Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's Not about You

Lying in bed at eight and a half months pregnant, I rubbed my swollen belly, poking gently to elicit the little nudges and kicks I had so come to love.  "I'm ready for you, Baby," I told him.  I was 38 weeks and, according to the books, now considered full term.  Pregnancy was losing some of its charm.  My feet were full of fluid, sleeping was a pillow-piling challenge, and even some of my maternity clothes were getting snug!  So I voiced my desire to my son-to-be. . .Come on out.  Mom and Dad are ready to meet you.

The nursery was ready.  Diapers stocked, onesies washed, cradle assembled.  In fact, I even placed the cradle next to my bed and smiled to myself each day, "I'm ready for you, Baby."  It was my mantra.

A week later my sweet entreaty had become tinged with frustration.  I'd begun to awaken each morning groaning, "I'm STILL pregnant?"  Didn't my boy hear me?  I'd read that sometimes babies weren't born until their parents expressed readiness.  I asked my husband to put his face to my belly.  "Tell him we're ready."

He kissed my tightly stretched skin and spoke, "Mommy and Daddy are ready for you," in the voice I'd later come to know as his "Wells Voice."  There.  Now he can be born.  I turned off the light, tried my best to use my pillow configuration to get comfortable, and drifted off with hopes of impending labor.

Another week, the eve of my due date.  I placed a waterproof crib pad under the sheet where I slept. "In case my water breaks."  I had spent the evening bouncing on an exercise ball and sending very clear instructions to my baby.  "Come on.  Be born!"

My due date came and precisely nothing unusual occurred.  That evening, lying in bed, I started feeling sorry for myself as I peered down at my undulating abdomen.  And then suddenly I realized that causing those amazing waves and bumps, was a very active and miraculous being who had his very own ideas about when to be born.  And there was the clear insight, "It's not about you." Truth has a vibration like a perfectly tuned chord, and at that moment I heard its sweetness.  That was it.  My first lesson as a parent: it's not about me.  Sure, I was ready for the discomforts of pregnancy to end, but my role as mother was not about my comfort.  It is and always will be about the health and wellness of my child.

The next day the obstetrician said "no signs of labor" and started talking about inducing.

"No way," I told him.  He looked pretty shocked.  Apparently, most women are ready to induce just as soon as the doc allows.

But I knew this baby would come when he was ready.  And I wasn't going to rush him.

Wells Long was born exactly one week after his due date, a healthy baby boy. 

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