Truth be told: I cannot reach down to both my feet with both my hands any longer, but I can manage to type still, pushing those hands past a rather huge bulging belly by now. 40 weeks pregnant. Crazy business! And what a journey it is, and has been. Each day might be the day; the day our little #babytraveller decides to come forth and join us on the outside. Many people have filled me with rather different, sometimes encouraging, sometimes disturbing birth and toddler stories … but thanks to a great network of people, practices and tools, I have managed to keep my calm throughout this entire journey of pregnancy.
Only once, during our wedding ceremony, mummy and little baby inside have not been able to keep their cool.
Wedding … What. You still got married now?!
Well yes. We did. Admittedly, it’s quite the thing to get married at 38 weeks pregnant, but we pulled it off happily and easily! Why and how we decided to get married, is another fun story I’m sharing with you here. Despite being flooded by happiness hormones (or maybe because of it), I must say I would not have said YES if it wasn’t what I’m feeling towards my lovely man Georg each and every day. Yes, my darling, I very much like to share my life with you, build a lifetime of memories, journeys, adventures, everyday life and personal development. Very happy it’s you by my side, my lovely lovely man.
So here are nine tips “for the ride” which may, after all, also help those not pregnant among you for better enjoyment during everyday life.
Let’s start with …
A as in Acupuncture. Ever since my grandmother escaped an operation at the age of 80 because “the Chinese doctor has successfully worked her sciatic nerve”, I have taken great interest in this ancient practice from the East. When a friend told me about pre-birth acupuncture (which, by the way, is also available for those wishing to have children, as well as for nearly all kinds of medical conditions), I immediately called her doctor. She has since been sending me on a wonderfully relaxing trip every time for a few weeks now, including good moments of conversation about nutrition, everyday life, lifestyle and attitude before and after birth. A rather wonderful experience I can truly recommend.
B as in “Babymoon”. I’ve loved my #babymoon experiences, as these blog posts written and shared over the past few months can testify. Babymoon derives from “baby” and “honeymoon” and generally refers to a travel time all young parents-to-be should enjoy (best lived in a specialised wellness hotel, such as this one!) ahead of baby’s arrival. As all parents-to-be, we have no clue really just how everything is about to change, we are only sure that it will. Halleluja!
F as in Female Power. As women, we have to stick together – no matter if it’s over business, during our travels, in confirming and encouraging each other’s life models, or during pregnancy, birth and child-rearing. I cannot say enough just how much it has helped me to be surrounded by truly inspiring and supportive women during the past few months, women who have encouraged me with all their knowledge, wisdom and experiences. Friends with babies or up to three (!) children themselves, midwife, yoga teacher, even comments from friends living abroad: Women networks are so important, especially during this precious, emotional and highly sensitive time in our lives.
K as in Kimoodo. This practice, which comes from Korea and is closely related to Chinese Tai Chi, inspired me a lot thanks to its powerful breathing and relaxation techniques. “Chi”, or the flow of energy, is what Kimoodo is all about. During each session, we practice a particular breathing meditation, collect energy from above, below and around us (the “three flows of energy”), and train aligning our mobility and breathing as expressed through nine “animal forms”. I love it, and have kept up my practice until 40 weeks pregnant. Our master, Dr. Frank Lichtenberg, who like my dear husband Georg wears the black belt in Taekwondo, teaches us in a very sensitive, encouraging and attentive manner (thank you, Frank!). Lovely to keep up that feeling of still being able to move, despite growing a rather big belly!
P as in Partnership. Not without my man, I thought to myself more than once during these past nine months. There’s a lot of patience, understanding and support to be asked from your loved ones in this particularly emotional whirlwind situation that is pregnancy – and Georg has always been able to provide for this kind of sweet support. It is lovely and touching to see how pending fatherhood can stimulate a man, too, in ways more prone to men: Georg could be seen (re)doing many things around the house, such as building baby and living rooms inside, maintaining work around the garden, together with this grandpa, or all by himself. I’m rather proud of you, my sweet man!
Thank you my darling, for showing me how beautiful partnership can be on our shared transition to parenthood. I already look forward to sharing many more adventures and experiences of this kind with you!
P as in Pregnancy Yoga. A true gem among all practices pre-birth, as yoga allows for a wonderful range of movement, stretching, and breathing experienced despite (or because) of that growing belly. My recommendation would be to look for a yoga studio such as our Viennese “Little Yoga Room” with its intimate atmosphere and open encouragement to sharing each others’ pregnancy experiences. After all, it might be one of the only opportunities to meet other pregnant women, at the very same moment in time, and this realisation can give you a lot of strength and confidence. Add to it, the many years of knowledge our yoga teacher brought with her as a mother and grandmother herself, who also offers post-natal yoga together with your baby: Astrid, I’m already looking forward to coming back to class with our little one in just a few weeks’ time!
Check out this little video about our yoga practice where baby bump and me are featured, too:
S as in Shiatsu. Besides yoga and Kimoodo, I have also loved Shiatsu during pregnancy. Shiatsu works along the body meridians and helps to let energy flow thanks to stretching exercises done by the Shiatsu master. Especially beneficial at a time when all organs, muscles and bones get “under tension” due to the growing baby inside: Shiatsu has certainly helped me from experiencing annoying tension and pain, especially in the last few months of pregnancy. Thanks to my master Sigi, who was the only man who decided to take the additional course “baby and pregnancy Shiatsu“, I have been able to relax and perhaps save myself a visit to the osteopath, too. “Shiatsu is a journey and you define its destination“, that’s his motto – truly worthwhile!
T as in Taekwondo. So … martial arts and pregnancy?! Yes, that is also possible. To a certain extent, of course. It has to be said that I have already trained extensively at the beginning of my pregnancy and before, also passing my blue belt exam at 16 weeks pregnant without any issues. I simply really enjoy this sport, also because of the good atmosphere in our local club, which has always welcomed Georg and me like family. Little by little, I of course took a break from Taekwondo during my fifth and sixth month of pregnancy (when air was running out and jumping became a no-go, too), leaving me to further my yoga and Kimoodo practices. I do, however, believe that movement is essential, also during late pregnancy, and advocate for a healthy balance that will also benefit baby.
T as in Trust. And confidence. The last words of a magic formula, which to me means following your intuition and gut feelings at all times. Of course doubts, sleepless nights and overwhelming emotions can occur at any one time during the ecstatic ride that is pregnancy. The question is how we deal with it – also and especially for the sake of our unborn baby. Better to ultimately listen to yourself than others. Less is more (including advice). No stress – the baby feels everything. Peace and harmony as the highest premise. Work less, relax more. And trust that a new everyday life will eventually show itself, and settle in for you, including family life, work, and everything else. Patience is a virtue … really and truly.
Well, welcome, little #babytraveller. We are so looking forward to having you here with us.