Another week has passed. Another week in which too often I have given into grumpiness and complaining about this last stage of the pregnant world. A week in which there have been wonderful gifts of time and space and sleep. A week in which there have been people to hear the moans and groans, friends who have sympathised and cared and given me soothing cups of tea. A week where I have lost my patience with a grumpy teething boy too much. A week where I have seen how delightful and beautiful it is to get to hang out with him each day. A week where I have seen my Maker step in and provide release from the past and hope for the future. A week where I have started to own what will soon happen to my body and look forward to meeting our squirmy son.
It’s been another week of waiting, of frustration and of hope. The tangled mess of emotions that make up our days. Best of all was the day where I got to sleep, rest and be away from the boy for a few hours thanks to the lovely Jo, one of his Godmums. In that day I also got to make the most of the excellent ‘Birth Stories’ service that our hospital offers. We sat down with a lovely senior midwife and talked through the boy’s birth in detail, giving our recollections and seeing how much they matched the reality of what happened. We heard again the reasons for the interventions made and got a clearer picture of what was going on. I found out lots of positive things that my body was already doing, it knows how to do this labour business, even with a silly back to back baby. I discovered that it really might be better this time around given all those positive things and I wept as I laid to rest some of the ghosts of those traumatic intense 25 hours of labour. I left the boy’s birth in that room, with his notes, with my notes. The labour ahead of me is a different one, it will take a different shape and I am intrigued and hopeful of what my body can accomplish. I left the room feeling like a massive burden had been lifted and I need not fear what lies ahead.
The Bible talks a lot about the groanings of childbirth, the very world we live in is described as groaning in frustration as it waits for liberation. That’s a mighty long labour. But it is one that has hope at the core, hope of a glorious future, a world where sin and sorrow no longer dwell and a world where everything will be made new. My labour is a small foretaste of that, a beautiful image of a world longing for the sad to be made untrue and a new world to come. There is real hope at the heart of childbirth. There is real hope at the heart of this aching and broken world longing to be set free from the darkness and struggle.
And so we wait.
Life carries on as normal with the knowledge on it’s edges that everything will soon be tipped upside down again as our second son arrives to mess with our heads and take over our hearts.
Into another week we plunge, waiting, hoping, wondering.