Monday, October 11, 2010

Nothing to fear but Fear itself.

This was me last week
"And what if all this puking causes me to miscarry?"
"And what if my hips don't hold up like they did last time and I can't push my baby out?"
"What if I'm disappointed that it's a boy/girl?"
"What if Eamon is disappointed that it's a girl?!"
"I'm eating too much Bueno, he/she isn't getting enough nutrition." [beans are the ONLY thing that calms my stomach.]
"Is this just cramping or is this baby coming early?"
"What if Lily kicked me too hard this morning"

And the worst
"I'm not going to get to keep this baby."

This last thought has been in my head since the day I took a pregnancy test. I don't know if it's a lie from Satan, or the Lord trying to prepare my heart. Trust me, I've tried to figure it out.

The month before we got pregnant, June, Eamon and I had sex when I was ovulating. Shortly after I started getting fatigued, nauseated, I felt it. We were pregnant, I was sure of it. I started making plans to tell my family and friends at Lily's birthday party, planning to make her baby wear a onsie with the estimated due date on it. I was so excited-and late. I drove myself crazy with tests. I took eleven to be exact. Yup, ELEVEN tests. They all came back negative. But I "knew" I was pregnant. Well...needless to say, a heavy, hard, painful period came eventually. I went to the bathroom and noticed, and Eamon heard me whimpering from the living room. I could tell he was disappointed too. He tried his best to reassure me that it wasn't a miscarriage, that I was just late, [I never did get a positive test after all] but it didn't stop me from sobbing myself to sleep that night. That was the last time I thought it was miscarriage. After that I put it out of my mind and focused on the future, waiting till we moved to Austin and till Lily was a little bit older. The next month, obviously, we got pregnant when there was absolutely no way we should have. I was supposed to have started my period on our conception date. THis is the SECOND pregnancy that this has happened.

So, once a week for the eleven weeks that I've known about this beautiful baby inside me, I've hear this awful thing in my ear
"This baby isn't yours to keep"
I heard it when I was still nursing Lily, then thinking that it meant that Lily was taking from the baby. Nope, that wasn't it. I heard it again this week when I caught a stomach bug and couldn't stand up without puking. I spent most of the afternoon on my hands and knees crying and puking, crying and praying, crying and arguing with Eamon, crying and wanting my midwife there. I thought all the puking would cause contractions and throw baby into early labor. Nope, we survived. All night the little bean kicked and swam around, reassuring me that we were gonna be ok. I heard it again yesterday when after throwing up I had a cramp/contraction right at the top of my uterus that wouldn't let go. I laid on our living room floor with a heating pad praying the pain would go away, and that my fearful mind would cease it's doubts. Eventually it all stopped.

This morning, something came back into the front of my mind that I'm not sure what to think about. I think it's shameful when women try to make more of a situation to make themselves feel included, or to create more drama for themselves so know that is NOT what I'm doing. But I started thinking:
"What if my body is trying to grieve for the other baby?"
Again, I never got a positive pregnancy test. I never had the time to show, I don't even know if I had time for the little bean to attach. And I in no way WANT to have had a miscarriage, and I in no way can relate to the pain many of my friends have had over their lost children. But makes since to me. What if the possible denial has driven me to doubt my body, my baby, MY GOD during this pregnancy?

After struggling with this I decided to start this week off new.
Last week I was very lucky to surround myself with women who love birth, who love me, and love Jesus. I went to a "Birth Stories" night at the birth center where the midwives got to tell their most amazing birth stories, and I'm not gonna lie, it felt good to hear midwife say that my birth was the best she's seen... I've had a few heart to heart's with women who have shown me support when I didn't know I needed or wanted it, and I've got everything planned out to have a peaceful, safe birth for this child THAT WILL MAKE IT. You'd think with all of my doubts I would start planning for a hospital birth, but it's done nothing but reassure me that I want to be in my own home surrounded by those who love me, who will sing praises with Jesus with me, who will kneel on their knees for hours to watch me and my baby labor, who will lay down their everything to be with us in those few hours.

I wanted to share with you who I plan to have my birth this week, even though I know I've got a long way to go.
Midwife #1 Angela Friesen: She was at Lily's birth and after hanging out with her this week, I'm even more excited to have her here for the next one, to pray patiently over me, and to remind me, You're having a hurts ;]
Midwife #2 Sarah Jones: The first new addition to our team this time around, I'm really excited for Sarah to be there to assist Angela in whatever she may need.
Doula Leila Farber: We will actually be having dinner with her when we come back from Rockport to make sure she's the perfect fit for us, but I've got a feeling she's gonna be exactly what we...I...need. She'll be there for me when Eamon can't and be there for Eamon when he is exhausted.
Birth Photographer Michelle Monk: I really wanted her at my last birth, but she hadn't done many births at the time and we had already hired Lynsey. She's become and amazing friend and I can't wait for her to share this experience with us as well as capture it.
The Husband Eamon: Without him, I don't think I would be able to do it. How men leave their wives in the hands of ahem..."professionals" at the hospital [or at home!!!] to go watch a game or play on their phone while their wife is going through the most life changing experience they will ever have baffles me. Eamon was my rock.

