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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sacred vs. Scary

* I can't believe I'm really posting a photo of my 38-week belly. FYI, I feel as large as I look.

As my pregnancy has progressed, and I've now completed 38 weeks (which I'm still a bit shocked by), I've found myself reflecting a lot on the only birth experience I've had. As you know, its outcome wasn't anything near what we had hoped for, but I've been surprised at how so many of the details have come back to haunt me. 

I kept a lot of the details of the twins' birth to myself, both the scary and the sacred. The sacred because, well, there are some things that are meant to be kept sacred. And the scary because in those early stages of grief I didn't want to focus my attentions on the awful things I had to endure, for fear of them turning my heart bitter. Now that it has almost been two years, and finding myself anticipating the birth of our next little one, I've felt compelled to revisit some of those awful moments. Not because I want to, but because I'm afraid of the emotional barriers that might get in the way of having a beautiful birth experience this time around.

When I initially wrote out this post, I had compiled a whole list of very specific moments that were both awful and scary. But, somehow writing them out and acknowledging them individually for myself feels like enough for me, for now. I've saved the list, though, and may decide in some future moment to share that list. I just don't know how much good it would do to unveil those moments for the rest of you. Plus, I know Marc wasn't too thrilled with some of my phrases, like, "wincing with every gush of amniotic fluid" and I didn't know how else to say it.

Suffice it to say that confronting my deepest fears and reliving the most traumatic experience of my life has been instrumental in the choices we've made for the kind of experience we want to have with the upcoming birth of our little boy. And, actually, a lot of those choices weren't made based on fear from the scary moments we had, but rather based on the one most sacred part of our experience with the birth of our twin daughters. 

I've spent some long hours over the last few weeks trying to find peace with the awful details, and as I've found peace, I've also found increased joy in the sacred moments that were given to us. As tears have been shed, and prayers have been offered, I've felt very strongly that this little boy on his way has the eye of Divine Providence glued on him. Even as we've encountered some possible concerns (like the 2-vessel cord), I've felt reassured again and again that all will be okay. And, as we've made plans for welcoming him into the world, we've felt guided in the details. 

With only a few more weeks of waiting for his arrival, I feel more hopeful than ever about our impending birth experience, that it will be both beautiful and sacred. And not scary.


dust and kam said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! i am so excited for you! i can't wait to "meet" the lil guy! What a good older brother Benjamin will be!

LilMisfit said...

I love that you posted this pic! You look absolutely fantastic! Benjamin is such a handsome boy. Good luck on your upcoming arrival and thanks for keeping us up to date!

Fire said...

It was good to see you yesterday. I know that you will have a beautiful birth experience. It is amazing what we can do when we have His help.

Kaija said...

I love this pic. My prayers are with you for a wonderful birth. I am helping a friend bring her baby into the world this week and I am inspired by your message to prepare myself spiritually for it to be the best experience it can be -- that my having the spirit with me can help her experience be better somehow. love to you! I am constantly amazed at your courage to confront difficult things head on. Thanks for your example.

brossettelewis said...

I love your picture. It makes me happy to see you at this point in your journey versus the very hard point I "met" you in with your girls.

Brenley said...

You look beautiful! Especially holding and carrying your baby boys. I know you will be blessed ten fold! My prayers are with you.

Karilyn said...

May I leave a comment on your very special page? I am a mom to three daughters and four sons: 26, nearly 25, nearly 23, 19, 18, nearly 17, and 15 (in two weeks). They have been, each one, a miracle, as I was told when I was sixteen that I would not be able to maintain a pregnancy beyond the third month... I have had more than my share of miscarriages, and the doctors were surprised and shocked at the birth of my firstborn.

There are so many things we need to trust Heavenly Father with, and our being partners with him in His bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children is such a thing we need to leave in His capable hands - and know that He will be watching over you, as you are wonderfully prepared to bring another choice spirit into this sphere we call "life".

If there were words to express...

Thank you for your beautiful picture, your boys will be as close to each other as your angel daughters are - and you will be all reunited someday, sooner than we know.

One suggestion, if I may? Ask your husband for a Priesthood blessing when you go into labor, that's one thing I had on my last four deliveries that I didn't have on my first three, and it helped get through.

Also - singing the song to "Jeopardy!" ("do do do do do do doooo - do do do do DO dododododo do do do do do do dooo, do do do do DO DO DO *bum bum*") will help you get through the worst of the contractions, sing it twice - that way it'll last a minute, and that's about how long the strongest part of the contraction lasts - *smiles* (a secret a special friend shared with me for my fourth delivery).

