41 weeks and 2 days

more thoughts, emotions, and reflections

We're still very much enjoying our pre-baby family vacation time. We've been making the most of all our favorite outings that SLO has to offer, namely our favorite places to wander, browse, play, and shop (downtown, Borders, the park, and Costco). 

Concerning the baby, all is well. I had an appointment two days ago and will see my midwife again tomorrow. I'm 4 cm dilated, the baby is where he/she needs to be, there is plenty of amniotic fluid, the baby has grown, my belly has grown, I've gained a little weight, my blood pressure is good, and I've been having contractions on and off since yesterday afternoon -- so we'll continue to wait. I had a chiropractic appointment yesterday, just to make sure there isn't anything structural impeding labor...

In the meantime, I've mostly felt peaceful about waiting. I can feel myself gradually letting go of my hopes and expectations -- most of which I didn't know I had -- surrounding this baby's birth. The actual event of labor seems like it's getting farther away, rather than closer and closer. I'm afraid of losing touch with all the mental readiness and household preparations I've established over the last month! Maybe that's exactly what needs to happen before I'm truly ready...

At times, I'm still surprisingly sensitive about people asking when the baby's due/where's the baby/no baby yet/etc. For the most part, I've stopped making eye contact in public in the hopes of avoiding such friendly inquiries. While walking around Costco the other day, I couldn't help but feel that I was on display. I could tell that people were staring at me, and I just wanted to hide. One woman even hovered around the couch I was sitting on and started chatting with me before I even looked at her! She was very nice and we had a good little talk about birth. Avoiding giving a specific due date helped protect me from the inevitable widened eyes and flood of advice.

I never would have thought that I'd react like this. I thought I'd be eating up the attention, but it's oppressive. My midwife told me it's quite normal (and a sign that labor's just around the corner). She even mentioned that in olden times and in other cultures, pregnant women did not go out in public for various reasons. She speculates that there were some emotional protections built into those customs, which resonates with me. Unfortunately, secluding myself at home doesn't entirely appeal to me -- my thoughts would eat me alive!

In the times of quiet, I've been a bit neglectful in turning to God in all of this waiting. I pray and talk to Him and voice my emotions, but I've been slow to turn to His words for comfort. If anyone knows anything about what's going to happen and who this baby is, it's God. He designed this labor as a growing process for me, and in my heart of hearts, I'm delighting in the challenges and blessings of being stretched to the limits of my patience and hope.

Isaiah 66:7-11 has stood out to me as a particularly intimate glimpse into God's view of labor, birth, and motherhood:

"Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God. "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."

And then there's Psalm 139:13-16, 23-24

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Andrea, Wednesday 22 July 2009 at 08:14 am two comments
Sarah, - 22-07-’09 12:25

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We love you and the little person that is growing inside you!!!!

Regina, (Email ) (URL) - 22-07-’09 23:07

Still praying. Glad you find strength and wisdom in the Word.
I have said for YEARS that for some reason, a woman’s fertility status is open to comment by who ever has an opinion.
Whether you have no children, one child, multiple children – there are people who think it is their job to advise & comment on that.
I got SO SICK of people giving me unsolicited advice when I couldn’t conceive.
SO – I emphasize with you, dear one. You are handling this with grace. Thanks be to God.

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