Many congratulations Acacia!
We’ll hear more from her sometime in the postpartum year 🙂
Ariel (NEW PARTICIPANT)
Due in late-April
About Ariel: My name is Ariel and I’m an artist, DIYer and soon to be new mother of a baby boy, due in late April. My husband and I moved to Portland this January after completing a house we were flipping on the coast. I’ve worked in the care industry for the last 5 years as a Community Liaison for a nursing home, and then most recently for a non-profit that supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, but my new endeavor will be caring for our little one. As an avid meditator, I love sensory deprivation and the opportunity to go inward while supported by my most familiar and comfortable element. I relish opportunities of all types to be in or working with water. As I get bigger and less comfortable, I’m excited to see what’s different about floating while pregnant and what effects it might have on the aches and pains.
Ariel Float Session #1
Mentally I felt really clear, and not distracted by thoughts or to do lists at all. The timing worked out to where I stopped working mid second trimester when we moved to Portland, and with the baby coming in just three months there wasn’t any point in finding another job. Instead I’ve been lucky to have this time to do a lot of prenatal yoga, lap swimming and connecting with my body and my baby. Clearing my mind wasn’t the problem this float, it was trying to find a way to float that wasn’t on my back. Laying sideways despite using all the props provided was very difficult, it felt like my belly was a bouy that would just bounce right back to upright with the tiniest micro movement. I did finally find one combo that worked: belt folded in half under my head/neck, cylinder float between my legs and the head halo under my bottom hip. This finally kept me on my side but I couldn’t drift deep enough to fall asleep or I’d fall out of the position. Maybe that was for the best? It did keep me in a very relaxing, deeply meditative state without falling asleep. I’ll have to keep experimenting.
Ariel Float Session #2
I just went back for my second float yesterday and this time my prenatal yoga instructor tried to convince me that laying on my back would be fine in there and that my baby wouldn’t flip around posterior. So I spent way more time on my back, very comfortably. I’d had a slightly busier day so I had to more consciously meditate this time to clear my mind, and felt my fears of a posterior baby crept in occasionally preventing me from wanting to spend the whole time in my comfy hammock position. When I did switch to my side, I actually found I had an easier time laying with the head halo in place and the cylinder floatie sort of under my neck, and didn’t need the belt. Last float I made the mistake of showering before putting the ear plugs in, and with wet ears it’s nearly impossible to get a good seal. This time I remembered and discovered that with the silicone ear plugs in properly I didn’t even need the head halo so toward the end I ditched all the floaties and experimented with slow snow angle type movement which felt so good. The halo itself isn’t uncomfortable, but letting go of those last sensations of contact made me actually feel weightless and totally comfortable, more so than I’ve been for the last 30 weeks or so. Feeling a lot of gratitude today for this opportunity.
UPDATE SINCE JOURNALING: She did one more session on April 4th and then gave birth 2 weeks early!
Jamie (NEW PARTICIPANT)
Due in September
I am a 33 year old female originally from California (those dreaded Californians) who moved to Oregon almost 4 years ago. I am an 8-year registered nurse who currently works in the Emergency Department at a level 1 trauma center. I love the high energy and fast paced working environments that let me utilize my critical thinking and quick creative skills. I am currently 13 weeks pregnant, soon to be 14 on 3/30. My husband and I are due for our first child in September 2019.
I have been in love with water activities since I was a child. I learned to swim at an early age of 2-3 with those old school bathing suits that had built-in floatation devices to the front and back. I am scuba certified and saddened that I cannot dive again until after my pregnancy. I have been interested win floating for a few years now but honestly found the hobby to be too expensive to be able to participate. I love the weightlessness of being in the water and the ability to form your body into positions that gravity makes difficult on land. I am not quite sure what to expect from this program, but I do hope to it will alleviate any future lower back pain I am warned so much about later in pregnancy. I am excited to see if I will be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat as well.
Jamie Float Session #1
Weeks pregnant: 13 + 4
What an experience! I just love being in water and being able to float for an extended amount of time is like marrying one of my favorite activities with practicing mindfulness. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have been working on ways to reduce my anxiety in more healthy effective ways. When you are pregnant, one can’t have a couple of glasses or smoke a joint to calm down after work stress. My job is high intensity, so being able to unpack my anxiety and stress is a high priority for my sanity. I find yoga really helpful, but floating in a nice way to just relax and focus on stillness for an extended amount of time. When I first entered the tank, of course, my mind was racing, but after 15 minutes I found myself enjoying the quiet. I even got the courage to turn off all the lights which was at first a little panicky feeling.
