Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Transitional State of Mind. {And thoughts on natural childbirth}.

Since I turned 27, I've been in a constant state of transition.

Never quite comfortable in my current state of mind.
Always prepping for the next stage of something.

Cross-country move.
New job.
New master's.
First house.
First baby.
New job.

But after three years, I finally feel settled.
And more content than I ever have been.

Yet still in a transitional state of mind.

I will never forget a conversation I had with two friends a few months back.
Both were in the process of building/completely renovating homes.
I giggled as they began throwing out home design terms by pegging one another's home styles as modern and contemporary.
So, I asked my personal experts what my home style was.
They actually seemed...puzzled.
They went back and forth, throwing out over a dozen terms.
But the only word I kept hearing over and over was transitional.

I nonchalantly pulled out my phone and googled transitional: passage from one form, state, style, or place to another.

So I'm basically in between styles.
My friends finally concluded that I'm transitional-contemporary with a hint of shabby chic and eclectic.


What I did take from the conversation is that I am, in every sense of the word, transitional.

I can't make up my mind.
I like too many things.
I can't make decisions to save my life.
I quadruple guess the decisions I do make.
And I'm always in between...everything.
{Like pant and bra sizes}.

Take this exact moment in my life, for example.
I am at a definitive transitional time.
Stuck in between.
Between loving the idea of a sibling for Lyla and equally loving the idea of how easy our lives are right now...with one child.

It doesn't help that everyone all around me is pregnant, just had a baby, adopting, or trying for a baby.
My recent visits to see friends and their newborns at the hospital haven't helped either.
A place where snuggling these sweet newbies scratches my baby itch plenty, yet not quite enough.

After these visits, I usually leave with a slight twinge of panic.
Like holy smokes can I handle all of that again right now?
Sleepless months nights, breastfeeding, pumping, dozens of dirty diapers, crying *and lots of it*, and nothing but laundry and dishes all day every day.
Oh my goodness, but then I immediately remember the constant cloud of mommy-bliss for the first two months, the middle of the night snuggles, the intense bonding, the abundance of love, the teachable moments, the laughter, the fun.

And then I'm bombarded with the reminder of good ol' labor.

They say you forget all about labor after a year.
That way you are willing to actually go through it again for another.

I sure haven't forgotten.

The consecutive contractions one on top of another for what seemed like an eternity at home.
Contracting multiple times on the way to the hospital. Then again in the garage. Then again on the public restroom floor.
The uncontrollable shivering.
The point when I lost my mind. {Which was about the time I shoved Gabe's face out of mine and told him he had bad breath. Don't take it personally, Babe.}
Losing control of my body and being told not to push, even though my body was forcing me to - for three hours straight. *Which ironically was the "transition" phase of labor, in which case I learned after the fact that I had a much longer than normal transition phase. *Go figure*

But I also vividly remember feeling like Superwoman when it came time to push.
Hearing the resident say, I see a head...with lots of dark hair!
Going to a place mentally that I've never gone before.
Digging deep to find an inner strength I never knew I had.
Depending on my husband in a way that has made our marriage unshakable.
Holding my daughter skin-to-skin for the first time.
Eating an entire box of peanut butter crackers immediately after giving birth.
Discovering a kind of love for the first time that can't be described in words.

People often ask me if I plan to do another natural childbirth with a second babe.
I'd like to think that I will, but I also like the idea of a significantly more relaxed, pain-free childbirth.
But then I have a friend e-mail me with questions, telling me of her plans and reasons for a natural birth.
And I get excited about it all over again.

Every moment of my labor, no matter how painful, was absolutely beautiful.
Each contraction, a reminder that we were bringing a blessing into this world.
And there was just something cathartic about experiencing birth in a completely natural way, the way our bodies were meant to handle it.

And I love hearing others' birth stories.
I love how every labor is different, each birth unique.
All absolutely beautiful.

One of my long-time blog friends Kristin agrees as she has recently launched a new website dedicated to new mamas. And I was honored when she asked me to contribute Lyla's birth story.

The best day of my entire life. 

Go check out my featured story and other fellow mamas' stories here !!!


Ashley @ Words About Waverly said...

Loved your story!!!

undomestic mama said...

I never had one contraction with my twins. I mean, they told me I was having small contractions a few weeks before they were born, but I never had any I could feel. I would have liked to have just one small one {without much pain :)} so I have some idea what they feel like.

Patria Jase said...

These moment are very sensitive. That time every person have care for you. And everyone want you happy. May be every moment of labor, no matter how painful, was absolutely beautiful.

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Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I don't have kids so I can't pretend to know but I think you have to do what you think is right for you right now. If you don't think you want a second baby right now then don't do it. If you do... then yes!