Do nothing extra

For the past several months of this pregnancy, I have made a true effort to attend yoga classes regularly. Some are just your regular old yoga sessions and others have a prenatal focus. In the prenatal yoga classes, a phrase that keeps coming up is, "Do nothing extra."

It is meant to have you focus on your breath, be in the moment, listen to what your body needs and... you guessed it, do nothing extra. Apparently it is a main part of Tai Chi philosophy as a means to help you become "one with the earth". It is also mentioned with some frequency in my favorite childbirth preparation book.

Today I am one month away from my due date. We still have so much to do. I have not one piece of newborn clothing washed--aside from new items we've received, everything else remains in storage. The nursery is a complete and total disaster area. There are stacks of things that must be sorted, cleaned, stored and given away. I have a food processor filled with two-day-old basil from the garden, still waiting to be made into pesto. The laundry is piling up and the refrigerator is bursting with ingredients that will go bad if not soon transformed into meals... The list could go on and on.

Aside from our many to-do's, my two-year-old craves more and more of our attention, as I'm sure she senses the anxiety of what is to come. Her fountain of energy sometimes makes me feel like I'm drowning and can barely come up for a breath. Today especially, with tiny baby feet planted firmly in my lungs, I am finding it difficult just to get enough air.

At this stage of my pregnancy with Addie, we were so much more prepared. We had most of what we needed and it was all set up far in advance. I'm sure we still have all of those new baby things, but where are they? Now I am staring the future of having two kids right in the face and I'm sure I look like a deer in headlights.

Then I try and pause, take as deep of a breath as I can and remind myself of that tiny little phrase... Do nothing extra... It would be fantastic if that gave me a sense of comfort, but to be honest, all I can think is, "What in the hell does that MEAN?" Do nothing extra.

Maybe in reading this you thought I would come to some peaceful conclusion that all I need to do is rest, relax, trust my body and the process and everything will turn out alright. Well I do NOT feel that way today. Today I feel like whoever came up with that phrase was not a stay at home mother with a toddler/pre-schooler and an eight-month-pregnant-bowling-ball-belly.

If I was going to listen to what my body is telling me and do nothing extra I would be lying in bed with a pitcher of iced tea and a super long straw, my feet propped up, listening to a nanny play with my girl while a massage therapist rubbed the crap out of my legs and just work on breathing. What a blissful fantasy.

Real life doesn't work that way. At least my real life doesn't. How can I truly do nothing extra when I have bodies to clothe, mouths to feed and new life to nurture? How can I mentally give myself permission to let go of things that seem vital to welcoming our new baby into our home? How could I put my craving for a feeling of wellness above making sure my family is taken care of? Any ideas out there? Because right now, I've not nothing.

I suppose what it comes down to is that I have a lot to learn about eastern philosophy and meditation, which is suppposed to be a huge key in making it through natural childbirth. I've got one month or less to figure it out. Excuse me while I go add that to the list.


Kate said...

Can I make a suggestion???

I know you have a lot of good friends out there in Lexington who love you and love Addie (and Curt too!). I'm sure that some of those friends would be happy to watch Addie for you for a few hours here or there so that you can get some rest or get things ready for Lena. If I lived closer I know that I would be offering, and I'm sure that if you just asked, you would find that you have a great support system who would love the chance to help you during your last month of pregnancy. Just call them!

sara said...

Here's my suggestion... MOVE HERE!!! ;)

(love you)

Katie said...

I completely understand! It is extremely difficult and practically impossible to when there is sh%t to be done! We moved into our new house right before Jake was born (Kevin refers to that time as the drill sergeant days). I put everyone to work unpacking and getting things somewhat settled - including Miss Taylor. Now that I think about it, we (ok let's not kid ourselves) I was crazy for trying to make that work! Hang in there!

sara said...

Thanks, Katie. I have to admit that your words painted such the picture in my head that I couldn't help but laugh out loud! Oh how I miss you!!!