By Jennifer Avgerinos
We all have a tendency to forget just how truly precious life is. We take it all for granted. We complain, we regret, we suffer or worse, we hate. If you’ve ever been pregnant, lived with someone who is pregnant or witnessed an ultrasound in the first developmental months of a fetus, you know that life is miraculous and the fact that we make it into human form at all, despite all of the potential problems and complications is nothing less than a miracle. When I saw my daughter’s tiny, whirling and glowing heart at just eight weeks I became a believer again.
Unlike my sister, pregnancy did not come easily for me. As the oldest child in my family, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and experienced an ectopic pregnancy and then later branched out on my own experiencing a miscarriage. These were heartbreaking and confusing events to say the least, but I surrendered and remained faithful that like my mother, I would go on to have a healthy baby some day (in fact, she had three). My mother had told me once a long time ago that she had had a dream that I was sitting on a couch with two beautiful children and that I was happy. I have held onto that vision.
My mother was told that she would never have children and so she prepared to adopt when she found herself pregnant with me. Her doctor thought that she was crazy when she told him that she thought she was expecting (doctors don’t know everything). If you are reading this and you have experienced similar disappointment, or if you like me are a bit older as you walk down the path towards motherhood, don’t listen to your doctor too much. Listen to your instinct and be your own best advocate. When I made my first appointment with my OBGYN after confirming that I was pregnant, she asked me what I had done to conceive. What fertility method had I followed? She was completely speechless when I told her that the pregnancy was the result of a baby blessing from a living female saint in Southern India. Becoming pregnant via test tube and medical intervention wasn’t for me.
As I near the final stretch of my pregnancy, I am cherishing every moment – even the heartburn, the lack of sleep, the tiredness, the soreness, the inability to properly groom my neither regions and despite all of the craziness in the world. One friend openly laughed at my husband and I when we told her that we were going to have a baby. "How optimistic of you", she said.
Nevertheless, I am exceeding grateful to be granted this precious gift and I am excited about meeting my daughter and holding her for the first time. But here’s the thing - pregnancy requires you to accept the changes in your body and in your life. It requires you to embrace the unknown and cultivate flexibility and patience, self-study and surrender. It is the ultimate yoga practice.
It also helps to remind yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – that pregnancy is a temporary state, a fleeting moment just like all things in life. Eventually, my nose, my waistline and my yoga practice will return to their normal state. And so I bow to my mother, to The Divine Mother and to all mothers and women everywhere. We are the true yogis of the world because as Amma The Hugging Saint has said,
There is much truth in the saying that there is a strong woman behind every successful man. Wherever you see you happy, peaceful individuals; where ever you see children endowed with noble qualities and good disposition; wherever you see men who have immense strength when faced with failure and adverse situation; wherever you see people who possess a great measure of understanding, sympathy, love, and compassion toward the suffering, and who give of themselves to others you will usually find a great mother who has inspired them to become what they are.