PLEASE NOTE: I am sharing some very personal thoughts and by sharing them I am not seeking advice or input on what I should or should not do. But words of encouragement are always welcomed!
For as long as I can remember, I have been afraid of the idea of giving birth. I am sure TV, movies, and people’s scary stories are what led me to believe that nothing good could come from having to give birth- besides the obvious getting to hold a baby in your arms, which never really consoled my fears.
My mom tells of the times I would worry to her, “What if I marry someone when I grow up who wants to have babies?” I was probably 6 when I started thinking about this.
Well, I did marry someone who wants to have babies (turns out I did, too!) and now I am 27 weeks pregnant and the inevitable act of having to give birth is quickly coming upon me. And I am constantly in a state of reflection of these past few years and how they have shaped my mind and heart as I approach the impending birth of our son.
With the exception of my first miscarriage, all of our babies were miscarried in the quiet of our home because it was important to me to honor their too-short lives by allowing them to pass through my body just as they would have had they had the chance to be born full-term. I always did this in our bathtub so I could “catch” my babies and have the chance to see them outside of my body. Those moments were a perplexing mixture of peace, sadness, and curiosity.
Medical intervention (specifically D&C’s) was always presented to me as an option to quickly end the process and get my body back to “normal” sooner than later. But that never was an option for me. Not because I am some sort of super woman or look down upon such help, but because I knew even back then that though these experiences were sad ones, my miscarriages were shaping my outlook on how I would deliver a full-term baby if ever given the chance.
I knew my body was capable of miscarrying on its own and did not any help. The less people and the less intervention involved the better because for me, the process of miscarrying was not strictly medical- it was spiritual. While my heart was crying out in pain, my body was too. And the crying out of both my heart and body was meant for GOD to hear because only HE could deliver me through such pain as this.
So as we began to talk about how we would like our son to be born into this world, my immediate thought was to do a water birth because it felt like a way to redeem the past three and a half years and to actively see GOD’s promise to make all things new.
I know there are so many variables in giving birth- so many things that can happen that one cannot predict or plan for- and so while I prepare for a water birth by educating myself, securing labor support, and asking the LORD for HIS help and HIS presence on that fateful day, I know all this could change. And I am okay with that.
And I will not deny that I still carry some fear in me- fear of the unknown and what I cannot control and fear of the pain- but I am constantly reminding myself that my body was made to labor and that as my mom would so often tell me, “Labor is not pain. Pain is your body responding to something that is not natural. It is natural for your body to labor. Labor is work.”
Through all of this, I am pondering this birth not as a medical condition but a chance for redemption and the opportunity to feel immeasurable joy after a season of so much sadness and grieving.
For me, the birth of my son will be a spiritual deliverance no matter how he is delivered into my arms.