The Waiting Game
It’s January 1, 2013 and I’m writing this blog post, so clearly I am not in labor, nor do I have a newborn at home yet. I knew this was a distinct possibility. Only five percent of babies are born on their actual due date and 10 percent of all pregnancies go two weeks past the due date. Over the past two weeks, I’ve tried everything in my power to induce labor: acupuncture, massaging pressure points, eating spicy foods, working out, taking Evening Primrose Oil, having sex, tweaking my nipples. (Yes, you read that last one correctly and yes, it does actually make your stomach contract.) If it has helped even one woman have a baby, believe me, I have done it. Multiple times. The only thing I haven’t tried is ingesting castor oil. Even I’m not that brave.
My maternity leave officially started December 20th. Hubs–who had a week off around the holidays–and I enjoyed a lovely last Christmas together just the two of us. But now he’s back to work and I’m at home with lots of time to sit around and think. Mostly, I’ve been playing the “what if” game: What if I have to be induced? What if the induction doesn’t work and I need to have a c-section? What if God is giving me this time of rest because I’m going to have a difficult–or even worse-an unhealthy baby? None of this worrying is healthy. In fact, it’s downright sinful, and I’m sure it’s not helping my body relax its way into labor. So, I’ve decided to give up. On the worry and on the inducing.
If you’ve been pregnant before, you know that the entire 10 months is all about learning to lose control. (And yes, you read that correctly too: 40 weeks is actually 10 months. The whole 9 months thing is just a lie designed to fool women into thinking they won’t be pregnant for “that long.” WRONG. You’re growing a child for almost an entire year, ladies.) Never in my life have I felt so out of control of my body, my emotions and just about every other aspect of my life, really, than when I’ve been pregnant. I cannot control my own flatulence, let alone how I feel, what this kid will look like/act like or when he will make his way into the world.
Earlier today I was reading Romans 12. Verse 12 says: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” I’ve been repeating this verse to myself all day and trying to put it into practice. Rather than get frustrated that I’m still pregnant, I’m trying my hardest to find joy in doing the things I probably won’t have time to do once Baby P arrives. (See exhibit A at right: finishing my first official knitting project. A 1.5 year labor of love.) I’m determined to be patient, knowing that pregnancy will come to an end one way or another in just a few short days/weeks. I’m reminding myself that being overdue is not an affliction. True affliction does not end with new life and a beautiful baby boy. (Oh, how I hope he’s beautiful. I know I’ll love him regardless, but I’m also pretty sure I’ll know if he’s ugly.) And most of all, I’m praying like crazy. For myself–but mostly for others–because I’ve found that looking outside myself is one of the best ways to stop worrying about me.
In my last post, I shared some reflections on pregnancy and life at the 16 week mark. (I still find all of those to be true.) With 2012 and most of my pregnancy behind me, I thought I’d share a few other things I’ve learned over this last year. It’s my top 12 of 2012:
1.) You cannot stop people from touching a pregnant woman’s stomach. Even total strangers (read: homeless men and Asian nail salon owners).
2.) Life is too short to not indulge in some of your favorite foods. Especially around the holidays.
3.) Everyone’s experience with something (ex: pregnancy, motherhood, etc) is unique. You shouldn’t let people freak you out, nor should you let people lull you into thinking that everything is going to be smooth sailing.
4.) Not every day has to be a productive one.
5.) TV is the ultimate time waster. If you DO want to have a productive day, don’t turn it on.
6.) Be present. (read: put down the cell phone; stop using social media so much)
7.) Relationships–with people and with the Lord–take time, effort and perseverance. The most worthwhile ones require the biggest investment.
8.) You will never regret getting in a good workout, no matter how tired you are.
9.) Pray continuously.
10.) Give generously.
11.) Stay informed about current events (politics, etc) and form an intelligent opinion of your own. Ignorance is neither bliss nor attractive.
12.) Listen to other people’s opinions. If you don’t agree with them, understand why.
Ok. Your turn. Share your lessons from 2012. GO!