For people who don't know yet, my goal is to have this baby without the aid of any drugs. I'm not against the use of an epidural for any high-and-mighty reasons, but I'm just...uncomfortable with it for myself. I told a friend (who is expecting her little boy ANY DAY NOW!) that I feel like there's a lot of merit in our knee-jerk reactions to things like that right now. I think God prepares us to be Mothers by giving us that natural instinct to just feel what's right for us. If our doctor suddenly seems gung-ho about medication, my knee-jerk reaction is going to say "Why? What are the actual benefits to me and my baby?"
Anyway, Michael and I both feel (I more than he, because he's worried about me, which is to be expected) that we'd like to go as long as possible through L&D without medication to move the process along. We feel even more strongly about that now that we've taken the classes and talked about the pros and cons of each with our doctor.
There's a truth that doesn't get talked about as often, and that is that there's a lot to do to prepare for a baby that will soon be a part of your house and home. Getting its room ready. Washing, cleaning and putting away all of the accoutrements purchased or received from loved ones. Interviewing child care providers and pediatricians. Getting your paperwork together for the hospital and the insurance company and your place of employment. Oh yeah, and remembering to take the time to practice calming breathing and meditation before bed each night. Guess which one gets left out most often.
On Saturday night, exhausted from a full day of shopping, celebrating a niece's first birthday, and finishing building the nursery furniture, I fell into bed (no, literally fell, because it's the easiest way to get into the bed sometimes!), exhausted and trying to ignore the back pain. As I struggled to get comfortable, I suddenly got tears in my eyes. "How am I going to handle this? How am I going to get it all done and still have the energy to get through labor?"
So, I prayed. I took some deep, calming breaths and asked the Lord to give me and Michael the strength we need from one day to the next. The physical and emotional strength to take each little challenge, handle it, and reset for the next. I prayed that I'd be gently reminded to take the time each day to do this and to remember to focus on finding my "happy place" to which I'd like to return in that hospital room. I prayed that Michael will be able to be strong when I'm not.
Then, the next morning at church, Toby (the pastor) finished his 4-week series on Healing by talking about physical healing. I'm sure that most of that sermon was intended for those with chronic illnesses that can beat them down spiritually and emotionally and relationally...but I kept thinking of my prayer the night before.
I know pregnancy is not an illness. But it's an incredible physical journey with quite the dramatic finish required to bring life into this world. So I focused on my Healer. I've spent the last week or two looking for Scriptures here and there to write down and meditate upon and to take with me to the hospital. I've been making a playlist on my laptop, which I'll be taking with me, that will uplift me and strengthen me when I just want to give up. But I've not spent as much time asking God, having an actual conversation with Him, to help us all (me, Michael and baby) through what will likely be the toughest physical thing I've ever been through.
I've been listening to the Pandora worship station through my Belly Buds lately, because the baby seems to get moving to that music. When the worship leaders began to sing "Healer" by Kari Jobe on Sunday morning at church, I felt immediate movement from little Baby R. Part of it was probably my own immediate physical reaction to the song, because it's a favorite, but I like to think that Baby R got moving because s/he recognized the song.
Believe that it's going on the Hospital Playlist:
*Just a quick disclaimer to say that, should the medical need arise, I am not against medical intervention when it will ensure the healthiest delivery for my baby and me. I'm not one of those "prayer does everything and medicine is not necessary ever EVER" people!*