I wished I read the pregnancy floating tips earlier because I didn’t realize it is possible to float on your belly. I am so used to laying prone when floating most of the time such as with scuba and snorkeling that I craved in while in the tank. I was just afraid I would get salt all in my eyes I didn’t dare try. I will remember to try this for my next float. I do wish the tanks were larger, however, because I did find myself enjoying swinging my arms and legs, rotating in circles and embracing the movement. Unfortunately I hit the walls a lot during this and didn’t feel like I was getting the full freeing effect. I will admit, I fell asleep during which I think is a good thing.
I can’t wait to see how the experience changes as my pregnancy progresses.
Sophia (Float Program Organizer)
Due in mid-June
Sophia Float Session #3
Weeks pregnant: 26
Equinox, full worm moon
Nervous system calmed.
This time (all times?) I feel this when I come out more than when I’m in. And this time, when I got out I didn’t allow gravity to feel like a disappointment. Felt my feet pressing into the ground and the weight of my belly on the joints that bear her/him in all the ways they were encoded to.
The full moon energy made my experience scattered. Some swirling mind spaces, some falling asleep without noticing. Many positions with different configurations of props. Noticing my arrythmia was not there. Noticing my heart rate slowing when I would put more support under my head or tilt to the side with my knees supported by the noodle. More space and kicking there.
But the main thing that kept surfacing was the visceral experience of a feeling I think about all the time but sometimes stays in my mental sphere — that the state of the world would naturally right itself, in literally billions of ways, if all beings were given the experience of being held in total safety and surrender by the great mother, in whatever form they could each receive her.
Schism and broken power emerges when we disconnect from our umbilical cord to the generative force of life – whether represented through fractured maternal lineages, the male out of balance, or disconnection from the being that literally holds us all but who we choose to objectify, exploit, and abuse because we ourselves have experienced all of those things — the earth.
The tank reveals exactly how much tension I’ve been holding — all the hats worn, roles, unresolved questions, separations, scarcity thinking, fear of future, pain, responsibility. And it doesn’t always resolve or relieve it — but sometimes the need is just to have it be shown.
Due Late May
Allison Float Session #2
Weeks pregnant: 31
It’s been over 2 months since my first float.
Part of that is because I’ve been busy, trying to be careful about balancing work/life and family. I’ve also been thinking that I would want to go more toward the end of my pregnancy because that’s when I have more aches and pains.
In short, I’ve been hoarding floats.
This float was a little different for me than the blissful first float. I don’t think I ate enough and have some congestion in my head/nose. The first hour was great, relaxing and it felt good. I couldn’t let go as much as I could last time, and my mind was pretty active. I tried to be on my belly and on my back. I also did a lot of stretching, which felt really good. I didn’t do a ton of activity today, so maybe it was just a little harder for me to hold still. I don’t know what time it was, but my stuffy nose got the best of me. I got out, took a hotter shower than I should have, and got super woozy. I took me a bit to get dressed and out of the room, as I was overheated and not feeling so good.
Due Late May
Grace Float Session #3
Weeks pregnant: 30
I decided to try a different room this time and I ended up loving it. Room 2 with the blinking lights that imitated a starry sky was just what I needed that day. It immediately brought back memories of when I worked at a camp in the middle of the Wisconsin wilderness, and I would spend hours laying in an open field, watching the night sky. It gave me a sense of calm and peace.
I also tried out some float props and really enjoyed those as well. The head ring and the noodle were especially helpful and made me feel more comfortable and supported in the water. As I become more familiar in the tank and with floating in general, I find myself slipping into a relaxed state much more quickly.
