You Just Will

You Just Will

I don’t know what’s going on in my life lately, but I know so many people who are about to have babies – all but one of them for the first time. Two of them are going to be my nieces! Just. Can’t. Deal.

I am for sure done birthing children. But it makes me think back to when I was having my boys and what it was like.

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It’s a crazy thing, to give birth. You grow a little human inside your body for months, selflessly letting its presence alter your food preferences, sleeping habits, emotional capacity, foot width, ability to balance or think straight. And then the world acts like it’s no big deal to shove it right out of your body (“Women have been doing it for centuries!” “Your body was meant to do this!”).

Can we all just be honest with these women? Growing a human is hard work. Birthing a human is hard work.

But it’s holy and noble work, too.

I remember getting to the hospital after my water broke with Noah, my oldest. I was laying in the hospital bed getting strapped to monitors and being asked all the standard questions (When was my last menstrual cycle? Well, I’d say that it was about…I don’t know…ten months ago? Obvi.).

When the sweet little old nurse left the room, I grabbed Ty’s hand and frantically said, “So…I changed my mind. I can’t do this. I can’t have a baby.”

Bless Ty’s heart. His face was so conflicted. He didn’t really know what kind of crazy I was going to be yet, so he wasn’t quite sure how to answer. He just said kind of timidly, “Well, I think we don’t get that choice.” Then he quickly changed the subject. Poor guy.

I remember that panic and the realization that, “Holy cow. How will I do this? I don’t know how I’m going to do this. This is all on me. No one else is going to come do this for me. It’s up to me to get this baby out.”

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I’ve written about what it’s like to be a new mom. But now I want to talk to these new moms still growing their first babies.

There comes a time when it all gets real and it gets really scary. Mostly all you’re thinking is that you can’t get that baby out of your body. How on earth will you do it?! And the answer is….you just will.

When you don’t think you can do any more…you just will. I don’t know how to explain it, and I wish I could give you all kinds of encouragement like everyone else, but those just aren’t that comforting when you’re in the thick of it.

So the truth is, you just will.

Whether you want to or not, no matter how scared you are, or how done you are. You’ll just find a warrior strength (Spartan strength) you didn’t know you had, you’ll borrow some sanity from the {mostly} sane people around you, and you just will.

Eventually, after almost a full 24 hours or laboring, 3 hours of pushing to no avail, and feeling like my body was just going to shut down from sheer exhaustion, the baby’s heartbeat dropped and I was whisked in for a C-section.

When I didn’t think I could handle anymore, not to mention a major surgery, someone else did it for me. By the grace of God, other people – skilled and loving surgeons and nurses – took it right out of my hands when I just. couldn’t. do. any. more.

Do what it takes to make it easier. If you feel better sitting with your right leg hanging off the bed and having your left ear rubbed, just whatever. If you need ice chips every 37 minutes on the dot, do it. Need opera music while you labor but Metallica while you push? Set up your playlist. Want 10 people in there to cheer you on and keep your spirits up? Tell them to hunker down. Just want you and your husband in there? Nurses make good bouncers.

But at the end of it all, when you don’t think you can, you just will.

You know why women can act like it’s no big deal to give birth, even after they’ve done it – even multiple times? Because they forget. The trauma fades.

And someday this will be a memory of a crazy day that you and your body did something so hard and insane. It will seem like a movie of someone else and their super cute baby prize and it will seem like way less of a deal.

You’re going to get through this. I promise.

cover photo: Wicked Little Cake Company

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