By Tania Ho
July 16, 2018
It has been 9 weeks since Mirren was born.
In the past few months during my pregnancy, I was reading a few pregnancy books that were related to the topic of spirituality.
There was one book I really enjoyed called “Spiritual Pregnancy” by Shawn A. Tassone and Kathryn M. Landhen, which described pregnancy as a heroine’s journey.
Like in a superhero movie, the heroine experiences a call to transformation from her ordinary world (pregnancy), embarks on her journey alone with doubts and fears. Then she meets her mentors and teachers (other women and mothers), gains knowledge and wisdom, and finally faces the biggest challenge and goes through a transition (birth).
After the transition, she is changed forever (beyond birth), and is now rewarded with newfound confidence (and a baby). She is no longer the same person she started this journey as. Through the arrival of her new baby, the mother undergoes a rebirth herself.
I realize that besides having a baby is a heroine’s journey (pregnancy – birth – motherhood), there are many other events that can bring on a spiritual transformation, such as:
Engagement – Wedding – Marriage
Sleep – Dream – Awake
Sickness – Healing – Recovery
Inspiration – Transformation – Integration
Life – Death – Beyond
Not to bore you with all the details of my journey into motherhood, but I do want to share with you one key takeaway lesson from each part of my journey that perhaps can be useful to you:
1. Stage Pregnancy – Take It Slow
Besides literally I had to move slower because my belly was getting bigger and I was getting heavier, I also needed to learn to take it slow with my body, my work, my schedule, my social life, and with myself.
My Chinese doctor told me that if I were used to doing ten things in one day, now I could only do one to two things. And she was right.
If I pushed myself too much (and I wasn’t even aware of it), I would pay for it somehow. Either I would feel nauseous (yes morning sickness was not just for the first trimester), dizzy, very tired, or sick. And I was just stressing myself out.
So I’ve learned, in a hard way, to take it slow.
It doesn’t mean that I cannot do things I want to do. It’s time to prioritize what is really important and to have the courage to say no to things that I feel only half-hearted about.
This lesson still resonates now, because boy, when you have a baby, you can only do one to two things a day and that IS productive.
2. Stage Birth –Let Go of Control
I had decided from the beginning that I wanted a natural birth. After my experience with a laparoscopic surgery last year, I swore to myself that I would never let my body undergo any surgery again if I ever had a choice.
I took hypnobirthing classes, I was reading books on natural birthing, and preparing myself for that moment.
Two weeks prior to Mirren’s birth date, my doctor told me that his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice and due to his size, she strongly recommended me to undergo c-section for safety.
I prayed and prayed that the situation would change so I could keep my natural birthing plan. One week later at the doctor’s appointment, no change. Another week passed, still no change.
I prayed and kept on asking for a sign from the Universe that I could continue to go for a natural birth. There was no sign.
I was worried. I was stressed out. What if I couldn’t go with my natural birthing plan? How would other people judge me if I were to do a c-section, especially people who are pro natural birthing?
When my water broke and I admitted myself to the hospital, at that time I was still hoping for a natural birth. But because I had two weeks to ponder about it, I also knew that if C-section was the Universe’s plan for me, then I just had to surrender and trust.
In the “Spiritual Pregnancy” book, the authors described birth as a spiritual awakening, and the birthing process is like a ritual leading up to the transition point. Both natural birthing and c-section are considered as a sacred ritual and a rite of passage. Doing a c-section to give birth is no less sacred or spiritual than a natural birth. This gave me some relief.
There was one moment when I was in the labor room, still deciding whether to go with c-section or not, that everyone left the room (my family and my doctor) except my husband and me. I knew that my husband would stand by my choice no matter what. I quickly plugged in my headphone and turned on the Shamanic journey drumming music.
I asked what choice I should make. In my vision, I was shown to the operation room. My dad was there. Clearly there was a lesson there for me to learn.
So I surrendered and let go of control, and informed my doctor that I would go for c-section. Since it was decided in the last minute, it was still considered an emergency c-section but luckily the process going into the it was calm and relaxed. The breathing techniques I learned in hypnobirthing helped me to relax throughout the operation.
