Growing a human is a hefty project.
This project is noble.
This project is hefty, noble, and sometimes uncomfortable.
If you discount the morning sickness (which should instead be named ‘anytime sickness’), the dizziness, the feet swelling, and numerous emotional hurdles, pregnancy has been a relatively easy task.
Sam and I were discussing how amazing it is that two people come together and can create a life. We feel so thankful that God provided us with a baby so quickly and that overall this pregnancy has been complication free.
So. Back to topic.
I don’t want to sugar coat what doesn’t need to be sweetened. I have discovered through my experience with pregnancy that it can be absolutely unpredictable. If any of my honesty helps another person, I’ve accomplished my goal!
Yesterday turned out to be a really great day. The weather was absolutely beautiful and Sam and I had tasks to accomplish. We went to Lowes and picked up some materials for around the house, including some wicker baskets for the nursery, a bird feeder, and a flag pole.
We were able to snag those baskets for $10.50 each, normally $30. YAY for sales!
I will admit that after we hung the birdfeeder, we both stood on the porch calling the birds asking “Birds…where are you? Come eat!” I imagine we looked rather silly, but hey–it got a laugh out of us.
Since I was feeling good, I wanted to finish up the firepit. I had dug up the bricks around the magnolia tree out front to reuse around the firepit. I hopped on the mower, trailer in tow, and loaded up all the bricks. Sam started digging around the firepit while I unloaded the bricks. He then went into the woods with his ax, ratchet straps, and mower, and wasn’t heard from for a few hours.
While he was gone, I continued to dig and place the bricks around the pit.
The firepit! By the time I was done laying bricks, Sam had come back with the tree dragging behind the mower. He then helped me fill in the pit with dirt and he even jumped around on it to help it settle in.
We came in for the night and enjoyed it watching movies and making air popped popcorn.
I wasn’t feeling too hip when we went to bed. I chocked it up to my normal discomfort in finding a position to sleep in.
Soon after falling asleep, I was awoken by what felt like heartburn. As per my routine I immediately sat up in bed to settle the acid down into my stomach. It didn’t go away, but only got worse.
I got up out of bed and noticed that little one was very high on my stomach–abnormally so. There was intense pressure being pushed upwards into my lungs and stomach. It was a searing pain. It felt as if she was pushing up through my stomach and outwards. If Alien was a real movie, I now know exactly how all the victims felt when those xenomorph babies busted through their chests.
I tried to walk around the bathroom but the pain only got worse. Little one kept pushing up into my stomach, making me nauseated and gagging while trying to calm myself down.
I sat down on the toilet seat and I admit that I wanted to start crying. I realized that this pain wasn’t related to labor or the health of baby, but that she was simply causing me discomfort unknowingly. I seriously doubted myself there on that toilet seat, asking myself if I could really go through childbirth without wimping out or talking myself out of the birth I want. I felt defeated and it scared me. I realized then and there that to get through labor and childbirth, I would need to up my instincts when it comes to pain tolerance and coping. I didn’t want to give up. I kept breathing and trying to adjust my torso.
I woke Sam up and asked him to go get my ball.
He jumped out of bed without a question and went to grab my ball. I tried different positions–all fours on the floor, curled up over the tub, sitting on the toilet, yet nothing helped. I was scared and admit that I only half-heartedly tried deep breathing techniques taught by Hypnobirthing when faced with pain.
As trivial as this pain may sound to someone who hasn’t experienced it, it was excruciating to me.
I bounced on the ball for a few minutes while Sam made sure I was indeed okay. He went back to bed and I followed a few minutes later hoping that laying down would move her feet/butt out from my chest cavity.
I applied a bit of counterpressure down on the top of my uterus, just gently pushing down so little one would feel my hand there and hopefully move. She didn’t move.
Still in absolute pain and feeling the urge to throw up constantly still, I got up and decided to go roll on the ball a while longer to try to get little one to move down into my lower abdomen. It helped a bit, but I decided to try to go to sleep while sitting up on the couch.
This was the only thing that helped.
I sat up with my legs out in front of me and leaned up against the couch. I breathed deeply and talked myself into relaxation. I fell asleep there and woke up a few hours later to return to bed.
I learned a few things last night.
I learned that Sam is amazing under pressure and I am so thankful that he was willing to help me with no question and no hesitation.
I learned that although it felt like it last night, I wasn’t going to die and once I realized that, things got easier.
I learned that I can calm myself down by breathing deeply and methodically and visualizing peace within.
I also learned that there is no reason to be a martyr and if I feel that I need some outside help during labor or birth, that I need to ask for it.
The fear I held towards the pain I experienced last night made that pain worse. By calming myself down, talking myself out of the pain, and realizing that baby didn’t know what she was doing or causing me pain, I was able to fall asleep. It is how we react to pain around us that determines the intensity of that pain. It is how we perceive the world around us that makes it a reality.
Labor and delivery is not going to be an easy event. I believe what happened last night was an excellent way that God prepared my heart a bit for what is to come.
The pain and fear involved in child-growing is normal. I think some of it is unavoidable. I think some of it sucks. However, I also feel that it is necessary to learn and grow, to appreciate the good times and feelings.
I look forward to another moment like this so I can try to handle it more positively and with a better response.