These are the people I will continue to look to for positivity and encouragement throughout the rest of this pregnancy [as well as a few other close friends] I'm extremely happy to have them and am actually really excited to see this growing into such a beautiful experience.

So here's to a new week! I hope that God shows you how to come out of whatever fear you may be trapped in and that you learn to TRUST even if it's the hardest, most unrealistic thing to do in your life...or so it may seem.



Chelsea said...

I am praying that those thoughts would go away and allow you not to fear. I was sad I couldn't come to the birth stories night. that would have been so much fun! I LOVE when I get to hear stories about natural birth-it's so wonderful!

***those "professionals" sure come in handy when you really need them. it's good to keep a supportive and open mind because you never know when you'll need them and their expertise! ;) I too think it's a shame when the hospitals hinder husbands from being as involved as they want to be. It's too bad.

Whittney said...

I think sometimes fear creeps in with a second pregnancy even more because you have a sweet reminder in your first child of how precious life is.....I have friends that never had tangible evidence of being pregnant but just knew they had suffered a loss. Totally possible and valid.

Mae Burke said...

Thank you for your prayers Chelsea.

And Chelsea, since this is my blog, I need you to understand something. The things that most doctors consider necessary during birth or even the way that they look at birth is completely different from what I and my midwives believe. My midwives would not admit me to the hospital if my water had been broken for a day [you can go several and the baby still be ok] if the baby's heart tones were still high and the water was clear. My midwives would never say "You've been in labor for x number of hours, sorry, we have to cut ya. And they would never make me get a c section "just in case" the baby was too big. Morgan's was over 10 pounds and that's not the biggest baby Ann's birthed either. I try my hardest not to say anything on other people's blog, but this is mine. I have done my research and I know that here, there is over a 75% chance of a "medical emergency c section" in some hospitals. My midwife has a less than 2% CS rate in her 20 plus years of midwifery. That to me is a hell of a lot safer than going into someone's hands who I've never met all for her to tell me I'm too young or that my hips aren't made to birth. You can't tell me that SEVENTY FIVE percent of women here can't have babies. Our population would be doomed.
IIIIFFF this baby was in distress, my midwives would know immediately and would call a trusted doctor in the area to take care of us, even if that meant a c section, but it would only be a priority in the most extreme of circumstances. Please remember that while I'm an advocate of choice, I've done my research and I know what doctors are for. They are for emergencies. Birth is not an emergency. Ok, enough grand standing, I love you and thank you for trying to keep me grounded, my nose does get pretty high up there sometimes ;]

Chelsea said...

I actually agree with a lot of what you said, and I believe a lot of what you believe also about birth. I'm in no way disagreeing with you ;) no reason for gettin' defensive. I just said they come in handy when you need them. No worries mae. When you REALLY need them, it is nice to have someone who has the experience that a midwife might not.

(sorry for my two cents. Didn't meant to upset you so much ;)

Mae Burke said...

No, it's okay, I understand what you meant, I sound a lot more defensive in text than I mean to. I think I need to really establish some things before I continue to talk about this baby though ;]

Stephanie said...

Keep speaking the truth of Scripture to yourself. That always helps me. Try memorizing a Psalm that would help you to refocus on the Lord on not the circumstances.

One way that I started learning to "put off" and "put on" was instead of just checking on my kids every night in fear that they were not okay, I would go in and spend time praying over each one of them - for their salvation, their future spouse, their walk with the Lord, etc. It became such a sweet time for me, instead of my focus being on my fears of what could happen to them.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones." Psalm 3:5-8

I will be praying for you, friend. May the peace that only comes from Jesus fill your heart, and quiet your fears like He quieted the raging storm while on earth. May His peace be a sweet reminder of how much He loves YOU. Sometimes it is hard to fathom and keep at the forefront of our mind, but He loves you so much that he willingly died on the cross to ransom your soul for eternity. Remembering that almost always calms my troubled heart. :)

rachel.lyn said...

i cant even tell you how often i had those thoughts when i was pregnant with olivia. it took so long to be pregnant and i thought for sure that now that it had happened all of it would be robbed from me.

i always heard a very faint whisper shushing those thoughts though the second they cropped up. i know it was God. He would say, "rachel, i am giving you this baby" i heard that voice about a million times a day. and every time the worry crept back up again i would spend those moments praying over her.

anyway, just letting you know, you are not alone in these fears and worries :) i'll be praying for you!