I spent eight months worrying about what it would be like when I finally went into labor. I had heard so many stories about painful birth from friends who had not had easy experiences. I think the drive up the Alcan at eight and half months pregnant with all the bumps along the way may have triggered my labor. She arrived two weeks earlier than expected just after we arrived in Alaska. When my labor started I remember thinking, wait a minute, this can’t be it, I’m not feeling pain. This is easy (fun even?). She was born in a rush and I thought I had never felt so much love as when she was placed in my arms. I held her tiny feet in my hands and recognized them from the way they felt when they pushed against my ribs when she was growing.
Twelve years later looking back, I don’ think I should have been worried about birth when I started the journey of motherhood. The journey that comes after the birthing day, is when things get difficult. How do I take care of my baby, work at the same time and excel at both? How do I help my tiny daughter grow from a young lady into a responsible being who is happy and well-rounded and well provided for? We have had our challenges; The time that she jumped off her bed and cut a deep hole into her foot from a bad landing, the time when she was toddler and fell off a dock in Kodiak and I pulled her up from the water, the time when I found myself a single mom struggling to provide for us (how do families afford housing anymore!). Today, she is smack in the middle of pre-puberty and I see that there are new challenges to navigate as a mom. When things get difficult, it always somehow turns out okay and I try not to worry.
A message for future mamas worrying about the birthing-day, know that it's a long journey. The birthing-day is just the start.