{I wrote this on 31.9.13, about a week before Cheeky Chops was born. With all the stopping and starting of birthing practice that was going on I didn’t get around to posting it at the time. I hope sharing this snippet of my journey can help others traveling a similar road.}

This pregnancy journey is coming to a close with a mixed batch of emotions – I’m super excited to meet this new little one and yet I’m really enjoying these last days/ weeks of movement in my belly! I am so grateful to be growing a new life inside of me! With the final stretch of course comes exhaustion, I’m not sleeping particularly well and have a toddler to keep up with as well! Cheeky Monkey very generously shared his cold with me, so that’s meant antibiotics for us both and a lingering cough for me… and yet I wouldn’t have life any other way!

About a month ago I was struggling to remain positive as I was struggling with a fair amount of pain in my belly and back, I was trying to focus on the fact that my body was preparing to birth this new little life. Unfortunately a visit to the obstetrician jolted me into a whole different reality! Jellybean was lying transverse (head to one side of me and bottom to the other) which was the cause of all my pain. A transverse position is not conducive to having a natural birth, it raises the risk level of a pregnancy considerably and only rectifies in about 25% of cases. A caesarean was certainly not in my birth plan! And being who I am, my brain was immediately considering the implications for future pregnancies and births! I was devastated! I returned home with my head reeling, a position to assume a few times a day to encourage Jellybean to move and instructions to stay away from Google! Of course Googling was one of the first things I did – I increased my liquid intake and added another variation of the position advised by my obstetrician to my regime. I sought out a group of women to pray for Jellybean to move and for my ability to cope. And I continued to investigate other possible natural solutions such as chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture.

Through a lot of tears and assuming my ‘encourage baby to move’ positions despite how painful it was at times I made it through those first 36 hours. I was lying on my bed that second night and suddenly I realised that the movement I was feeling was in a different location to before! Either I was so desperate for Jellybean’s position to change I was deluding myself, or Jellybean had actually moved! I told Hubby it felt like Jellybean was in the right position again and we were cautiously optimistic. Upon advice from my Obstetrician’s office I went to the hospital the following day to be checked by a midwife – and I was blessed to be greeted by the smiling face of the gorgeous Melissa who was present for Cheeky Monkey’s birth! Her check confirmed that Jellybean had moved and she was 90% sure that Jellybean’s head was down! Relief washed over me! I saw the Obstetrician again the following week to confirm the positioning with an ultrasound before being free to resume life as normal. I don’t know exactly what helped, the positions I assumed, the increased fluid intake, the prayer… but I know without a doubt that God held me firmly in His hand throughout the challenges of the experience!

ME2

While it was a difficult experience to have, I am glad that it happened because it has really helped me to be grateful during these last weeks of pregnancy rather than complaining about every little difficulty! Like any heavily pregnant woman I have challenges and I do whinge a bit, but when I had to go to the toilet super frequently again I kept reminding myself that it was a POSITIVE thing, because it meant that baby was sitting head down (not transverse anymore)! When I get aches and pains, I remind myself that these are as a result of baby’s good positioning and that my body is now preparing for that natural birth I so keenly desire! I don’t think there is a perfect science to gratitude, and it’s something that one has to be conscious to cultivate, but I know without a doubt that I’m more grateful for baby’s good positioning now than I would have been without the experience of the transverse positioning!

I read a great blog post a few weeks ago that was focusing on Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you will live in the house of the Lord forever.” Well, that’s the ESV translation anyway… but the Hebrew word ‘Radaph’ isn’t translated to its full meaning here… Radaph doesn’t just mean ‘follow’… it’s more accurately translated as ‘pursue’ or ‘chase after’. And boy has that touched my heart! “Surely goodness and mercy will pursue you all the days of your life” has a far greater meaning to it! That’s not to say everything in life will be easy, but rather that no matter what is happening in your life God’s goodness and mercy is right there, pursuing you every day!

Since my understanding of that verse has increased, I have found God’s goodness and mercy catching up with me in many of my daily situations that I might otherwise have found myself complaining about! Like when Cheeky Monkey wouldn’t settle for his nap in his cot and I sat in the rocking chair with him asleep on me for 1.5 hours! I was exhausted and could have really resented that experience, but because of my new understanding of Psalm 23:6, I recognised that as a moment where God’s goodness and mercy had caught up to me! I got amazingly precious cuddle time with my first-born, during the last weeks of him being an only child! Once this baby arrives, life will never be quite the same again and God was so good to me to help me to slow down and recognise that and relish that special bonding time we had together! I am so grateful!

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