3-6 am. The ambrosial hours. The hours of the day when the veil between what is seen and unseen is lifted.
For expectant mothers, this is the time when it is easiest to communicate with the little soul inside.
With my first little one, I used the moments when I was awake at this time to chant softly or do a meditation. I felt my life was slower in many ways back then. Today after lying awake in bed and just being and feeling for a while, I decided to get up and write.
Since I can't seem to remember basically anything these days, I reached out to a few mommas recently and asked them if the last trimester of pregnancy is like this- arising from sleep almost every day, wide awake at 4am with no desire to return to bed. One mom responded, "Aw, Pema, you have pregnancy anxiety" and went on to give me some advice on how to sleep better or, at the very least, feel more relaxed. I didn't realize until tonight that I actually do have some anxiety about my pregnancy and our new baby. I hadn't thought it would be a "thing" this time around and now I see it is.
When I woke up from my sleep and stayed in bed rubbing my belly and taking deep breaths, I thought a lot about how sleep is going to work. My daughter (who needs a considerable amount of room when she sleeps as she takes about 500 different positions in all four directions all night), sleeps in a full sized bed that we placed on the floor next to our bed. But every day between 4 and 7am, she sleepily- and so adorably- climbs into our bed and stays there until we all get up. So, with a new baby in our bed already, where is she going to sleep? Is she going to wake up the baby? Is she going to be annoyed at the baby being there? Are we going to even fit? I decided to let that all go and figure it out when we get there. But then...
The thoughts about being a good mother came flooding back. I thought this was over with the first one because since you're already being whatever mother you already are every day, the fear of being or not being a good one would be a moot point. I began to think about the journal that I started when our first was born and how we wrote so much more to her than we have to this baby. I thought about how I used to do more breathing and meditation with my first. And on the other hand, I thought about how much more willing and able to open up to a child this time around. How much wiser I am in ways of not only sustaining a new life but being a constant co-creator in the flourishing of his or her soul. While the acknowledgement of this growth makes me happy and satisfied, it also makes me feel a bit sad.
I resisted being a mother for a long time after my first was born. I did not only not accept the complete life change, I very much denied it inside. I cried and cried and cried for what seemed like forever and honestly didn't level out until she was well over a year old. I don't say "I started feeling like myself again until she was well over a year old" because I understand now that that was never going to happen. First of all, who is "myself" and second of all there is no going back in life and especially never in parenthood. It took a while to be okay with that and to start seeing it as a true blessing.
So now here I am, in a better place to mother so I feel my first may have gotten jipped. Because not only did I do a lot of "accepting" of the changes, I began to embrace them completely. "I am a mother" became "I am going to be a wonderful mother to my child" so I took the steps I felt were necessary to do so. I sought out counseling. I did energy work. I sat in circles with moms for wisdom and support. I took on new hobbies so that I wasn't just MOM. And when I felt strong enough, I started dance classes again. And even further, I began to read books about early childhood development so as to know how to fully support children in all their stages of growth, help them maintain their health and keep their innocence and creativity ever alive. I've even entertained the thought of becoming a Waldorf teacher. All things I never thought I would enjoy and appreciate as deeply as I am.
So, I get a little teary when I think about the guinea pig parenting that went on with my first little one. Especially in the first year. I would have done so many things differently already. Even saying that though, takes me out of the guilt immediately, because what else do we do as human beings but change and grow? Even more exponentially so as parents. So, there was really no way I could have been anyone else to her than who I was and no way I can be anyone else to this new little soul coming to us than who I am now.
Through all the thoughts and the changes, one thing stays the same... I always ask Goddess for more insight for myself, more love to give my family and more wisdom to grow into a fuller expression of divine aliveness every day.