Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Birth-days

I am feeling very very pregnant these days. It's amazing how quickly pregnancy goes by, when you have several children already. I remember with my first pregnancy, how the days seemed to drag on, and the milestones never seemed to arrive, and now.. well it feels like just yesterday that the second line showed up on the test. Except for the fact that getting out of chairs takes way more effort than its worth, and I will call one of my children to pick something up off the floor at my feet rather than try bending down to get it myself! I have the usual pregnancy complaints, of course, at 8 months pregnant. Back aches, and heart burn, swollen feet and feeling out of breath at times.. I have some unique to me, as well, like bad excema. It's hormonally triggered as well as environmentally, but mostly hormonal, which is why every pregnancy, I get itchy rashes and easily broken skin, all over. Lovely, I know. I have some symptoms with this pregnancy that I haven't had with any other, like the aching crampiness I've experienced for the last few weeks, that is concerning my midwife slightly. But despite all the discomforts of pregnancy, I love being pregnant. Which is probably a good thing, since the last 5 years or so have seen me pregnant or nursing or both, almost constantly. With this child, I will have had 4 children each 18 months apart. That means that I've gotten pregnant again about 9-10 months after having had a baby. What is amazing to me about this whole thing is the fact that my cycles, my supposed fertility, was considered non-existent. I would go months between cycles as a teen and in my early 20s, with no real explanation. And no, I didn't take birth control as a teen to regulate cycles either. In fact, at one point, a doctor had told me I would be unable to have children without medical intervention, because I didn't ovulate frequently. Guess we proved them wrong, huh? Since then, my various care providers have commented on how easy my pregnancies and deliveries have been. I tend to have fast deliveries, with no complications. I've even been blessed to have experienced a home birth, and we are currently planning on doing it again. The comparison between hospital births with an OB/GYN and a home birth with a midwife is like night and day -- and I much prefer being at home. I don't mean to brag, but I thank God with every child that He gives me, that I do not have much pain and difficulty to bring them into the world. I cringe to hear the birth stories out there of women who labour for days, not just hours, who require interventions to bear their children, and count myself extremely blessed. My labour is counted in mere hours and minutes, and I've never required more than a pitocin drip as intervention.. and that only after my waters had broken and labour hadn't started through any other means. I cannot wait to hold this baby in my arms, not just in my womb. I have dreamed of cradling her, of cuddles and soft baby coos. I love the newborn stage -- new babies are soo easy to care for! They need to eat and be cleaned up, and they tend to sleep the rest of the time. Of course those things need to happen quite frequently, but unlike mobile toddlers, you can leave them in one place and be relatively assured that when you come back they will be in the spot you left them. Honestly though, I have to say I enjoy every stage of growth a baby goes through. The delight in watching all their firsts is always special, no matter how many children you have. I adore the curiosity of my toddlers, frustrating though it can be at times, and I treasure the smiles and coos and kisses and cuddles, the questions and chatter, and even training them in independence is awe-inspiring. Watching my own children grow gives me so many insights into my relationship with my Heavenly Father. He must delight in us even more than I delight in them. When He labours to bring into us His Spirit, and then He watches us grow in faith, in love, in becoming more like Him, it must make Him smile so much more than I do in watching my own. I get a glimpse of His love for me in the way I feel about my own children. And while I fail to be a perfect parent -- I lose my patience at times, I get angry or irritated at their childishness, my expectations don't always match up with their abilities, I forget my promises -- He never fails. He is infinitely patient, He knows exactly what I'm capable of and calls me higher, and He always keeps His word. He loves me far greater than I can imagine. In carrying this child, in the wait for her birth-day, I remember my Father's care of me, and I smile, feeling loved.

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