I Am Strong

“We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.”
~ Laura Stavoe Harm ~

Several days ago, a woman from my natural pregnancy group posed the question “what are you the most proud of, as far as how you have handled this pregnancy?” I realized, upon considering this question, how much I have really accomplished within myself over the last nine months… the last nine years, really.

After Addah was born in 2002, I was done, absolutely done, with having babies. I couldn’t imagine going through another hospital birth and I felt that my family was complete. I never even questioned that feeling, just felt contentedly “done” with having more children. It wasn’t until a few years post-divorce from Drew, when David & I finally started our new life together, that the feeling wavered. He wanted a child of his own and I wanted to give him that, more than anything. I felt a void in our little family that I had never felt before and I just knew that we were supposed to bring another child into the world.

A couple of years and several miscarriages later, we decided that it just wasn’t meant to be, that perhaps my body was too damaged from my two previous births and a child together was not in the cards. Turns out, we were wrong… and we were thrilled to discover that we were pregnant, yet again. A little faith, a little luck and somehow, my body has proudly defied the doctors who said I could not carry a baby to term.

I’m proud of how positive I have been throughout this pregnancy. With my other girls, I was so anxious to be done, to have my baby NOW, from about 20 weeks on… and this time, I feel calm, peaceful and ready to see this pregnancy through to 40 weeks and beyond, if that’s how it plays out. I won’t lie… I’m uncomfortable and hot, tired and sore, but I know the best thing for this baby is to stay inside for as long as she can, and I am going to see it through. I am proud of myself for having more confidence in my own body than I did with my other kids, and proud of my body for carrying me through to full term this time.

I am strong. I believe in my body’s ability to birth this baby naturally, without a medical induction or another unnecessary cesarean, and I have every confidence that we are making the right decision in allowing our daughter to choose her own birth date.

I am proud of my littlest daughter and how big and strong she has grown within my body. My skin is stretched to what seems like maximum capacity, and I have a new stretch mark pop up every day, but I am so proud of those marks, which prove what my body is capable of doing.

As of tonight, at 10:55pm EST, I will officially be more pregnant than I have ever been before. I am so incredible proud of this milestone, just as I was when I passed 33 weeks 2 days (the day when Addah was born in that pregnancy).

I am strong. My body was made to do this job. My body was made to carry and nurture these children. It has been a very long road, but I am proud of my body, finally.

I am strong - and ready to give birth!

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