Fear. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot today. I didn’t think I was afraid of childbirth. And I guess I’m not in the traditional sense of what one might think about in terms of fearing the pain of giving birth. I don’t fear the pain.
I am actually looking forward to the sensations that my body will experience during this incredible process. I look forward to feeling the surges roll through my body and I look forward to using the skills I have been practicing for months to help me breathe through those surges in a way that embraces their coming instead of fighting against it. I look forward to the sensation of the baby moving further down in the birth canal and that pathway opening up to accommodate him. I look forward to breathing my baby down, feeling his head, knowing that any moment a new life will begin, a new person will enter this world.
I look forward to those moments when the sensations, the adrenaline, the oxytocin and all the other hormones that my body will be producing will overwhelm my senses and leave me with no other option than to completely surrender to the experience. I look forward to feeling the baby pass from my body into this world.
I can’t wait to hold him, to cuddle him in my arms, to see Joseph in him and a bit of myself as well. I can’t wait to see his skin color, his eyes, his fat little legs, his fingers and toes. I look forward to so much!
So why do I feel fear as this time approaches? I’ve been thinking through this a lot today because I feel that my fear can keep my body from functioning in the best, most effective way. Those things that i am holding on to can potentially keep me holding on to this baby longer than I need to. Tomorrow marks 40 weeks and my body is aching and tired and heavy. It’s time Preston joined the rest of the outside world.
I have a very strong belief in my body. I believe that it knows how to birth this baby. It was designed and prepared to birth this baby. But there is always the what if. What if my body fails me. What if when I depend on it the most it doesn’t function as it should. What if the dreams, beliefs and anticipations that I have looked forward to in regards to birth don’t happen for me?
The answer to that question is that it might. And I might go to a hospital and have interventions, perhaps even a C-section like thousands and perhaps even millions of other women have had. And the world won’t end. Those things that I believe will still be true it just will have not worked out that way for me…this time. And I will be ok. The only way to ever know is to try.
Another fear, and perhaps my biggest is Joseph. I know he won’t be here for the birth. Even if I could wait several more weeks, he still wouldn’t make it in time for the birth of our baby, and it wouldn’t be healthy or a good thing for any of us to try to wait. I thought I had resigned myself to that reality. We have plans to Skype him in for the birth, plans for how he can help and be a part of the process. But by having this baby now I have to give up on hope. As irrational as I know it is I was hoping that miracles would come through and that Joseph would be here to give me a hug, to comfort me when things get hard and to remind me of what I know when I am tempted to forget. I had hoped that he would surround me and our baby in his arms when Preston was born and our little family would experience that joy together in those precious first moments of life. I had hoped to see the tears in his eyes when he first became a father, to see his trembling hands as he cut the cord.
I wanted to watch him hold our baby and marvel at his perfect features I wanted to watch him fall asleep with the baby on his chest. I wanted him to be here for all of those first moments. The moment I give in to birth the hope of all those things is gone. How will I look him in the face so far away with no way to change his circumstances and know that he has been robbed of those precious moments that will never come again? How can I enjoy them knowing he is in Uganda alone? How can I be ok with that?
I guess its important to know that fear or not, losing hope or not, it’s still going to happen. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. This baby is going to be born, Joseph still won’t be here no matter how long I try to wait. False hope is no better than no hope. It’s also important to know (and I do) that Heavenly Father has a plan, he hasn’t forgotten us, he knows what we are facing and he doesn’t feel that this is too much or too hard for us. He will be here with us as he has been all along. I know that’s true.
And that’s all there is to say about that one.
One final fear that I sense in myself is a fear of how this baby will change my life. Because I know it will. I will be a mother and with that title comes an eternity of overwhelming love and responsibility like I have never known. I think I am ready for it but how does when ever REALLY get ready for that.
I guess this is just another moment in life when you step over an edge, and trust that the Father who brought you this far will finish what he started. I’ve been strong, I’ve been patient, I have been faithful. I have also cried, and questioned, doubted and worried. I guess all that is left is to move forward one step in front of the other and see what this grand adventure we call life has in store for me and for my family.
I love you Joseph, I love you Preston, soon both of the important men in my life will be together in the same room and I will be able to put my arms around them both and introduce them to each other. It will be a great day.