Thank you again for sharing~

Sam and Lacey said...

Megan I am so excited for you. Your belly is adorable. I love it. Your little ben is adorable. I can't believe that you are having two sweet babies to love on. I am jealous. I can't remember if it was this post or the one before where you talked about the twins helping you through your hard day (20 wks +1 day) I loved that. We found out that we were chosen to be Nic's parents on our twins first birthday. I had been dreading it forever. I knew they wanted me to be happy. They were watching over us. I love feeling them watching over me. I know you will feel them in your delivery. They will be there. Take time to feel them. Suck it all in. Take care and good luck.

KieraAnne said...

I love your pic! Thank you so much for being willing to share your journey with us through your blog. I would like to second the getting a blessing when you go into labor suggestion, I found with all three of mine that it helped me to feel calm and at peace even though some intense things were happening at the time. I know you will do great and I look forward to hearing your next birth story when you have time. :)

Dawnie said...

I love your big tummy!! i was just thinking yesterday how i wanted to see you. You are beautiful! i am so proud of you. you are so brave to relive those memories, i'm so glad Ben was there to comfort you. i love you. can't wait to see Ben's smile.

Michelle said...

I can so relate, Megan. Before I had my sweet little daughter, I delved into the deepest hardest memories from my experience of delivering our precious Benjamin. I just knew that if I didn't, I would go into that next delivery with unresolved feelings that would detract from the joy I wanted to feel. I am so glad I did, even though it was very hard. Rosemary was born in the exact same room that Benjamin was. I think that would have seriously freaked me out if I hadn't already "been back there" mentally in every detail I could remember.
I also wanted to make sure my memories were recorded because they are so precious. I feared that if I didn't before having another baby that the memories would get confused or something. Not sure if that was the case, but it was reassuring to have them all written as best I could.
I am so excited for you and so amazed at the experiences you're having! You look wonderful--what a unique picture! Benjamin will be so lucky to have a brother so close in age. That will be awesome. I can't wait to see him safely in your arms.

Amy said...

I can really relate to this post. I've been so reluctant to share the details of Zach's delivery, or Zach for that matter, with almost anyone. Part of me wants to just scream it all to the world, but in reality i barely tell anyone anything at all. It's so hard. And delivery is a complete jumble of emotions. I just did what I had to do to get through it. Whatever works for you. I thought about Sach through my whole delivery with Maggie. Such a strange experience. I'll be praying for you and for the safe arrival of baby number two. Lots of love, Megan.

candice said...

Megan, you are amazing. You fill me with so much hope and faith. thank you.

Somehow things seem to work themselves out, not always how we imagine, but somehow things seem to always work out in the best way that "we" individually need them to. I remember having a lot of fears when i found out i was pregnant (the first time), a lot of them (when i think back on it now) were really quite silly, but at the time were general concerns i had. Then i miscarried at 12 weeks. It was a hard, horrible, painful miscarriage. Everything that could have gone wrong did, luckily i didn't end up with a blood transfusion (but i was close)---emotionally and physically i was drained. Yet, there was a miraculousness to it all---the way my body responded, the way my body healed, the contrast between pain and peace, so many things happened, so many mixed emotions. At times i felt like a spectator watching everything happen, somehow detached, yet living every moment. My emotions often followed suite.

Through the whole process my fears resolved themselves. Somehow through all the pain and tears (emotional and physical) i was better equipped to carry my next baby full term.

I am still a nervous wreck during the first trimester, i was with both Eden and Tommy, and will probably be that way with all my babies. However, i have learned that it really isn't in my hands what happens, and even though the fear is very real during those shaky first four months, i try really hard to trust in Heavenly Father---which is why your blog is so inspiring because you do just that!

Good luck with the upcoming delivery, Many prayers are being said on your behalf.

Stout Ranch said...

Oh Meg, you look great! I am so happy for you and your family. Best of luck in the coming weeks.

I guess I am the final and last one of our group that is left in this situation.

Jeff and Lisa said...

Such a powerful post, I am soaking up all of your faith each time I stop in here to catch up. I love your belly, you look adorable.

Andrea said...

I can't tell how much joy my heart feels seeing you with a big belly. :) I'm so happy for you and for the wonderful things that are coming into your life. You are amazing! I love how you express things with such thoughtfulness and power. Love ya and praying for you!