Little tears of happy

Yesterday I took part in a mother and daughter yoga class. It was run by a woman who taught my young one ‘baby yoga’ when she was small. It felt strange to go back to something that we had not taken part in for such a long time, and also incredibly powerful, for many reasons.

When young one was small we went to lots of classes. We did baby sign language, music classes and we also went to yoga. I loved the stories that Caroline (the yoga teacher) told the children. They were magical and offered the little ones a quiet space, which is something that I think is genuinely overlooked. I think that I find it easy to forget the need for peace sometimes.

And then I think about how that is linked to my body. I know that I have time when I supposedly relax before going to sleep at night, and sometimes this happens. More often I go to bed just before exhaustion kicks in, which does not make for the sleep of angels. Or babies. Or something that is generally perceived to sleep well. Last night I slept really well. And I think that taking the time to actively relax during the day really helped with this. But back to the class. It was in the time at the end of the class after we had all laid on our mats with little lavender bags over our eyes and little blankets on our bodies to make us feel extra snuggly (lets not even go to the block to support our heads and the bolster for under our knees.. yoga folks are seriously into the comfy!), and the meditation started to play. I then had a moment of clarity. I had not felt this relaxed for such a long time, and to have had this time with my daughter, this utterly chilled time felt like a privilege. When I sat up, I was very much aware that my face was getting wet. Not the sort of tears that require contraction of facial muscles, but that sort that spill out unbidden.

In recent times this has happened to me a lot during moments of gratitude. I suddenly feel my eyes producing tears and am taking this as a good thing. I talk a good deal about feeling appreciation for the things that I have in my life and feeling this connected, makes me feel more me. But is it also an overwhelming experience that I need to learn to embrace. It makes me feel beautiful.

Map Point. What makes me beautiful?



Sixth letter

Dear Unconceived Possibility,

I am an almost forty-two year old woman. I had one daughter when I was thirty, and I had a truly amazing birth. I had a water birth and it was all done and dusted within nine hours. Most sociable! My pregnancy was harder, with infections, sciatica so bad that I was on crutches and premature contractions requiring a steroid boost. And it was so utterly and completely worth it. I thought that my daughter would be the first and that you, Unconceived Possibility would be the second.

Sadly, this is not how things worked out. I split from my daughters dad, and somehow, even post-split, I didn’t feel in a place to make a whole new baby with anybody new. But I wanted you anyway. When I started to gain weight I didn’t feel unhappy that my belly was fatter and I sometimes imagined that I had a little sleeping baby, fluttering gently inside me. I understood that wasn’t a good headspace to be in, but that was what I wanted.

I imagined my daughter having the opportunity to grow up with you as a sibling. She is such a gentle and empathic little person. Even when she was around eighteen months, she would take toys to other children that were crying. She understood that there was a need to be met. She would have been the most awesome older sister that any new life sparking into existence could ever begin to hope for.

And then there was selfish me. I wanted you because I wanted to have a nice pregnancy with love and support around me, instead of stress and confusion. I wanted to feel valued and not a burden to those around me. I was so scared. I knew that my self esteem was low and I made some poor choices because of this, but I knew that the next time would be better, I would be stronger. I would have learnt.

Acknowledging that you would not become an actuality, that I would not become pregnant again, is likely one of the hardest things I have experienced as an adult. It really hurt to know that I would never have the chance to meet you, you would have been so amazing. The sense of grief as your existence continues to diminish has got easier over time. Of course I am completely grateful for the little person that I have, but sometimes, I still miss you.

There have been a few times when your possibility has become, well, a possibility. My stress levels have clearly rocketed just enough for things to be delayed and I have dared myself to hope. Just a little. And then it has transpired that you are not an actuality, and that has made me feel very sad.

I know that I am incredibly unlikely to ever meet you in my life now, you were such a beautiful possibility. But even without you, I try hard to be a really good Mum, I work to make sure that my little one has a good childhood, that her foundations are built on knowing that whatever happens, I am her rock, I am her stability.

When someone asks me if I wanted more children I still ponder on what might have been. But I know to get stuck on something is not a place that is healthy for anyone emotionally. Living in the past does not serve my present in the slightest. I have found such amazing people and opportunities in my life that I would not allow just one aspect to overshadow that. I am blessed. And wherever you are floating around in the world, wherever you choose to appear, even without ever knowing you, you have my love..xx

Map Point. What little people in your life can you help to shine?