Facing Fears {It’s like facing myself}

Monday night we found ourselves – and by “we” I mean David and I – sitting on the couch and floor of our instructor’s house, waiting for her to begin our 10-week modified Bradley-method birth class.

At nearly 26 weeks pregnant, it is apparently time to prepare for that day – Abby’s birthday. 

Anyway, the class is in Boulder with a personality to fit the location (I know…laugh all you want, those of you who doubt my natural birth aspirations), but after talking to the instructor over the phone in November/December, I felt that she would be the best fit for us. She is well-educated. She is a devoted wife and mother. She blogs about natural living and natural parenting. And, she doesn’t like or teach the strict structure of true Bradley method. Sounded perfect to me.

Only one other couple joined us in her living room, where the mamas were immediately encouraged to tailor-sit on the floor (opening up one’s hips or something like that). During introductions and conversation, it became apparent that Keri and Sean, the first-time parents, were also Christians, attending a vibrant church in the Denver Front Range area.

As our birth instructor encouraged us to spend time bonding with baby this week, her apparent discomfort with our beliefs/comments manifested in her weak comment: “Perhaps just sit quietly with your hands on your belly….or maybe pray…”

Yet, many of her words have caused me to dig deep this week – deep into a heart with deeply buried wounds. Our main topic was “Fears.” Ouch.

Funny enough I’m not at all afraid of labor or the pain of childbirth. After the painful infertility treatments and daily (often twice daily) injections that I gave myself or were administered in my belly and hips for the past year or so, pain is not a big deal. Not to mention, I view labor as “productive pain.” I’m actually getting somewhere. Within a certain time frame, there will be a baby born…one way or the other…

But, what am I afraid of? 

Perhaps losing control…again. After 3.5 years of infertility, you feel like this “making love and making a baby” thing is a bit overrated. Pardon my sarcasm, but that’s not how it worked for me. What if labor and delivery happens the same way, and contractions and pushing are just not enough?

At first, David struggled to understand how the JOURNEY itself is so important to me. “Why worry about how Abby arrives as long as both baby and mama are healthy when it is all said and done?” is his reasoning. Ultimately, he is absolutely right.

However, something about this process…this journey…is part of my story. Of healing, I hope. Of mending. Of empowerment. 

Even in my first trimester, I required hormone injections and supplements to help prevent miscarriage. Very little has happened naturally in my body. And so, during the drive home from Boulder, I realized why I so strongly desire an unmedicated birth.

I want to experience my body DO something it was created to do, and do it well. I want to feel my muscles tighten and release, and a baby’s head emerge without the help of medications or interventions. 

I can’t be married to the plan, because ultimately I do just want Abby to be healthy. Still, deep in my heart, I know that I’m looking for a bit of my own transformation on Abby’s birth day. Perhaps something broken on a very physical level will be strengthened.

My fears are foreign to most pregnant women, and I get that. Still, they are real. I’m not facing terror of needles or contractions, but rather I’m facing myself. Fearful indeed.

This may be a strange blog post for many of you to read, but I want this recorded in my journey. I want to look back months and years from now and marvel at what God has done and the wholeness that He has restored.

I’m not there yet, so this is part of the journey. Facing my fears. Facing myself.

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