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.