on looking back.

i am officially "due" to have a baby this Thursday, March 27th. i have been determined not to count down to this day... but i kind of am. i have to admit i've been *kind of* counting down since i officially finished working on March 17th - at that point, the next ten days stretched out before me in what seemed like a hopeless eternity of passing time waiting around to meet this little child who was still more than comfortable in my belly. ten days - the longest amount of time i'd had off in at least seven months (and the longest amount of time i've had just to relax since... elementary school?), and i felt like i couldn't even enjoy the freedom (instead, i was crossing days off the calendar in my mind - one more down, phew!)

now that i've been jobless (save the few prenatal classes i insisted on continuing to teach until my due date) for over a week, i can finally say i've started to settle into the long, slow mornings with a full pot of (decaffeinated) coffee or tea and a magazine or websites to browse, the delicious two- or three-hour naps every afternoon, and the slow strolls to yoga classes or chiropractor appointments. i feel like maybe i could get used to this... at least for a little while longer. when the midwife told me last week that the baby had moved higher up (even though for two weeks previous she had been quite low and engaged already), i was upset at first and distraught, thinking this baby is never coming out. then i started to feel okay with it - take your time baby, i've got a long list of things to get done, and a long nap to take too. having this time off has given me the opportunity to reflect a little on my pregnancy - how it's gone, what i'm happy i did, what i wish i had done differently.

i wish i could have continued to eat vegan throughout my pregnancy, but since i was about 10 weeks pregnant i just couldn't get cheese out of my mind. i did my best to stick to ethical dairy & eggs from the market, but pregnancy cravings and hunger pangs often proved much stronger than my will, and i found myself indulging in foods that i never would have touched pre-conception. that's definitely something i'm trying not to look back on and regret, but rather learn from my experience and look forward to getting back on track with my veganism (or at the very least, my exclusively ethical vegetarianism) once i regain a little of my self-control (and again, i will do my best and won't be self-judging if my sleep-deprived new mama body can't go another minute without grabbing a bagel and cream cheese from the corner tim horton's. if we can't love ourselves unconditionally despite our shortcomings, how can we expect others to?)

i wish i had written down more reflections throughout my pregnancy. i have a few journal entries, a few letters to the baby, questions for my midwives and notes taken during appointments and prenatal classes, but i don't have a journal filled with daily musings and reflections as i always thought i would. that makes me sad, because i know it would be nice to look back a year (or 10 years) from now and to remember just what i was thinking week after week as i carried my first child inside of me and prepared him for the outside world. and who knows? maybe being a little more mindful and present in the every day (wonderful side-effects of journaling, i find) could have helped me to resist the afore-mentioned pregnancy cravings.

despite the little regrets (which is interesting - i haven't let myself regret missing out on doing the "things i think i should have done" during certain chapters of my life since i was in university), there are many things i'm so happy that i did during my pregnancy, and it feels really good to look back over the past nine months and see how and where i was able to stick to and manifest my ethics, beliefs, and values.

i stood up for myself. i am the biggest people-pleaser, and nothing makes me more nervous than having to speak up and articulate something that i worry someone else isn't going to want to hear. after learning i was pregnant, i decided i had to get over that hesitation, as i knew that now more than ever i would be getting unsolicited opinions from many a well-meaning acquaintance, friend, and family member in my life (or so i had read, in the multitudes of pregnancy articles, blog posts, and books i gobbled down in my first months of being knocked up). while the judgment and pushiness of others was not nearly what i imagined it would be, there were a few instances where i had to stick to my guns and say "this is what is best for me/us and that's what i'm doing" ...and although i had to spend the next few hours quieting the panicked voice inside my head yelling that now someone was judging me or angry or disappointed with me, speaking my mind and holding my ground felt pretty good.

i ate good food. despite the occasional slips in my ethical eating habits, and a slightly too overzealous rekindled love for cupcakes and cookies, overall i felt that i managed my pregnancy diet pretty well. i stuck mainly to whole, real foods, almost all of which i procured from the farmer's market or the organic grocery. i struggled a lot with a waning desire to do any cooking during most of my second trimester, but managed to get by with raw vegetables and hummus, with freshly baked bread, with good cheeses and kosher pickles and assorted fruits. there were a few bags of chips, but more often there were bowls of air-popped popcorn lightly tossed in coconut oil and sea salt (often with a side of cherry tomatoes - the strangest and strongest pregnancy craving combination i had). i continued to shop at the st. lawrence market every saturday morning, finding foods that were in season and listening to my body when it told me it was in need of something specific (happily, those whispers were usually for sweet potatoes or broccoli or sheep's milk yogurt). i didn't count calories, i didn't place too much stock in my weight, and i didn't freak out over every little item that i enjoyed that may have been on the "do not eat" list the clinic doctor who i first spoke to about my pregnancy gave me (unpasteurized cheeses i stayed away from, but pasteurized soft cheeses were a staple in my diet. small farm, freshly harvested eggs were poached to a decent medium, and i savoured the slightly runny yolks over sautéed kale or rye toast without a second thought. occasional sips of the dark wintry craft beers that paul brought home for himself kept me sane).

i lived my life. i think i struck a pretty good balance between work life and being pregnant. i tried not to talk about my pregnancy non-stop with the people i loved (working at a pre- and post-natal yoga studio gave me a pretty good outlet to talk about pregnancy & baby stuff with other people going through the same things) and i kept up my pre-pregnancy routine of work, teaching classes, practicing yoga about once a week, shopping at the farmer's market, and spending time with friends right up to week 37. looking back, this may actually not have been the best thing for me physically (i developed some pretty bad hip & pelvic pain which has since disappeared, and my midwife had to tell me several times to take it a bit easier before i finally listened) but for my sanity and my need to feel prepared (and to continue to take home a decent paycheque) it was definitely what i needed.

i don't think i did everything perfectly throughout this pregnancy, and there are some things i'd go back and change if i had the chance now. but being here, the day before my due date, (almost) at the end of this long journey, i feel that i have learned a lot about myself and i have slowly but surely transformed into the mama that i'm going to be, and starting to feel ready for that feels pretty good.


  1. You are such an inspiration Meg! xoxo

  2. And you are a perfect you. Love you tons Megs. Love Auntie K


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