The last big rest

My last week of pregnancy was my 38th, but I didn’t know it then.

What I knew was that I was tired. I was having sharp pain in my groin when I walked, which they call “lightening pain,” or when the baby gets so low they start to hit all kinds of nerves down there.

My days were divided into small sections: mom, exercise, a couple hours of work, rest, mom, try to sleep against the tides of a wiggling baby, restless legs, and a chest cold.

My office had just been rearranged into second bedroom. It still felt like my space–my crystals line the shelves, my runes hide in the drawer, my Norse Animism calendar hangs on the wall, and the mandala keeps watch over the bed.

I rest here, this room feels like my own womb to curl up in.

I gaze out the window and watch the birds flying in to our bird feeder. There’s a woodpecker mistaking our home for his and making quite a rucus. The rain is coming down heavily, and it lulls me to sleep.

With Slone, I spent more time in meditation and my intuitive space, actively communicating with him and, I now realize, trying to pacify my anxiety.

This time, with Alden, I let him lead. I intuitively knocked on his door and, if he answered, I just listened. At a few points I offered to go through the birth process with him, which he accepted, and more than once I shard my preference of an early arrival (but let him know it was ultimately up to him, and that I’d accommodate his needs).

Internally, I worked on dismantling my own expectations around this birth. With Slone, I had so many. I had a way I wanted to experience birth, and I didn’t quite realize it wasn’t up to me, or my mindset, or anything in my control. The only control I did have, turns out, was how I responded to the demands of birth.

That is the story I’ll tell next.

For now, allow yourself to rest with me. Allow yourself permission for that last, big rest. Sink into the softness of the bedding, a pillow wherever you need support. Hear the rain lulling you into slumber. Close your heavy eyelids and let your mind go to the place of dreams. Be still. It is the calm before the great endurance ahead.

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