Sophia (Float Program Organizer)
Due in mid-June
Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 17
It’s not so much about the arc of what occurs or doesn’t in the tank. It’s more about the feeling afterward. The quieting of the buzz, the signals, the usual dull or acute roar of overstimulation. Pieces of all that move through the tank as well, but they’re woven with something else. And here I sit afterward, just quieter.
I haven’t floated in a while, so this float was a mishmash. Fears around hearing my arrhythmia so acutely. Three beats, skip, four, skip, quickening, skip. Then feeling into the baby. Are you there? At random, subtle turns and pushes from inside my uterus. Later, stretching. Ease. Small releases. Eventually cracking the door to let fresh air in – the temp was too high for my now-standard higher body temp and blood flow. But above all, this float was less about my pregnancy and more about my nervous system and realizing the din I’ve been allowing myself to live in, what I allow in. A space where I cannot be on call for my 3-year-old whose sharp mind never stops testing or asking why. Where there’s nothing to be done about my depression or decisions to be made about what’s best for the baby or best for me, or whether those choices are the same.
And the backdrop to it all – that precious space where, even if my mind didn’t magically settle or drift into the cosmos this time, my body received a remembrance of the existence or possibility of a state in which I am not feeling pain. Sometimes I can’t remember that it’s there. And sometimes my mind forgets that its natural state is liberation. That there’s a version of me – or not a version, like in an alternate life – but a fluid core of me who is free, unburdened, unscrambled, present, clear. This simple remembrance is a gift.
Due Late May
Allison Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 22
Going in, I thought I was going to be so bored. I had a busy, stressful day and I didn’t think I’d be able to quiet my mind. I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
At first, the float was just kind of a fun feeling and my mind bounced all over the place. I wasn’t bored for a second. I turned the lights off and felt like I was floating in outer space. My baby was kicking, and I was very aware that it was just the two of us. Then, I fell asleep and was shocked when the music started playing.
I get like I had been gone for hours, days. Possibly transported to another world. I feel like I’ve been gone for a long time. And coming home, I feel like I’ve been gone for days. I’ve been gone for a little over 2 hours.
Due Late May
Grace Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 21
I went into my first float not knowing what to expect, but open to the idea of having total stillness for what might feel like a long time. In reality, I moved around quite a bit in the tank. I found myself feeling nervous about losing sense of the edges of the tub, so I purposefully bounced back and forth for a while. I also flipped a few times from back to stomach, because lying on my back in the water started to make my shoulders and neck ache.
I did lose sense of time – I got out at one point thinking it had only been about 30 minutes when in reality it had been almost an hour and a half.
At the end of the first float, I felt underwhelmed. I did feel somewhat relaxed but mostly didn’t feel much different than usual. The next day is when it hit me – I woke up the day after my float and felt really refreshed and clear-headed. I hope this continues with the next floats, but that my body also learns to relax more while I’m in the tank.
Due Late June
Kendra Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 17
The first session I was in room 5, which is the largest room and feels like a cruise ship. I was a little worried at first that it would be too big and distracting but once I laid down I was able to pretty quickly drop in and relax.
As my senses started to adjust to the darkness and emptiness my breath became overwhelming loud. Over the course of the next period (not sure how long it was) I tried different ways of breathing to see if they were less distracting. However I felt like I actually wasn’t taking full deep breaths that way, so I decided to stop obsessing about breathing and try to just be.
That lasted maybe a breath, ha, and then my thoughts took over. I journeyed down a rabbit hole of tasks, memories, thoughts trying to orient myself and where I was all to wind back in my body noticing all the different areas of tension and discomfort. It was of being weightless highlighted all the areas in my body where I had an injury, weakness or tension.
It was overwhelming at first but then I started using my said breath to try and relax into the areas and incorporate them in my body. Shortly after that I started to focus on my womb and baby. I deeply wanted to connect and feel my baby moving around. At first they were quiet but then as I put my hands on my womb I began to feel subtle little kicks.
Due in mid-March
L’Keisha Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 31
I remember saying that I didn’t have any expectations going in, but it turns out that I did.
