Getting used to your body at a different shape is a funny thing. I look back at the early stages of pregnancy and can hardly remember what is was like to not have a big, round tummy – to not have someone moving inside me.
Becoming a mom is a wonderful adventure. It feels so natural to be growing a child and somehow, all at the same time, it's a huge surprise every day – feeling so close to a little person that you don't know at all. "What will his hair look like?" "Will he be smart like Daddy?" "I hope he's quirky like me!"
I want to write down the experience of being pregnant for you guys. The things I've believed for and have already watched unfold, and the ways I am still walking in faith for this pregnancy.
David and I have chosen to have our baby at a birth center – kind of like the halfway point between home birth and hospital birth (David wasn't quite ready to let me have a baby on our living room floor haha)
Many of my friends have had "natural births" which basically means "without the help of drugs", and I was intrigued to do mine this way. I also grew up knowing that my mom had unmedicated births with all three of us girls, so the idea of giving birth at a place that didn't offer an epidural, felt very comfortable for me. I really didn't want to miss out on all the wonderful highs of labor, even at the cost of a few lows.
David – being someone who doesn't like supplements and taking pills/medication – was all for doing things the natural way, which I was so so thankful for when I first suggested not getting care at a hospital.
There have been so many things like this that have just worked out for us in marriage (all glory to God of course), because who discusses things like birth plans and whatnot during the dating stage? I have to say, David and I are such a perfect match. (I love you babe.)
Anyway, because this (natural birth outside of the hospital) was always the goal for me, I had to believe that I would have a low-risk pregnancy, as birth centers and home births don't take "high-risk cases".
As well as believing for that, I also decided my pregnancy would be easy and that I'd love the way I looked with a big bump protruding from my abdomen!
So many people like to talk about the negative parts of pregnancy and how hard and horrible things can be – don't even get them started on the actual birth process. Not to say, I hadn't heard any wonderful, upbeat comments as well, but it just seemed like there was an overwelming amount of negativity. From what I'd seen through media and heard from people around me, pregnancy was gonna be HARD, and there was no getting around it.
I didn't want that. I was so excited to get pregnant and give birth for the first time, and I felt like that excitement shouldn't end at conception.
Maybe I'm a special case, I don't know, but I do know I decided, in faith, that this would be a wonderful time in my life, and it's been just that and so much more! And I don't think this would have been my experience if my position before I got pregnant was one of fear, distrust, and expectations for the worst.
When it comes to labor and delivery, I can't talk out of experience yet, but right now, my focus is just the same as before. God created me to give birth, He put this baby inside of me (well, you know what I mean), and He will enable me to get him out. And that doesn't have to be traumatic.
Truth is, I don't have any fears about labor, so all that leaves room for is an exuberant amount of shrill excitement. Yes, yes, I know what you're all thinking "This girl is out of her mind!" "She has no idea!" "How dare she!" "Boy, does she have it coming!", but I can't force myself into a place that seems absolutely unnecessary. Why plan for the worse, get all worked up for hardship and pain, when I don't know at all what labor will be like?
At this point everything is going smoothly. I've had no complications. My baby is healthy, I'm healthy, and he's in the right position for delivery. Why get all frazzled for, possibly, nothing. Like my midwife said, "we'll cross that bridge when we get there". And truthfully, that's all we can really do. I'm not gonna waste these precious last few weeks worrying about unbearable contractions, tearing, complications. At what cost?
This is where I'm at and where I believe I should be:
I cannot wait for the day I feel things start to move. The contractions whether mild, or strong, will be like music to my ears, because, they mean, my little Gideon is coming.
Of course the attitude you choose can change so much about your experience. And choosing an attitude of excitement and wonder will make all the difference for me.
If you believe something is impossible and horrible, then how can anything else change your mind? But if you decide that you can do it, that you were made to do it, the discomfort, the exhaustion, the long hours, will just be the journey on your way to triumph.
I know that some people might not take me seriously since I have yet to experience the whole birth process, but I wanted to write down how I feel, and where I'm at now, as a testament to my own journey and experiences.
If how I've walked and believed through this pregnancy and through my labor and delivery can encourage others, then I am okay with sounding a little bit unknowing right now.
I know that the positive stories I've read and heard have been so empowering for my own faith and ability to believe and trust in what I am capable of, especially as a child of God!
Yes, I have experienced normal pregnancy symptoms, especially acid-reflux, but I don't talk about them like they are my badge of honor. I give them as little attention as I can. I set my mind on the mysteries of childbearing and let the discomforts have no power over me. I truly believe this has shaped my experience and will be the same thing that helps me conquer the difficulties of labor. I can't wait for a month from now when I can come back and preach it from the rooftops.
Things I've Read and Watched:
- Ina May Gaskin's "The Guide to Childbirth"
- "Supernatural Childbirth" by Jackie Mize
- The Documentary "The Business of Being Born"
- The Blog "birthwithoutfear.com"