Sometimes it's like he can read my mind. In the early mornings when I'd wake up (pregnancy induced bathroom brakes and trying to stay comfortable in bed) I'd been thinking a lot about birth struggling to settle on how I really felt about it. It was weighing on my mind so much that sometimes it was keeping me from sleeping. Luckily Trevor helped me sort through some of what was on my mind.
In anticipation of Luke's birth, I finally got to a point that I wasn't fearful of the experience and actually excited for it. A lot of my shift in mentality came when I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth which had been recommended by my friend Brittney as a must-read while I was pregnant. I finally read it in some of the final weeks of my pregnancy (and wrote more in-depth about that here).
As I begin again to prepare for birth my mind, cannot help to turn to my past experience. It's all I personally know of birth so far. Yet, much of the literature and natural birth classes guide you to not think about or dwell on past birthing experiences, because this birth is a new birth and it will be different.
While I agree that each birth is different, and we are hoping that this one is quite different in a significant way, I wasn't settled trying not to think about Luke's birth.
As I was able to talk to Trevor about it he pointed out that I probably didn't want to push aside thoughts of Luke's birth because forgetting his birth or trying to push it out of my memory, in a way, would be like pushing away my memory of him. Luke's birth, though so emotional trying and painfully hard to bare, is what connects me to him. Those 9 months of pregnancy lead up to the culminating point of his birth. I did that . . . suffered that . . . accomplished that so that he could have a physical body that one day will be his again. How could I forget that? I could I forget that day and those few short hours after his birth that I actually held him in my arms?
Trevor also raised the point that the natural birthing literature gives that guidance to woman who have experienced painful births and are now trying to have a painless or relaxed birth, so they need to not dwell on the pain they had previously experienced. Well lucky for me I didn't think Luke's birth was physically painful (intense, yes, but painful, no). Lucky for me I am confident in my body's ability to handle birth. I am so grateful to not have that element of fear to deal with.
So as I prepare my mind and my body for this birth I do not need to try to forget about Luke's birth. Luke's birth shaped me and is a part of me and I don't need to let that go just because I am about to experience another, but different birth. We cannot sever our past experiences from the path that is our life. Each past experience is a part of our individual journey. The road ahead may be unknown or unclear, but I am ready to travel it and create new experience--all of which will be affected by the things of the past.
Yet that was Luke's birth and this will be this boy's birth. They are separate but very much connected. And as I sort through all of this I realize that that is okay, to let my past be a part of my future. These events are a part of me, my children, and my family. It's all a part of the experience Heavenly Father has given me that is molding me into who He would have me become and who I need to be.
But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isaiah 64:8).