It may have been because my day was already so stressful and I had left my house to come to the float in a less than pleasant mood, but my float was actually pretty uncomfortable. This was surprising to me because I have floated once before and really enjoyed it. This time I felt like I couldn’t find a comfortable position even though I had a couple of tools, and I found myself to be more anxious than the last time. There were a couple of things that I enjoyed.
The first is that I felt like I was spinning a ton, but every time I opened my eyes I hadn’t moved at all, so that was entertaining. Secondly, even though I was starting to feel anxious about things, I would notice a couple of times that I hadn’t been thinking about anything at all, I would just sort of “snap back” to reality.
I did sleep relatively well after the float. I think that getting a refresher course on what it’s like will help me to enjoy the next floats, I wouldn’t say that this one was typical. Again, I think I was just too keyed up for it this time, but I’m looking forward to the next float and to see how it helps my body as I grow and grow and grow.
L’Keisha Float Session #2
Weeks Pregnant: 33
This float was way better than my first one.
The time went much faster and I had almost no anxiety. I was able to be in the complete darkness for about half of my float. During that time I was really envisioning my labor and birth and I felt right in the water and I felt at peace there and I could sense that I would feel at peace birthing her in water.
I realized that I could hear both of our heartbeats, but I couldn’t really tell one from the other. I also noticed that though she was pretty active in the hour and a half, her movements didn’t feel as forceful as they usually do, they felt more gentle. Even with how gentle they were though, when she would move I could feel my body start to float that direction as if she was guiding us.
I spent more time on my belly during this float, I would recommend having something floating under your tummy as well as your shoulders/neck. Overall this was a very relaxing and somewhat spiritual float. I did get a little uncomfortable towards the end – I should remember to take Tums before the float next time – but it was exactly what I needed at the end of a long day.
Due in mid-April
Taylor Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 26
I could hear my own heartbeat and I was in a floating, anti-gravity environment. I wonder if this is how my baby feels inside my womb? What a trip it must be to leave this floating state of 40 weeks and arrive on Earth to be accosted by so much stimulation.
Experiencing an environment without gravity is surreal. We are so used to having something to ground us. I had this experience both mentally and physically. Mentally I had no task to accomplish, nowhere to be, nothing to plan. As someone who is always doing or planning some kind of activity, that was uncomfortable. For a while I was searching for something to do, anything! In my physical body, I felt like some part of my body was wanting to seek contact with something, mostly my hips and pelvis. I scanned my body and relaxed all of the muscles from head to toe. I noticed just how many of my muscles were contracted but frequent scans and reminders eased them into relaxing.
At first, I felt vulnerable. The two most guarded areas of my body, my heart, and growing belly, were now the most exposed. I felt a few Braxton Hicks contractions and the muscles in my chest tighten like they were trying to protect my heart. After some breathing exercises and meditation, I was able to completely surrender and it felt incredible. Surrendering has been an intention for me during my pregnancy and in preparing for birth and the float experience has helped me to feel a new layer of it.
After the float, I was extremely aware of all sensations. Once I was in my car, I immediately turned off the radio because it was just too much. I noticed the sound the seat belt made against my jacket every time I hit a bump. I noticed when the engine of my hybrid car shut off. I had no thoughts in my mind.
Taylor Float Session #2
Weeks pregnant: 28
This week I played around with the alternative floaties to see if I could find a different position I wanted to try. I tried on my side but it seemed like my body wanted to right itself either up in a supine position or prone position. I finally got in a position on my left side that I felt like I could actually stay in for a while. I tried it like this for some time, then felt my top arm crunch into my neck. Then I tried on my stomach but resting my chin on the floatie crunched my neck and I didn’t feel like I could do that for an extended period of time. In this position it also felt like my belly was pulling my lower back down, creating a crunch in that region as well. So I went back to the basics with my head in the small halo floating on my back with my arms like a cactus a little above my head.
It was glorious and I decided that this, at least for tonight, was the position for me.
I did some of my favorite breathing exercises to settle. I noticed my mind wandering, sometimes racing, from thought to thought. I noticed how much it wanted a task. Give me something to do! Something to think about! After I acknowledged my mind and its racing thoughts, it seemed to quiet, as if it had been called out. After this point I don’t remember much, only the music playing underwater signaling that my session was over. I had slept for who knows how long and I woke feeling light, rejuvenated and calm.