For When You Relive a Traumatic Birth

For When You Relive A Traumatic Birth

Author’s Note: My first son was born almost fifteen years ago after a two-day, induced labor because I had severe preeclampsia. I was in and out of the hospital over the course of a month, finally spending a week in the high-risk section of the labor and delivery wing before they induced me. My second birth was the opposite of the first, and we welcomed another healthy son two years later. I often think that the ease of that second birth made me open to completing our family with our third son. Later, when I gave birth to my third son, I found myself with what could only be described as a shocking “peace beyond understanding” as my husband stood beside me helping me to breathe in “love, joy, peace.” Though every birth story is its own, we can hear pieces of our own stories through sharing these stories.

This isn’t what you thought it would be like.
The helplessness–
The you that needs this little one to be ready,
The little one who isn’t ready.
A perfect gift with an imperfect timing.

You are there, waiting,
Unsure of what this birth will be.
Surfacing a fear you didn’t know existed.

You laugh at the idea of birth plans,
The set of breathing exercises
The playlist,
The meds you require,
But don’t want.

This isn’t what you thought it would be like.

In this moment, you feel out of control,
More desperately than you ever had.
And you’re scared.

This isn’t what you thought it would be like.

God knows your sadness–
And he’s sad too.

But know this:
You are
His love,
His joy,
His peace.

Notice your mind when it starts to unravel.
Breathe through the long, but short pain.
It won’t last forever.

May you breathe in, and know:
His love,
His joy,
His peace.

This isn’t what you thought it would be like–
But in this moment,
Know you are held.

Held just as you are holding your little one.
Held the same way Mary held Jesus.
Held the same way you were once held.

This love holding you–it’s a steady one.
It’s holding you, your child, all of us.

This isn’t what you thought it would be like–
But darling, nothing really is.
This moment is a path that you didn’t really want to take,
And yet, its this path that has opened you to know

His love,
His joy,
His peace.

You didn’t know you could do this–
But you did.

Copyright © 2024 Lauren Nizol.

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Lauren Nizol dreamed of being a writer when her oldest of three sons was a baby. After her return to teaching a year later, it took some time before she began to write again. Aside from being a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend, Lauren is also a high school teacher and literacy interventionist, and an eighth grade catechist. For Lauren, writing draws her close to God's "still, small voice." She enjoys travelling with her family, surrounding herself with nature, art, and books, and finding joy and laughter in life's ordinary moments.

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