What are you doing for you?

February 25, 2009

This is one of the questions my doctor asked me at my appointment last week: “What are you doing for you?”

Besides writing here, which some days feels as necessary as breathing, I have returned to my yoga class.  It meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, so two days a week I bend and stretch and work to make peace with my physical self.  My post-pregnancy physical self with its floppy belly and remaining pregnancy weight, its lost flexibility.  Yoga is helping me know myself again and to reclaim myself, to be able to say, Yes, this is me.  This is how I am right now and this is what I can do.  In a few months I will be more flexible; I will be able to touch the floor without bending my knees and I will be able to hold in down dog without straining.  In a little while I will have rediscovered my sense of balance.

I’m proud of myself for going to class, for only missing one session since I started.  I cry during final relaxation at almost every class – silently, but the walls holding my tears back relax as well, and the tears just come.  I’ve stopped trying to avoid the memories of attending this class while pregnant, of feeling Teddy move within me, of finding what seemed to be his favorite poses, of putting my hand on my belly at the end of each class, my eyes closed, sending Teddy as many thoughts of love as I could.  I’m glad we had that time together, he and I.

There are two pregnant women in my class.  Their presence doesn’t disturb me as much as I feared, though I usually avoid looking at them, which isn’t very hard as we are all working on our own poses, focusing on our own breathing and positions.  Yesterday, though, as we were winding down, the instructor talked next to the very pregnant woman practicing next to me about the relaxation pose that I, too, had loved when pregnant.  “This is probably becoming your favorite pose,” she said to this other woman, and I could feel the gasps rising in my chest, my eyes filling with tears.

But I’ll be back tomorrow.

What are you doing for you?  How hard is it to do?



  1. Sigh. Yoga is one of the few places where I’ve been able to regain some connection between mind and body…my mind that so desparately wanted Ezra to arrive safely, and my body that cut off his oxygen supply and killed him. I cry during the meditation time most days too…silently yet I can’t hold back the tears.
    Someone asked me that very question – what are you doing for you today, and I didn’t really know how to answer. Sure I blog and go to therapy, accupuncture and yoga…all of those are incredibly important to me. But the reality is that despite all of that, some days the sadness and exhaustion from just living through this is so incredibly oppressive, I really don’t know WHAT to do for me.

  2. I remind myself I’m surviving. I blog. I try to challenge myself. I try to use my time, while I’m not working, to achieve some of the things I’ve always wanted to do. Get my photography ‘business’ ready to start out (slowly), try mosaics, knit, finish organising our house ‘amalgamation’ (We’ve been married 18 months – it’s a big process!)…
    I still feel that I’m missing something though. Searching for low cost (well, the girl doesn’t have an income..) ways to fill that space.
    I’m proud of you with your yoga. I understand what you say about the floppy belly and remaining pregnancy weight. You are doing so well. Especially having pregnant women in your class. These days are so hard on us, aren’t they?

  3. I started back to yoga about a month after Henry died; same studio, same teacher, different class. Many times it made me weep, but every now and then it gave me a quiet space at the end, where I didn’t want any distractions–no music, no writing, no talking–I just wanted to sit. I stuck with the class until two days before my daughter was born. Early on, I gave myself permission to take things easy, to feel what I felt, to do or not do things as it felt right. Right now, what I am able to do for me is write and walk.

  4. hi erica- i just stumbled upon you from GITW – and i noticed that we run in the same circles now. we lost our baby boy silas orion on 9/25/08 b/c of a shoulder dystocia birth.

    anyway, to answer your question, i do yoga, blog, talk to friends and family on the phone, email with other babyloss moms, snuggle with my kitties, now see a personal trainer b/c of that baby weight i can’t shake thats making me nuts, watch a lot of crappy tv. oh, and give my husband a lot of hugs. i am working again, a lot, i teach yoga to kids. its hard but good for me.

    today is the 5 month mark of silas’ birth and death. its so sad and so hard.

    i’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful little teddy. my heart goes out to you. come visit if you have a moment- my last post is very similar to yours (both my husband and i write just an fyi). http://elmcitydad.wordpress.com

    sending much love your way.

  5. I go to yoga. I should go more. I should take more walks in Golden Gate Park. I try not to “should” myself too much. I eat chocolate when I want to, but not too much because that doesn’t feel good. I write. I spend time alone. I talk with friends. I remain connected with others.

    Good for you for continuing to go to class, Erica.

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