As I await labor and birth, it becomes clear to me that I am feeling stuck between two worlds.
I had never thought about it like that before, but once the thought gets in my brain I realize how fitting it is, and how the end of pregnancy gives way to this feeling in order to prepare one for birth, and motherhood.
Being between two worlds sounds kind of mystic, and I think it is just that. The endorphins have kicked in, and I spend my days neither here nor there, just kind of in this wondrous fog of what is to come. Labor has been painful for me in the past, no doubt. But nevertheless I look forward to it starting, and even getting hard because I know that means my baby is coming soon.
Then it’s back to reality, cooking dinner or getting the kids to bed. But my body and mind are still floating, daydreaming about meeting this new little person while simultaneously finishing my practical to-do list. It’s amazing, this feeling, and I only wish I had been able to identify it before. I think it is exactly what is supposed to happen, exactly how my body and mind needs to prepare for the hard work ahead. I am here in the moment only as much as necessary, and I can’t help visiting the other world as much as I can.
And when labor does start, I will be in the eye of this storm between two worlds. I will truly be neither here or there, because I will be inside myself working with my baby. There will be moments I lucidly remember, but it generally will be a collection of feelings and emotions.
And what besides crowning exhibits this metaphor more clearly? For a few seconds, I will be the absolute epitome of pregnant and not pregnant, as my baby’s head is out and we wait for the rest of her. I have no choice by this point to wholeheartedly embrace the bittersweet theme-you can only be between two worlds so long before you need to get where you are going.
As the hormones drop after birth, I have always had a hard time with leaving the world I have come to know so well. It is almost a physical reaction, as my body tries to cope with being alone again and my mind tries to wrap itself around the new being that I am now able to hold in my arms.
How can two worlds meld into one so quickly? It’s such a transition to make, but one I think nature intended as well. Being pregnant and dreamy needs to go, so that the body can heal and replenish and provide food for the baby.
One of the miracles of pregnancy and birth, to be sure. I relish and recognize this time -being between two worlds is a privilege and rite of passage.