Jan 4, 2011

Patience Is A Virtue

My dad always used to say this to me when I would get anxious about something. Then as a teacher I found the whole saying, which goes like this,

"Patience is a virtue. Virtue is a grace. Put them both together and they make a pretty face."

I don't think my dad meant for me to end up with a pretty face at the end of that lesson, but I certainly understood that patience was a desirable quality to have. What I didn't understand as a child was the depth of patience that is possible when a person is pressed into some situations.

My situation happens to be that I am well past when I, and apparently everyone else (with the exception of my midwives and husband), thought that my baby would have made an entrance into this world. There have been multiple inquiries per day as to when this child will be born, and I don't even have to go to work like Luke and be asked by coworkers. My favorite question once I answer how far along I am is, "Well, what are you going to do about it?"  The simple answer is, "Nothing, it's not up to me."

It's true that in this day in age I could easily go to a hospital and be given an artificial hormone, pitocin, to jump start this birth. I could have done that weeks ago in fact. Or I could even schedule for a doctor to slice me open and take the baby out for me via c-section. There are also other less invasive actions I could take, a few include: walking (check), squatting (check), spicy food (check), various activities with my husband (check), eggplant parm (eww eggplant), pineapple (check), house cleaning (check), acupuncture (check), chiropractic adjustment (check), hypnosis (check) or even a Castor oil cocktail. To that last one, knowing the effects of Castor oil and how it works, I'm leaving that to a pretty dire circumstance. So what to do you ask?

Same as before, NOTHING, it's not up to me. I am a firm believer in the body's ability to conceive, grow and birth a baby all by itself. If you read my first post you know how very average I find myself to be, making babies is included in this belief. My preferred method of primary care are the wonderful and highly skilled midwives at The Baby Place, no doctors or hospitals for me or this baby. At least if I can avoid them. I promise to do a future post on my pregnancy and birth philosophy. If you know me, you know I'm an alternative girl in that arena. What I have come to learn is that in nature, we humans have no control; not over the weather, the tide, the climate or the seasons. By default, I have no natural control over when this baby is born. This has tested my patience immensely.

There are a battery of emotions that I have gone through in the past five weeks, ranging from jubilation and content to depression and sadness to even a little fear that maybe I'm not really pregnant and this baby is a figment of my imagination. Some tender feelings and some not so tender feelings. What I have learned is, by having patience I am forced to live in this moment. Dwelling on the last few weeks gets me nowhere and trying to figure out when my time to birth will happen is futile. So where does that leave me? In the here and now.

There are many tender things to appreciate here and now: my husband's kindness and love, my families support, my friends caring, every movement my baby makes, cuddly cats, health, wealth, warmth during this cold season, the sun staying longer everyday.  I may not have traveled to an ashram in India to meditate on how to be in the now, but this journey to motherhood has been a creative act none the less. It's pretty tender that my child has taught me such a valuable lesson in patience before even leaving my body.

Until that time comes I will continue to repeat positive affirmations: Pregnancy is normal. My baby is healthy inside my body. I have patience, faith and courage. And lastly, I promise that I will notify the whole world when this baby makes it's arrival, please just have patience.


  1. That made me cry.

    You're a good Mommy. Love you.

  2. Thanks. I'm fighting them off myself, but only because I don't want to blow my nose more then I already have to :)

  3. Thanks Anna, I'm glad you're reading. As an update: I had a prenatal appointment right after posting. The law in Idaho says that once I am 42 weeks and 6 days pregnant (next Wednesday) I can no longer be in the care of a midwife. WTF! Laws on my body, whatever! So on Monday, if this loaf isn't baked, we're going to castor oil it up. I'm not looking forward to it, but I still think it's better than taking my chances at a hospital. Until then I'm going to acupuncture ever day, taking long walks, and trying to stay positive. Baby Loaf is taking after Granny Alton and taking his/her sweet time to get where we're going :) Much love.

  4. Hi there. A friend of a friend linked to your post, and I just wanted to say that I admire that you are sticking to your guns on what you want for your body and baby.

    I also wanted to share a personal experience that you may find helpful. When I was 9 days "overdue" with my first child, I also wanted to avoid induction, so I tried all the at-home methods... saving castor oil for a last resort. For me, labor started 12 hours after the dose! I almost didn't know I was in labor since the contractions blended with the abdominal cramps :) Anyway, the castor oil made me feel icky (so I hardly ate) and it cleared out my body pretty thoroughly. The problem is, I was then in labor for 24 hours, during which I couldn't keep anything down. So I was both exhausted and dehydrated, which was pretty miserable when trying to go med-free. My advice, then, is to hydrate as best you can! I was better hydrated and nourished for my second, and I made it through a 22-hour labor without pain meds.

    (Also, I apologize for the unsolicited advice. Normally I'm not a fan and I know it's the last thing a pregnant woman needs. I also know that every pregnancy is different. I just wish someone had warned me about dehydration before I did the castor oil thing, so I wanted to pass it on! Best of luck to you!)

  5. Megan, Thank you for sharing (I'm a friend of Chelsea's). I admire your patience for your little one and your belief in your own body's abilities. I hope and pray this little one comes sooner rather than later, and that he/she gets to come on his/her own time, not that controlled by law, doctors or any other outside source. You can do this, your little one can do this, you were made to do this!

  6. Thanks for the advice decafmom, those are actually answers to questions that I had. Thanks for your input.

    Thanks for your kind words and prayers Lisa!