Within my womb

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My womb carries the purest soul we have yet to meet. It feels so empowering and magical yet so daunting and eerie. I never trusted my body enough to believe it could create life. I had cultivated for so long the unrealistic belief that I could never have children. I poisoned my body with birth control pills until it could no longer bleed on its own. I was 22 and had never had my period so something surely must have been off. I refused to see any specialist because I was too afraid to hear the unshakeable truth of infertility. I retreated into fear until I met him.

He changed everything. He proved all my beliefs wrong. He believed in me so fiercely and tenderly I started easing my mind. But I could still never quite let go of all the buried trauma and pain in my heart enough to love myself. It took me running to the ends of the Earth and him sabotaging our love for us to seek our truest sense of inner love. We grew apart long enough for us to nurture the love we had been missing our whole lives. The kind of love you can only reach by exploring the scariest layers of your soul and unfolding them all, one by one. I was petrified to look within. I ran and ran until there was nowhere left to run.

I spent the last decade of my life traveling on my own around the entire world. I was unstoppable. Mountains were my sweetest lullaby. I would push my body beyond its limits and wake up to a different sun each day. I would live for this exhilarating sense of aliveness. The infinite beauty and freedom of life moved me to the core of my being and I would always yearn for more adventures.

I was hungry for love, too. I always was. After I poured my love into Kevin’s soul, I grew love for strangers. Innocent children playing in the busy streets of Yogyakarta. Balinese women giving me a ride on their scooters and welcoming me into their homes. Polish families warming up my heart with cups of tea and captivating tales seconds after I hitchhiked through the Highlands. A loving American couple who listened and soaked in all of my stories with utter kindness and respect while roadtripping across the country. Every soul I encountered shaped the woman I am today. The wild yet insecure girl I once was. They all led me here. To the inner journey within my own heart.

And so it began. It was painful and soul-wrecking but oh so gloriously beautiful, too. I came to realize that even though I had traveled around the Earth, there were still so many unloved parts of myself and that I had not been dealing with them the right way. In fact, I merely took them with me on my adventures while I pretended they weren’t real. I had learned to bury all the pain inside because I didn’t believe I was strong enough to face it, let alone move past it. My suffering was too heavy and I was too fragile. I was sure I would break within seconds. As I opened my heart to the fear and suffering of my past, I finally understood. That it no longer had power over me. That it was okay to break. That this breaking was in fact necessary.

I fumbled my way through the pain. I fell to the ground multiple times but I kept standing up again. That’s when I knew how strong I was. How strong we all are yet fail to see ourselves for who we truly are. I no longer need to be a victim. I don’t want to dwell in the past nor worry about the future because none of this matters. It was when I surrendered to the fear that I expanded into love. I started embracing my body for everything it allowed me to do. I fell in love with the bareness of my skin. Every freckle and every scar. They all had stories to tell and I needed to grow more love for them.

Home started to feel beautiful. It would sound so soothing and effortless and I wondered when things would shatter again because life just couldn’t be this sweet. The truth is by learning to love myself, everything actually became easier. Kevin and I reconnected and found more balance within our relationship. Months went by, then years and our love grew stronger and saner. Life became sweeter with every passing day. I was no longer running away and he was no longer crawling into his shell. Trusting our paths and learning to keep our hearts open through it all changed our whole experience.

Kevin was the first to bring up the idea of building a family. He had always dreamed of becoming a father. And the more I stood by his side, the more convinced I was that he would be the absolute best, most loving Dad in the whole world. He’s the kind of person who loves you without ever expecting anything in return. Who will do anything to make you feel safe and happy. He’s the kind of man who will wash my compression socks and dry them at night so I can wear them again the next day. He’ll do the dishes, the laundry, clean the whole apartment and always have a kind smile on his face when he sees you waking up. He’ll sit down by your side and whisper love words to your sleepy self. He’s just the most devoted human in the universe and there is no doubt in my heart that our children will be loved beyond measure.

