This pregnancy is humming along – to the tune of Mario Bros. theme songs, which is what I hear my boys humming all day long. Most of the time life is racing by, and I often don’t have time to think. When the rare opportunity to ponder strikes, these are some of the things floating through my mind.
There were a few times during the Christmas season that I sort of stopped and watched our 3 kids in disbelief – this would be our last Christmas with the 3 of them. Next Christmas, Lord willing, there will be 4. Four children! I can’t quite comprehend the thought. So in those moments, I try to burn the memories in my mind. Their voices, their laughter, their smiles, and antics. They are so much fun, and as hard as it is to believe, they really won’t be this small forever.
Three kids draw attention. I think I’m oblivious to it a lot of the time because it’s just my life and I’m too busy dealing with crowd control to notice what people think of all the small children in my company, but there are times when I’m keenly aware of my entourage. I am thrilled that another baby is on the way, and in all honestly don’t care if there are people in the world who aren’t thrilled about it. I still wonder though. As my belly starts to blossom and the bump will inevitably become more obvious, I wonder what kind of looks and comments I will encounter when I am out and about. I actually expect people to say rude things to me, and my inner cynic wants to have an arsenal of snide remarks to shoot back to those people. But I know that is not how the Holy Spirit would have me respond. I want to respond with grace, whether people approve of our family or not.
There are many women who could express this better I could, but here’s my opinion of birth in a nutshell. Our bodies were created by a loving and brilliant God, who knows biology – he did create it, after all. He equipped a woman’s body with the ability and strength to not only carry a baby for 10 months, but to birth that baby. Birth is not something to be feared; it is a natural process that women are capable of flourishing in, if they are given the support to do so. Giving birth should be one of the most empowering experiences in a woman’s life – one where she is treated with dignity, respect, and honour. Woman, you were made for this. My thoughts on this will undoubtedly unfold more as the months go on.
I had my second visit with my midwife last week, and I am loving my experience with her. I was able to hear our baby’s heartbeat and that experience will forever be etched in my mind. I was laying down with the doppler sliding around on my belly, and there was the sound, *kwooosh kwooosh kwooosh* – I’ve been here before. What’s different this time, what is keeping this memory with me, is the simple fact that she turned the doppler around so I could see the display, “156”. I don’t know why, but my doctor (I love her) never did that for me with any of my other kids. Just seeing that number made me realize, “Wow. That’s not just a noise. That’s a real heartbeat. A 156 beats per minute real heartbeat.” After that, because appointments are way longer with a midwife than with a doctor, I actually had time to think about some of the questions that had been floating through my mind over the past month, and we discussed them as they came to mind. At the end of it all, she was laughing at me because almost all my questions were about labour, birth, or post-date procedures, which are usually not things that most people discuss until around 30 weeks. “You sure are a curious woman!” she declared. I’ll take it as a compliment :)
Within the next six months my belly will become joyfully round, by the grace of God a new soul will greet the world, and I will have another precious child to hold, treasure, and train up in the Lord. Welcome 2011, I’m excited for what’s in store.