Pregnancy: It’s not as glamorous as the movies make it out to be. It takes a certain toll on your body and definitely redefines patience.
For me, pregnancy is often a journey into depression and anxiety. This pregnancy was different for a lot of reasons. One aspect of my health that I focused on during my pregnancy with Rhett was my mental health. I knew I needed to prioritize my needs during this sensitive period.
So I went hiking. A lot. I wanted to savor this and maybe even enjoy my pregnancy. As much as pregnancy shifts our bodies to make movement difficult or uncomfortable, I knew moving could also help me feel better mentally. Perhaps it could also feel good physically. Listening to my body, I could always tell the next day if I had over worked or gone too far. I modified my hiking pace. My children rapidly outpaced me on some hikes. Anything that had a hill took much longer than my pre-pregnancy days. Refusing to stop hiking meant I spent time with my kids valuably. I focused on what they were able to accomplish. We built bonds that I hoped would bear us through the struggle ahead. In a way I was hoping to pre load some much needed love for the newborn period ahead.
Graham and Warren often accompanied me on my journeys, but I made a significant effort to hike more on my own. I signed up for a hike through the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Trailtessa. The hike was themed: Be MINDFUL. Perfect for the last trimester.
One week prior to my “due date” I loaded up my camera, water and donned my most comfortable “hiking attire.” Along with 30 other women I’d never met I went on a guided hike that offered a chance for reflection. Finding the peace that nature offers us. I joined the slowest group, which was a perfect pace for me, and saw some amazing details.
The end of the hike was guided meditation, some tea, sitting by a fire pit and a dabble of watercolor painting.
It was wonderful and rejuvenating. And it was what I needed. Now, on the other side of pregnancy, Rhett is here. He’s been here for a month and I’ve not really gone hiking. I can feel it. The restlessness in my bones. The slight melancholy that’s creeping up on me. My kids are starting to bounce off the walls.
So to the woods we’re going. Maybe we won’t go far or fast. But I think we all need to get out.