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Stuck In “The Web of Sticky Thoughts”

Updated: Jun 14

Starting in my second trimester, just after getting very sick, in a way that reminded me physically of how I felt just before Eli was born, plus having my back thrown out so badly I could hardly walk, I started struggling with intrusive thoughts. Particularly, I felt  like I was going to die in labor.

I started doing my daily Sadhana (time of prayer and meditation), again consistently, taking time for self care, and doing things that made me feel strong. I stopped struggling for the most part. Until recently, when admittedly, I’ve been lacking in taking that time for myself.

In these periods of struggle, I’ve been telling myself that my fears are completely irrational and providing myself with all the logical explanations. I’ve been trying to reason my intrusive thoughts into submission as well as shove them out of my brain space. Additionally, I’ve been shaming myself about not making the time to prioritize my mental and physical health and basically being like, “Well, I’m not doing what I need to do, and this is why I’m struggling.”

I called my dad and decided to talk about it. He mentioned how pieces of us are dying constantly and that life is filled with moments to grieve little things.

It hit me that while I am super excited to have a second child, many aspects of who I am right now, are going to die the minute this child is born. My relationship with Eli is going to change. My marriage is going to change. The entire dynamic of my family will shift as we become and learn how to function as a family of four instead of a family of three.

For the first time since I started having these thoughts, I exhaled.

While all of my doing and resisting the thoughts was pretty effective, I never got to the root of the fear.

In like two seconds,  my dad was able to bring to light something I had been battling on and off for months.

Just yesterday, my dad gave Eli the book “The Hug Who Got Stuck” and read it to us.

It talks about the keys to being a great hug which are breathing, focusing on love, and not paying too much attention to sticky thoughts. A “lonely thought or bad feeling” could and did trap one particular hug in a sticky web. “Squirming and wriggling” just trapped the hug even more.

Eventually after fighting it, the hug “sighed helplessly and stopped squirming and wriggling.” That’s when the hug was able to slip right through the web of sticky thoughts.

I just lived that story.

I am the hug.

I had been trapped in a sticky thought. Instead of fighting it and reasoning with it, with my dad’s help I was able to get curious about it and comfortable with it.

The death that my subconscious was afraid of wasn’t actually literal, but the concept of death (abandoning my son) freaked me out so badly that I couldn’t be still enough to get there and see that.

Around the time Eli was born, SO much changed in my life. Not only had I recently become a wife, bought a house, moved, the world (during Covid) felt totally surreal and unrecognizable, I quit going to yoga, which was a huge part of my life, because I couldn’t wear a mask which was required to do just about anything at that time, I lost friends etc. I felt so far removed from the person I knew as myself.

Then to top it all off, I became a mother and quit my job. Outside of my family, every single aspect of my life was new and different. Obviously, becoming a wife and mother were some incredible blessings, but they forever changed me. Especially becoming a mom.

There was an unmistakable death of the person I was before.

My entire sense of self, purpose, importance, world view, was completely altered to the point where I couldn’t even imagine being the person I was before he was born.

It’s been three years. For three years, my world has been pretty stable. I’ve been able to flourish and grow even during rough moments in the safety of the consistency.

Adding a new human to the mix of my stable  comfortable life is a huge deal.

A lot of moms that I know openly struggle before adding a second or third child to the mix. They worry about their ability to love the second as much as the first. They worry about the splitting of time and how it will affect the first child etc.

When my niece Violet was born and I had the opportunity to hold her for the first time, I remember looking down at her, and I felt my heart expand. It was a pivotal and eye opening moment for me, and I held her and just cried.

The resentment I worried I’d have because my brother and sister-in-law had the child I had been wanting and dreaming of for so many years was just not existent. All that mattered when I looked at her was this beautiful little life in front of me that was forever and always going to be my niece. I swear, like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day.

Since that moment, I never questioned my ability to love. I already deeply love this child  that I’ve carried for 39 weeks and 4 days now.

However, that doesn’t mean that I am not with in my bounds to grieve the end of this sweet little healing time of life as I know it now.

I am so excited for the new and exciting life with my sweet baby boy to come. I cannot wait for all the baby snuggles and to get to know this human who’s been growing inside of me.

At the same time, I am sad that my precious moments alone with my sweet Eli are coming to an end. With new life, there is an accompanying death of sorts. Things will never be the same.

Life consists of constant celebrations of the new while at the same time grieving of the old.

Like the hug who got stuck, I need to quit squirming and wriggling and just breathe, focus on love aka God, (1 John 4:16) and to stop fighting and paying so much attention to the sticky thoughts.

Where Love is, there is freedom and peace.

Now, come on out Baby!

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