In the past week I have learned there is something about a baby that brings women together of all different cultures and beliefs. Pregnancy and birth are such beautiful experiences. The fact that a baby is formed in its mothers womb and that same womb protects it for 9 whole months! The baby is then birthed from its mother and from that moment on a woman is changed.
2 Cultures but the Same Love…Babies
This week I got to experience learning about two different cultures and how they celebrate pregnancy and birth. It was eye opening to see these women talk and share what they do in their countries of Vietnam and India.
My nail technician is from Vietnam. They do not do baby showers before the baby arrives. It is seen as bad luck. She did think getting baby supplies beforehand is very nice but not to do too soon. They also are very big about unmedicated births. She has had 4 children and her shortest labor was 2hrs! Personally I want to learn more from her.
The next woman I spoke with is from India. They do things similarly in that no gifts are to be brought until the baby is here. Their families are very involved and a part of the birthing experience. They celebrate pregnancy in many different ways, one in which I got to participate in. I celebrated my pregnancy by getting a beautiful piece of art to celebrate the life growing within me.
Here we tend to complain and compare. We only give the negative sides of pregnancy and social media doesn’t help at all. We set ourselves up with all of these expectations due to seeing how others handle it instead of connecting as women. Do not compare your pregnancy! It is beautiful in its own way and no two pregnancies are alike. You may gain 50lbs (yep I sure did with Annaleigh) or 30lbs. You may get stretch marks or not but who cares! Yes, pregnancy is hard and there will be many rough days but the good days outweigh the bad for sure. Pregnancy is a blessing and I am going to celebrate every minute of it.
Get a Henna!
Getting my henna was one of my absolute favorite parts of this pregnancy. The experience of it all was just wonderful. Watching Noureen create this piece of art with all the intricate details was fascinating.
Sometimes during pregnancy women start to feel down and upset about their quickly changing body…the stretch marks, weight gain, enlarged everything! This piece of artwork captured beautifully the life growing within me. I️t set the tone and focus for the next 4 weeks as we patiently await Baby Webbs arrival.
Pregnancy is a journey for sure.
A rollercoaster ride of emotions that you can never fully prepare for. Thank goodness the good Lord has blessed me with very easy pregnancies but it seems the outside forces don’t want me to get off that easy. I want you to know that I am not writing this for pity but for all of you to understand that my life that may always seem perfect is far from perfect. I deal with things daily but I just choose to look on the bright side which has not always been an easy task for me. Through these challenges and trials I have been able to learn and grow stronger. God has given me freedom and I rest in Him.
My first pregnancy was easy peasy. I worked the entire time and felt great up until I went into labor. I believe God blessed me with this because at the time my whole world was caving in. My family was going through extreme brokenness. My marriage was quite rocky. I was in search of a new job at 7 months pregnant that would allow me to bring Annaleigh with me once she arrived. It all seemed impossible to handle but God showed up. He found me the perfect job immediately that would allow me to bring my sweet one with me and still be able to support my family. As for my family and marriage well that took a little longer but He certainly restored and healed as time went on. Today we have been married for 7yrs and I couldn’t be more proud of the obstacles we have faced and overcome.
Baby Webb #2 pregnancy I thought surely nothing can go wrong. Everything went wrong last time so this time should be perfect… I was so wrong. I was sick for the first 12 weeks but that wasn’t what got me. Since my first birth was a beautiful 8lb 13oz baby girl I have been treated as if I had the plague by my doctors the entire time. I know the risks and am perfectly aware of gestational diabetes and all of that jazz. Again I had a wonderful pregnancy with Annaleigh no problems, a great labor and delivery but bc I had a big baby I feel as if I have been punished. I have eaten significantly better this pregnancy which has show in my weight gain. I have drank my water daily but every time I go in I get raked over the coals. Why you ask I don’t know. I have tried my hardest to do everything right but every appointment I leave feeling defeated and helpless. I have taken the glucose test twice and passed both times but they still hound me. And to top it off, I have been told from 20wks on that they will probably induce me early because my baby is big?!?! I know I have done it before and am perfectly capable of doing it with the right team to stand along side me and do this thing.
Planning is Baloney
And this is coming from an extreme planner! You can plan your whole pregnancy out. You can get the nursery just perfect. You can have a perfect vision of what your labor and delivery will look like but life happens. I don’t say this to be doom and gloom. I say this coming from a fellow planner that its ok if it doesn’t go to plan! God will take you through those challenges and will bring you out of them restored and full of more knowledge about Him and His loving character. I was becoming so obsessed over my diet and overall health bc of these doctors. When I got that second glucose test (that I passed with flying colors) it was like Gods way of saying I’ve got this! You need to chill I’ve got it! Needless to say at 30wks pregnant I have switched to a totally different hospital and doctor group. As scary as that sounds I am confident I am now in the right place to bring baby Webb into this world. Follow your gut mamas because most likely that’s God pushing you.
Becoming a Mom
When I became a mom I honestly expected to be an anxious parent. From as far as I can remember I have struggled with anxiety and I’m not talking anxious about a certain situation but crippling anxiety. Anxiety you don’t know where it came from but it’s definitely there and roaring its ugly head. As you can imagine that mixed with the early days of motherhood was tough but that is where God and I met face to face to tackle this demon so that I could break free and be who He intended me to be as a mother.
The Hard Choice
Despite the many years I have worked with children the baby stage didn’t come easy for me. The first few months I was obsessed with making sure I was doing everything “right”. I would question everything I did. I finally came to a point where I had to make a choice. I had a choice to let this anxiety rule over me or to break free. This was no easy task but I believed that with God all things are possible.
Starting the Day Afresh
The first step I took in releasing my anxiety and control (I thought I had on everything) was starting yoga. I would get up in the morning before Annaleigh, light a candle, crack open my Bible on my mat in the floor and start to read. After my morning devotion I would start my yoga flows. Some mornings I would get maybe one flow in but some mornings many if time allowed. Now if yoga is not your thing no worries but I encourage you to get up before your home gets up and do what lights your soul on fire. Drink your cup of coffee in the stillness of your home, read a book, prepare your home for the day, whatever it is that will help jump start your day do it. You won’t regret it.
Getting to the Root
Starting my day afresh was great but something was still disarray even in the last few weeks. I had to get to the root of my anxiety. I quickly realized a lot of that resided in my control of situations with Annaleigh. Now the thought of being able to control a baby better yet a toddler is quite absurd. I mean we can’t even control our own selves as adults sometimes and I’m expecting a toddler to just get it all. Again I was so obsessed with doing it right, having control of naps, dinner time, behavior issues, you name it. I was missing out on a lot of special time with my daughter because of worries and fear. I had to give it to God and let go!
Letting go isn’t easy but I feel it is the key to many wonderful fun filled days with your little ones. The baby/toddler doesn’t nap its ok! Go outside, go for a walk, paint, craft, take a bath with bubbles, snuggle in bed and watch a movie, go splash in puddles if it rains, let it all go! When I release control and just go with the flow of the day we end on such a good note. The whole house is at ease and full of peace…plus the satisfaction on a toddlers face that got to play in the rain…priceless.
You’ve Got This
I encourage you all to remember you are dong an amazing job. The devil wanted me and wants you to feel you are doing it all wrong but you aren’t mama. He wants to infiltrate our thoughts and take control of our motherhood but we can’t allow that. We are all learning together. As we fill our hearts and minds with patience and grace we can boldly love and conquer any day that is set before us.