on pregnancy panic and reclaiming energized hope

Aug 27, 2010 | Being A Mama, Life in Progress

i’m 35 weeks today. my oh my. people tell me that it’s all in the belly, but it feels like it’s everywhere. i am still wearing my regular dresses and target maternity jeans underneath. thank god for jersey dresses from boden. and thank god for my being able to stay incredibly, weirdly active with just the occasional energy slump here and there. ps – notice the iphone cover! i’ve got lots of designs in the iphone/ipad/laptop department coming soon to the online shop which will re-open in the next week or so. folks who have signed up for the newsletter will be the first to know when the shop re-opens so be sure to sign up! i will have limited quantities of 2011 calendars and datebooks available as well as some other brand new items too!
blogged at www.kellyraeroberts.blogspot.com
earlier this week i had the quintessential pregnancy freak out. on the verge of panic in the middle of the nite, i had all those scary thoughts: we’re not ready. what have we done! i’m not sure i can do this. i’m not sure i want to do this. there’s no turning back. how can i turn back?
it was a kind of panic where you slip out of yourself for few moments into the deepest pockets of your fears, a place where you don’t recognize your current self, a place where you feel almost newborn and raw in a foreign landscape of mind trickery. the whole thing left me feeling wildly undone and terrified inside a space of a few very long minutes. i didn’t like it. at all. john so sweetly calmed me down, gently rubbed my arm, and talked me off the ledge. i drifted off to sleep, and woke up the next morning a bit exhausted.
throughout my pregnancy journey, my friends have been telling me their pregnancy and motherhood stories, their moments of overwhelm, their moments of courage, and their moments of grace and love. i think it’s been crucial for me to hear the truths of these stories – to know that my moments of panic are par for the course, that this is a life changer. and that life changers come with the wide spectrum of human emotion no matter what that event may be (pregnancy, moving, retiring, empty nesting, grief, and on and on). more than ever, i’m feeling deeply alive and aware of the wide expansion of life and birth and rebirth and change and evolution, not just in my own life, but in living itself. what a remarkable existence.
back to my panic. for me, i’ve deeply missed two things these last several months while in transition: studio/creative time and running my creative biz – both have been on hold essentially since february when i got super sick during the first trimester, then again while we’ve had everything in storage since march, while we lived in temporary housing, while we renovated the house, while i ran the ecourse, while i launched the ebooks. now that we’re in the house and unpacking i’m realizing that i’m running out of time to tend to those two passions before having a baby. and my heart sort of sinks at the idea of putting these two passions on hold again during maternity leave – i get incredibly anxious and restless at the thought of it even though i know i likely won’t care once baby arrives. i think that’s where the panic came in – that feeling of running out of time, that wanting to reach back into my passion before it has to be put on hold again.
a love bench + surfers + cloudy morn
but then something shifted. while unpacking my studio space a couple of days ago, i had this very clear moment of clarity: that there is no end, or beginning, or permanence, or putting things on perpetual hold. that nothing is going to die, but that birth will take place all over our lives, that i can still have a baby and run my creative biz, that i can still make creating/painting a top priority, that our baby will inspire, that i need to chill out for a minute and catch my breath. that i don’t have to give anything 100% up, that i can adjust for what mostly matters, that i can ask for help and it will arrive. that i can lean into uncertainty and vulnerability and let it lead the way into new ways of working and seeing and connecting. and most importantly, that i still have plenty of time to create new systems to keep my biz running while allowing plenty of time and space for baby/family and creativity which are essential to my heart and soul. that i can get those systems in place without it feeling like i’m climbing a giant mountain. that i can start again as i did many years ago when i began my creative biz: one small step at a time – that i really can re-create a biz/creative life that will work with my new mama life. and that’s it’s wholly possible and not something that i’m being unrealistic about.
i felt so good and energized with that rush of hope that i immediately sprang into action to start getting those systems into place: finding a housekeeper (who i just adore already) for maternity leave (and maybe even longer!), interviewing a creative biz assistant on the phone and immediately knowing in my gut that she’s the one, getting my studio and office space together and assembled and ready for quick 1 hour (or less) spurts of painting and biz work here and there, scheming with john about the fun housewarming/blessingway we’re planning for sept so that we can gather our community around us, and having one very tender hearted and long conversation with him about being realistic, about making up our own rules/systems of creating our new life, about being creative in the ways we’d like to approach our family life so that we can maximize our time together with baby while still tending to our passions. we want to be intentional about our little family being well rounded and balanced once we start to settle in a bit after those first couple of months.
i love these moments of awareness that these are our last weeks of just the two of us. we are holding one another very close, taking notice of our alone time and moments together, and dreaming dreaming dreaming. i am holding so much hope for him, for me, for our baby, for our new life. i can feel the emergence of a whole new way of seeing and existing starting to make its presence. there is so much birth that occurs with preparing for an actual birth. it’s seriously astounding in every way. i keep saying to myself: brave in love, kelly. brave in sadness (ie letting go, surrendering, moments of panic), too.

Sending much love,

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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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