Pregnancy is a rite of *passage in itself. A grueling, yet exciting time filled with more changes to my body than I ever experienced as a confused adolescent. It’s something even the most supportive and loving of men will never comprehend. It’s something I don’t fully grasp — and I’m experiencing it.
As I walk through the passages of life, I’m growing to appreciate gatherings of women supporting other women. We don’t need to walk through these passages alone. They are odd concoctions of intensity, normalcy, adventure, and loss of a previous version of ourselves.
As a woman, who better to walk through these doors with then other women; to support those who haven’t walked these new hallways yet, and to trust the hand in front of us to those who have?
I have many encouraging women in my life — near and far — and the older I get, the more I appreciate the power in these relationships, and the balm to a weary soul their wise words can be. And the less I feel the need to be around those who have more of an interest in competing than upholding.
For those women walking through the passage of pregnancy who need a little boost today, below are some healing words from women I’d love to meet someday. Women that I feel have a wise inner strength; that I’d like to know, shake their hands, and say thank you.
Mireille Guiliano reminds me to be bien dans sa peau — comfortable in one’s skin. Aviva Romm created affirmations I return to consistently throughout this process that make me feel lighter each time I read them. And Ina May Gaskin helps me to readjust how I think about my body. I pass on these love notes to you:
Love Notes to Your Body
Knowing thyself is having common sense, a zest for life and being comfortable in your own skin — French Women Don’t Get Facelifts by Mireille Guiliano
“Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” — Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
“You can grow joyously through this rite of pregnancy, becoming stronger and more powerful in the process.” —The Natural Pregnancy Book
“Don’t resent your body for its physical needs — if you need to rest and not workout, that’s ok.”— The Natural Pregnancy Book
Love Notes to Your Thoughts
“Shift your attention to the positive, without denying your concerns, you can nurture health and enthusiasm.” —The Natural Pregnancy Book
“Addressing fears and anxieties are healthy — they allow creative solving. After you’ve done all you can do, then let go.” —The Natural Pregnancy Book
Love Notes to Your Soul and Creative Genius
“How do you like to be nourished with beauty, and what kindles your soul?” —The Natural Pregnancy Book
“Do whatever nourishes your sense of strength and brings you closer to your true self — where you feel a sense of spirit beyond your mundane self and where you feel strongly attuned to your body.” —The Natural Pregnancy Book
“Nourish that place of creativity and aliveness often, and it will be alive for you when you birth as well as when your kids are little and you need to find your inner resources of energy and patience.” —The Natural Pregnancy Book
from The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition and Other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm
- I am a strong and capable woman
- My body knows exactly how to nourish my baby
- I have enough love to share
- I give myself this right to accept love and nourishment from others
- My baby is healthy and beautiful
- I love my pregnant body
- I will let labor and birth be its own unique experience
- I embrace the concept of healthy pain
- I trust my ability to give birth with strength and power
Love Notes from Me to You
- You are doing great
- Cry if you need to — it’s OK
- Buy the clothes you feel good in
- Try to be gentle with yourself
- Take it slow if you need to — fast will be an option one day soon
- Let people love you
- Be willing to put yourself and your baby first right now
- Breathe deeply
- Appreciate the little things amid your discomfort — the sun is still there amid shadows
- No matter how isolated, alone or lonely you feel, there is someone, somewhere waiting for the opportunity to love on you, listen, and support you.
May you feel loved, strong, and capable today — and peu á peu (little by little) embrace this passage of transformation.
*The idea of passages of momentous times in a woman's life was passed on to me by a recent conversation with a friend's friend that her midwife passed on to her, and I now pass on to you. Rites of passages have existed for centuries, and I was grateful for the reminder.