My strengths have always been planning, organizing, being prepared, always thinking ahead — basically textbook type-A personality. Well, if it’s one thing parenthood has taught me, it’s that you have to loosen the reigns on expectations, learn to be present and go with the flow.
Like others, about a year after getting married and buying our home, that hormonal switch kicked into gear and my husband and I were ready to start our family. Even though my pregnancy was planned, it still turned my world UPSIDE down!
From the get-go, I wanted a natural birth, no drugs. I trusted my body to do what it was intended to and I had faith that I would be able to handle it. Throughout my whole pregnancy I stayed active, I did my prenatal yoga, practiced Reiki, and I practiced meditation and hypnobirthing exercises daily to prepare myself for this miracle. I ONLY saw midwives during my pregnancy, and they were so supportive and reinforced that I was doing everything right, and the baby was head down, ready to rock and roll.
Two weeks before my due date, fate stepped in. The appointment with my midwife was cancelled due to a snow storm, and I ended up in an appointment with a male M.D. — polar opposite from who I had been seeing this whole time. After he did the exam he stated that he wanted to do an ultrasound (this is about when the panic set in). His suspicions were accurate, and I had a breech baby. As it turns out I have a bicornuate uterus, which means my anatomy made it difficult for my baby to ever flip. Next step: scheduled C-section.
As devastating as it was for my “birth plan” to go completely down the tube, all of the preparations I made for my natural birth, ESPECIALLY the meditation and exercise, were critical for my emotional preparedness for the procedure, recovery, and ultimately motherhood. This was a serious lesson for me that I can’t control everything in life, but I CAN learn how to deal with whatever comes my way.
I didn’t really know what to expect out of my maternity leave, but I will admit, I foolishly envisioned myself trotting along on the treadmill while my precious baby rocks away in the swing. I thought I’d have ALL this time to do things. Nope.
We lived far from our families and the lack of consistent help during this time was (who am I kidding, still is) overwhelming. I remember sitting at home one day while still on leave, barely able to keep my life together (or so it felt), thinking to myself, “How am I EVER going to do all of this when I go back to work?!” I couldn’t imagine getting dinner on the table every night, doing laundry EVERY day, and keeping the house in somewhat decent order, let alone get back into exercising and meditating on a daily basis. But, like my mother told me, you just figure it out.
Slowly but surely, things started to come together. Like everyone else, I still struggle with managing it all, but practicing mindfulness meditation has really helped me cope with the curve balls life likes to throw. Perspective really is everything.
I know I already talked in a previous post about how I came to start my business, Integrative Wellness RI, but let me just say here that I see you out there, trying to keep your s*** together amongst all of the noise of parenthood and life. I am so happy to officially be here now to help give you the resources, tools, and teach the skills to bring physical and emotional balance to your life through my services.
Here is what I currently offer, and I am building and collaborating with other providers constantly to bring you more of what you need to live your best life for your family, but most importantly, for YOU.
Prenatal Breath + Stretch Classes
Saturdays at 10:30 A.M. beginning June 1st
This is a 75-minute class that integrates mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, stretching, and core strength exercises to keep your mind and body well as you grow your own little miracle. I include practices that were absolutely essential in my own experience in addition to all of the things I wish I did, and the social support of other class members who are going through the same experience as you.
This is a very supportive environment and safe for ALL fitness levels, and for those with little-to-no experience with meditation.
Integrative Stretching Classes
Mondays at 6 P.M., Wednesdays at 7 P.M., Thursdays at 12 P.M., Saturdays at 9 A.M.
This is a 60-minute class that combines mindfulness meditation with total-body stretching and core strengthening. In addition to promoting physical fitness, we also focus incorporate stress management and other wellness goals in our practice.
While not exclusive to expecting mothers, it is safe for all stages of pregnancy and those in the postnatal stages.
As you can probably tell by now, I take a holistic approach with my work and tend to include a multitude of treatments in my practice. I offer private sessions for personal training (focused on functional fitness), flexibility training, mindfulness meditation, Reiki, and healthy lifestyle coaching. Most often, my clients receive a mix of these modalities for optimal treatment based on their needs :).
Alyssa Knapp, MS, CEP, CTTS
Owner, Integrative Wellness RI
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