If you’ve been following this blog for the last few months you probably know that my husband and I are expecting our third baby this February. What you may not know is that my due date is just a couple weeks away!
I’m as excited as I can be but I’m also nervous, scared, and wondering what God has in store. There is so much about a new baby and labor and delivery that is impossible to know ahead of time, and it’s the unknown that tends to freak me out.
This whole blog started in the aftermath of my daughter, Tenley’s, birth three years ago. By aftermath, I mean a very unexpected bout with postpartum depression that led me into a dark time of sadness and regret. (Read more about this journey here).
After several months God did a deeply redeeming work in my life by using my delivery experience with Tenley to lead me back to my writing. When He reintroduced me to my paper and pen a whole world opened up before me and I haven’t looked back since.
I am so completely thankful for this experience but as I gear up for “VBAC Delivery Part 2” I can’t help but wonder, What if…
What if history repeats itself?
What if this delivery doesn’t go the way I hope it will?
What if I end up in that dark place again?
For the most part these are just thoughts. They haven’t taken root or left me shaken. I have so many good things in my life right now that were not in existence when Tenley was born:
A passion for writing that keeps me focused, nurtured, and fed.
A circle of friends who love and support me.
A church we call home.
New understandings of God and His love.
These, along with my family, are my safeguards and I’m thankful for each one of them.
So here I am, What If’s aside, preparing my heart and mind for another attempt at a natural birth. I wish I could tell you exactly why this whole birth thing means so much to me, but I can’t…at least not completely.
I do know there is something about birth I believe to be sacred; it’s one of the many ways God shows his redeeming love.
I know I like to test myself, see where my limits are and how far I can push them.
I know my approach to birth is much like my approach to life. When pain comes along I want to feel it, not numb my heart and soul to that which is uncomfortable. I want to rely deeply on God and lean into trials with all of my heart, experiencing joy, pain, and life to the fullest.
This fall I read a line in the book The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente. This line, to me, is exquisite because it captures so perfectly what I feel about life. What I feel about family, friendship, writing, birth, and everything important to me…
“And it’s the wonders I’m after, even if I have to bleed for them.” (pg 36)
This birth thing…I guess more than anything…it’s me chasing wonders.
It isn’t easy for me to share this with you, even though I love you, my readers, so dearly. I have more than a few people in my life who are convinced I’m crazy for wanting to have a natural birth and chances are a few of you most likely agree with them. And that’s okay. We all have our wonders we’re willing to chase…willing to bleed for. You may not get mine. I may not get yours but we can still support each other if we’re willing to be vulnerable, and honest, and true.
And that’s what I’m hoping you’ll do. Enter this journey with me. Help me chase this wonder.
Eight years ago, my wonder chasing looked less like having babies and more like running a marathon. As I labored through all 26.2 miles of the Marine Core Marathon, I was supported by family and friends through phone calls, text messages, and voicemails. Each one kept me going. Each one gave me that extra “umph” to run another mile.
So I thought, wouldn’t it be helpful? Wouldn’t it be nice to run this journey with a similar arsenal, a similar support team to cheer me on?
I think so.
With all my heart I hope and pray this blog in some way big or small helps you chase the wonders that are close to your heart. Will you help me chase one of mine?
Will you give me the “push-present” I want most: Your love, your support, your encouragement? Will you leave a comment here? On Facebook? Via email? Will you keep my family and me in your prayers?
It feels a little desperate, a little shameless to ask, but I think that’s just my pride talking. The heart of me knows it’s okay to ask, it’s okay to be real, honest me. It’s okay to invite you in.
Because, we’re in this life together. Chasing one beautiful, bold, amazing, wonder at a time.
What wonders are you chasing these days? I’d love to hear from you! As always, your comments and posts are precious to me and I read every one!
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Jennifer, another great post! Praying for you often as you get closer to your baby’s birth. I hope it is a wonderful experience and that postpartum depression doesn’t happen again, but at least if it does you’ll recognize it and can get help right away. God bless you and your family!
Thank you, Robyn. Your prayers and support mean so much to me. It’s good to be on this writing/mothering/growing in God journey with you.
Since that special day in your driveway you told me you were gonna have another baby I have prayed you would have the birth experience that your heart has always desired!! I pray this still!!! No matter how your birth experience goes you know in the end God has blessed you with another amazing gift!!!
Amanda you walked through that dark time with me and I will always be thankful for that! Thank you for your prayers and for sharing these words of love and support.
I’m Jenni’s mom. Your blog is beautiful! Thank you for opening your heart and feelings to us. I think every mom goes through some apprehension about an upcoming birth. You are right about it being a beautiful experience, yet it always brought my fears to the surface. The sheer miracle of bringing that perfect little being into the world is such an honor! It always showed me a deeper strength than I ever realized was inside of me. It prepared me for those times in life when I would need to reach deeper both physically and emotionally to make it through and at the same time to realize that I do nothing of my own strength. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me! Lean on Him and all will be well!
Also, as you may know, I work with a lot of people and their health. Dr. Cal Streeter also works with a lot of these people. He puts women on a progesterone cream after delivery to ward off postpartum depression. I have also seen women do much better if they are on a good quality muti-vitamin and trace minerals.
I will pray for you and your baby! May God bless you both!
Tena, thank you so much for these words of encouragement, wisdom, and advice. It is a blessing to have these feelings and desires affirmed and understood!
Loved this post! Will be praying for you during this time of wonder! Birth is a wondrous process. May it be the sacred moment you desire regardless of the trappings around you. Love you! Thanks for sharing your desires with us!
Sandy, thank you so much. Your words of encouragement and affirmation are a true blessing. It’s hard to be honest and vulnerable about desires I sometimes don’t fully understand but the love and understanding I have received make it so worth it! Thanks for your prayers, I can’t wait to introduce you to our newest blessing.