To my well intentioned family and friends as we await a baby: Let me start by saying how thankful I am for you.
I’m thankful that this new baby already has a fan club before arriving.
I’m thankful that you look forward to holding and snuggling and bringing over gifts.
I’m thankful that you’ve already made room in your heart for this new addition and I totally understand how hard it is to wait.
I know you’re anxiously awaiting a call or a text with a picture of the baby.
I want to reassure you that as excited and anxious as you are for the arrival- I am even more excited and anxious to hold my baby in my arms.
The last weeks of pregnancy are full of preparing and waiting- both physically and mentally. I have been doing both. When I wake up each morning, realizing I haven’t yet went into labor, I have a choice to make. I can either be upset and spend the day focusing on how I can “make this baby come out” or I can celebrate the chance to have another day with my family savoring the way we've known life as we prepare for it all to change. I can feel let down by my body for not speeding up the process, or I can feel connected to and grateful for my body for having impeccable timing that no one can question.
What you can see is that I’m still pregnant. What you can’t see is that inside I’m processing each day and sometimes battling my own mind to keep it in the right place. You know what interferes more than anything with a birth? Stress. I’m working hard to not let stress be a mode of operation in this very important time. I tend to put a lot of it on myself, so please don’t be offended when your questions or prompting to “get this going” doesn’t bring out a laugh or smile in me. I know it’s all in good intentions, but for me I start to internalize a failure that isn’t even true. With each message I get about “is the baby coming yet?” I am tempted to start doubting my body.
Why can’t I control it more?
What do I need to do to speed up the process?
Is it really going to happen on its own?
In the midst of waiting, I’m also working hard to savor each moment with my family. I want to make memories on these days. I want to embrace who we are and have been. I want to appreciate the life that has been our only known reality for so long. I want to give extra attention to the people who are in my home right now. If I turn all my thinking to how to speed up the labor process, I miss the opportunity to embrace some of life’s sweetest moments.
Have I tried all the things? Probably so. Foods, teas, bouncing, walking and yes, even sex. “The things” are good and well but what you and I both know deep down is that it’s about when all the parts of my body are ready to work together to bring this little one out of the womb and into the world. That is no small task.
It’s a combination of muscles and organs and hormones. It’s the stability of my mindset and ability to approach this experience with confidence in myself. We all know it can be hard to be as confident in ourselves as we’d like to be, and I’m asking for more room and grace to do that for myself, for my family and for my baby in this important time.
Again, your support and excitement are such a gift so I don’t take lightly the joy of your involvement. But I do ask that you please let me savor these moments and trust my body. Instead of asking if the baby is here yet, ask how I’m feeling about the change or ask me what my favorite part of the day was. Instead of giving me ideas on how to “speed things up” remind me to absorb every moment I have and to trust the process. Instead of waiting to visit me when the baby comes, let’s go to lunch now and engage in a fun conversation that is sure to help my mind rest in a good place.
Change is coming soon. This welcomed and celebrated change for all of us. For today, though, things are just as they should be- let’s also celebrate that.