With nearly four days of thought I, hesitantly and with much reservation, share with you what I have penned from what I’ve coined “the brink of childbirth.” This blog entry could have many names, like “What I Learned from your Pregnancy: Nothing” or “What I’ve Learned from God’s Timing: It’s Perfect” to “Excitement, Frustration, and Acceptance”…All these titles share a little insight to the heart of my matter.
Let me start with the first title possibility “What I learned from Your Pregnancy: Nothing.” This is not meant to offend anyone, rather it is meant to encourage. For those who are preggers or plan to become preggers I just want to say that no 2 birthing stories are alike. For those of you who know me, I am a planner. I am a rule follower. I like structure and order. I like there to be a guideline, a rulebook to follow. So, the very nature of childbirth defies all that is me. With all the moms I know, I have picked their brain on what to expect when expecting. I was hoping the answers would provide some sort of direction or maybe I could glean some pattern of behavior by which I would follow, ultimately allowing me to perfectly execute childbirth. I was hoping my initial sensations or feelings would be like theirs and I would follow the order they did to a successful delivery. What I learned is this, every mommy is different, every baby is different, and no 2 stories are the same. From the mom who had contractions for 12 hours, barely making it to the ER and practically having the baby at the doors of the hospital…to the mom who labored for 5 days before meeting her little bundle (which she claims was her easiest delivery of all her children)…to the mom who was on bed rest for 3 whole months before she was allowed to deliver…to the mom who was decorating a Christmas tree the night her water broke, sans any prior contractions, and then rapidly progressed and delivered in less than 10 hours….You get my point. The only common thread between all these stories though is that a healthy baby was produced. Each mamma is different and every situation comes with its own special story. So, the fact that I really haven’t learned anything from their pregnancy isn’t to say I haven’t learned anything at all. What I have learned is that God brings his special creations into this world when He is ready, or maybe when I am ready. It’s in his time and there isn’t really a thing I can do about it (no matter how far I walk, how many pineapples I eat, how much spicy food in I intake, or how much nesting I do).
Which leads me to the second possible title for this blog “What I Learned from God’s Timing: It’s Perfect.”
Just to give you a little background on my current situation: I started having contractions early Sunday morning, all the books tell you after a certain amount of time head to the hospital, if for nothing else, to just get checked. Late Sunday afternoon I decided it was time to head that way, again, being the rule follower that I am. I arrived, got all checked in, and they started monitoring me and confirmed that my contractions were fairly regular but I just wasn’t progressing. The nurse even said, “you’ll probably have that baby tomorrow” (which was 3 days ago). Fortunately, I was allowed to leave and head to the comfort of my own bed. If I was going to be uncomfortable, I would much rather be uncomfortable in my own home.
For the last few days the minutes seemed to slowly tick by, the hours passing like molasses, and the days like years. Then, on Wednesday morning I had a sudden shift of attitude, the frequency of my heart changed. The doctor asked me come in for an ultra-sound to check on the baby and make sure there were no signs of distress. Much to my joy, the baby, as the doctor said “…was happy and healthy.”
Let’s start there: The baby is happy! Sure, the baby wasn’t throwing itself a birthday party, holding up signs saying “I am happy!”, but it was clearly content in the womb. I then asked myself, “Am I content?” The answer at that moment was, “no.” There were a lot of reasons for me not being content. One, I had to start my maternity leave a week early and we just hired a new meteorologist that I felt some obligation to train, and now I was MIA. I felt like I wasn’t doing my part. Two, I was really uncomfortable. Days of contractions are tiring, especially when it’s your first and every tug and pull is a new, and often unexpected sensation. Three, I am results oriented. I felt like there was a part of me failing at this whole childbirth thing because my work wasn’t producing results (in this case a baby). But just in that moment when the doctor said “the baby is happy!” I knew that none of the other stuff mattered…I reminded myself that I have a great team of weather folks who will take care of business and do a fine job. I don’t need to worry. They will welcome and train our newbie with flying colors…I have now accepted the pains/discomforts of early-labor as a blessing. So many lives (and so many I know personally) have been affected by the tragedy of loosing a child too soon and they would crave the feeling of a punch in the gut from a baby about to enter the world rather than feeling the pain of loss…I now acquiesce that my efforts at making the delivery happen are just that, MY efforts. This whole thing is in God’s hands, it’s on His time, it’s under His control. And, what comfort I find in that now. Comfort that He is in control, comfort that I have not a single thing to worry about.
Despite the seemingly long days, I look back with an incredibly thankful heart. I have gotten to savor sweet time with my husband. Date nights and coffee talks. (side note: we went to the movies Tuesday night…not that best idea, as I couldn’t sit longer than about 10-15. Getting up to sway my hips back and forth and stretch was probably pretty distracting to the other patrons…my bad. But the movie Saving Mr. Banks was great! Go see it!) I’m reminded with every minute we’re able to be together could be our last “alone” moments. They are special, not to be tossed or discounted.
In closing, I have a baby in waiting. God just isn’t finished with the last few details. He is grooming me and my hubby, He is preparing our hearts, and He is readying the little one for its first breath in the world. What do I have to be worried about?! Absolutely nothing! Work is taken care of, I am able to share rare, quiet moments with my husband, and I can enjoy as many long walks as I want. So, I will wait. Wait patiently. I will wait for His perfect time. God already knows little one’s birthday. (And you bet there will be a party)