Blog: Ask Isa: Unexpected Pregnancy
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Question: I’m pregnant and I’m having a hard time connecting to my child. I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant and I’m not sure how I feel about it. What can I do to feel more connected to my child?
Isa: First of all, there isn’t anything wrong with you if you don’t feel connected to your child right away. This is a huge moment in your life, and you need to give yourself all the time and space you need for this pregnancy to fully register for you.
If you can’t connect with your child immediately, it’s likely because you need to take time to explore the ways you’re going to change as you become a mother. In order to connect with your child, you first have to connect with yourself. If you don’t put your own emotional and physical needs first, it will be more difficult to connect. Focusing on yourself in this way is not selfish, but will actually be beneficial for your child.
When preparing for motherhood, it is essential to reflect on what being a mother means to you and to consider how having a child is going to affect your everyday life. I recommend looking at your own definition of “mother” and examining the way you were mothered. If you have been well-mothered, reflect on what values you might emulate as a mother for your child. If you were not mothered well, there may be places within you that need healing.
You are faced with many unknowns when you realize you’re pregnant. Your life will be completely moved in a new direction if you decide to have this child, and you must know who you are so you can understand the path that is opening to you. When you begin to explore your own values and the places within you that need healing, it is important to fully experience all of the emotions you have coming up around your pregnancy. If you weren’t planning to be pregnant, you might have some very strong emotions. There’s no emotion that is not okay. It’s important to let every emotion that surfaces move through you, so it does not remain stuck in you. Doing this will help you connect with yourself more deeply and will also make it easier for you to connect with your child.
Giving birth is a major initiation. If this initiation is thrust upon you, you have to get your bearings. Understanding the process of giving birth as an initiatory process is essential. Giving birth is just one of the many initiations a woman’s body puts her through. Being newly pregnant in an unexpected way is a moment in your biological experience that is opening spiritual initiations to you. Using this pregnancy as an opportunity to connect with yourself and heal will help you prepare for a more empowered birth.
Editors’ Note: If you’d like more support navigating pregnancy and preparing for motherhood, Isa’s classes Tracking Spirit in the Birth Environment and Initiations of the Sacred Feminine explore this topic more deeply.