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Thursday, February 24, 2011


I had my first vivid labor dream last night. I will be 36 weeks pregnant in one week, and this is the first dream I have had about having this baby. I always dream in great detail, even if it's crazy details, I can even tell you the direction we were driving our car in. Anyway it brought to the forefront of my mind that this will all be over soon. It's not just that this pregnancy will be over. I think we have both mututally decided that after this child our family will be complete. In the past I never felt quite sure, so the routines of pregnancy and child rearing seemed a little open ended. It's weird to think that these will most likely be my last few weeks to ever feel a baby kick and roll around inside of me.

While I know our child raising days are far from over, this puts sort of a bookend to the experience. It only reaffirms that life is just a series of seasons that are constantly changing. At times I look forward to the day that I will no longer change diapers. I would be lying if I did not say the thought of leisurly eating in a restaurant without trying to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls did not excite me a bit. Yet at the same time these moments are precious and fleeting. There is nothing like feeling the warmth of a newborn snuggled close to your chest. I can think of few experiences that compare to your doctor or midwife handing you your baby as he/she takes their first gulps of breath in this world. Even when I am thoroughly annoyed with my rambunctious boy bouncing in the booth of a restaurant, nothing can hold a candle to when he stops, bends down thoughtfully and says, "I love you mommy," and plants a slobbery kiss on my lips. I also wake up to realize my baby girl is turning into a beautiful young lady right before my eyes. My heart aches just a bit that all those little dresses and hats have seen their last days with us. Once the princess phase has passed we will pack that chapter away for good. I can only pray that something better than Justin Bieber is waiting in the wings when my daughter becomes a tween.

Yes these days are bittersweet, but that is what makes them all the more exciting and special, and I am doing my best to capture each day as it comes.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Letting Go of Fear

As the birth of Isaac draws closer I cannot deny that I feel twinges of excitement laced with fear. There is a part of me that jumps with excitement for the climax of this spiritual journey I have been on. In quiet moments my mind begins to race as all of the unknown possibilities present themselves. It is fear pure and simple. A driving force that causes so many of us to stumble or be held back in many areas of our lives. While lying in bed a few nights ago I began to cry because I was afraid. I felt alone. No matter how many voices of comfort I will surround myself with in this journey, the labor is one that I must surrender to deep within myself. It is a place that only I and God know about. Perhaps my confidence is a bit shaky in myself. As I searched for some words of comfort from other mother's stories I came across this piece written by a midwife. As I read it tears were already welling up. It spoke so much to the reasons why I chose this, and gave me the reassurance that I can and will see it through.

Labor is challenging, a powerful process marking the miracle of bringing forth a new life and a new being onto this planet. It is a rite of passage, a psycho spiritual training ground for both mother and child. The laboring woman must put aside her own comfort and learn to surrender to a process so intense that it threatens to consume her. She must have the willingness and openness to dive deep within herself and find the stamina to endure, to focus, and to trust. She may have to stretch beyond her own perceived limitations in order to experience this act of creation in the now.
How many mothers' eyes have filled with tears as they asked "When will it be over?" only to be told to "take each contraction as it comes, be with it, and let it go, for as long as it takes." As she copes with the successive waves of contraction she develops patience and persistence. She forms a bond with this child she is birthing that is all the deeper because it has been forged with hard work and sweat and tears. It may be the most difficult work she has ever done. It is a labor of love and the most precious gift she can give to herself and her baby.
At some point during labor, many women may come face to face with some form of fear: fear of pain, fear of the inability to cope, and at a deeper level, fear of death. It may be that some part of her ego must "die" in order to get out of her own way and surrender control to the instinctual part of her being that knows how to give birth.
When a woman is able to release into her own intuitive consciousness, she gives birth to the spirit of the "Divine Mother" within, opening herself up to experience birth at a profound spiritual level. -
Shelly Girard, BS, LMT, LM, CPM

I know there are some women who have birthed naturally and not walked away with a positive experience. I believe often this comes when it was not their choice, or circumstances and people did not allow them to feel confident and in control. Fear was the driving force.
This has caused me to take a good hard look at myself. I find more confidence grows as I surrender to letting go. Fear is paralyzing. It does not allow one to move and flow with the changing of tides. Fear in itself can be deathly.

As a believer I must realize that in God there is no fear. This baby will come, and fear is not going to push that back any farther. Releasing fear allows the all encompassing peace and love of God to rush in and bring encouragement. Even in a place where patience is being tested and character is being chiseled, God is working in the secret place and bringing forth new life.