October 7, 2017. My husband and I have been looking forward to this day for many months. I, myself, have spent hours listening to podcasts, reading books and doing research in preparation for today. I’ve even hired someone to coach me through this day. I’ve been visualizing how I thought this day would go, practicing mindfulness and breathing and clearing my fears related to the event I imagined would take place today. Today is the day my life was supposed to change- October 7. Today is my baby’s due date.
Ben and I had been trying to get pregnant only about 5 months when I eagerly peed on a stick on January 30th of this year. From this day on and for months after, I wished my bump would grow and then when it did, I wished to be done being pregnant and have a baby in my arms! I was never quite satisfied with where I was in my pregnancy, always wishing for the next milestone. And now, I want to experience finding out I’m pregnant again, feel my baby’s first movements, watch my belly dance, sing and talk to him or her and enjoy this beginning all over again. I want to go backwards.
It’s October 7 and I’m so glad this little miracle has decided to give me more time to enjoy them inside me. I can wait a little longer because more time means more anticipation of who this little one will be and what they will look like and how they will change the story of our lives. More time means I can be present, enjoying each jab to the lungs and ribs, each knee to the bladder, each hiccup, each dance routine after a cold soda (which I never do…) and each moment to be grateful for the life my body created.
It also gives me ample time to deal with my growing anxiety and fear about childbirth.
Yeah, I really sound like the ideal pregnant woman up until this point but all the rainbows and unicorns are just the silver lining to what feels like a big dark cloud. Why couldn’t men be the ones to birth children? Ben keeps saying how he feels a little left out that he can’t be part of carrying the baby and birthing them out and I want to scream, JUST TELL ME I’M AWESOME AND BE THANKFUL IT’S NOT YOU!!! I have had a fairly easy pregnancy when I listen to other mothers talk about their experiences and I’m extremely thankful. Until about a month ago, I also had no doubts that childbirth would be a piece of cake. I really have been preparing- listening to podcasts about fear-free childbirth, reading articles about reframing childbirth as ‘intense’ and not ‘painful’, watching youtube videos on hypnobirthing, only allowing women to tell me encouraging birth stories, learning breathing techniques and other pain management for labour and trusting my doula and husband to get me through it. After all my prep work, it has only been in the last few weeks have I felt doubt and fear creep into my expectations of childbirth.
I believe in the power of the female body to birth (for crying out loud, millions of women have gone before me in this journey) and yet I’m scared that MY body can’t handle it. I believe in the strength and determination of my baby to know the way out, and yet I’m still scared that MY cervix is going to let them down and will prevent them from coming out vaginally. I believe in my own stubborness (did I mention that I’m stubborn?) to welcome my child into this world without medications or interventions, and yet I’m scared that I won’t be able to do it on my own. I’m just plain, old scared.
We got a card from a friend with one of our baby gifts that reads: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”. Did she know I would need this in the final hour? I believe in a Creator who has nothing to do with fear and instead provides power, strength, help, love and courage in its’ place.
As my first gift to my daughter or son, I choose to believe in the powerful peace of the Creator. I’m using all the energy of those jabs, stomps, hiccups and twirls inside me to let go of the fear and soak up the strength, love and courage I want my daughter or son to know when they lay on my chest, wrapped in my arms for the first time. If you believe in a God, Creator or Higher Power- pray for me.