Rachel and I went to a birth-preparedness yoga class. The room was peppered with couples, all in a similar stage of pregnancy as us, all loosely arranged in a circle, a semi-mandala. We practiced a thing called "shadowing." I was quite ready for this experience as I have been putting on layers of "belly shadow" for Rachel's contentedness and pleasure for some time now.
We stood and knelt and arched and trusted each other to get in various positions with our arms locked or held around one another. It was very affectionate and invited tender looks into each other's eyes. I imagined that pregnant women would normally avoid these positions, on their own. I hoped that they would. It was a little bit alarming but also very exhilarating. There was a quiet novelty to the exercises that when done this way was both touching and exciting.
All of the pregnant women got on all-four's and then were told to put their arms way out in front of them with their faces touching the mat and their bottoms up in the air. You could see their pregnant bellies hanging below them where their shirts could no longer cover. The men were behind them and were told to massage the areas that might become sore during labor. I did. It was really something.
I closed my eyes and imagined that I was massaging her shadow also.
It was really something.