Don’t forget to Exhale

For those of you on baby watch, there is no baby to report. I figured if I didn’t post a blog post 2 days in a row, you might start to wonder! I did go to my 37 week check-up today.  Chet is head down. My Group B Strep test is negative (yay!). I’m also 1 cm dilated and only slightly effaced. What does that mean? Nothing really. I could stay this way for 3 more weeks, or I could have Chet tomorrow.

Last night in yoga, I realized I was having a hard time exhaling. My inhales were deep, but I was holding on to my exhales. I couldn’t let go 100%. The more I focused on it, the harder it became to exhale.  I’m a big believer in breathing. I believe our breath and breathing patterns tell us so much about our bodies, our minds, and our emotions. When we are stressed, we breathe different. When we are excited, we breath different.

What was I holding on to? I think the two small details that I’ve been putting off for weeks now might be a clue. Preregistering at the hospital and packing my hospital bag are pretty important when having a baby.  With only 18 days until my due date, tackling these two tasks is slightly important.

As I drove to the hospital to preregister for Chet’s arrival, I felt incredibly anxious. I was even nervous. As I drove to the hospital, I remembered that I had Cole the day after I preregistered for his birth. Preregistering makes it real. While I feel incredibly ready and prepared for Chet to join us in the world, a part of me is still holding on to life as we know it. Until I exhale and let go of the nerves I have about the big change we have coming up in our lives, my body and my mind (and my breathing) can’t relax. By simply recognizing the anxiety I was holding on to my body already feels more relaxed. I feel even more ready to bring Chet into this world.

The hospital has my official paperwork for Chet’s arrival. Now I just need to pack my bag. It’s on the to-do list for tomorrow. Yes. I’m putting it off for one more day.

In the mean time, I’m going to continue to listen to my body. I’m trying to focus on all the things my body is telling me. I’m inhaling and exhaling. I’m letting go of my all the anxiety I’m holding on to about Chet’s arrival. When will he born? Will he be here before Christmas? Will he be here before 2012? I’m letting it all go (or at least I’m trying to let it all go). Chet will be here on his birth day.

My body is also craving quiet more and more these days. I know this is hard to find when I have a house full and a full-time job, but I’m trying to focus on the few moments when I can find my space of quiet. The first hour of every day belongs to just me. I’m embrace my time in the shower and the simple routine of getting ready for work. I’m talking less on the phone when I’m in the car. It’s nice to sit quietly with out music and without chatter. I’ve been going to bed a little earlier than normal. Although my earlier bedtime is due to being extra tired these days, there is comfort in going to bed before I’m exhausted.

Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I know
As the in-breath grows deep,
The out-breath grows slow.
Breathing in makes me calm.
Breathing out makes me ease.
With the in-breath, I smile.
With the out-breath, I release.
Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Inhaling and Exhaling. Pay attention to how you are breathing. It really will tell you a lot.

And I promise to pack my hospital bag tomorrow!

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3 thoughts on “Don’t forget to Exhale

  1. Make sure Christian gives us a play by play on facebook like Tom did. He kept posting while I pushing and had people commenting all throughtout the night. It was pretty funny 😉 Good Luck!! Can’t wait to meet him 🙂

  2. It’s funny how you talk about what’s going on with our moods affecting our breathing because some of the research I do focuses on understanding respiration and how heart rate and respiratory rate are coupled. And because the part of our nervous system that control respiratory rate is greatly affected by any time of stressors, it’s true that your breathing changes based upon what’s going on with you mentally. Thought you might like a little validation ;).

  3. I know exactly what you mean by the comfort of going to bed before you’re exhausted. Like you made the choice, you’re taking care of yourself, and you value that extra time your body needs. Paying attention to my breath in yoga has taught me so much … right now I’m working on observing my feelings and emotions and not judging my thoughts when I observe them. And then breathing through it. Easier said than done because I’m naturally pretty judgmental, lol!

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