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At 40 years old I got my period for the first time in 13 years and I declared it to be the best week of my life. But 18 months later I gave birth to a baby girl and that trumps everything.
She is nothing short of a miracle.
I lost my period when I was 27. I was planning a wedding, running marathons and working in Silicon Valley. I shrugged it off to stress. I didn’t miss the monthly cramps, the bloating and the fear of getting pregnant so early in my career. I was in no hurry to get it back.
But a few months turned into years. As my desire to have a family grew, I sought help from every medical professional and healer I could find—gynecologists, endocrinologists, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists, hypnotherapists, astrologers and Reiki masters. I did everything that was recommended: I gained weight, lost weight, went paleo, went vegan, stopped running, became a yoga teacher, got my chakras in order, cleansed, balanced my thyroid, drank disgusting herbs, took hormone pills, quit my stressful job, and sought counseling.
Still, nothing came.
All tests showed I was “normal.” I was not pre-menopausal. Things looked right, medically. But something wasn’t clicking.
Around my 37th birthday I went to see a highly regarded fertility specialist. She said my pituitary gland was “likely dead”, that I would never menstruate again and that, at my age, I should start in vitro immediately if I wanted to get pregnant. After all, my ovaries were shriveling by the second.
I didn’t go back to that doctor.
I kept living my life. Three more years passed and so did my interest in trying to figure out what was wrong. I was so tired of trying. Still, in general, I felt stuck.
So when an opportunity came up to take a four day course in meditation I thought, why not?
And after that, for twenty minutes, twice a day I would close my eyes and meditated. Simple, but not easy. Sometimes it was dreamy, other times I would just sit there and cry. I often felt like I might drown in my anxiety. But as I stayed with it, my life got better. I started to relax more and push less. I had more energy. And I said no to things that didn’t feel good and yes to things that made me curious and excited and maybe a little scared.
I started letting go.
My intuition got stronger. I began meeting the right people at the right time. I was particularly drawn to a reflexologist, Michele, whom I saw for some general bodywork. After my first session with her I felt different, lighter. She also offered some advice, “You are not bound to anything as it was before. Write yourself a new narrative.” I listened and thought of ways I could apply this to my personal and professional life.
It turns out my body was also listening. Two weeks later I woke up to bright red underwear. My period had returned. I was shocked and elated. I felt like it was my birthday. I also had to remember how to use a tampon.
My cycle lasted a full 5 days and for several months in a row it came back.
But just when I had come to expect my monthly visitor, I didn’t get one. And I was tired. So tired that all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and re-watch the entire series of Mad Men. Michele—whom I continued to see regularly and who had by now become a dear friend—told me my body must be gearing up for something. So I let myself rest. And I continued to meditate.
Surely my period would arrive again, I thought. It was just a little late.
As I was leaving to visit a friend in Iceland I grumbled about how it would probably arrive on the plane. It wasn’t until I was at the airport getting ready to fly home, devouring an entire quart of Icelandic yogurt, when I looked over and saw a baby staring back at me, smiling. I dropped my spoon and wondered, could I be…?
Two home pregnancy tests, a blood test and an ultrasound confirmed it. I was 8 weeks pregnant.
Yes, my body had been gearing up for something.
My husband and I hadn’t been “trying” to get pregnant. After so many years I had little faith in my fertility and didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment. But in the very back of my mind I had kept loose track of when I might possibly be ovulating, just in case.
A healthy pregnancy followed despite me doubting my ability to carry a baby to term. I had to trust my body again. I turned – once again – to my meditation practice. I sat with my feelings and allowed them to move through me and out.
And a month after my 42nd birthday I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl named Frances. She was two weeks overdue.
After all, after so many years, what’s the rush?
Are you pregnant or new to motherhood?
Expectful is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of our guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.
Our mission is to help you give your baby the best start in life. Go to expectful.com and sign up for our free meditation trial.