I found out I was pregnant when I was six weeks along, and those first 24 hours were the most confusing, scariest moments of my life. For someone whose life has, for the most part, gone in an orderly fashion, I've never felt so lost.
My husband and I weren't planning on getting pregnant. In fact, we were planning on never having children. Don’t get me wrong — we love kids. We just wanted a certain amount of freedom in life to grow, explore spirituality, and live a life of service. And we absolutely loved our life as it was.
So, as I stared at the positive pregnancy test stick on my bathroom floor in utter shock, all I could think was, this just can’t be. It just didn’t make sense.
I know birth control — I'm an OB/GYN after all. And my husband and I were beyond cautious. In fact, I only took the pregnancy test to prove my husband wrong. (He was suspicious because I'd become a bit intolerant to certain foods and he has this annoyingly accurate sixth sense.)
I quickly learned that pregnancy isn't all rainbows and roses. In fact, it can feel confusing and scary because of all the change — in my case it's been change in my relationship with my husband, my lifestyle, my identity, and how I view myself. As I began to talk to friends and family, I was surprised to learn just how many people experience these feelings, even in planned pregnancies.
I'm currently 19 weeks pregnant, and I can confidently say that today, my husband and I are in a place of acceptance, happiness, and excitement.
Still, there were a few truths we had to learn along the way. I hope these lessons provide some reassurance to all mothers — no matter how extreme your feelings of fear and confusion may be.
1. Accept that nothing in life is permanent.
In the course of this pregnancy, I've come to understand that there's no life plan. Life takes me on its journey — and the ride is way more joyful if I embrace its twists and turns, rather than fight them. As I surrendered to this, I discovered a vast sense of freedom as a result.
2. Understand that your soul remains the same — even if your role changes.
I see myself as a constant state of brightness, love, energy and wisdom. Everything else will just be different roles I'm asked to play in various parts of life. The purity within me is the only permanent thing in this world. I can choose to live with that existence no matter what life brings me, and no matter what hat I'm asked to wear.
3. Embrace life's changes.
Even with the best of birth controls, sometimes pregnancy still happens. In fact, nothing in life is full-proof. I've come to think of my pregnancy as destiny — my husband and I have been chosen to be trustees of this soul, nurture its own fullest expression, and then hand the soul back to the Universe, feeling content that we did our best.
4. Let go of judgments of how things "should be."
My mind is very stubborn. But after I found out I was pregnant, I had to learn to let go of my views of how life should roll out, opinions of what a “good” mother should be like, and my judgments of other mothers. Every individual’s journey is their own, and that's also the case with parenthood.
5. Live in the present.
We began to take each day one moment at a time, and slowly we became present enough to appreciate the experience. Each day brings new insights, learning, and moments of inspiration and happiness.
I invite you to follow me on my journey with my weekly blog series, Birthing Ayurveda.