As we approached our youngest’s first birthday, I found myself thinking through the last year. We managed to not only make a huge move to the Midwest, but added a family member, as well.
I’ve tried to write this birth story a few times now but it comes out more like a timeline. All you really need to know is that Silas, our second, came fast. Really fast. I don’t know how normal or abnormal that is, and I definitely don’t want to scare or set expectations for anyone. Ask me in person and I’ll tell you the whole story but I feel like I want to use this space to share something a little different.
I’m really good at planning and organizing. I love thinking it through, writing it out, and making it happen. I love lists because I like to know exactly what I need to do and when I need to do it.
With Xander, we had a birth plan. It was a (long) worksheet printed straight from The Bump and filled in with our wishes and expectations. It was quite extensive and to be honest, I regret trying to control the experience as much as I did. In hindsight, I missed out on making memories because I was worried about sticking to the freakin’ birth plan but thankfully, my birth plan process wasn’t challenged because I think I would have had an emotional breakdown.
I knew what to expect with Silas’s birth so a written plan didn’t seem necessary. What I did have was an obnoxiously long to-do list that I tackled as soon as we arrived in Milwaukee. I found a great doctor and a birthing hospital that I trusted but I felt this pressure to have a plan for Xander so that I knew he was taken care of. There was so much transition happening and I needed to know that he was going to be okay.
Silas was born on May 18th, 2016 at 8:30 am. Exactly 1.5 hours after arriving at the birthing hospital, 4 pushes, and 3 hours of labor.
He was born with a Daniel Tiger episode playing and Xander walking around the hallway with hospital staff. You see, I worked so hard to make sure that Xander was taken care of but when the day actually came, all of the plans fell apart.
Balancing the two is a lesson I’m still learning but during delivery I felt so helpless because I couldn’t make the plan work. I couldn’t walk Xander around myself or jump on the phone and call someone to come to the hospital. Everything was happening so fast and I was torn between focusing on delivering and making sure Xander was okay.
I just had to let go and let things happen, believing that everything was going to be okay. It’s completely against my nature but it a lesson that I’ve learned over and over and over again.
The lesson comes when I don’t have control. I get cranky, short with my family, and bitterness starts to set in. I have this constant war in my head fighting between my needs and wants and theirs. Sometimes I feel like “being the mom” gets in the way. It’s hard to admit and even harder to write but it’s the truth.
I constantly worry if I am doing this mom thing all wrong. My need for a plan is simply security to know that I can do it. Adding another child has taught me that plans change and you are forced to work with what you have.
Chaos doesn’t mean we are terrible mothers. Even though we may feel weak, chaos and lack of control can actually bring out our strengths. In the middle of chaos we adapt, follow cues, and make life work. We trust what we do know, surrender to the chaos, and we make it through. Chaos is the promise the calm is coming and when it does come, it feels so good.