Zen and the Art of #Pregnancy

Welcome back to Risky Baby Business, our Saturday series about babies and pregnancy here at More Cowbell! If you’re new, the previous posts in this series can be found here.

Last Saturday marked our 25th baby post here at More Cowbell! Who knew I even had 25 things to say about pregnancy?? I believe in celebrating milestones so I wanted to let y’all know and take you back to the beginning of this series for a moment.

The most important thing ANY pregnant mommy can do is lower her stress levels…or find her “Zen.”

Most of the regular readers here know that having a baby was some serious risky business for me. Though I wouldn’t change anything because I did get a fantastic daughter out of it, there are pieces of information that I wish I’d known much earlier.

One of the downsides (for me) of having a baby is that the process differs from woman to woman and child to child. There is no possible way to set your expectations. Nope. You wake up one morning and find yourself strapped on the Pregnancy Surfboard, adrift in the Ocean of Gestation (and not anywhere near ready to ride the waves).

Whether you’re in calm waters or stormy riptides, you just have to roll with it and trust that things will be fine. Seriously. The majority of pregnancies are pretty normal. I think that’s why high-risk moms feel so very alone.

It’s crazy when you think of all the stages and steps that occur in the development of a baby in the womb. As my hubby told me when he compared computer projects to pregnancy:

We can’t get a project off the ground in nine months. And here you’ve conceived a life, built a placenta and grown a baby. That’s incredible!

Yeah, I sure did feel like Xena, the Warrior Princess Baby-Maker.

Hug those  Xena days close, Ladies. Treasure those moments and keep them ready – either for childbirth or when your child throws their first tantrum. Those are times when you NEED to feel like a Warrior Princess Baby-Maker.

Information Overload and How It Affects Your Zen

You get a metric ton of information in eight or nine short months. Some of it is important and useful, but a lot of it is just people wanting to relive their own experiences (which have nothing to do with you). So, I’m reiterating the point I made at the beginning of this post:

Keeping calm is the new mommy’s #1 job.

Crazy levels of stress from the mama can make life harder for baby. Yes, you need to sleep as much as possible and eat really well but those are job #2 and #3.

HOW do you control your stress levels?

  • By knowing that, in doing so, you are protecting your baby.
  • Find your force field of Zen and step inside it. Carve that area of calm out like a nest in a tree and live inside it for the months that you’re pregnant. This is the most important thing you can do for your baby.
  • Do whatever you must to find your Zen. Some women knit, some take up yoga. For me, it’s work that will keep my mind off problems. I started my current job when I was almost 5 months pregnant.
  • Find that calm center and embrace it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s trashy magazines or meditation that keep you calm. I knew one pregnant woman who did loads of laundry multiple times because folding it soothed her.

Remember, God’s in charge of the pregnancy and you’re in charge of the Zen.

Do you (or did you) have a hard time managing your stress during pregnancy? Was there advice that you were given that helped you “calm down?” What do you wish you’d known earlier? Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell.


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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7 Responses to Zen and the Art of #Pregnancy

  1. Unsolicited advice for the mama-to-be who found her zone by folding laundry. She could have double-teamed financial stress by renting her clothes-folding-comfort-zone talents to homes in the neighborhood. I would have supported her. Big time!

    I wonder. I wonder if the reason most second children are terrors by comparison to their two-year-old-senior sibling has its roots in a pregnant Mom’s inability to find her Zen while chasing am I’m-shaping-my-independence toddler.


  2. Kait Nolan says:

    I haven’t had kids yet, but this is one of the things I worry a LOT about because my boss drives me bat shit crazy and tends to make me want to go on a bender or a murder spree on a regular basis. None of this is conducive to a calm pregnancy. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal when we get to that point in the next year or so. I’ve tried finding other jobs, but there’s just nothing out there that pays as well and it’ll be another several years before the writing pays me comparably. So…yeah. We’ll see.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL, Kait. I can only tell you that you’ll find more calm because you just will not care about your boss as much as you do your baby. Plus, your boss will have to back off when your pregnant or he/she will have a lawsuit on their hands.

      Certainly, you’re going to get stressed out, but you will be amazed at how often you draw a line in the proverbial sand in front of you and say: “NO! Your bullshit is not welcome in my little bubble.”

      (Look at Kathy’s comment below.)


  3. K.B. Owen says:

    Great post, Jenny! You are so right about keeping calm, and it helps if you understand that you’re not being selfish – you’re doing it for the baby.

    How I dealt? In retrospect, I’d say I got obnoxious. Yes. Me. I am typically Miz Politeness, not wanting to put people out, smiling my way through an inconsiderate comment or thoughtless act. And when you’re pregnant, you run into puh-lenty of those! I guess I see it now as protecting that calm space you’re talking about. If I was tired of talking with someone, I said I was tired. When someone told me a horror story about their pregnancy/labor/delivery/postpartum/terrible-twos-child, I said it was a shame that happened, but I really wasn’t going to get worked up about it. When someone interrupted my nap to sell me Girl Scout cookies, only to exclaim about how big I’d gotten when I answered the door, I said: “You woke me up to tell me THAT? And no, I don’t want any, thanks. I’m going back to bed.”

    A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OMG, I would have LOVED to see you witht he Girl Scout cookies lady!!! I agree 100%. Your job during pregnancy is to breathe, sleep and eat, and provide the calmest haven that you can. Everything else can wait 8-9 freaking months until you’re done.


  4. I had my four kids inside of six years! So I know all about stress and **Gaaaiiiieeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!** during pregnancy..
    I ate a lot of hot pepper Stromboli with the last pregnancy (which was 16 years ago) and I basically enlisted the help of family and friends (not including my psycho mother-in-law at the time – who lived next door by the way) to keep me at my best.
    I feel like this is such a great time to be pregnant for all you mom’s to be out there… there is so much awareness and healthy food choices and there is just so much positivity.
    Rock on!


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