These days we are constantly bombarded with information about the right way to live, what we need to do to support good health, what we should be eating, drinking, best exercise regimens, you'd think that by now we'd be programmed to do the right thing in every area of our lives!
Women not having children historically bothers authority. And while they may do so for myriad reasons today, as more and more women follow suit and cite the environment as the cause, it will be interesting to see what happens: whether politicians, apparently deaf to the marches, petitions and scientists, will listen to prospect of our hollow wombs.
I'm childfree-by-choice, as it happens, and my life is often like that Ping Pong night, complete with a continous rolling sidebar of questions from friends and strangers, although they get less frequent as I get older and out of the baby-making zone.
With just over 8 weeks until the due date I am seriously excited about welcoming this little baby into our family! Third time around I have shopped smart. Investing in quality pieces that will get maximum use as opposed to the vast quantities I have bought in the past that were given to charity still with the labels on!
At first, you think that you are the problem. That you're new to this world and they know best. After all, they're the ones who have been working in this office for many years.
We had been told about Natural Family Planning at marriage preparation but it was all a bit disgusting, (its not just dates and calendars you know, there is a big emphasis on mucous, its grim) and frankly I don't see the point.
I feel like the most despicable person for admitting this, but part of me is dreading having this kid. I'm scared and I'm anxious. The excitement I felt first time round is notably absent. Sometimes I forget I'm pregnant at all, and it feels quite nice.
Pregnancy is not a disease, illness or injury. But the body does change a lot. It is not just the growing bump and breasts but there are other things to consider. Not all yoga teachers are qualified, insured or comfortable teaching at this time of change.
Women are not just unkind to themselves in this quest for perfection; they can also be extremely unkind to other women. This unkindness comes in many guises; in passive aggression; in bitching; in judgement; and in straight-up nastiness.
Left untreated, both conditions are likely to result in the deaths of both mum and baby. The only cure is for the baby to be born. My partner and I were both utterly devastated - we knew the chances of our baby's survival at that stage were slim.
As women, we have so much to thank our mothers and our grandmothers for. There was a time, when we were expected to sit at home, preparing the tea, cleaning the house and completing 'a woman's work' without fuss.
Of course, we're told to call a number if we need support or advice. But many women won't. And especially not in the wee small hours of the night. Many will struggle in silence or sink into denial - snapping at a concerned partner or parent that "they're fine".
There isn't a single hypnobirthing technique that isn't a skill for life. So I encourage you, pregnant or not, the next time you notice you're having the urge to change what is, wishing for the future or yearning for the past, bring your attention to accepting the moment for what it is. Breathe out resistance and notice how much easier things feel. It works.
One of the biggest misconceptions about hypnobirthing is that, it's all about having babies. Women have heard that if you do everything your teacher tells you to do, you will have a quick, straight forward, pain free, vaginal birth. Now, there's no easy way to say this...but that's all pretty much a nonsense.
I'm going to come right out and say this. It's what every childbirth educator on the planet thinks and what we all talk about in our private forums, but what very few of us dare to say in public.
There have been some tremendous scientific developments over the last three decades in the realm of assisted conception, opening a great number of doors for women and transforming the way we think about fertility. However, I still believe that self-care needs to be front of mind for couples that are trying to conceive.