What the physical discomforts and pains of pregnancy have taught me

A traditional healing drumming circle at Bi-National Health Week 2015...Incredible to learn one of the many ways to heal ourselves and our lives.  

A traditional healing drumming circle at Bi-National Health Week 2015...Incredible to learn one of the many ways to heal ourselves and our lives.  

I have been able to maintain my healthy lifestyle throughout my pregnancy.  I have eaten fresh and organic as much as possible and exercised, doing cardio two times and yoga three times a week.  Despite this, like all expecting mothers, I have had my share of uncomfortable moments throughout the last 8 months.  The most painful? Round Ligament and Relaxed Pelvic Joint pains.  My Braxton Hicks contractions have also been quite uncomfortable.  I once went on a walk and half way through called my doctor given the pain I was experiencing in my pelvis and hips (I truly thought I was going to have to take a taxi back home!); my doctor told me all was good and it was just a result of my body preparing for labor. 

Despite the medical reassurance, at times my hip and pelvic pain as left me with no other option than to cancel or change up plans.  Anyone who knows me knows how mentally painful this is for me.  I am always on the GO!  Even with all of the work that I do in the wellness space, and the perspectives I choose to see things through, unexpected moments like these are difficult to accept.

A few years back, I was experiencing some pretty bad upper back pain.  On a hike with a much wiser and good friend, I shared about the back pain I was experiencing.  My friend turned to me and told me “Sometimes physical pain comes to us so we can empathize with others that also experience pain”.  I didn’t fully understand her response at that moment.  Yet it impacted me and I took it with me throughout the proceeding weeks and months.  As I mulled over what I knew was a very profound comment, I started to slowly get it.  There are many, many people that endure chronic physical pain on a daily basis.  They have to take daily pills of pain management medication and have to practice daily physical therapy exercises.  They have to visit hospitals and centers daily in order to maintain life on this earth.  Physical pain is part of their lives and will continue to be so forever.  Despite this pain, they must rise to a level of performance that will allow them to be a part of society.  They have to continue to perform at their jobs if they want to have a roof over their heads.  They have to find patience, compassion, and love within themselves so that they can interact with friends and family in a healthy manner (and not alienate themselves from others).  They have to find ways to discover joy, or else they will be choosing to live a hopeless life. 

How do you do all of that while managing chronic physical pain?  And how do those, that are incredibly fortunate not to have to manage such a situation, authentically provide kindness and some level of understanding (I say some as it would be impossible to relate fully)?  There is a fine line to walk, when we are strong and healthy we can easily look at someone and believe they are exaggerating or addicted to their story and pain.  Pregnancy discomforts and pains have humbled me and have provided me an understanding of what it looks like to be unable to “override” your body and nature.  To accept how fragile my body, and ultimately my life, is.  I am blessed my friend gave me her advice years before I got pregnant.  When I started experiencing all of the pains and discomforts of pregnancy, I wasn’t as resentful.  Her advice doesn’t mean I do not have the right to feel the pain and wish for it to go away.  I just have a different appreciation for what that pain is here to teach me.  I make statements explaining to those around me what I was experiencing, while internally, I observe through this window of opportunity a piece of a world that many live in.  I have felt myself softening towards my fellow human being that experiences pain every single day. And I have seen myself admiring their daily strength and courage.  

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Lots of love,