Due in mid-March
L’Keisha Float Session #4
Weeks Pregnant: 38
I discovered a new floaty device and it made this float awesome! It’s like the halo thing but more of a flat board with a neck space in it. It makes being on my back feel more like laying in a bed, and made being on my stomach possible for longer. There were a couple times that I really did feel the edges of my body blurring together. I couldn’t tell which parts of me were in the water and which parts weren’t. It was nice. I practiced some diaphragmatic breathing since I seem to always feel a bit out of breath when I’m in the tank, it was calming to hear myself breathing and for some reason it was reassuring. I’m not sure why, but during this float I felt a renewed sense of confidence in my ability to go through labor. As I’m getting closer to the due date I keep having moments of nervousness, but I didn’t feel that way this float.
I felt nice and noodley when I left. I slept for a solid 6 hours with no tossing and turning and I felt alert and ready for the day when I woke up the next day. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the last two floats before she gets here, but if I can’t then this was definitely a good one to go out on. We’ll see what next week has in store.
L’Keisha Float Session #5
Weeks Pregnant: 39
This week I did my float in room 5 – room 2 is my comfort zone usually, but room 5 provided a much different experience. I really liked this room because it is quite a bit bigger and the water isn’t fully enclosed like room 2. This made it so my breathing wasn’t echo-y and loud which allowed me to be a lot calmer than I have been in the past. I did turn the lights off in the room for the first little bit, but when I went to turn them back on I couldn’t find the button, the feeling that you are moving through this giant space is more accurate in room 5. I managed not to panic as I searched in the dark for the light, which I’m pretty impressed with actually. Another thing that occurred to me is that my very first float a couple years ago I did with the lights off the whole time, and none of these floats have been completed in darkness. I wonder if it’s because I feel like I am headed into the darkness of the unknown of motherhood. There is a lot I’m in the dark about – when will the baby come? How will my relationships change? How will labor go? I wonder if that much uncertainty is leading me to be as aware as I can be in waking life? Even with the lights on though, this float was really nice. The size of the pool meant I could spread out and more and really kind of drift around. It was one of the most relaxing floats I’ve had during this program. If you haven’t tried room 5 or 6 yet, I’d highly recommend.
L’Keisha Float Session #6
Weeks Pregnant: 40
My last float during the pregnancy stage. Room 5 again, lights on the whole time. Interestingly this float felt the fastest even though I never dozed off. I tried to take this time to thank my body and say goodbye to this pregnancy. I spent a lot of time visualizing my birth experience and trying to let the universe know that I’m ready to meet my little girl. Physically, I forgot that I had float today and shaved my legs this morning, so that was not so great and a bit distracting. I spent some time pushing myself back and forth from the wall with my feet and arms, and that helped ease the little pinpricks on my legs and was also quite soothing. It made me realize that I would really like to have gone swimming while pregnant, and it also felt freeing to do something while floating. This is my time and my experience, and I can change things up and make myself comfortable however I want to. It’s nice to remember that I’m not locked into anything, and I think that will be especially important to remember as I go through the birthing experience and into parenthood. I’ve enjoyed these floats and I’m happy that I’ve had time to reflect the way I have and reap the physical benefits that I may not even be aware of yet. I’ll see you on the other side mamas!
Due in mid-April
Taylor Float Session #5
Weeks pregnant: 35
Floating has been my time to check in with my body and mind during this pregnancy. It’s been really easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks, minimizing what my body is telling me it needs and dismissing moments that might help me to understand where I am mentally. Floating continues to intimidate me because I am sometimes fearful of what I might notice. It’s easy to push on and quiet voices and sensations that might be speaking up. Floating takes all of the distractions away and leaves me in my most raw state. It’s scary, but I also feel like birth will feel oddly similar so in a way I feel like sitting (aka floating) with myself and my emotions and sensations will better prepare me for what might come up in birth.
I had some pretty real physical experiences during this float. As my belly grows bigger, sometimes I forget the physical burden it places on my body. When I get out of the tank after floating for 90 minutes, my body feels SO HEAVY. The weight is placed back onto my growing uterus and the ligaments holding it up and it is such an intense sensation. I immediately get Braxton Hicks contractions as my belly recalibrates to gravity. I feel my baby sinking back into place in my womb after getting out of my own temporary one. It’s not unpleasant, but serves as a distinct reminder of the powerful and dynamic ways a woman’s body adjusts to pregnancy. As I grow closer to labor, it is also a profound reminder that our bodies are MEANT to carry this weight and the birth of that weight into the world.