I did yoga all through both of my pregnancies. With Henry, I took tough intermediate level classes up through seven months and a prenatal class; with Kathleen I went more for meditation and easy beginner. One day the teacher had us do happy baby pose. Feet up in the air. Hands on feet. "Think of your favorite baby," she said. "Or," standing over me, "your favorite baby to be."
It was the one time I had to leave class. I wept my way through half the classes I took when I was pregnant, but that day, I walked out of the room. I stood in the bathroom and gasped and cried. I couldn't think of my favorite baby to be, only my favorite baby who had been, my favorite baby whose feet I'd never see sticking up in the air.
Henry was a pretty happy baby despite everything he went through. On more than one occasion he pulled me back from the brink of despair with his smile, his big, bright smile that seemed to light up his whole body.
When I was pregnant with Kathleen I worried about her happiness. I worried that to get a healthy baby I'd have to trade off happiness. I worried that the tears I shed nearly, if not every day, the pall of sorrow that hung over me would seep into her as she grew in me. So I prayed for her to be healthy and happy and whole and I told her how much I wanted her, despite my tears, despite my lack of delight and anticipation.
And she is happy. She has a smile as bright as her brother's and a ready laugh. She makes me smile too.