Pregnancy is creative! For me, creative energy during pregnancy was massively tied up in baby-making, and it took me a while to realize just how perfectly creative I was being because my usual mental creativity had gone flat. One day during a moment of pregnant lethargy I commented to my dad that I felt so heavily un-inspired and un-creative, and he looked at me lovingly and said “What if you are actually engaged in the most creative act of your life right now?!!” Of course! I saw the truth of this immediately and was never again un-appreciative of the creation taking place within my body.

Still, an artsy girl must have her outlet! I found mine mostly in writing, snippets of which you will find in my blog, but I also enjoyed doing special pregnant things like making belly pants and shirts (instructions to come soon!) and I loved making, and now having, a belly cast!

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How we made our belly cast:

It is really easy! You certainly don’t need a pre-packaged belly casting kit, just some time, and some one you love to help is always nice. It was a really sweet, bonding thing for David and I to do together before the birth.

~ We went to the local drug store and bought approx. 8 rolls of plaster guaze, 1 and 2 inches wide. This is the same stuff you would make a cast for a broken arm with.

~ We went outside on a beautiful, sunny day with our plaster guaze, a pan of water, scissors, olive oil, and a towel to wrap me up in so I didn’t get my clothes covered in wet plaster.

~ We cut the plaster guaze into 3-6 inch long strips.

~ David covered my torso in a thick layer of olive oil (I’m not a fan of petroleum based Vasaline)

~ David dipped the plaster guaze in the pan of water and started to layer it on over my belly!

~ After about 4 layers, we let it dry and then popped it off of me to further dry in the sun and then over night.

~ Once it is all dry, you can finish the edges nicely with more plaster guaze, and sand it down a little bit and then make it nice and smooth with plaster of paris. Then you can paint it, or leave it just as is! I think the pregnant belly is such a beautiful form it doesn’t need any embellishment, but you might want to go for it with your paint-box.

~ You will enjoy looking at how big your belly was in 3D once you have your babe in arms!

Pregnancy is physical! It can be a very sensual time, with life coursing through your body!  Doing things that make your body feel good and happy during this period of such intense change and growth is important. Find out what moves your energy in beautiful ways and go for it! Massage, baths, dance, yoga, walking, and swimming were very important to me during my pregnancy. Keeping my body strong, active, oxygenated and healthy felt wonderful, and I could feel my baby responding happily to the movements and activities that made me feel good too! Make a project out of loving your body, and remember that in doing so you are also loving your growing baby!

Pregnancy is emotional! Deeply, beautifully, sacredly, magically emotional like no other time of your life! I felt like I was on an ocean of shifting, oscillating emotions for the duration of my pregnancy and then on into the first three months of my new baby’s life. When you consider how many hormonal shifts a pregnant and postpartum body is going through, it makes perfect sense that feelings would run deep and high. All I can say is “ENJOY THE RIDE!” You will not be pregnant for ever, so relax, remember to breath through the deep parts, and cherish the high parts.

Things that I found profoundly helpful in riding the waves with grace were:

Enough sleep. I slept 10-11 hours a night and napped during the first trimester! Sleep is the greatest hormone balancing thing you can do, and now is not the time to try to be superwoman. Well, OK, you ARE superwoman because you are baby-building, so you really don’t have to do more than you feel comfortable with on top of being pregnant.

Eating well. This is one of my favorite things to talk about, so I have a whole section dedicated to Eat/Drink.

Meditation.

Journaling.

Walking/swimming/yoga.

Talking with other moms. Being pregnant and then having a baby are like secret passwords to a beautiful inner circle of the public. I started noticing it as soon as my belly started to show, moms (and almost everyone for that matter!)  would look at me openly and smile with love! Moms usually love to talk with moms, so open up, share, and actively join the new community that you are a part of!

Blessingway. A blessingway is a gathering of love for the pregnant mother, celebrating her path and the journey of birth that she is about to embark on! My mom held a blessing way for me in the eighth month of my pregnancy, and it was beautiful, simple, and very meaningful to me. I invited my close family members, and we spent the day together mostly just enjoying each others company and eating good food. I had asked for no gifts, but I did get some beautiful, hand made cards with wishes for a beautiful birth. By the end of the day I felt deeply loved and supported, and that is a wonderful thing for a pregnant girl to feel! I suggest that you create a day that is meaningful to you, and here is a website all about blessingways to get you started.

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