Archive for September 19th, 2010

Eight and a half months of pregnancy, feeling puffy, exhausted, grumpy as hell, with a belly that not only turns your feet into complete strangers, but also decides to rumba every time you want to sleep. The rest of your body is well into the drama, shooting you up with mega-hormonal gushes to set your head spinning, your temperature rising, your moods swinging like a fruit bat in a cyclone and your cervix thinning.

Thinning right along with cervical tissue … patience. Can’t wait to get your body back and meet the little human you’ve been gestating? Well … that’s coming up on the dance card after just a few more sambas, a cha-cha and the bunny hop.

Excited? You bet! Primed to have your personal premises vacated? Sure nuff! Looking forward to a reintroduction to your waist? Deffo! Jazzed about mastering the art of Pamper-ing? Yeah, even that.

It’s all going to happen. There’s just one little thing you have to do first.

There’s more than one reason making a person from scratch takes almost a year. Sure, there’s the baking process that brings the little bun from Open Sesame! Seed to full sweeter than CinnaBun form, but that’s just the biology bit. The really vital thing about the duration of gestation is getting you to the point that you’re so sick and tired of being preggers that the idea of evicting your womb renter sounds really, really good no matter the mess you have to go through to get the bugger out.

Intimidating? Well, yeah, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind over the next days:

1) You’re not the first to go through this. Heck! If your mother could do it, you can certainly pull it off, and with style!

2) Birth is a natural process, neither an illness nor a contrived torture, but finite in its duration and what you were built for.

3) You are the star of the show, so can be as demanding, bitchy and whiny as you want and no one will do anything but applaud at the end of the performance. Plus, you go home with a prize more valuable than any statuette could ever hope to be.

4) It’s a bit too late to change your mind.

Doctors can explain the reasons for the pain in the birthing process … and, yes, it does hurt … and it helps to know why it seems someone is cranking the rack way beyond all limits of even the most sadistic persecutor, so make them tell you exactly what’s going on, and in detail. Focusing on what’s happening where will help, and understanding your body’s responses can bring you into the picture rather than leave you screaming from the sidelines.

This is, after all, an active process. You are not a victim birthing is happening to, but the whole damned team for the only game in town.

Not that it’s play. Oh, no! This is WORK. That’s why they call it LABOR. And it’s a job that you do, then finish. Preparation is important, and you’ve had months for that (See above), so the early pangs of labor won’t come as a surprise.

“It’s time …”, may be your first thought, but don’t panic — you’re ready. Your body is ready. Your baby is ready. And whether you know it or not, you ARE ready.

You’re young, fit and strong. Your muscles know what to do without you having to even think about guiding the process. All you have to do is let it happen and do the work.

It’s a marathon and quitting is not an option, so pull on your Big Girl Panties … crotchless is good in this circumstance … and get ready to sweat. You’ll be running hills and valleys, so let yourself coast when you can, then pull your guts out when the going is steep, the exhaustion sets in and your body starts screaming at you to pull over and throw in the towel. That AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN! You WILL win. You WILL conquer. And all those wimps inside snidely suggesting you’re a loser will eat your dust.

If someone offers some comfort and ease along the way, take it. Having fans shout encouragement is good, too. But you’re in this alone and no one can carry you across the finish line. That you do alone, and for that you get the glory. For that, for the rest of your life, you earn the best title ever bestowed on any woman anywhere: Mom.

I’ve given birth, and it was … hands down … the most exciting experience of my life, and the most fun I’ve ever had. I envy you your upcoming adventure!

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