In getting my blog ready to go I came across a dream that I had written about before my son was born. It was eerily prophetic to how his birth would play out (and even his gender) and I just had to share it:
“I had a scary birth dream last night-they say pregnancy will do that to you.
In my dream I was going to the hospital to give birth to our child (although we don’t know the gender yet, in this dream it was a boy). But, the scary part was not giving birth, the scary part was waking up (in my dream still) after giving birth and not remembering a thing or feeling anything. Apparently the doctors had drugged me without my permission and I had been put to sleep for the whole process for no reason. So, I go in to experience the painful miracle of life and, instead, I wake up confused, cold, and childless. Not only had they drugged me, they had already taken my child away to another room for testing and didn’t let anyone hold him. I cannot explain how furious I was. This was not my birth plan and I wanted my child NOW!
Recalling my dream this morning made me nervous for the kind of doctors I will be dealing with. I will be meeting with all of the doctors at this practice throughout my pregnancy and don’t know which one will be on call the day I give birth. That’s kind of scary already. What if I don’t like the doctor who helps bring my child into the world? What if he/she doesn’t agree with my ideas of how to birth a baby? What if they don’t support my decisions and do things without asking me first?
Most importantly, the dream made me think about all the reasons I have been considering giving birth naturally, with no unnecessary intervention, and has solidified that desire for me. I want to know what is going on and be in as much control of my body as possible. I do not want to be restricted to the 1 foot radius of my hospital bed. I want to be able to move around, bounce on a birthing ball, dance if I need to. I want to be able to feel myself pushing, making progress. I want to hold my baby immediately! I want to hold him for a long time without doctors interrupting except to do the tests they can without taking him from my arms.
I have no idea what the birth process will be like, but I know that I want to be in control of what happens to me and my child. I’m sure I will be exhausted, covered in sweat and other bodily fluids, in extreme pain and sick of pushing and having gloves in my personal space. But this is MY experience. It is the only time I will ever give birth for the first time. No matter what, I want to have a plan and I want the presence of people who support me and doctors who will stick to it even if they don’t like it.”
As I re-read this, I want to cry. This is so close to what actually happened that it’s scary. Although I wasn’t drugged without permission, I did have to be induced and made the hard choice to get an epidural after a day and a half of labor, no sleep, and no energy to keep going. I did wake up with almost no memory of the end of my labor. I was emotionless. I was confused. I woke up in a room without my baby. My son was taken off to the NICU for testing and monitoring. No one was allowed to hold him for 3 days because he was on a cooling treatment to reduce and prevent brain swelling. I remember that right after he finally came out I was so cold and shocked that I was shaking uncontrollably. Thankfully, I had a doctor that I really liked, even though I had never met her before. How did all of this happen?
A major theme that I see in that prophecy of a dream and how I wrote about it is control. I expected to be able to control every aspect of my labor and my baby. Control is a consistent issue for me. I crave it and do everything in my power to keep it. However, it is the thing I had zero of that day! Nothing went to plan. I wasn’t able to have natural labor, it took much longer than I anticipated, my husband didn’t get to cut the umbilical cord, I didn’t get to hold him after, I only got one blurry glimpse of him in the first 12 hours or so, I didn’t get to breastfeed him for several days, etc. It was awful. I remembered how my friend was sitting up in her bed the day after giving birth to her baby girl as I curled up around my pillow and ignored the nurses’ urgings for me to get out of the hospital gown and into my own clothes to go for a walk. I had no idea that this would be one of the easier parts of our journey with our fresh new baby.
Things don’t always go to plan. We all know it, but we still keep trying to force our plans in our life anyways. We have to maintain hope that things will work out. I know now that God was and is using our “baby bird” to teach us to let go of a the need to control everything and to let his perfect plan play out. Is that easy? NO! It’s incredibly hard! But so is raising a special needs child. So is raising any child. So is making it through another day dealing with “that” coworker. But the Holy Spirit whispers into my heart that he’s got this. He’s got me. He’s got my baby. I can relax and let go, be it ever so slowly.
Thank you, Jesus, for your gentle patience with perfectionist control freaks like me!
“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV