Liam’s birth was my first. It started in the early morning and lasted 14 hours. At one point, when I thought I could go no more (but it was looking like there would be a lot more), my husband came alongside me and whispered “We will have this baby before sunset.” I could only nod and hope he was right.
It’s truly an amazing experience to feel your body opening itself and pressing a baby out. Little did I know that surrendering to something bigger than myself was my first step into motherhood. It took me days (and probably longer than that) to digest what my body had just done. In a hot shower the next day I shook and cried for a long time; in awe of the power and force my own body was capable of.
Caleb’s birth was only 5 hours, fast and furious. I have no memory of how long I pushed with him. I do remember that I was holding onto the tub faucet (in my in-law’s house) with all my strength, and truly hoping I didn’t rip it out of the wall! Thankfully it stayed put.
Caleb’s birth was so much like who he is. Determined and full-forced. A baby freight train. He was also born just before sunset.
Birth stretches you beyond what you think you can do. So does motherhood. When I thought I had dug as deep as I could, I was called to dig deeper. And I did. And deeper. And I did. And I still do. As I write this, I am 34 weeks along with our third child, a girl. She will guide me to new parts of myself, and probably reawaken some of the more ‘girly’ parts of me that have fallen asleep. I’ve heard women say that they don’t want to lose who they are by having children. I have found it to be the opposite. I have discovered who I am in being a mother.
“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers…. Strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” – Barbara Katz Rothman