My due date is Thanksgiving. Baby Wyatt is tucked away cozy in my womb. I feel like he might know colder weather is coming and is choosing the warmer path.
I don’t know about you, but I get extremely excited to find out when I am pregnant and then spend 9 months avoiding the thought of childbirth. I think about my child and the blessing he will be in my life, but it seems easier to avoid concerning myself with labor and delivery until the last month or so.
Last week, I found myself spiraling a little bit. Every little pinch or pain I felt – the ones that catch you off guard when you are walking – became a reminder of the greater pain. Even though I know my body is preparing for labor and delivery, these little signs of getting closer became a reminder of the greater pain I am about to endure.
Baby Wyatt will be my 3rd experience of labor and delivery. I know what to expect, as well as many of the things that could catch us by surprise. Knowing that my body would once again be under distress and incredible amounts of pain, I started to panic. For almost three days straight I wrestled with fear. I could feel my heart race when anxious thoughts persisted and I felt tension throughout my body. My mind was consumed with the thought of labor and it distracted me from being able to go about my daily responsibilities. Childbirth became a daunting thing, instead of a joyous thing.
My husband was driving us to a friend’s house for dinner, when I started up a conversation about how I have been feeling. I explained how the fear of experiencing pain during labor and delivery was robbing me of enjoying this precious time, this very limited time, leading up to meeting our son.
My husband responded with reassurance and confidence. He acknowledged the reasons why I was anxious and he understood the pressure I was feeling. But, he reminded me that God designed my body for this and that He will be with me. He also reminded me that there will be pain, but that it won’t last.
Soon we will be holding our son.
He reminded me that I am strong and that I can do this, that I had to do this.
I felt in that moment, I just needed to repent of the fear I was letting control my attitude and consume my heart and mind. As we continued to drive down the road I told my husband that I repent of being fearful and anxious. I also told him that I want to embrace all that God has for me this next week and even into labor. Then we prayed about it.
I am not kidding, God’s peace rushed over me in that moment.
Resolving to embrace the pain of childbirth diminished my anxieties about it. Of course, God’s peace has also been a huge blessing to me this week! But something in me shifted when I changed my perspective. Instead of dreading what I would endure, I accepted it with confidence, knowing that when that time comes I will rely on the Lord’s strength to get me through.
With this new perspective, I feel like I have been looking forward to the moment labor begins. My attitude has been lighter and way more joyful. All around I feel ready, more than ever, to meet this little boy, no matter what I have to endure to hold him in my arms.
I looked up RESOLVE and this is what Google shared with me:
Resolve: To decide firmly on a course of action. AND. Firm determination to do something.
I resolved to have a better attitude. I resolved to be joyful and not fearful. I chose this. I have been determined to walk in this manner until I meet my son.
Sometimes I convince myself, especially in times of fear or distress, that I am a victim and that these circumstances are happening to me and there is nothing I can do about it. This leaves me feeling tired and weak. Absolutely nothing to give to my family, my husband, my children. But when I step back and really consider what I do have control over, it is that I don’t have to live overwhelmed with anxiety. I don’t have to let those thoughts consume me. And in order to snap out of it I must go to the Lord and ask for His help.
I had another friend tell me this week a little insight into her last labor and delivery. She was progressing quickly and went to the hospital. By the time she was checked in, contractions had stopped. She ended up giving birth a day and half later, but was in the hospital that whole time. She said it got to the point where she was praying for the pain. She wanted to feel pain, because pain meant her body was in action and she would get to meet her baby soon!
This story confirmed how I had resolved to embrace the pain of childbirth.
If you are pregnant or about to give birth like me, please don’t wrestle with the anxious thoughts of childbirth. God designed your body for this and He will help you though it. I urge you to embrace the experience and rely on God for strength. I also encourage you to let your spouse know how you are doing. Sometimes just talking it out helps you see the right perspective.
Here are some scriptures that always help me when anxious thoughts arise, especially in regards to childbirth. I pray they encourage and affirm you:
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” – John 16:21
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:2
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7