Semester Two Pregnancy Revelations with Anna Rova
About This Episode
Nine months is a long time. Nine months is also a short time. Really depends on every woman’s individual pregnancy journey.
“Everything is known in comparison,” a Russian proverb says.
I happen to believe that nine months is a perfect three-trimester journey where every trimester has its own little transition of mind, body, and soul that a woman has to go through.
I see it as three distinct rites of passages.
First trimester is all about a woman’s body, mind and soul getting adjusted to the idea that there is a human growing inside. The body’s fighting the unknown, foreign entity that’s developing in the womb sometimes rejecting it, but most of the time, just really giving the woman carrying the fetus a really hard time.
Every woman, every baby, and every pregnancy is different. Nausea, fatigue, vomiting, loss of energy. It’s a very introspective time for the body, mind and soul. The mind tries to cope with the physical symptoms, the unknown and what the hell is really happening… The woman is trying to figure out what all this means and gets anxious about the adventure that’s waiting ahead, the fear and the insecurities of what might happen to her body, her life, and her future plans…
My female soul was excitedly scared during the first trimester… Even though women have been getting pregnant forever and ever, I still didn’t know what it really means, and I don’t think I would if I tried, unless I experienced it myself…
The unknown is uncontrollable, unpredictable and uncomfortable. Our souls are searching for an answer, slowly starting to adjust to the new reality.
It seems like the first three months were really enough for my mind, body and soul to come to peace with the miraculous event of a baby developing and growing in my womb. By trimester two, they’ve all cooled down, spent time in their own caves and are now ready to collaborate to get this woman (me!) going forward. So they all come together at a big round “baby’s coming” table for some decision-making time.
In fact, they all decide to thrive!
“Oh, we can do this! Let’s give this mama the best time possible! Let us show her the power of mind-body-soul connection and what it can do! We are a very powerful trio when we work together. Let’s make it all happen!”
And so I have emerged out of my first-trimester misery, and the darkness and bitterness of the complete disconnect from my most essential team and compass – like a phoenix rising from the ashes with my three confidants by my side.
The Physical Body: Nutrition, Exercise & Self-care
My fears about my body uncontrollably expanding in all different directions as well as all the physical crazy symptoms subsided when I realized that all the “cravings” were just my excuses for feeling miserable, and I will have to deal with the symptoms as they come, making sure I take precautionary measures.
I was sending Estring to the store to buy ice-cream every day for about a week because I was feeling sorry for myself. I was also fearing all the crazy symptoms other women have been experiencing not realizing that it doesn’t HAVE TO happen to me.
“Trust me, your baby doesn’t need all the gluten, lactose and sugars,” said my naturopath.
I believed her. So I instinctively knew the “secret” to staying fit and healthy during pregnancy: nutrition, exercise, and self-care. Actually, these three ingredients are essential even before you get pregnant so the body just gets used to a healthy lifestyle and keeps going even during pregnancy being the home of the developing baby.
I find it quite ironic how most pregnant women suddenly start taking care of their diet and exercise when they find out about pregnancy #nojudgement and I was quite irritated that most of the exercise and yoga apps were for beginners. Of course, it will be beneficial to the body and the baby if a woman really takes care of her nutrition and exercise routine whenever she starts, but I believe that the effect will not be the same. I recognize that different women have different journeys with their bodies so it is not my place to give advice, comment or judge. I am sharing my experience.
I have never had serious health issues besides some gastritis when I was a child, two brain concussions, cysts in my ovaries and I’m still struggling with adult acne. I’ve never had surgery or major trauma in my physical body. So there is no way for me to directly correlate the healthy diet and a vigorous exercise routine at least 2–3 years before pregnancy with feeling and looking great. There is no way to know for sure.
But I do believe that me looking and feeling healthy and fit is a direct result of my nutrition, exercise and self-care routines.
Here is what I have done to keep my body fit and healthy
- Eliminated gluten, dairy, sugars and a couple of other ingredients (as a result of a DNA bio-chemical compatibility test I had done via my naturopath) from my diet. Sometimes on weekends and during travel I slip and eat pizza or dessert but that’s okay
- Taking natural pre-natal, magnesium, iron and digestive supplements (again, based on my blood tests and work with the naturopath)
- I don’t eat “for two” and don’t have strange “cravings” (not sure if I have convinced myself that sugar is really not a craving but a weakness.)
- Daily use of almond oil on breasts, belly, ass, and hips. I don’t have any stretch marks. Again, might be my genes or simply the effect of my first pregnancy. I will never know for sure.
