My husband and I struggled for years to get pregnant. I actually began my doula journey as a result of this. I wanted to be connected to birth in some way as we were not sure we could conceive. The strain on our relationship was immense, the information for why we could not get pregnant was limited. It was "unexplained" . Every month, every period, came with new pain, a renewed sense of loss and unworthyness. I felt broken. My relationship felt broken. When we finally surrendered to the idea of exploring infertility treatment I had all about I could handle. A few months later and some invasive tests... we conceived.. naturally. My first lesson, trust your body, surrender to it. I spent the first 9 weeks terrified it was to good to be true and being aware we were very blessed.
I had some normal pregnancy challenges, nausea, vomiting, sleepyness and tears. Holding on to gratitude I tried to ride the wave, dove back headfirst into my life and kept on moving. That's surrender right... just going with the flow? Then at 31 weeks pregnant, with my blood pressure climbing, while walking my dogs.. I broke my right arm.
Outside of the physical lessons of surrender has come the emotional challenges. I am stubbornly, fiercely independent, even in my relationship with my husband. Over the past few weeks I have spent many times sobbing in the shower as my husband washed me, helped me pull my pants up, and held my hand. So here is where the lesson in surrender has been its clearest.
In so many ways we try to do it all ourselves, think our way through everything, and push, stress and pray for our desired outcome. I battle this every day in my life, add the physical limitations of an injury and I am not only faced with this but confronting it. So what do I do just give in, give up...There is always the option to give up, and the idea of it will arise in your awareness. It has for me, over and over again.
Here is what I have come to know, surrendering is not about giving in, up or walking away. I get to choose every moment to see the truth, to see things differently, to see offers of support and to see myself as love, see as compassion, faith and joy. I can choose to surrender rather than play the awful game of giving up. It has challenged me to have compassion for myself, to be comfortable in my imperfection and allowing things to be. What has this done for me? Brought me closer to my husband, taught me I could trust him (and others) to take care of what needs to be done. To begin to trust that accepting help and releasing control does not change who I am. It is a hard lesson, I battle with myself daily my mantra lately has been "independence does not define me, nothing you have ever done or said can take away the truth of you. The truth of you cannot be altered.".I am working on holding on to gratitude and excitement of meeting my little one and working through the fear of not being able to do it alone. I am not alone, I have not been, nor do I need to be.
Surrendering has been and is for me truly an incredible act of trust and faith that the universe is working on my behalf, for my greatest good. So I surrender to not having to do it all myself. I surrender to receiving help and to not knowing it all. I surrender is allowing all things to be. I work everyday to allow it, observe it, without judgment and to forgive myself.
Doula at Sisterhood Wellness Collective, Toronto