Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thoughts on an Upcoming Birth

Maternity pictures by Sara Corman Photography
I am laying in bed, trying to take a nap, and I can't stop thinking about what is coming soon. With Isis, I didn't start dilating until I was 37 weeks. I went from 1 cm to almost 4 cm in 2 1/2 weeks and Isis was born 3 days early. This time, I was having lots of strong Braxton Hicks contractions from 23 weeks or so on, so when I got to 35 weeks and was feeling a lot of pressure in my bottom all the time, I asked to be checked. I was already 1 cm at that point. I am now 38weeks and 3 days. I'm at a full 4 cm and 100% effaced. I've decided that with baby #3, I will not be checked until I hit my due date - if I get that far. Because clearly it doesn't mean anything and it just gives me anxiety to sit here thinking that things could get started at any moment, but they don't.

It's also interesting this time because it's a second birth. I had Isis with no medical interventions, no IV, no medication, etc. For me, I just have always felt that birth is a rite of passage. It shouldn't be painless to bring a child into the world. I want to feel every moment of it and experience that with them. It puts perspective on the whole thing for me. It makes me feel powerful and encouraged, but at the same time humble and weak in the right ways. I have to rely so much on God, my husband, and the people around me that it is both the strongest and weakest I am in my life and I think there is such a beauty in that. With Isis, I didn't know what to expect. I had told everyone that I wanted a natural birth and I got mainly lots of negative comments or eye rolls or people who basically thought I'd feel the pain and ask for the epidural. So I was feeling both headstrong and determined to do it natural and also scared to death because what if all these people are right? What if it's so bad that I really can't do it? I've never really thought of myself as someone with an incredibly high tolerance for pain or even someone who is very courageous in scary situations. It was possible I couldn't do it. Fast forward through a long, natural labor, and turns out, I can do it. And man, did that feel awesome to say! 

This time, it's different because I know what to expect in terms of pain and possibly even length. I know how long and tiring and terrifying labor can be. I still have those same fears - what if I can't do it? What if I'm not as strong as I think I am? The difference now is that I also remember doing it. No one has questioned me when I say I want to do it natural again because they remember that I did it. I remember those gutteral cries in the last stage and through pushing. I remember going so inward in my mind that I don't remember much at all about what was happening around me. I remember the fear and then the relief immediately after she was born. I remember the first time I held her and me thinking "I just did this. I brought you into the world." I remember feeling powerful and strong and confident. Nobody could take that away from me. I need that feeling again now. 

There is so much fear that comes with being a mom. All of a sudden your heart basically lives outside your body. I heard a quote about that once and I was like, "oh my gosh, yes!" There are so many things that can hurt your children and you want to protect them and love them and keep them from anything negative. But you have to live through the pain, the sickness, the tears, the tantrums, the fights, to also experience the love and the joy and the unexplainable about of pride that comes from seeing your child experience life fully. I think birth is such a perfect representation of this. The pain with the joy. The fear with the accomplishment.

I feel like I'm ready - as ready as I can be - to start this journey again. To experience it this time again with Lewis, but also with Isis. To watch the world change through her eyes and to watch it open up for the first time again for her baby sister. I'm ready. I'm still scared. I still have questions. I still doubt myself at times. But oh the things I have learned in the last 3 years through that fear, those questions, that doubt. Bring it on.

On a side note, I re-read Melissa at Dear Baby's birth stories for her daughter Everly and her son Arlo again today. I had tears down my cheeks at the end of them and felt even more encouragement from a mom who had been where I was. If you're pregnant or just want to read something beautiful, check those out.

1 comment:

Trish said...

This is a really beautiful post Cameron. Best of luck for the birth, its always encouraging knowing that at the ned of that pain you hold the most precious & beautiful gift.

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