Last weekend was Divine Play, an acrobatic festival that we have attended and taught at for the past 7 years. Hundreds of friends come to learn, train and gather for 3-5 days of acrobatics and catching up. Last year we started the tradition of riding to Portland where it is held in one day from Bend. While about a month ago I was fully on board to make the trip, after my last mountain bike ride the week before, I knew that it was not a good idea. Especially since even riding across town and back sometimes causes me to stop and ride even slower because of cramps or contractions. Riding 185 miles was not happening. So instead, I drove and treated myself to my favorite breakfast sandwich, podcasts and a visit with a good friend.
Apart from teaching, the festival was more of a social event for me. I was prepared for this, as I am beginning to do less and less physically, but it was still a challenge and a constant practice of checking in with myself. I went through my daily battles of wanting to demo or try something but not being able to and had a constant reminder track of “ you are growing humans” and “three more months” repeating in my head which came in handy every time I started to get worked up. It also helped to see so many new inspiring mamas and babies, all happy, healthy and well on the path to rediscovering their new, strong bodies. It was fun to share notes and to feel included and supported in this new mama club. It was also super cool how many women came up to me and thanked me for my blog. Some were thinking about going down the path of motherhood and some had no intention of ever becoming a mother but were intrigued and fascinated about the process and life lessons all the same. For a moment I questioned if it was athletic enough, good enough, well written enough. Should I edit it more or think about my word choice more before pressing publish? But then I remembered my intention behind beginning it. It was about my journey, my process, my thoughts. And no matter which direction I went on my path, I wanted a place to share my fears, accomplishments, and thoughts with out guard or censorship.
So while I would love to gloss over and forget about my latest break down, the very fact that I am even questioning it means I need to pony up and write it out.
In the week leading up to the festival I found out that I was developing a diastasis. I don’t know when it started to happened exactly, but one day I decided to test myself and there it was. This ugly, scary tented gap in the middle of my belly. I was mortified, disgusted, and ashamed. Mortified that It had happened even though I had diligently been doing my exercises to prevent exactly that everyday, disgusted, because it looked gross and scary and ashamed that I was even feeling anything besides what I assumed all pregnant women feel: calm, collected and blissful. Why did I care so much? My babies were healthy, moving and growing. How egotistical and self centered I was to even feel these emotions over something superficial. Wasn’t I supposed to be past this? Shit, I am about to become a mother and here I am fretting over a split abdomen. However I couldn’t let it go. I felt like a failed mama. On top of all of this, it all happened at a dinner party. There I was in the corner of my friends house trying to keep it all together literally, pulling in my stomach and holding the flood gates back. Until Jason and my friends came to sit with me and gave me the space to release everything – my fears, my frustrations, my shame. Once again, I was shown that it was not just me holding it all together. I had all the support that I needed, I just needed to get past myself and ask for it. The next day I asked my physical therapist, some other mamas and did my own research on it. It turns out, almost every pregnant woman gets it and some don’t even know they have it – it just goes back naturally. I am pretty sure I will have to keep working hard at it well after these two babes are born. However, luckily I am no stranger to a good physical challenge. So I am still doing my exercises, and if it gets bigger, that is OK (at least, that is what I am telling myself over and over again). I will just have more to work with!
Now, two weeks later, I am in Europe on our acrobatic teaching tour expanding and dealing with different changes, challenges and joys everyday. And while the urge is definitely there to deal with my changing body and fluctuating emotions behind closed doors, luckily I have a supporting husband and my best friend in tow who can see right past my facade (I was never a good actress or lier). I am learning that communicating and asking for help is key, even if it feels ridiculous and un important. Going through body and life changes is big. We don’t need to go at it alone, and often times speaking up about it brings about more light and more depth for all of those involved. So thank you to all of you for giving me the courage and support to have this space to share and reflect on my feelings!
Art and BLT update:
The whole flight over here, they were kicking and moving around. It felt like they were having a party in there! Luckily it kept me up and walking up and down the halls- as that is what my Dr. prescribed. I am still feeling them alot more through out the day then I used to. And at night I am trying to push them both down AWAY from my rib cage. Every once in a while I feel a kick to the ribs and it shoots this sharp pain up my sternum. That is not very pleasant at all and unfortunately is becoming more and more frequent..
What I am loving:
biking everywhere! I love that biking is the main form of transportation here
the fact that upright bicycles are in abundance here
drinkable yogurt – it is my go to midnight snack
single shot cappuccinos in small mugs – I get one a day.. and savor it
European beds – they are hard and comfy at the same time.
Seeing how the danish mamas do it- the baby stuff over here is so simple, functional, of good quality and cute! It is very hard to not fully indulge and go into ALL of the stores!
Being unplugged for much of the day – when we go out on a ride around town, to a class or even on a walk I am used to always having the phone around. It is so nice to get into the habit of leaving it at home and really enjoying being where we are.
Having the time away from home. I was nervous about this at first, but it is so nice to have this space to get away from the need to nest and “get ready” for everything.
What I am not loving so much:
The feeling of my ribs expanding: it hurts and makes sleeping and wearing bras not so nice.
I miss my snoogle pillow!!! The beds are nice, but I am needing more and more pillows to prop myself up.
Having to slow down even more..
I miss swimming. I may have to find a pool in Basel:)