Great Expectations {Birth & other things}

It could be said of me that I set incredibly unrealistic expectations as my norm.
It’s kind of my way of life.
Miraculously, it works out sometimes.
But… A lot of times I end up completely overwhelmed because..
I.
just.
can’t.
do.
it.
ALL.

Perfect example?
I said I would write about all the vaccines in a helpful, informative, {as much as possible} unbiased way.
I don’t feel like I will ever accomplish that task. Though, I did complete all the research necessary to do so.

I’ve read & researched so many things since finding out I was pregnant.
I started with nutrition & moved on to medical things.
I know all about how devastatingly high the cesarean section rates are in our country {& how scary they are here in Florida}.

One thing I haven’t researched to death is one specific aspect of birth.
When my norm is to set too GREAT expectations… I want to have NO expectations as to how long labor & delivery “should” last.
I want to have no expectations of how it should feel, {though I’ve discovered there is little I can do to change my American mentality about the devastating, overwhelming, impossible pain of the process}.
I want to have no expectations as to what position I should be in when I deliver the baby.
{I have no idea what room in our home I’ll choose to deliver, or whether I’ll be lying down or not…}
I have no expectations as to what my emotional state will be.

I want to set the record straight about something:
I’m not super woman.
I’m not SO brave.
I’m not so strong or courageous.
I’m not so different than you…

I simply believe that God created my body specifically with birthing babies in mind.

{Un} Fortunately, I’ve  heard so many devastating stories from friends & strangers about the medical interventions in their births that led to their babies being surgically removed from their bodies.

{I want to pause to clarify: I know that sometimes that can be medically necessary.
Unfortunately, I also know that most of the time that it does happen, it’s something that was caused by another intervention in the natural process.}

So, yes, I am planning to have my baby at home.
For me, that means I’ve just removed some options from the table for me.
It means I will not have the option of an epidural.
{This is where most women – and surprisingly a lot of men – make those little comments like “You’re SO BRAVE!”}
And that barring an ACTUAL life or death situation, I will not have the option of having my baby cut out of me.
{Both as an episiotomy or as a c-section.}

For those that don’t know this about me: I’m incredibly impatient.
I’m already losing patience in wanting to wait for this little baby.
It’s incredibly tempting for me to consider all the ways I could try to intervene & bring this baby early.
{Early = before baby & body are ready. Early does not = before her “due date”.}

But, fortunately, choosing the home birth route, choosing to remove some options from the table, that’s an option I opted out of well before my emotions got to this impatient place.
A preemptive decision, if you will.

I’ve learned that it can be unhealthy for me to have incredibly high expectations for myself.
But that it can be a beautiful thing for me to have incredibly high expectations of God.
That His design is still perfect – even with The Fall.
That He will give me the strength to deliver this baby.
Pain & all. Impatience & all.

I’m not in labor yet… Though I am on my way there.
I have no idea & no expectation of when that will happen, how long it will last, or what it will look like.
I’m not having regular cervical checks because it doesn’t matter whether I’m dilated a centimeter or two or not, because I know that means nothing of when I will actually go into labor.
{And I need the fewest facts about when I should expect to go into labor as possible in order to stay as patient as possible.}

I’d like to share an excerpt of a song where I’m finding some beautiful encouragement this morning:

In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought & storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns, or calls me home..
Here in the power of Christ, I’ll stand.

6 thoughts on “Great Expectations {Birth & other things}”

  1. Very nice post, Lee Anne. Your birth will be what it needs to be for you. You’ve prepared for it as well as you can, and please take solace in those of us who have gone before you. When you’re there, in the midst of the powerful creation energy of the universe, all who have been there before you stand with you, surrounding you and encircling you with our energy and love. Be sure to let FB know, and I will light a candle for your baby’s sweetest beginnings.

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  2. I love your posts, Lee Anne. 🙂 “In Christ Alone” is a great song.
    I hope this week goes smoothly for you as you wait for your little one to arrive. ❤

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  3. Lee Anne,
    As another mom who has gone through the process without an epidural and done the “natural” thing I want to say that I know everything will be ok. I actually enjoyed the fact that people considered it so devestatingly terrible and unbearable because reading that and expecting that made it not be so bad. I was expecting to feel like I would die. I was expecting that and trying to prepare myself for that and because of that when I was in labor I didn’t find it nearly as bad as I thought. When I got to “hard” labor (just like the bradley method told me) I got to the “I can’t do this anymore” stage. I didn’t feel like I would die- but I was so tired and people were trying to make me lay this way or do this or that and I wanted to be left alone. I know that you will make it through that part- as I did- but allow your husband to help you through it and if you need some “space” like I felt I did do not be afraid to ask for that. I also JUST WANTED TO DRINK SOMETHING!!! so i would highly encourage you to do that since you will be home and there is no medical reason you shouldn’t drink something. I would have had a homebirth but I could not find a midwife that would agree. I think it is smart not to get the cervical checks. Next time I will not do that either because it DID make me impatient (and after being two weeks overdue I was VERY VERY impatient) . My emotions went from happy and excited and nervous- to “go away, leave me alone, i can’t do this” to HURRY UP!!!! HELP ME!!!!! I’M SOOOOO THIRSTY! DO SOMETHING! haha. it is actually funny and precious to me looking back on it. If you have a natural birth experience that goes as well as mine did you will be more than happy that everything happened how it did. Of course afterwards I was so tired that I fell asleep and slept until the next morning only waking up to nurse Rayne- so I hope your husband is ready, as well! 🙂 You are both in my prayers and I know that God will give you the kind of experience you are looking for.

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  4. You are so wise beyond your years … no, you’re wise beyond even MY years! Seeing how you and John have centered your lives and your marriage around Christ, and how you’ve let Him guide you in all things – especially this precious gift from Him – proves more than faith. It proves your obedience to His first commandment – loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. May your child be as much a blessing to you as mine is to me!

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  5. Hi! I am friends with Noel M. She recommended that I read your blog. I have really enjoyed reading through your posts. You are quite a gifted writer! Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your little one! My husband and I welcomed our first child in January. After doing extensive research on birth options, we decided to go the natural route as well. Many of the same reasons you listed were reasons we chose to have no medical interventions (unless it was a life and death situation). After more research, I decided to do a waterbirth. It was the best decision!! The warm water was relaxing and it was a wonderful transition for my daughter to come into this world. We feel that she benefitted greatly from the entire birth experience. She was so calm, peaceful, and bright-eyed from the minute I lifted her from the water. Will you be in pain? Of course, but God created our bodies to do this. It sounds like your husband is so encouraging and supportive. I couldn’t have gone through the birth without my husband right there encouraging me the whole time. Here are a few verses that I read and re-read in preparation for labor and delivery: Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:13, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 28:7, and Psalm 54:4. Once again, congratulations and I pray that your birth will be something you always look back on with feelings of pride and joy. The immense love you will feel when you hold and see that precious baby for the first time is indescribable and is definitely something you could never prepare for!

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