The last days of pregnancy: a place of In-between

My lovely home birth midwife Brandy linked me to an article recently that I resonated with deeply, even thinking back to the end of my other pregnancies I remembered that place of "in-between" with an internal compass. Now, just in the past week I have felt myself crossing the threshold once again into the place of the last days of pregnancy.
 Written by a midwife, the article puts it so well...
"The last days of pregnancy— sometimes stretching to agonizing weeks—are a distinct place, time, event, stage. It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.
Shouldn’t there be a word for this state of being, describing the time and place where mothers linger, waiting to be called forward?
Germans have a word, zwischen, which means between. I’ve co-opted that word for my own obstetrical uses. When I sense the discomfort and tension of late pregnancy in my clients, I suggest that they are now in The Time of Zwischen. The time of in between, where the opening begins. Giving it a name gives it dimension, an experience closer to wonder than endurance.
I tell these beautiful, round, swollen, weepy women to go with it and be okay there. Feel it, think it, don’t push it away. Write it down, sing really loudly when no one else is home, go commune with nature, or crawl into your own mama’s lap so she can rub your head until you feel better. I tell their men to let go of their worry; this is an early sign of labor. I encourage them to sequester themselves if they need space, to go out if they need distraction, to enjoy the last hours of this life-as-they-now-know-it. I try to give them permission to follow the instinctual gravitational pulls that are at work within them, just as real and necessary as labor."

 I'm entering my 38th week, and baby feels so big inside of my belly sometimes as he moves and rolls his limbs against my skin, it blows my mind that he still has room, that he is still comfy in there. At the end of my other pregnancies I felt myself fighting it more even starting to feel claustrophobic within my own body in these last weeks, but right now what I feel most often is grateful. Just so grateful for the miracle of this baby inside of me getting ready to be born, I feel myself honoring the grace that my body is able to participate in this miracle. Really, I see miracles all around me...looking at my children I see them for the miracles that they are in my life, I see it so clearly right now. What a gift this time is for me as it clears out all of the cobwebs and daily veils that I get distracted by, leaving behind a rich clarity through which the beauty that surrounds me shines magnified.

"I believe that this is more than biological. It is spiritual. To give birth, whether at home in a birth tub with candles and family or in a surgical suite with machines and a neonatal team, a woman must go to the place between this world and the next, to that thin membrane between here and there. To the place where life comes from, to the mystery, in order to reach over to bring forth the child that is hers. The heroic tales of Odysseus are with us, each ordinary day. This round woman is not going into battle, but she is going to the edge of her being where every resource she has will be called on to assist in this journey.
We need time and space to prepare for that journey. And somewhere, deep inside us, at a primal level, our cells and hormones and mind and soul know this, and begin the work with or without our awareness."

That is where I am dwelling right now.

I am also feeling intense "nesting" urges, which is resulting in things like me convincing Frank to hang prayer flags that I've been wanting to hang for ages..

and also we are in the middle of a construction project in our house, Frank is building two rooms, basically reconfiguring the space of our upstairs where our bedrooms are. We decided that it just makes more sense to build the new rooms. We've lived in this house a year and it took us a while to figure out the best use of the space, and we are laughing as baby is almost here and NOW we are doing the construction! Reminding us, on a much smaller scale, of renovating our house in Brooklyn when I was pregnant with Jasper.

I've got some before and after pictures of post about the rooms that we are building, and I also wanted to post about my choice to birth at home. I'm looking forward to getting those posted in the next week or so as I begin to wrap things up before the baby comes.

I'll also be closing my Etsy shop for a few weeks starting on August 1st, so if there is anything that you've had your eye on now is the time to jump!


Lauren said...

Faith, you said... "What a gift this time is for me as it clears out all of the cobwebs and daily veils that I get distracted by, leaving behind a rich clarity through which the beauty that surrounds me shines magnified."

This sentence reminds me of so much... I too felt that way pregnant with Zahraj... looking at Nyjah, and I mean of course we have these moments all the time, but you speak of this in between time, and I totally 'get it.' I am sooo excited for you, and also grateful for your body for carrying your baby and that your little guy is all snuggled up and big and strong and healthy in there ready to be born so soon! I only wish I lived closer so I could bring you meals and take Carys and Jasper to play sometimes... This time is precious and I honor this miracle you are walking with knowing felling and breathing life into. I am sending so much love to you every day, and am so enjoying watching you become a mommy again. *emotional smile- JOY* Congratulations - 38 weeks+ Yay!! He's almost in your arms looking into your eyes... xoxo

Nina said...

Hi Faith,

When I read this post, I got a flashback to the time when I experienced the -in between- period right before my son and daughter were born!( my son Colin is 14 and our "little" princess Shannon is 11)
I so recognize the emotional rollercoaster and urges through that period. Beautiful how life prepares us mothers!
I wish you and your family everything that you need during these last few weeks before your little baby-boy will be born!

Anonymous said...

dear faith, so beautiful to see you so round and contend :)
have just come back from bali and was thinking of you while we were there...
wishing you all the best for the rest of the preganancy and for the birth. with love and blessings from oz. xoxoxo

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.