on labor and nesting and baby
Up until last weekend, thoughts of giving birth were actively pushed to the back of my mind. Throughout this pregnancy, I've skirted thinking about the particulars of labor: the pain, the hours of contractions, the loss of control, the aftermath of soreness. The pain...
The 8-hour intensive birth class we attended this past weekend made the impending birth very, very real. I entered the class thinking "how can I possibly find the strength to get through labor even with drugs?" I came out thinking "I think I can do this." Such a change. I experienced a radical shift in my perception of "me."
For most of the past 8 months I've focused too much on my low tolerance for pain, so much so that I've completely ignored the potential well-spring of strength that I have within me. At my core I am a doer. When I need to focus, I focus. When I need to get something done, I get it done. The class reinforced the simple fact that women give birth every day. And yes, it's painful. And yes, it's hard. And yes, there's the possibility that it will take a long, long time. But it's also amazing, and rewarding, and it ends. Labor is not purgatory. There's the beginning of labor there's the end. And at the end, there's a baby.
Perhaps in an attempt to put effort in something I can control, I've succumbed to nesting. Big time. Hours have been spent folding and organizing baby clothes, reading books, making to-do lists (and then making more), looking for the best co-sleeper, stroller, diaper options, baby carrier, car seat, organic crib mattress, you name it. At this time, when I have little control over how my body (belly, feet, hands) swells and aches, and no control over when labor will start or how it will progress, I feel I can control this nesting thing. I can assemble her room, ready our house, outfit our car, fold her clothes, build my arsenal of hand-me-down tips and tricks, practice breathing, sing her songs as she pushes and stretches my belly into a new shape, prepare myself and steady my nerves.
And just remind myself that I can do this...
[images: Nikki McClure]