TWO years FIVE months + THIRTY-NINE weeks
How you deal with your energy flow has a major effect on your life. If you assert your will against the energy of an event that has already happened, it is like trying to stop the ripples caused by a leaf dropped into a still lake. Anything you do causes more disturbance, not less. When you resist, the energy has no place to go. It gets stuck in your psyche and seriously affects you. It blocks your heart’s energy flow and causes you to feel closed and less vibrant. This is literally what is happening when something is weighing on your mind or when things just get too heavy for you.
This is the human predicament.
-Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul
For the past three weeks, I’ve written and edited and deleted several entries to you, all of which were about this baby and how I’m feeling for the soon-to-be delivery.
I eventually gave up my efforts, knowing words worthy of this journal were simply not going to come out before the baby does; my “flow” or whatever you want to call it, had simply stopped, and each conversation I typed to you, lacked everything I treasure these entries for having: connection and love and the feeling of real conversation with my spirit of a mother.
But while Everett and I were playing out on the porch this morning, so many Blue Jays began flying around and within my yard’s two adjacent oak trees, that it was honestly alarming. The birds seemed to be in an argument amongst one another, at such high volume, it felt my attention was being personally sought out.
So I gave some silent acknowledgement: Okay. I’ll write the final “pre-baby” entry today. I get the message…
Somehow it felt like you who was out there calling, asserting to stop this resistance against writing, and just finish it already. Because once this baby is born, the opportunity for a September entry will have entirely passed.
All I presently think about is labor and when.
It’s like I’m standing within a backroad’s blind spot, waiting for a semi-truck to travel around the bend and topple me with surprise, pain, and incredible amounts of joy and love.
Dramatic, but it’s how I feel, less than a week from my due date.
Chris and I went out on dinner date the other night, a little farewell to life as we know it, as we sat and talked about how much we love Everett and how funny he is and how ready we are for this second baby to come.
He thinks it’s a girl.
I told him “her” name can be translated to “lady of the sea,” and he laughed, because he knows my quirky love for mermaids, even telling me often that I look like one, the way my hair naturally rests above the small of my back.
Before our meal was served, I went to the bathroom. Once I emptied my bladder for the twentieth time that day, while washing my hands, I paused and took in the familiar shape of my belly’s reflection, knowing the next time I’d be at this favorite restaurant we like to frequent, I’ll have met our named baby.
When I turned, there on the wall was a huge mural of a mermaid, looking sexy and beautiful in her painted skin as I stared back at her, wondering what all is soon to come around that blinding bend.
Like this last supper, I’ve been checking off lists and completing little rituals of organizing and going to Target twice a week for who knows what at this point, as a way of feeling prepared for what I simply cannot prepare for.
My laundry has been washed and folded more often than usual, because ideally, I’d like an empty hamper when I leave for the hospital. I go into the nursery where majority of my things are packed, just to stand there and basically stare, rearranging the way my coconut water and snack bars are positioned on the dresser, as if I’m playing a game of Tetris, trying to get things to look and fit right, in a pointless attempt of mentally inducing labor.
My kichen cabinets have been wiped down. The closets have been organized so that our clothes can properly welcome the changing season. Everett’s favorite foods have been stocked numerous times, and I’ve trimmed his nails over and over (which has to be done with the bribery of M&M’s), prepping him as if I’m going to be gone for two months instead of two nights.
No longer will I be only his mother. No longer will I be a mother of one–the mother I’ve loved getting to know and grow into over the past two and some years. Yes I’ll still be me, but there’s no denying my person is going to shift and rearrange once again. Perhaps that’s why I have this odd idea of disappearing into thin air and away from my son.
While I know I can have things done and gathered and cleaned, no matter how many times I vacuum my living room carpet, it won’t change the natural timing of this birth. As I learned with Everett, the when is out of my hands.
If I don’t go into labor by October 5th, which is three days after my due date, I’ll be induced to avoid another large baby, which apparently accompanies a higher risk of shoulder dystocia.
I have really been trying to separate my experience delivering Everett, from whatever is going to happen with this delivery. Over and over, I’d catch myself remembering his birth as if it had just happened, and therefore mentally prepare for another twenty-six hour labor, that damn shoulder dystocia, the hospital transfer, no recovery time, and qualms with breastfeeding.
So to help me reverse this harmful thinking, I’ve written in my pen and paper journal daily, affirming that this time, things will be different–that they may not be perfect or easy or even drug-free, but they are going to be different.
I love thinking of Chris holding another baby.
The nurses and midwife on-call will all be perfect for me and baby.
It will be good to have Allison in the delivery room.
I have new pajamas waiting for me.
The baby’s name will suit them.
Everett will be happy at home.
Every time I use affirmations–whether writing or thinking them…whether about labor or simply loving myself–I immediately feel better. I can actually feel my energy lift as that upward shift happens, remembering I’m in control of how I feel, always and without exception.
On our daily walk this morning, as I pushed the stroller and controlled Clifford on the leash, I was telling myself things like:
Labor is going to be much faster than with Everett.
You won’t pop blood vessels in your eyes and face because of an infant’s stuck shoulder–this baby is going to slide right out, just as it should.
(I’d say it’s a good thing my passing walking neighbors can’t hear my thoughts.)
But I was truly trying to visualize this baby being delivered by a few strong pushes, with no hindrances, and exiting my body in the “easy” way it’s meant to.
After we got back, I wanted to water the fall-colored burgundy mums I bought for my front porch (apparently I’m even trying to prep my plants for my laboring absence), so I freshly filled my watering can with kitchen sink water, while Everett was playing with the bunny cage, trying to wedge one of his toy cars between the metal bars.
No matter how many times I tell him to not touch the bunny, he simply cannot leave that poor rabbit alone. It’s the same with my new flowers. He picks the buds off and tosses them into unknown places.
Anyways, when I started watering, the long and narrow tipped-over spout wouldn’t release anything, as if the container was entirely empty and I hadn’t just replenished it.
Seriously confused, I kept tipping, until the can was almost upside down and then bam!
A mum bud, big enough to entirely clog the spout, popped out with such pressuring force, water exploded in a steady and outward stream.
It literally looked like a baby, represented as the bud, had slid right out, just as I’d been trying to imagine happening within my body, moments before.
I couldn’t stop laughing, and began feeling that familiar warmth of assurance coursing through me, knowing my attempts to think positive were not falling onto deaf ears–that somehow, I am indeed being heard.
So this is my official surrender.
I am ready. I am open. I am even done cleaning.
I’m so close to becoming a mother of two…so ready to hold this baby and know who they are.
Mom, be with me.