Medical knee-high tight stockings to prevent varicose and swelling; soft bras only; support belt for growing belly
- Daily 30-min stretching or pre-natal yoga
- Daily embodiment work
In summary, I regained confidence and the connection to my body. I have developed a special, renewed relationship with it. I started appreciating and honoring the work it’s doing every day growing a human inside!!! That’s not a small job for a body. A female body is truly incredible and a miracle.
I also relaxed and let go. I let my body do its thing while trying to support it in the best way I can. I decided that I will be a sexy pregnant woman no matter what and I will not let pregnancy defeat me. I decided to turn this experience into an empowering, beautiful journey. And it does turn out quite beautiful.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s quite intense at times. But it is such a privilege to carry a child from the man I love in my female body. I truly appreciate it.
The Mind – New Meaning, Fierceness in Business & Stopping to Play Small
Semester two had a profound effect on my mind. Suddenly I felt a rush and an urge to make sh*t happen.
My fears of my life never being the same again, balancing business and motherhood and losing my identity as a woman and as a human has transformed into powerful reframes.
I became fierce with Girlskill – my podcast and my business. I have launched my coaching packages and took things to the next level. I stopped playing small, pissing around and walking on tiptoes around my message of femininity and womanhood. I recorded webinars, launched funnels and advertising and got on sales calls with prospective clients. I got bold with my message. I wrote articles, became a top writer in Feminism, traveled, created art, got on podcast interviews and pursued my passion.
I didn’t give a f*ck anymore. The growing human inside of me gave me so much power, creative force, and energy – I could not ignore it.
I knew time is an issue now so I was on fire. My creative juices were flowing and I jumped into launch mode like a rocket 🚀. I created three amazing clients for my coaching practice, my podcast numbers grew like crazy and I have really claimed my spot in the female empowerment niche.
Consciously I understood that my life doesn’t have to change after having a baby. In fact, it will become so much richer. I started to imagine and dream about who this little girl will be… What would she like? What will she dream about? How can I guide her to being her true self? How can I be a parent who doesn’t limit her imagination and what’s possible but creates opportunities and thriving environments for her to discover this amazing world on her own?
And so things became very exciting. I started looking forward to bringing this baby into the world. I imagined my beloved Estring holding her, playing with her and dancing with her – and that for me is bliss. Seeing my man with our tiny child on his chest is an image I cherish so much. Masculine force and strength together with the vulnerability and fragility of a newborn are one of the best images. Men and babies together give me a special kind of feeling.
I often think about what an honor it is to give the man you love a child. What a special and precious place I hold in his world and heart to be able to deliver this gift to him. He will never be able to experience the gift of pregnancy and birth. Isn’t that a bit sad? I don’t think he agrees 🙂
“When women reassert their relationship with the wildish nature, they are gifted with a permanent and internal watcher, a knower, a visionary, an oracle, an inspiratrice, an intuitive, a maker, a creator, an inventor, and a listener who guide, suggest, and urge vibrant life in the inner and outer world.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In many traditions, pregnancy is seen as a magical, mysterious time for women. Growing a baby in our wombs makes us feel and look like these unearthly beings who have access to some deeper parts of ourselves that have not been activated before.
I didn’t feel crazy mystic abilities but I did notice becoming more aware, intuitive and being able to access reservoirs of creativity, passion and drive more than before. I could feel how I am transforming and how this journey of pregnancy is preparing me for the bigger journey of motherhood.
The waiting. The pondering. The loss of self. The re-prioritization. The changing body. The confused mind. The kicks. The intense sensations.
Imagine if we were able to get pregnant and then give birth in a few weeks… Totally different experience.
I have become much more attuned to nature and to my instinctual self. I have become more forgiving and tolerant. I can feel how empathy and love are becoming stronger in my psyche. I can feel how my cells are changing to prepare me for welcoming, loving and taking care of this baby.
I still have fears about my third trimester and all the symptoms that accompany that passage. I still have fears about birth and dealing with the newborn. I have no f*cking idea how this is all going to go. But having gone now through two trimesters of pregnancy, I know I can do it.
I trust myself and my body to do what it needs to do. The unknown is scary and uncomfortable but so are all the greatest adventures that are worth living for.
Third trimester, bring it on.
I am ready.
I am releasing an audio documentary about my pregnancy journey on my Girlskill Podcast. If you’re not yet subscribed to the Girlskill Podcast, obviously you’re missing out!