Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unexpecting: The Eve of Battle

I've never been very good with pain. Not that I've had to deal with a whole lot of it in my lifetime-- I've never really broken a bone, had major surgery, stitches, or lost any extremities.

I do hav
e a memory of soaking in the bath tub for hours, anticipating the pain of pulling off what must have been 30 band aids lining my little 6yr old leg. Our first grade class had been out in the school yard playing kick ball, and one of the monstrous, mature 2nd graders tripped me into the gravel, scraping up my legs into what my little mind believed was a deforming injury. The school nurse picked gravel out of my gaping wound with her 6inch long pink finger nails, and fixed me up with every band aid in the box.

After a shameful am
ount of time, my parents finally convinced me that I had to remove those band aids-- even if it pulled off some of my leg hairs & hurt worse than the original injury. I sat in that tub soaking, with tears in my eyes, sick with fear over the impending pain. From what I hear, I was still crying "Don't do it, I'm not ready!" long after the band aids had been removed.

Like I said, I'm not so good with pain-- or the anticipation of it.

Throughout my pregnancy, I've wondered what it would be like to sit & wait for labor to come on, knowing that at any moment, I will experience the worse pain of my entire life. I envisioned those band aids waiting to be ripped off. Even more than that, though, the image that came to my mind was from Lord of the Rings. There's a scene when all the men are preparing for an epic battle (one of many), knowing that their odds are hopeless, that they are outnumbered, and that most of them will die. They sharpen their swords, put on their armor, and wait all night for the orcs to come.

I wondered if the coming of my due date would feel like that. I wondered if I could start the epidural a few days before I go into labor, just to make sure. I wondered how someone like me could actually make it through an ordeal like child birth. From what I hear, it kind of hurts.

Surprisingly, though, as I sit here on my due date, I feel no fear. I don't know what has gotten into me, but I am actually hoping for contractions to start (I know, I know-- once they do, I will change my mind... but there's no turning back then). I'm not under any delusion that it will be easy, quick, or painless. I'm pretty sure it will be the hardest thing I've ever done. I suppose the same hormones that have made me cranky, nauseated, irrational, sleepless, etc. are also injecting in me some insane courage, strength or carelessness that my cautious self has never known.

This afternoon, once we realized that we were not making a trip to the hospital, Chris & I took the pup down to the beach, where it was strangely warm, sunny & beautiful. We walked for miles, watching the dog ooze joy while splashing in the waves, and took a deep breath. After a while, we sat in the heated sand and prayed together-- prayed for our delivery, for our little boy, for God to be a part of all of this. As we prayed, two dolphins jumped out of the water, higher than I've ever seen in the wild. It was so beautiful, it was almost cliche. I felt full, content, refreshed-- anything but the fear & anticipation I thought I would have.

I can't explain the sudden calm & confidence as I stare down something as intense as child birth, but I'll take it, nonetheless.

8 comments:

Jenny said...

Love it! God is sure preparing you! So glad to hear the peace that you feel. You will do awesome. I just told myself, women do this all around the world every day, it helped as silly as it sounds.

Lisa said...

Jenny's right! You'll be AMAZED what you accomplish after it's all over. Childbirth is a rush unlike anything else! I say, enjoy each solitary moment, even the uncomfortable ones because they are connected to the arrival of your child. It's an awesome experience. But I'm thankful to hear about your peace! And you have a great husband who will take care of you every step of the way.

mariahjbower said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mariahjbower said...

That confidence is unreal huh! This is so cool to read how you have feel so calm, you're body is made for this and that is amazing. I think you and Chris will be in awe by what you'll be able to do and how precious it is to watch your child come into this world. I'm so happy for you guys.

Anonymous said...

I think the walk just made you really tired (thus calm). Just kidding! But, if you know labor is coming, save your energy! That was the funniest thing I read (bandaid phobia). As the cruel inflictor of pain, I remind you that the bandaids were off & you were still crying not to touch you! I know you will be FINE, emerge stronger with an even more beautiful spirit than you now possess.
Mom

Alex Waidley said...

"Ride out with me. Ride and out and meet (labor)."
-Jesus, as not really quoted in the Bible

deee said...

hang in there christine! when your baby is placed on your tummy it will be the most amazing moment of your life... I promise!

Anonymous said...

Well...I remember just one little bandade on the knee.
We are all praying for an easy quick delivery. I can't wait to hold little Cletus
Love,

dad