(us 6 before we all scattered around the country)
When I was pregnant with my son we had just moved to LA from NYC. My friends and in laws on the east coast and my family on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In this completely different environment and during a massive life transition I found a new kind of family. I found them in my prenatal yoga classes.
Prenatal yoga was the anchor that grounded me, the compass that guided me and the light that carried me through my pregnancy and into motherhood. It enabled me to have the birth I wanted and it was the catalyst to my new calling. It was also where I made deep and meaningful friendships. There is something unbreakable about bonding together during this time, seeing bumps become babies, seeing each other through the sleepless nights, the highs, the frustrations, husbands away a lot, feeling the way back towards feeling ‘normal’ again. The feelings of love towards each others babies and seeing my son develop his first peer relationships in an almost sibling way. It is strong stuff.
Life, as it has a way of doing, moves on. Friends move away geographically, circumstances change. You forget the intense day to day survival of being new moms together. Caught up in your new life days, even weeks go by and you find you haven’t spoken to the friends that were once integral to your emotional and mental survival.
Then, as life has a way of doing, you are all drawn together again. The 3 of us, Jackie, Lindsay and myself.
Jackie birthed her second baby 2 days ago. Her first birth was the kind where you are utterly thankful for hospitals, surgery and top notch doctors, a birth that truly is a medical event, where lives are saved. So for her second birth all medical hands were on deck to ensure that history didn’t repeat itself.
You realize how deep the rivers run when despite the miles between you, your friend is once again in your thoughts daily, multiple times for weeks. On the morning of Jackie’s second birth, practically at the exact time she was going into the operating theatre Lindsay and I virtually held hands and meditated Jackie’s safe mantra together. Me in a Starbucks in Brooklyn and Lindsay in bed just woken up in Northern Cali. Sending the power of love, of sisterhood, of motherhood, of friendship….
Awaiting news I went to teach my Mommy and Me and Prenatal Yoga classes. We chanted for Jackie, she didn’t know it, my mama students didn’t know her but we were united as mothers helping another mother. At the end of class there on my phone was a photo of Jackie and her new son, happy, healthy and together on the outside. A new life in the world, next came a photo of her first son, meeting his new brother in his moms arms. She had done it.
This is what being a human being is all about, love, compassion and unity…that and sleep! that’s where, during the all over the night wake ups, having friends and family in different time zones comes in VERY handy!
When I teach I hope to guide mothers in finding their voice, in feeling empowered, valued, in healing from birth or preparing for it. To provide a sanctuary during a really overwhelming time to just let it all out. I also hope to bring mothers together. In a culture that could and should do a whole lot better on the maternal care front your pregnant posse can be an invaluable, unbreakable life line.
(my son, and my sons from other mums!)