During the pregnancy of my second baby, nourishing and fortifying my deeper, internal self, and thus, my baby, paralleled in importance to physical self-care (mostly in the form of running, walking and yoga). Creating a connection through songs, prayers and meditations were the platforms for my spiritual pregnancy practice.
They helped me manage the deep, soul-stirring aspects of pregnancy, acted as a stronghold while navigating through the toughest of moments, uplifted, summoned hope, instilled faith and trust and diminished fear as I approached the impeding, difficult, exhilarating, enduring experience of labor.
Because I was having a home birth, I had a wonderful time strategically placing framed prayers or hanging beads throughout the house to remind me of the support I have from above and the love of other mothers and friends. I knew that I could potentially be in multiple rooms and locations (my bedroom, Avie and the new baby's room, the living room where the birthing tub would be set up), so I left no corner out of the labor decor mission!
Here I give you my Songs, Prayers and Meditations for Pregnancy.
I framed this proverb on my bedroom wall where I saw it many times during the day - when I dressed, woke up and went to bed, and even as I lie in bed. The part about laughing without fear of the future eased anxieties about birth. Fear can overcome us, paralyze us, even, but with the word of God to shower forth love, fear did not stand a chance!
One of my best friends, Andrea, wrote the following fear release exercise in a card for the New Moon Baby Blessing. It's from the Talk Birth blog. Eric, Avie and I read it together as part of our nightly prayers before bed.
"There goes all fear you hold about giving birth. The birth will be perfect.
There goes all fear you hold about healing. You will heal beautifully.
There goes all fear you hold about not being a good mother. You will be enough.
There goes all fear of never being creative again. You have a deep well of creativity within your soul.
There goes the deepest, most private fears you have about giving birth. You will be enough.
You will be enough. You are strong enough."
Thank you, Andrea!
4. "Guru, Guru, Wahe, Guru, Guru, Ram Daas, Guru" - this is a Kundalini Chakra Mantra Chant that I sang aloud while seated in morning mediation, recited to myself as I lie in bed before falling asleep, or conjured if my thoughts became scattered during the day. In essence, I use this chant to focus and come return to my center.
6. The Catholic Rosary - Pictured are peace prayer beads given to me by my good friend Katie - they were her sister's, also a good friend, from Medjugorje, a holy site in Bosnia-Herzegovina where apparitions of Mary appear to send messages of love and light. They are similar in nature to the traditional Catholic rosary beads, which I held in my robe (for the little bit of time that I wore it!) during labor. Furthermore, I prayed the rosary on my long walks throughout pregnancy. Mary, the Mother of God, is the ultimate mother figure, in my opinion. She is whom I seek to guide me as a mother. Connecting with her via the recitation of the "Hail Mary" brings forth my innate mothering instincts and transpired my intention toward a simple, natural birth. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love Mary - I ordered an acrylic print of her holding rosary beads and surrounded by the words of the "Hail Mary" and hung it on the wall that I face while practicing yoga and where the birthing tub would be nearest. Rosary beads, of which I own too many to count, made their way in all rooms. They served to protect me and keep me humble throughout pregnancy and motherhood. Did I say I love Mary, and the "Hail Mary?" This is my go-to for pregnancy!!! And life! OK... next one...
There you have it. Now, tap into your spirit and get singing, praying and meditating! It's the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. Much love,