So–as I was saying–Girl 1, not so easy. Our most recent flip flop “misunderstanding” was only the latest in a long line of Battles for Control. But I don’t want to bore you, so let me see if I can sum up the past twelve years in a paragraph.
Miscarriage; clomid; miscarriage; clomid; raging hormones and much craziness from said clomid; ectopic pregnancy; clomid; pregnancy; progesterone; frequent blood-letting to track hormones; fainting from said blood-letting; puking, puking, puking, and more puking; pounds, pounds and more pounds despite the puking; worrying, worrying and more worrying; then swelling, really a lot of swelling; more worrying because of swelling; much crying and begging to be induced early; hospital check -in; cervical gel to induce labor before my body/baby was ready; baby-less check out to make room for mothers actually about to give birth; hospital check-in; pitocin; repeat of baby-less check-out this time with a shunt sticking out of my hand making it impossible for me to look at said hand until next hospital check-in; more pitocin; raging sinus infection but only mild contractions; more pitocin; another sleepless night; water breaking; contractions; epidural (ahhh); impatient doctor; move to operating room but not before nearly choking to death on anti-nausea medicine; c-section…
Perfect, beautiful, miracle that I have to wait too long to hold.
And most of those things took place over a period of nine months. But those nine months have affected how I parent this kid ever since. A parenting technique can be boiled down to one word:
I hate fear. I’m always trying to conquer it. I fear the ocean, so I learned to scuba dive. I fear getting in a car accident if I’m not driving, so I let my husband drive. I fear rejection, so I started writing.
But one fear–aside from my fear of snakes–I haven’t been able to let go is all the fear surrounding Girl 1’s conception and birth. First there was the fear we’d never have her, then the fear we’d lose her, and finally all the fear on the day(s) (four to be exact) of her birth.
I probably should have let go of my fear after everything turned out okay and I had a healthy baby. But I didn’t. I’ve held onto it and it flares up whenever things get rough with #1.
It manifests itself in the What Ifs? that make me a crazy mom. What if she throws a fit if I say no? What if she throws fits because I yell too much? What if I’m the cause of all her insecurity? What if she never leaves home? What if she does leave home? What if she does all the bad things I can imagine a teenager doing? What if she does all the bad things I did as a teenager? What if something bad happens to her? What if I’m that something?
You see what I mean?
I don’t have the same kind of fears with my other two. Maybe it’s because they’re not my oldest, but I also had much better births with both of them. And you can call me crazy, but I think our experiences giving birth can have a bigger impact on us than we realize.
Which is why I wish I had this book twelve years ago:
The Gift of Giving Life takes the fear out of childbirth and puts the focus back on the sacredness of it. So many women–like me– get caught up in everything that can possibly go wrong or having everything perfectly prepared for baby, including the timing of his/her birth. Most of the books about childbirth (I’m looking at you What to Expect When You’re Expecting) leave you looking for any and every sign that your body is not doing what it’s meant to do rather than encouraging you to listen to and trust your body and your spirit.
The Gift of Giving Life fills that gap. And while it is very much LDS oriented, I think every woman can learn from the personal stories in it. You might think that since one of its authors is my friend Sheridan who I’ve told you about here and here, the stories would all be about natural childbirth involving hypnosis. But they’re not.
There are stories about miscarriage, adoption, emergency C-sections, planned C-sections, water births, hospital births, headstand births. Okay maybe not that last one, but you get my point right? Pretty much every method of childbirth is covered in this book.
You might also think if, like me, you have no plans to EVER be pregnant again that you don’t really need this book. Wrong. I have learned so much from reading through these stories. This book is an awesome reminder that Heavenly Father has not only blessed us with the ability and privilege of giving birth, but also to nurture and raise our children. All of it is pretty stinkin’ hard most days, but if we’ll put our trust in Him and ourselves, we can do it. We have no need to fear.
For my readers I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life. Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code. GWFWXR3F This code is good until Father’s Day 2012.