Thursday, July 14, 2016

D Day Approaches

Less than two weeks to go until Baby 2 arrives. I suppose I should have the nesting surge right now, but instead I am just increasingly bloody tired. I'm hoping this means that baby is not due just yet, because there are a few things to finalize at work before he does. I've made this request, now we shall see whether he listens to his mother. In the meantime, strangers, ever so keen to make unsolicited comments, continue to ask me as they pass me by, "when was the due date?" and "you must be really tired of being pregnant" and other sage comments. Comments like these would previously itch my irascibility which I would scratch with all manner of witty insults under a l'esprit de'escalier once my target had long gone, but now they flow over me, heard but not processed as I am further enveloped in a waiting mist. The eddies of life are slowing down into gentle ebbs and flows as this new phase approaches, so that all may recede into the background when Baby 2 arrives (all but Baby 1, who isn't a baby anymore).

The past couple of months labour has been prominent in my thoughts, albeit I have focused on me. What will it be like this time? Will it hurt as much? Will it be as fast? Will I have to be induced? Will I tear? The past few days, I've been wondering what it will be like for him. It's interesting that both birth and death are described as being brought from darkness into a light (as people with near death experiences or clinical death have told us, although I wonder whether they see what they are expecting to see and whether people from non Judeo-Christian backgrounds would have other views). From darkness to light, from water to air, from sound to silence, from warmth to cold. Thinking about the similarities, it may gives some credence to the thought that it's all a recursive pattern, that death may be the beginning of another life. Maybe it is no coincidence that the 40 days a soul stays on earth, according to Christian teaching matches the 40 days Tibetan thinking provides before a soul takes on a new life. In any case, we spend so much time thinking and fearing labour, that we forget what a momentous change it is for our babies (and yes I am imputing my own thinking onto you here)- we feel their descent, but so must they. Our muscles push them out into light (in fact the Italian term for birth is "dare al luce" or "bring to light" which is my favourite term for birth). If babies feel what we feel is this entry into the world full of our fear and pain pierced by their first cry? Would they feel comfort if we were relaxed? I'm not sure whether this is possible, but I am going to attempt it. I've been listening to HypnoBirthing tapes regularly and as skeptical as I was when I started, I can find myself in a state of relaxation such that my constant discomfort recedes. Maybe there's something to it. Of course, it hasn't been put to the test of real labour yet, so we'll so it works there. Last time the mantras I took with me to ease me into relaxation were not stashed - I wanted darkness and silence (albeit I continually pierced it with my own screams). Hopefully this time it will be different - no induction and more relaxed breathing. After all, as we relax, we loosen and isn't that what labour is all about? Maybe we need a new definition to avoid the cognitive dissonance of saying oxymorons such as "an easy releaxed labour"... From now until D-Day I'm going to eschew this word and thinking of "birthing", "bringing to light", "arrival"....


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