Is there anything so awe inspiring, so amazing and yet so common?
I'll never forget the empowering feeling I had after my first child's birth. I felt like I was just amazing, that I had created and gave birth to such a perfect being. I felt like if I could do that, I could do anything I set my mind to. In the weeks following his birth I started noticing all the moms and babies everywhere, especially at the store, babies and toddlers and kids everywhere. I had an epiphany realizing that almost half our population experiences this phenomenon at least once in their lives at that every person I see comes into the world in this manner.
My two children's births were like night and day. Noah's birth was long and hard. It was a good thing that I wasn't at a hospital or I probably wouldn't have been given the chance to have him naturally. He was large, two weeks overdue, not in the right position and he came out hand first, trying to claw his way out. I tore and needed stitches in three places, and I crawled around the house for a couple weeks, unable to stand upright due to the pressure on my stitches. Despite how beat up my body was, I was triumphant.
By the time I gave birth to Avery, I had learned not to have expectations. With her birth I was smiling all the way up until it came time to push her out. She was two weeks early, smaller and my body had already been through the process once. I thought that labor probably couldn't get much easier than Avery's. Having said that, labor is named aptly. It is hard work. It can be intense and painful and can seem never-ending. It is easy to want to just skip past all the work and wish we could wake up with a new baby in our arms.
At my blessing way, a mom wished that I would have beautiful moments during my labor. I have been dwelling on this wish. How many women in our society have or look forward to beautiful moments during labor? What a foreign concept? Doesn't that almost sound like an oxymoron? Well, I had beautiful moments during Avery's birth. There were the moments that Dustin and I stood, embraced in front of the crackling wood stove after he had built up the morning fire. I remember him lighting candles in the bathroom window as I looked out at the fully golden Birch trees. I sat in our bathroom stall and moved back and forth moving my body however seemed natural. When the second midwife showed up I had the satisfaction of hearing the first midwife tell her it wasn't going to be long. And all through that time I smiled and glowed, knowing that my body knew what it was doing and that everything was happening as it should.
I pulled out a private photograph album that Dustin and I have with the gorier pictures of both our children's birth. We looked at it last night even though I wasn't sure that I wanted to. The pictures are hard to look at, but they are testimony of my strength and the inner power and inherent ability that all women have; to give birth naturally using the power of their bodies and without the interference of drugs and surgery.
I have been physically preparing with cleaning and cooking. I have raspberry tea frozen in chips in the freezer for sucking on and frozen perineum pads frozen and read for soothing application. The diaper bag is full of cleaned diapers and rags. Baby clothes, hats and slippers are cleaned and stored away where the cat can't lay on them and dust can't settle.
Even more importantly, I am feeling mentally prepared. Less prone to panicking then I was a week ago. I have been mentally preparing for weeks as I think of what is to come. One of the things I really wanted to do was this chalkboard drawing I'd been envisioning. The verse is the beginning of the song, "We are one"; "For each child that's born, a morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are."
I am surrounding myself with beautiful words and images for a beautiful birth. When it comes to birth, it is hard to have pre-conceived notions or plans set in stone. But one can set positive intentions and visualize the birth and outcome they desire.
My wish for myself today as well as all other mamas getting ready to give birth is that we may all have beautiful moments as we labor to bring our babies into this world.