• amyobrien

The Final Weeks of Pregnancy: Interacting with the Outside World

Updated: Jan 22, 2019

As well as Creating Sacred Space, it's also a great idea to filter what's coming at you in this truly unique period.

You really have to work to carve out this space.

To filter the outside world.

And it can feel like opting out of the busyness goes against the grain of our very existence.

Modern society is obsessed with being 'on' and responsive, more-more-more and go-go-go.

But preparing for labour wants for none of those things.

Even as you step towards creating space you might feel strange doing it. It might feel unnecessary, luxurious, and you may feel pulled to continue to keep one foot in the go-go-go.

But I challenge you to create the space anyway.

Women in the final weeks of pregnancy can feel particularly vulnerable and open emotionally.

Let's make the effort to disengage from unhelpful world noise. To graciously sign off from any unnecessary additional input.

Sometimes we have to really lean back on the tree that nourishes us at the expense of offering ourselves to the outside world.

And that's okay.

So here are some tips to ease the noise and find your centre.

1. Filter the messages coming at you

Filter the things people say to you. Walk away from anything that doesn't serve. Turn off TV shows that about to show their ridiculous portrayal of labour. Filter.

Filter the things people label as 'well meaning' and things that start with 'I don't mean to scare you, but....'

We don't want women on the soft edge of labour to own a sense of fear. Those things can have no place here.

Coaches don't walk up to athletes prior to an event to cast doubts about their ability.

Teacher don't approach students just before an exam and ask them why they haven't started their exam yet. Or deliver a horrible, graphic and longwinded story about a kid that was so nervous before an exam.

They don't do those things because the athlete and the student need a fresh, crisp, clear mind to achieve their best. Same rules apply here.

Folks can have lots of (mostly unintentionally) unkind things to say to a woman with a growing belly. I remember when I was full-term with my first even the electrician had a very detailed and awful story for me.

So filter, filter, filter.

Remind yourself: this is not a time to cater to others. To feel like you need to offer them space to be heard. To take on their pain. This is a time to create and protect your own Sacred Space. For you and for your babe.

You are a woman gently preparing yourself for your own marathon.

We need you to feel a strong sense of power and ease as you approach this great work. To trust that your body is already doing exactly what it needs to be doing. And know that it will have it's own unique unfolding.

2. Turn off your phone

Put it on silent. Leave it in another room. Whatever works for you.

Consider being a little vague about your estimated due date with people on your periphery.

The goal here is to buy yourself some time from the endless questions and external expectations.

If you're already in your final weeks of pregnancy you will probably have found by now that it can become almost a full-time job to assure everyone that you are fine by returning every missed call and text message within just a few minutes.

The truth: Getting a text every 10 minutes as you try to potter round the house is unsettling. And it gets in the way of the real work. Of settling in and allowing. It's not at all conducive for slipping into labour-land.

If someone is making contact more often than works for you, feel okay to tell them so.

If you want to spend some time away from your phone, tell your people.

Tell them you're grateful for their support, but you're equally keen to creating some quiet space to potter without expectations before babe arrives. To really put your feet up. To rest your mind. Reassure them that you will let them know just as soon as 'the star of the show' - your fresh new babe - arrives.

I have seen women fielding twenty or so "is the baby here yet?" phone calls a day from as early as 37 weeks.

In circumstances like these, the flow on effects are visible - these women slump into the clinic chair, look frazzled and stressed by the pressure of it all, and feeling defeated by the fact that they're not in labour yet, despite still not having even reached their due date.

I've occasionally suggested to these women that changing their voicemail to say "I'll let you know when I know" might help. And it has lightened the load.

All the love from the outside. It's absolutely well meaning, but it's also incredibly stressful. And exhausting.

And after a while it can plant a seed of doubt that is just not useful here.

So these are the moments to get creative and resourceful to shift the weight of expectation off you. To let the obligation slide from your shoulders. To settle into the fact that this bub is going to come with their own timing.

For now there is nothing more to do than gently enjoy this moment.

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