Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear Baby

Last night you and I went to our first prenatal yoga class.  I wonder if you will laugh about this when you're older - the thought of your Mama stretching and bending into a pretzel while trying to be zen about it.  I'm laughing myself even as I write this.

Honestly, I wasn't really looking forward to going.  I knew that it would be healthy for me and good for you, but your generally sociable Mama absolutely hates going to new places to do things with strangers by herself.  Especially things that involve stretching and bending into a pretzel.  I sent a desperate email at the last minute to a friend who isn't even pregnant begging her to go with me.  I told her it would be a great "try before you buy" experience for her - pretend to be pregnant for an hour while getting a front row seat to my attempt at flexibility and balance.  I actually think I almost convinced her and if she didn't live so far away we might have had a partner.  But she did convince me to go, so I went to Target and bought a pink yoga mat, put on my pink sweatpants and was on my way.

I arrived at a lovely strip mall in Delaware County and found the studio quickly thanks to a neon YOGA sign blinking in the window.  I went in and was a bit shocked to find two grown man in full Japanese garb yelling loudly in another language and beating each other with bamboo sticks.  Seriously.  You just can't make this stuff up.  I thought about just turning around and leaving, but clearly with my bright pink yoga mat in tow I couldn't act like I wandered into the wrong place.  About ten minutes passed, and finally the men did some elaborate hand shaking ritual that involved fancy bowing and what may have been kissing, removed their headpieces and one walked towards me, asking with a smile, "Here for prenatal yoga?"  Um, yeah.

It didn't get better from there very quickly, I did my paperwork and met the instructor and worried that I would be the only one in class.  I laid out my mat and tried to stave off an anxiety attack as two other women finally arrived, both hugely pregnant and not particularly friendly.  Here was my worst fear - I was all alone!  In a room full of strangers!  Preparing to bend into a pretzel!  It was clearly too late to run away, so I listened as the instructor directed us into the child's pose.

I bent over my knees and breathed deeply.  I tried to relax, and thought about what you were feeling at that moment.  And then I realized.  I wasn't alone at all!  You were with me!  You had been here the whole time!  I smiled as I thought about us in this adventure together, just the two of us.  I began to breath through the exercises and enjoy this time with you.  I thought about how lucky we were to have so many people supporting us.  Your Daddy takes such good care of us.  He keeps our house so neat and clean.  He cooks us delicious food.  He rubs our (well, mine, I guess) feet at night before bed.  Your grandparents are already so in love with you, they are always checking in on us, getting us anything that we could possibly need.  Even your aunts and your uncle think about you all the time and are so excited to meet you.  We have so many friends helping us and encouraging us.  We are so loved, so blessed, so very very lucky.

But you know what I was thinking about yesterday, Baby.  For some of this journey, it is just going to be me and you.  There are some parts that nobody can help us with.  I'm going to have to depend on you, and you're going to have to count on me.  And I'm not going to lie to you.  Some of those bits are going to be a little scary, for both of us.  The most trying parts of this experience, the most physical - well, I'll just say it - the most painful parts of this journey are just going to be between me and you.  But as we stretched and reached to the sky together, I felt a confident knowledge that we'll both get through it, that we'll figure it out together.
At the end of the class, we spent some time meditating, and our teacher shared that yogis believe that at the moment of conception, a baby chooses its parents.  That you, sweet Baby, picked me, of all the millions of people in the world, to be your Mama.  From what I know of you already, I have great faith that you made the right decision.  This crazy yoga class is just one of the many great adventures we will have - you and me, together.

Your Mama

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