Still, it felt impossible for us to ever create life. We wanted this little family so badly but we kind of had the feeling that we would have to struggle for a few years before being able to conceive. We were in Bali when we decided it was time for us to try and trust the universe. I fell pregnant three months after. It felt unreal and overwhelming and I could hardly calm myself down. Kevin, on the other side, was sitting next to me with the biggest and most serene smile on his face. He’s always been the peaceful one. I was three weeks pregnant then. Nothing felt physically different yet a few weeks before taking that pregnancy test – who turned out to be a false negative -, I could feel in my heart that something was up. I couldn’t quite explain it but I felt changed. I told Kevin we had to get a blood test to get it off our chests. We found out on the 8th of October. We were forever changed from then on.

We canceled our travel plans for the year to come. This baby would become our wildest adventure. Sadly I slipped back into old patterns. No matter how confident I wanted to feel, I just couldn’t help but think my body was failing me and that I would not to be able to keep this little baby inside my womb alive. It was absolute torture waiting for December to come so we could have an ultrasound and finally know if our baby was still there. Kevin never really doubted we would lose the baby. He tried everything he could to soothe my troubles away. But I felt too insecure to even trust him.

On the 4th of December, I laid down on an examination table and Kevin held my hand strongly seconds before the most magical miracle appeared on the screen. He or she was already so big. We got to listen to our baby’s heartbeat and tears flew down our cheeks. We were mesmerized and I secretly wanted this moment to last forever. Our baby was already being a wild little pumpkin moving around on its own and we just stood there, proud and speechless.

The extreme fatigue and ‘morning’ sickness came. Everytime I felt like rushing to the bathroom and throwing up, part of me was grateful for how sick I was because in my eyes, it meant our baby was safe and growing. I finally allowed myself to read all the positive parenting books I had bought months ago. Things really started to sink in. We told our closest friends and sharing this kind of joy made us feel unbelievably radiant. It got more and more real.

I had a complete blood check up to make sure I was healthy enough for our baby. My levels all turned out so amazing our midwife said it would prove everyone saying veganism is dangerous wrong. She asked me a few questions about my lifestyle before stating I knew exactly what I was doing. I felt overjoyed beyond words because I have had so many people putting me down in the past for embracing veganism or even friends challenging me and saying I could never be vegan while pregnant. I feel at peace knowing my food choices aren’t hurting any other species and that I am no longer contributing to the cruetly of such a sick industry. I wish everyone would make the connection. My goal is to remain kind and inspire more compassion towards all the animals. Cows and calves. Dogs and puppies. Pigs and piglets. Hens and chicks. We are all the same. We all deserve to live and love.

My belly is growing bigger each day now. I waited for this for so long I am ecstatic when someone tells me I look bigger. Kevin tells me I sleep with my hand on my belly and I smile because I do truly feel so connected to our baby. More than I could have ever imagined. I love that Kevin feels it, too. He’ll put his head on my belly and talk to our baby for hours. Whenever he starts singing cheesy songs, I always burst out laughing because I can perfectly imagine him being an awkward Dad to our child. We’ll both be so awkward, actually. We are eager to show our baby the world someday and teach him or her about love, kindness and compassion but deep down we know we’ll be growing and learning just as much.

Through raising this precious being, we’ll be rising to our own fullest potential and we can only hope to nurture more love for our family. We want to respect our child and acknowledge his or her own special spirit. We want to make him or her feel loved and encouraged at all times. We are dedicated to bettering ourselves everyday and bringing more empathy into this world. We wholeheartedly believe peace on Earth starts at home and through the inevitable trial and error we’ll have to face, love will be our priority. It feels surreal thinking that in just a few months, our baby will be born and that I’ll be breastfeeding him or her while Kevin will bond with our little miracle, skin to skin. I’m thankful for all the lessons pregnancy is teaching me and I feel infinitely blessed that we are embarking on the journey of parenthood. Nothing has ever felt more magnificent.

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