Here I sit, in a familiar place. I am officially “overdue” with baby number 7. Babies 1-6 were 11, 16, 10, 19, 18, and 9 days “overdue,” respectively. I am relatively at peace, though I would love for this little one to arrive any time. I’m getting better at not calling a false alarm every time I have twinges. I am waiting for positive signs besides those. The twinges are stronger every day, so I know I’m getting closer, but have learned to hold on to my peace better, the longer I do this. Trying to control things only results in more false alarms, as we’ve found. All the “labor induction” techniques in the world are only time killers, at best. At worst, they set up a pattern of false expectations that come to nothing and end up making me and my family more on edge for a longer period of time – and believe me, I’ve tried most of the methods, over the years. It just gets to be too much of an emotional roller coaster, the more we set our hopes on anything but G-d to bring the little one. Ironically, my last baby, after I decided to just wait and not try any kind of intervention, came the earliest of all. If I match that, it will be at earliest, two days from now when I deliver.
Just for fun, here’s a list of labor induction techniques I’ve tried: Walking, Nipple Stim/Nursing, Homeopathic Gyna-Matrin, Prostaglandin Gel (never again – not kosher!), Spicy food, Pineapple in Vast Quantities, Membrane Stripping, Evening Primrose Oil, Swiss Kriss – (basically herbal castor oil), time with my husband, Pressure Point Massage, Raspberry Leaf Tea, Black/Blue Cohosh, Eggplant, and don’t forget good, old-fashioned Pitocin, which admittedly works, eventually, but at what a painful price! I’ll leave this open-ended, so I can go on adding things as I remember them. . . (Oh, yes – we attempted to try acupuncture once, but were blocked from it at every turn, and understood we were being led to abandon that one.)
Anyway, I’ve decided it’s not my job to decide when my babies come. I have evidence all around me that they DO, eventually, join the family. Frequent check-ins from well-meaning family and friends, asking if anything is “happening” yet, while admittedly kind of fun at first, tend to make me grumpier about it, the longer I go – I TOLD you, I will CALL when it’s TIME! While I truly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts being sent my way, it tends to make me feel pressured to perform in an area where I have proven I have no real control. G-d knows the perfect time to bring the little ones (although mine tend to be affirmatively not so little, after so long).
I would SOOOO love to be surprised with an early one, just once, but then again, I would probably be totally unprepared, since I count on having this in-between time to get ready. I also put off lots of back-burner projects until now, partly to keep from going stir-crazy, that would not get done, if I had an early one once. Thankfully, this month, I also have the distraction of two other birthday boys to focus on. I made it past the first, already, and the second one is this coming Shabbat. I still need to wrap some gifts for him, but I think everything else is pretty much ready. We have the new family picture (taken last July) on the wall at last, the laundry room – and sock basket – are far more empty than usual. The refrigerator has been cleaned, we’ve had some wonderful read-aloud times lately, and though my “nest” doesn’t stay clean with 8 of us messing in it every day, that’s probably a good thing!
The latest distraction is the beautiful snowfall we’ve had the last couple of days. We are expecting “Snowmageddon” tonight and tomorrow. Sounds like perfect baby-delivery time to me! My body doesn’t like to be on stage. It would prefer that everyone be focused on something else, so I don’t feel like a watched pot that refuses to boil. Laid-back and alone are how I prefer to labor. I truly don’t think I would mind being snowbound and doing it nearly on my own. I have less fear going into this labor than all my others, and am frankly looking forward to it. I am thankful for all my labor experiences up until now, as they have taught me so much about myself and G-d’s design for my body.
I find it terribly interesting, how birth circumstances, in scripture, seem to have something to do with the character of the person being born. The naming process is also fascinating, as naming (and sometimes REnaming) people is such a prominent theme, as well. Just the names, birth circumstances, and blessings of Jacob’s 12 sons are enough to keep studying those topics indefinitely. And my husband and I have noticed that our own children’s names – for which we asked for guidance – have definite pertinence to who they are as individuals. The one whose name means “praised,” for example, needs verbal affirmation in his life, and is incredibly sensitive to verbal correction. Understanding the names G-d led us to for each child has been key for us, as we have learned how best to parent each of them. All that to say, yes, we’re still working on name selections for the new arrival, as well. (If this pregnancy lasts much longer, perhaps I’ll post on some of my observations in scripture on these topics!)
I’m sorry if this post has been more navel-gazing than thought-provoking. It’s just part of where I am these days. Turning inward to center, focus, and get ready to push! 🙂 Just waiting to see who this little one will be, and how and when G-d will bring about the appropriate birth and name to give us a glimpse into the personality joining us. I feel it’s an honor and a privilege to be trusted with yet another little life to lead into knowledge and practice of His ways, to the best of our ability!