Happy Due date to me,
I wish I lived in a tree,
because monkey’s don’t know,
when they are due.
(I can’t be bothered to rhyme. Give me a break.)
Today I am meditating (in between keeping Ella out of the china cabinet or drinking shampoo) on the ideas of perception and trust. I trust my body enough to carry this baby, to nourish this baby, to birth this baby, and to feed this baby once it is out; I trust this child to know instinctively how to make their way into this world; I trust my birth attendants, my husband, all the planning and research we have done – I’ve put a lot of trust out there into the world, which is perhaps what scares so many people about natural, out of hospital birth. Mind you, there is a lot more than trust going on here – we aren’t jumping out of the plane with just hope strapped to our backs – but as with most big events in our lives, we have to do all of our homework and then realize that we are not in control of everything. In a hospital, they are not in control of everything – we can not control the birthing body, and there is a wealth of research and information that ties the desire to control the birthing body to many of the most feared complications. But I’ve off track – this is not an argument for homebirth – this is just a plea for my mind to let go of this attachment to an arbitrary date. Why trusting that my body and child will know when to give birth is so hard, I’m not sure.
But that is where perception comes in; how I perceive this time between being mentally ready, and when my physical body decides to birth is completely up to me. I can either walk around bitter, anxious and feeling betrayed because things are not going how I want (Hello 4 year old Me!) or I can thank my body carrying this child to term and continuing to protect her from this wide unpredictable world. The beautiful thing about not being a monkey (other than the whole, you know, not being a monkey part) is conscious thought, the ability to imagine, the control we have over our outer as well as inner environment. The frustration I am feeling is not something placed on me externally, but rather something I am inflicting on myself. And let me tell ya, I’m not a blast to be around when I am inflicting little emotional and mental wounds on myself with each breath – sometimes they get lose and I give myself something to really feel like shit about.
So? No more. Or, rather, much less. Just being aware of this mental beating I have been giving myself, and not wallowing in its muddy banks is a start. The irony here is that by forcing myself to trust again, I am taking back a bit of my power. Today, I need it.
In good news, I am taking the day off. I don’t get maternity leave, but I am giving myself the day off from laundry, picking up toys, cleaning dishes, making nutritious meals, limiting TV time, and all the other nonessential mom things I spend my days doing. I am still changing diapers, giving cuddles, making convenience foods (cereal for breakfast, hotdogs for lunch!) and putting a hat on naked-baby-doll every 10 seconds, but otherwise, it’s my day off. I’ll report back to work bright and early tomorrow.