September 1, 2010

"the upcoming birth", or "I am so not ready for this"

One week and five days until the due date of my fourth child.

Have we been preparing for this? 

Heck no! 

We've been remodeling and rearranging a house.  We've been going  back to school.  Dealing with a teething almost one year old.  Cuddling with the most cuddle-craving two year old I've ever met.  Preparing for a birthday party.  Trying to nap, rest, just sit down!

Do I have my birthday cake picked out?  No.
Do we have names picked out?  No.
Do we have the homebirth supplies assembled?  No.
Do we have the bassinet set up?  Newborn clothes out of the basement?  Diapers purchased?
No.  No.  And no.

This kid better not come early.

But more than not being physically ready, I just don't feel ready.

I've been too busy with life to think about another person joining our family, and when I finally did, all I could think of was the labor and delivery.

I was not afraid going into L's birth.  I felt confident in my body and its ability to do what it needed to do.  I also felt confident in my midwife and husband, and their abilities to comfort and support me through the labor. 
That labor lasted for 21 hours and included lots of back labor.

I was not afraid for Ben's birth.  I knew what I had done for L and felt like I could do it again.  I also was reassured by the general rule that second labors are shorter than first.  And I loved the care I was given by my midwife and her assistants during L's birth.  I knew that being at home was a great option and I relished in the care, attention and comfort. 
That labor lasted for 17 hours.  Pushing was difficult and B's shoulders were stuck after his head was born.

For the first time, I feel nervous about giving birth.  I'm a bit scared of another long labor and another big baby.  I feel worn out from being the mother of two small kids and when I picture hours of pain I don't know if I can do it.  The confidence I once felt in my body's ability to birth naturally - heck to just give birth! - has diminished.  I've forgotten how to trust my body.  When I think of an epidural (no pain!) I want to go straight to the hospital. 

I won't, though.  I won't go to the hospital.  Because the epidural - which isn't even a 100% guarantee of a painless birth - isn't enough to negate all the perks of a home birth.
Bernice as my midwife.
Not having to fight for what I want.
Being home, in my own bed, cuddling with my whole family.
Smelling my birthday cake as it bakes, knowing it's waiting for me.
No transitioning from home to hospital and back again.

I'm sure to those who have never given birth at home this list seems silly.  But I assure you they are not.  They are wonderful things.  Things that helped make my birthing experiences very good experiences.

But I'm still a little worried about this whole L&D thing. 

So do me a favor, would you please?  If you are a home (or natural) birther, remind me that I can do it.  Cheer me on.  And PLEASE pray for a labor that lasts ten hours - at most!


  1. Just found you through a link on Lerin's blog. I've not birthed at home, but have done so naturally (I had an epidural with my first, natural with my second). While I understand why women want to go through birth without the pain, I can say from experience that the pain is important. It is part of what rebirths US as mothers, what helps bond us to our children. Yes, you are already a mother to your other babies, but each birth of our children is a rebirth for us and reaffirmation of our power and strength as a mother. You CAN do this -- your body and your mind CAN do this.

    Contrary to popular opinion, I feel like I lost out a bit in having an epidural with my first. It took me days to wrap my head around the fact that I'd had a baby... partly, I think, because I hadn't FELT having the baby. I was in pain, and then I wasn't. And then a while later I was told to pretend that I was pooping, and someone put this adorable, messing little creature on my chest. I wanted desperately to be connected to the experience, but I think because I couldn't feel what my body was doing, I couldn't connect to it fully.

    I understand being daunted by the task -- but you can do it! (And if all else fails, remember that you have to do it.. one way or another that babe is coming out! ;) And if you can do it at home, all the better -- it will be far more restful and comforting for you. I'm hoping to be at home for my next!

  2. So remember when we had that pregnancy blessing? out of four, youre the only one who hasnt given birth yet. the other three of us went FAST, and I mean FAST! like all our babies came out with less then half hour of pushing (in anne's case in about 2 minutes of pushing! :) ) and we all previously had long births before. So I'm betting that god liked our pregnancy blessing party and is blessing us all with sohrt labors. :) That's just my guess. :)

  3. Bonnie,

    you can so do this!!! You are a strong powerful woman. Your body has birthed two children already, it knows what to do. Plus birthing your 10pounder (?) Bennet just might have paved the way for this one. Who knows this baby might just come shooting out! :)

    I'll been praying and thinking of you these next few weeks.


  4. Here's some portions of a prayer about pain

    "but how do you ever get ready to endure the pain of giving birth....If there's some way to be psyched up or mentally prepared, Lord, I pray that You will help me get ready to endure the process. Provide an abundance of courage. Remind me constantly that each new contraction brings me one step closer to my baby. I always choose to avoid pain whenever I can, but in this situation, there is no choice. So I will continue to pray and put my trust in You. Stamina, guts, willpower - they will have to come from You. I know that You will provide. Every time I am afraid, I will come before You where the perfect love of God casts out all fear. Hold me tight and love me long. I need You. " ~ Angela Thomas Guffey

    Bonnie - I am lifting you up in prayer.

  5. Bonnie, absolutely you can do this again!!

    Reading your birthing experiences was such a huge encouragement for me to have Charlotte naturally. I had no idea how hard it was going to be, but I appreciated your honesty about the pain and difficulty I would experience. I feel like I was better prepared for Charlotte, partly because of your sharing.

    Now, I'm praying for a short and safe labor and delivery for you, but just in case its long again... I know you'll be able to do it. You're strong, determined, convicted, and self sacrificing (not spoiled or needy...).

    I look forward to your next home birth story, and again, if you want to use the name Roman or even Jude, you have my permission.

  6. I haven't given birth yet, but I want so badly to have a natural birth (even home is on the table). I was reading some birth stories today and just couldn't hold back the tears. I'm nervous. There's so much to learn. What if I can't do it? I actually thought to myself, "Bonnie did it. She did it twice and she's doing it again." I can't tell you how much comfort that gave me.

    You can do it mom.

  7. You know you're amazing, as a mom, as a friend, as a person.

  8. Bonnie, You are so truly blessed to have the experience of being in your home to give birth and have a midwife with whom you trust to guide you through the process. Prayers coming your way!

  9. oh how i love the prayer Amanda quoted above!! My dear Bonnie, I felt the same way before Abraham was born. All the "what ifs?". The only thing to do is to focus on the ONLY thing we as Mothers know for sure - God created our bodies with this purpose in mind. Even more exciting - he created YOUR body to birth THIS specific little person. (psalm 139). He knows everything about your body and your baby's body and HE is in complete control of EVERYTHING that happens. No matter how this labor goes, you can rest in the fact that God know, cares, and loves you intimately. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. hallelujah! You CAN do this - because God will empower you to do it. I'm getting so excited for you!!! You're going to do incredible!

    Sarah Hedman

    p.s. - Maybe pick one scripture that is particularly soothing or uplifting to you. You and Travis memorize it and try to meditate on it in the days leading up to baby coming. Whenever I focus on Scripture, God's ministry to me becomes very intense and personal. Plus, when you are focusing on truth, it's hard to believe the lies the enemy is throwing at you (that you can't do it). LOve you guys!

  10. You absolutely can do this! You're gonna be awesome! I'm praying for you and will continue to do so. I'm so proud of you, Bonnie, for birthing at home and knowing, really *knowing*, this is best for you and baby. I'm also a bit jealous - my homebirth turned into a c/s and my second ended up being a c/s as well. As saddened as I am by this, I'm so very happy with those of you who birth at home. And I'll rejoice with you in spirit when your little one arrives safely and peacefully into this world at home with you and Travis.