Holy cow- it’s finally here. BABY MONTH.
I told Jim the other night that I seriously can’t believe just HOW pregnant I am and he was all….well since we’ve known that you’re pregnant since January…and it’s almost been a year…..
But still. It just went much faster than I was anticipating.
I think I was expecting to feel done? Like, more done than I am right now. Maybe it’s because I’m “only” 37 weeks(on Monday!) but I am pretty much still in straight up denial that there is a baby ACTUALLY about to be born any day.
I know he’s in there. I know he’s coming soon. I want him to come soon, but also I don’t. Because I’m crazy. My body is all, “oh girlll, you done here.” but my brain is like, “I can just stay pregnant forever, right?”
I mentioned recently in my Birth Affirmations post that I have been struggling a lot with fear and anxiety about Finn’s upcoming birth.
I’ve been plagued with worry about the unknowns. How quickly he will come, how much it will hurt, whether I’ll be GBS positive again and he’ll need antibiotics, where to take the girls and how quickly to get them there, how much it will hurt, how long will it last…..how much it will hurt.
I KNOW that I can do it. I’ve done it twice before, I can certainly do it again- just, ouch, you know?
So anyway, I found this book called “Holy Labor” and it has been the biggest gift to me.
Here is the little bio about it: “Women are valued for their ability to bear children in many cultures. The birth process, though supposedly the most painful experience of a woman’s life, is seen as a necessary evil to achieve the end goal of children and motherhood.
And yet, in the face of a typically masculinized Christianity that nevertheless professes that women are equally created in the image of God, shouldn’t childbirth–a uniquely feminine experience–itself shape Christian women’s souls and teach them about the heart of the God they love and follow?
Drawing on her own experience of giving birth and motherhood–and the conflicting assumptions attached to them, by Christians and the culture at large–Aubry G. Smith presents a richly scriptural exploration of common conceptions about pregnancy and childbirth that will not only help mothers and soon-to-be mothers understand how to think biblically about birth, but also walks them through how to put the ideas into practice in their own lives. Along the way, she shows all readers how to see God’s own experience of the birth process–and how childbirth leads to a deeper understanding of the gospel overall.”
I mean, really. Just. Such a breath of fresh air for my heart and my soul and my mind- she is constantly bringing up verses that deal with fear and anxiety, but also talks about the truths of childbirth, along with practical tips to prepare your body and heart for what is to come.
Such as: “Use your imagination to create a birth scenario in which you sense God’s presence and love for you as you labor and give birth, knowing that God designed and created childbirth. Pray for any concerns about childbirth and hindrances you may perceive to your birth scenario, asking God whether it is realistic and how to make it happen”
“Remind yourself of your own story of God’s work in your life. How does this pregnancy, birth, and new baby fit into that tapestry? Meditate on God’s great love for you, his mercy, and milestones in your life where you saw him working–or where you still don’t understand what he was doing. Pray your gratitudes, your disappointments, your sadness, and your joy to God. Maintain a listening posture, as God often gives us insight as we prayerfully reflect on our past.”
A few of my favorite quotes:
“When we put childbirth in a biblical perspective, within the context of the gospel, it becomes clearer for us. We encounter God as we ask him for wisdom for our childbirth choices, for grace in labor, and patience in the last long weeks of pregnancy. We come to him and repent, confessing our pride or lack of trust. Regardless of birth choices or outcomes, we find grace and not shame in Christ, who nailed our shame to the cross. When we press into Jesus, our wounds are bound up and our traumas are healed. As we approach labor we lay aside guilt, fear, and insecurities about our choices and what others might think. We rest in Christ, knowing that he loves us and is pleased with us. In childbirth, one of the most common experiences among women, we find the gospel proclaimed and grace lavished on us by God.”
“Childbirth brings us to God in a very unique way: in wonder and awe, in fear and sometimes agony, in loss of control and anchoring ourselves to him. It can be traumatic, trans-formative, painless, agonizing, anxious, beautiful, and messy. Childbirth is complex and unpredictable. And God uses it as grace in our lives to make us more like him. Spiritual disciplines are ways of opening up our hearts and focusing our attention on God’s work in us so that we don’t miss it. Spiritual disciplines help us live awake and alert to God, and they drive us toward him in worship.”
So like I said, I’m so, so thankful that I found this book. I’ve been devouring it- because it was just what I needed. I have felt the weight lifting a bit off of my chest as I think about what is to come, thanks to her gentle reminders of truths that I already know and believe- I just hadn’t ever really taken the time to connect them all together.
I’ve also had a few amazing women in my life reach out to me to let me know that they are praying for me and for Finn and for my birth- and I know that is making an impact too.
I feel like my last big “hurdle” is knowing what the results of my GBS test is- and then I can have all of the info to move forward with this labor and delivery mentally.
All of the other things are done and ready and waiting! The clothes are washed, the nursery is finished, we took our maternity photos, I’ve had my hair and nails done(important), we’re installing the car seat this weekend, I’m full(early) term, and it’s finally September!
I guess it’s just about time to add that little boy to our family 🙂