhana! And it’s OK. All I have to do really is making priorities, and without any doubt, yoga is my top priority because it is directly related to pregnancy and birth preparation…

Vipassana

Well, I never went for that Vipassana retreat I thought I would want to go. It was more a concept in my mind than a reality, because the more my pregnancy evolved the less I wanted to isolate myself in silence far away from my husband and family for ten days. The retreat was planned for mid-December, and with our marriage ceremony and all our guests at the homestay, it would have been impossible for me to go anyway. I also stopped practising Vipassana in the morning well over a month ago, because it was getting so difficult to wake up early that when I did so, instead of meditating I was just struggling not to fall asleep! Not very effective and not very pleasant. Clearly sleep was more necessary for me…

Violin

Somehow I’ve been playing less and less, gradually. I think I haven’t touched my violin for a good two weeks now… I don’t really know why and it sometimes surprises me – or rather it surprises my ego and my mind, I guess – my ego-mind complex that used to urge me to practise and make me feel bad if I didn’t. But does it matter that I practise, practise, practise? I do feel good being free from the pressure I constantly used to put on myself, and I even think sometimes it makes me a more pleasant person to be around. I know it’s only a phase; it will pass. Violin is and will always be with me. I sometimes get the chance to play – like when I play for some tourists who want to hear me play or if my student does come for class (which he does less somehow these days, perhaps because he ‘reads’ me) – and it feels really nice, but I don’t know… There are nicer things to do at the moment – being silent and aware of my changing body, lying on my back with my hands on my belly to feel Baby moving, listening to Indian classical music while dancing mildly/rocking Baby, generally listening to my heart and body rather than to my mind-ego complex – and accepting that I don’t feel like playing. Letting go. Or practising yoga while listening to that chanting Tibetan lama (which funnily enough was the very first CD I ever bought in India back in 2005, and which still accompanies me).

Most recently, doing some embroidery. Working on the homestay, too, or preparing my English classes… Sometimes I think it also goes along with the fact that I’m starting to accept the new life that is upon me. I’ve always associated my Indian violin experience – my obsession of wanting to be a professional violinist (and it’s amazing to phrase this, I guess) – with a kind of independent, rebellious, perhaps selfish (?) kind of life. I don’t know if it makes sense, and I’m not sure how to put it. Perhaps I was trying too hard to earn my life with the Indian violin ‘one day’. Trying too hard to follow that dream of being a musician, or maybe following it in the wrong direction (?) – I don’t know. But who cares if I make money with music, as long as I play music whenever I feel like it, whenever my heart calls for it? Today we as a family make money (finally!) through the homestay, and I do enjoy it. It’s a simple, healthy life, it’s nice for the time being, and it’s probably more viable in the life I’m about to embark upon right now. I also make money with the English classes (may it last), and I enjoy that, too. Yes, I think not playing violin and being at peace with it is also a good thing for what is upon me, at least for the first few years maybe, because I will have to be selflessly present for my baby – something I would not have accepted before… Oh, but pregnancy definitely changes you; it makes you more acceptant of many things, more peaceful in many ways, and I do see and like it.

Reiki

No vipassana, hardly any violin, but there is still some Reiki. Reiki really is a wonderful, precious skill to have. Recently, I’ve been integrating it to my yoga and relaxation practice. A little bit here and there whenever I feel like it. Warmth, energy, love to my belly/baby through my hands… And it’s quite magical really.

Yes, pregnancy definitely is a special, privileged time in one’s life. A time of awareness, a time of presence, to be lived fully, in the moment…

Read more: Month seven, urine & blood check, vaccination dilemma and more…

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