Mirren was born safely. Do I still wish that I could go with natural birthing? Yes. Do I regret the decision with c-section? No.
I remember that last year I wrote a blog article about what to do when life throws you curveballs. This was another curveball, and another reminder that when you think you have surrendered, you got to surrender some more.
I see that this applies at any transition point in our life as well. We can only control as much, and the rest we just need to go with the flow and where the Universe leads us. Because a lot of times, the Universe has a better plan than what we have in our mind.
3. Stage Motherhood – Celebrate the Small Wins
I always compare birth with wedding. There’s so much hype going into that one big day and so much preparation, and then here comes the real life, the hard work, the not-so-glamorous part: the marriage, the motherhood.
I had zero experience with taking care of babies. In the first three weeks after Mirren was born, I felt like a complete failure. I was clueless on how to take care of a newborn (luckily I had help though). I knew it would take time to understand what Mirren wanted whenever he cried. But still, I couldn’t help to judge myself.
I was so clumsy with changing diapers and carrying him around. My back hurt, my wound hurt. I was sleep-deprived. I was tired. My hormones were fluctuating. And after two weeks Mirren was born, my husband had to return to Thailand for work.
At the same time I realize a lot of my old fears and beliefs from my childhood resurfaced. The birth of my own child was making me to look at these old childhood fears. It was time to take care of my inner child too.
I was feeling really down. I felt that I couldn’t really connect with my baby. Like there was an invisible wall in between our hearts. I was scared that due to my imperfections and my mistakes, my child would suffer as a consequence.
I was scared to fail and so, I was frozen and felt paralyzed, like deers caught in the headlight. I was also scared to share my fears with other people. What happened to that post-birth glow and joy? I didn’t experience any.
So I prayed and asked the Universe for help and guidance. That’s when my friend, Margie’s book, arrived the next day. It was her first book recording her soul journey living in Japan called “A Soul Journal – Kyoto – Vol. 1”. After reading her book, I could feel my body and soul infused with Light again. I was reminded to appreciate and be grateful for the simple joys in life.
When we are grateful, we will see the miracles and the signs from the Universe, and our life can flow in sync with the Universe again.
I decided that night that I could celebrate the small “wins”. If I could change the diaper successfully in whichever clumsy way, that’s a win. When Mirren cried and I held his hand and he stopped crying that moment, that’s a win.
I’m still far from perfect in my ways to take care of a newborn. I’m still a new mom who needs to learn so many things.
The small wins do not limit to baby-related activities though. If I could accomplish this one work task today (remember the lesson “Take It Slow” also applies after birth), it’s a win. If I could apply a face mask for some self-pampering time, that’s a win.
The Universe always has our back (highly recommend Gabrielle Bernstein’s book called “The Universe has Your Back” by the way).
When we celebrate the small wins and savor the positives, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when we can see and experience the divinity in life. That’s what “Simple is Bliss, Bliss is Simple” means.
I hope that no matter where you are at your life, may your spiritual heroic journey be filled with Love and Light.
No matter how challenging your spiritual journey may seem and how scary the unknown ahead may feel, know that the Universe always has your back and that you are not alone.
Want to explore your spiritual journey together through writing and meditation?
Join Tania and Sarah’s second Museflower Soul Bliss Retreat: Let Your Soul Speak with Soul Writing and Meditation this October 11 – 16, 2018 at Museflower Retreat & Spa. For more information, visit the Museflower Soul Bliss Retreat webpage here
Have you tuned into what spiritual lessons you have learned during your transformation?
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About Tania Ho
Founder and owner of Museflower Retreat & Spa, Tania is a Hong Kong native who now makes her home at the retreat in Chiang Rai. Trained in a number of holistic therapies including Flower Essence consultation and Hado Counseling, Tania believes that healing can take place when we start making changes from within, and it starts from listening to the voice of our soul within.
Museflower Retreat & Spa provides a quiet space for city people who feel stressed out, disconnected and tired an opportunity to get away, slow down and learn to reconnect to themselves again. To receive a free 500THB credit voucher to use towards your next retreat or spa booking at Museflower, subscribe to our newsletter and claim your free gift here.