It has been some time since I have written an official blog post. I find it so much easier to reflect on my day on my phone with short blurbs, a quick picture and shared to most platforms. But there is something about typing, thinking and sorting out my mind properly.
Our family is currently expecting baby number 3 and it has been a pregnancy unlike the others (it really is true that no two are alike). I was very reserved, hermit like and border line depressed during my first trimester. The spring was here but I had no desire to do anything but sleep. I didn’t connect with people and just wanted to cuddle up with my other two babies and rest the day away. I was pretty void of feelings and just didn’t give two hoots about anyone. I have not experienced this before with my other children and it was a strange symptom that took the place of most of my normal physical symptoms like morning sickness. I am grateful for an understanding family who accepted my silence and allowed me to walk through that transition and thankfully out the other side.
My second trimester was more similar to most women’s. My depression lessoned and my physical symptoms had not kicked in yet, although my body remembered exactly where it needed to be while carrying a baby and had me moving out of my normal clothes by the end of the second month. I was starting to feel heavy by the end but the sun was out so I was pretty easily distracted by our outdoor adventures, business movements and the daily life of raising two other humans and loving on a third.
So here we are now. The third trimester…33 weeks tomorrow to be exact and I am so shocked. How did we get here? I have not been focused on birthing this child at all and it has only been this week that this reality has settled in my heart. Yes, our midwife visits have held discussions and questions about this labour but once I walked out the office it was gone from my mind, business, current children and my ice craving taking those thoughts’ place. But last week my darling mother and sister threw a baby sprinkle for our little one. Family gathered to bless us with frozen meals, clothing, a snoogle <3, gift cards and the promise of physical support when needed. It was a meaningful evening as it allowed me to shift my focus to this incredible change that could happen within the month. From there we met with our doula last night and it has solidified this internal change even more. We chatted goals, support needed and my fears. Finally. Time to let my mind go there. I actually have to have this baby. It will exit my body and I want to once again make as many decisions as I can about how they enter this world.
We are again planning a home birth with a tub…we will see if we can birth in it this time, haven’t had the chance to yet! Midwife attended, husband and doula supported with my family there to host and attend to myself and my children if needed. We have also been amazingly gifted with an incredible photographer branching into birth photography who will also attend our birth and document this family growth. So we have the basics prepped but man fears just creep in no matter how many children you have had and how many you have attended as a doula for others. So my biggest fear? That I cannot birth this baby. Sounds crazy outloud but that is often how fear works. Irrational and unsupported by fact. I have been very honest with myself and I find myself believing that I have excuses for being able to birth my previous two children at home unmedicated. For Honour I tell myself that I did not know what to expect. I had no idea how intense it could get, how tired I would be by the end and how long those back contractions could last. So yes, I was able to birth him at home because I was not really anticipating the power of birth and therefore stuck around at home constantly telling myself that it couldn’t get any worse. For Journey I obviously feel it happened so fast that I had no time to change my mind. 2 hours from finally believing I was in labour and she was in our arms on the living room floor, midwives arriving minutes later. But this one…I know how hard labour can be. I know how much it can hurt, how exhausting it is and how mentally strong the mothers I support are. And I again question myself. What if it is isn’t speedy? What if it is drawn out, difficult and I now know the strength a contraction has. Oh man. That is my fear. I am walking through it. Encouraging myself. Focusing on my labour, putting support in place and once again planning to be at home so many of the pain relief options are not even available at the touch of a call button. So that is where I am right now in life. Reality is settling and as I fold those tiny clothes, visualize the layout of my home for baby’s birthday and discuss labour with my doula. And this is why even doulas need doula support. We still question our ability despite knowing the answers and we still cannot recall all of our tips while coping through labour ourselves.
Honesty amongst mothers is so important in feeling normal and safe to share our fears and feelings about parenting. Optimism is a glorious thing and a strength I possess (which can drive my realist husband crazy) but we optimists are not always the greatest at preparing for what reality holds. So I would love to know what you did to face your doubts and fears about labour. How did you prepare and what was important to you in extinguishing self doubt. No matter the route my birth takes I will think no less of my body, my mind and my abilities but I want to catch this sweet babe at home and I want to feel that I have done everything in my power to follow the path to that ending. It is not what I cannot control that I fear but myself.
I stay focused on my excitement to meet this child, the dream of watching my children hold their baby sibling and seeing my husband be as joyful at welcoming this bubs to our clan as he was with our first two.
Share your wisdom mothers…