There were two big lessons from pregnancy and birth that have informed my life as a mom. First, things that threaten need care, but often turn out to be nothing and do not require undue amounts of premature panic. My pregnancy and birth had several potential big problems. Fibrous bands in the womb that could cut off his arm, but with a closer ultrasound turned out to be nothing. Borderline gestational diabetes…but after a morning of drinking the orange super-soda in the doctor’s office to check, it turned out all was well. In labor, he was faced downward, could have been dangerous…but he turned just half an hour before hard labor started. That sort of thing. He is only seven, but so far this pattern has held true in his young life. He’s a small guy for his age, so far…but big on confidence. He was “allowed to get” glasses at 3 and a half… but it hasn’t been a problem. And so on.
The second is about time, and for me, patience. Ethan’s birth was on his terms. He came 12 days past due date, but once he was ready, he came in just 8 hours. To this day, Ethan does almost nothing, from putting on boots to leave the house to getting out of the tub – unless and until he is absolutely ready – but always just in time. For me, the gift is learning better patience, giving up some control over timing and trusting that in the end we’re in sync anyway. In the end, we usually are.
His head looked so big, him lying there on my belly. We waited to decide his name for sure until we met, and he was very clearly Ethan. I breathed, was coached and supported and felt this shaky, huge universal goddess power through the whole thing, and together – the midwives, his dad, me, and Ethan himself, brought him into a world so ready for him. It was, without a doubt, the most powerful thing I have ever done. I know many women aren’t as lucky, and am eternally grateful for such a great way to start this lifetime together with him.
-by Stacey Murphy