When I first learned I was pregnant, I had a really hard time bonding with my little tummy. I’ll be honest, the constant sickness, irritability and desire to sleep all day really had me questioning how mothers bond with their babies because I just wasn’t feeling it. It was a sense of guilt that plagued my mind.
I began looking and studying my mindset and all the ramblings that ran through my head. At first, it wasn’t all positive. And that’s okay. When I entered my 6th month of pregnancy, I began to feel a change. I associated that change with a few factors. To begin, I started noticing my bump was growing and his movements were becoming more alive to where I could really feel him react to my emotions. When he started to show signs of his personality, my mindset completely changed. I went from not understanding the bond to learning how to speak to him in a way that benefitted us both.
I tried out a number of bedtime routines and came close to finding the perfect one that left us both feeling satisfied before bed. Here is what worked:
1. I Turned Off My Phone
It is way too easy to be tempted by our phones. The desire to snap my every move was one of the first thoughts that went through my head, especially at night when I was all snuggled in a blanket with my favorite pjs and a warm candle burning in the background. But I realized I wouldn’t be able to really feel and understand my body if I had my phone in my hand and tried to take photos of my journey to meditation. I put my phone down (and even got my husband to agree to turn off his phone and join me). This one is easy, you just have to get yourself to physically set your phone away from your body.
2. I Took Three Deep Breaths
My body was working in overtime. I noticed myself listening to my body more when I took a few minutes to close my eyes and think about the present moment. I am reminded by my mother on a daily basis that sometimes, we just have to breathe. And sure, we hear that all the time, but what does it really mean? It means stopping everything you’re doing and counting your breaths, feeling your chest move up and down and absorbing the energy around you.
3. I Focused On Positive Self-Talk
This was really hard for me! My whole pregnancy has been a back and forth conversation. Some days I’m feeling so beautiful and other days I am, and was, feeling like I had no control over anything. There is one thing I did know - I had the power to change the conversation I was having in my head. I began to redefine what it meant to be pregnant. I did so by reminding myself of the changes I was undergoing and the completely normal feelings I was experiencing.
4. I Spoke To My Bump
I began speaking sweet nothings to my bump. I would say positive affirmations to my belly, changing 'I AM' to 'YOU ARE'.
"You are brilliant. You are beautiful. You are loved."
And in me doing so, I realized that I was actually speaking these little reminders to myself as well. It became a meditative practice that brought me back to the present moment with my baby...calming me, and strengthening my bond with this little being inside of me.
5. I Kept His Ultrasound Handy As A Constant Reminder Of Our Little Creation
When I saw my first ultrasound, I wasn’t a huge fan of the result. I almost feel bad for saying that. It felt a little impersonal - a 1D profile shot looking me back in the eye. I never really had a chance to experience him moving on the big screen because I felt like the technician was rushing. It was a very impersonal experience. One thing I did have was a hard copy of my ultrasound. I had the ability to change my viewpoint on how I wanted to interact with the first photo I had of my son. I let go of the negativity I felt from my ultrasound and began to rephrase my mindset.
The key to my routine? Mindfulness. Even doing nothing at all felt like something.
As I open my new set of affirmation cards from Love Powered Co., I’m reminded that there are so many little ways I can connect with my baby. When your baby is growing, remind yourself that your emotions, the ups and downs, and constant changes, are normal. When you find yourself edging towards negativity, remember the little baby inside of you loves you more than you know. Your baby bump is so thankful for its time spent warm and cozy in the safety of your womb.