Hopefully I’ll be able to make sense out of a few of my thoughts with my current muddled baby brain. Just a little longer now before our new little bundle of joy will be here. I’ve been having to juggle between what needs to still be done and what I can actually do without setting myself up for an extra early delivery (something I’d really rather not do!)
There’s so much that I find interesting about pregnancy. The thing that’s been on my mind mostly lately is that I’m heading into that “lovely” time when it has to be preferable to go through the pain of labor and whatever may follow than dealing with the uncomfort of pregnancy any longer. I try not to complain because I know it has its purpose – after all who in their right mind would subject themselves to labor unless it was preferable to the alternative.
I think it was soon after Monkey was born and I was discussing it with someone else the idea that we have a very selective memory when it comes to pain, especially the pain of birth. I said if we didn’t that no one would have ever had more than one child. Although I never wanted to hurt anyone during labor and never yelled all those things that you hear about in labor stories (“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?!”) I do remember wanting to smack the nurses for being what I considered artificially supportive and sweet. They kept just telling me how well I was doing even though I was convinced of the very opposite. My mantra at the end was that despite the seeming impossibility of what my body was about it do that women had been doing this for thousands of years and I could too. I’m not sure how well I believed myself either.
As time passed a little I told myself that it wasn’t exactly selective memory because I realized I would never forget how painful it was just that all the pain was swallowed up in the joy and miracle of new life. As the boys were each born I wondered over the miracle and what followed as well. Why was I willing to do this again? I knew that as amazingly perfect as these new little gifts were, pregnancy, labor, and motherhood were the greatest challenges I had ever experienced and would ever experience in life. Why would I do that to myself? Why would I want to add more to my already overflowing plate? Why was I still listening to those nurses telling me I was a superwoman when I was so full of pain and fear and was sure they were only saying what they said to each new momma to try sound supportive?
Then I realized it’s true, and even though they may say it to each woman who delivers, it doesn’t make it less true. We are super women. What we do is impossibly hard. I wonder now though if that isn’t part of it. No who we are though and no matter the challenge we face – when we have reached the other side we are stronger for it. We no longer have to wonder if we could be that strong, we can say that we were and that we are. Strength is only built or discovered as we face those hardest of hard things. We are designed to find fulfillment in the challenges of life.
So to that I say, it doesn’t matter that those stairs still seem like a mountain or that I can’t see my toes, this challenge too will pass into joy in its own time and its own way and whatever happens I will be the stronger and better for it. I just need to look for the blessings and continue to have faith in myself and the gifts I am given by He who has endured all and loves us all.