As you see yourself grow larger and feel the baby’s kicking, wiggling presence much of the time, the reality that you are responsible for another human being’s life sinks in. This realization may awaken deep feelings about yourself and the rest of your life. You will experience that the sixth month of pregnancy is a time of many changes including:
A time of reflection. The natural turning inward of pregnancy often brings with it a journey to the past. You may rerun scenes from your childhood, pleasant and unpleasant, and wonder how your mother’s mothering will influence yours. You may even begin to think about unhappy incidents in your past, unresolved problems or other “baggage” that never was properly unloaded. While pregnancy is a good time to consider the blessings and challenges in your life and how they will affect your parenting, it’s not a time to be consumed by a problem past.
A time of inner healing and joy. Pregnancy often gives women deeper insight into themselves and many mothers see pregnancy as a window of opportunity for healing their psychological selves. Yet this is not the time to dwell on gut-wrenching psychological problems to the extent that an arduous quest for inner healing overshadows the joy of your pregnancy.
A time of introspection—but don’t obsess on problems. For some women pregnancy is not a good time for plumbing the depths of their psyche. While many can use heightened emotional awareness to their advantage (for career changes, for example, or shifting priorities), some find that pregnancy causes their emotions to play tricks on them, even to the point where they imagine problems where there are none. If you feel yourself getting in too deep, discuss these concerns with your practitioner and seek some balanced professional counseling, if necessary.
A time to build relationships. One area where a thorough soul- searching can reap some constructive change in your life during pregnancy has to do with family relationships and dynamics. Moving into the adult role of parenthood, for example, opens the door for making new connections with your own mom or dad. If you’ve been estranged from your parents, this may be the time to make-up. If you have a good relationship with your parents and in-laws you may find that it deepens as you share your pregnancy with them.
A time to develop patience. While over half of your pregnancy is behind you, there are still nearly a hundred l-o-n-g days ahead. There will be many times when you will truly enjoy everything about being pregnant; there will also be days when you just want to get it over with. Along with this impatience may come a bit of boredom. Any slowdown in your activity – from job to hobbies to sports – may leave you with time on your hands. You can take advantage of this slower time to read, walk, or just rest.
A time to contemplate. Pregnancy brings a season in which busy women can learn to enjoy a more contemplative life. Consider learning to meditate. While you can keep yourself busy catching up on photo albums or learning a language, remember that you are entering a new, rather un-intellectual, phase of life. Practice listening – to the wind or your own heart. Sooner than you think you will have an infant to feed, a crawling baby to watch, a toddler to play with. If you are able to have a peaceful pregnancy, you and baby will be healthier because you will have learned to be content with a slower pace.
A time of acceptance. During pregnancy you’ve had to be so vigilant, watching everything you eat, not taking aspirin for a headache, or anything for a stuffy nose. And there’s still a long stretch of more of the same. Your body is being taken over by another person. You may delight in the privilege of carrying this person, yet wonder why you have to endure many discomforts. You’re tired of conking out at night, leaving you with precious little time for yourself, let alone for your mate. You’re probably even tired of being noticed and fawned over – it can be irritating to be talked to all the time as if your only function in life is to gestate.
A time to slow down. Not only will your mind tell you to slow down by the end of the second trimester, your body will force you to do so. On the days you overdo it; you will know it. After a busy day, you will need some catch-up rest that evening or the next day. Exhaustion is your body’s reminder that there is just not enough energy, emotional or physical, to continue a busy lifestyle and grow a baby. If you feel you need to keep busy to get through your pregnancy, try to balance physical exertion with rest; mental stimulation with mindless relaxation; work that makes the time fly with leisure that allows your mind and body to catch up.