Saturday, June 19, 2010

Before you were formed in my belly, I knew thee

This was originally published as a response to a question asking about pre-birth experiences of knowing and sensing a child within a mother's body. I was reminded by the verse in Jeremiah "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee."(Jeremiah 1:5). And its just fitting to think about this on the eve of Father's Day.

A couple of months before my oldest was conceived, I had this strong impression that the time was right to start the process of welcoming a baby into our family. I picked up a copy of Hypnobirthing because I had known for years that I was going to learn the technique for my preparation for birth. I prayed to know if it was right to try to conceive and felt it was.

It was not our plan at all however to try to get pregnant at that time. We had wanted to wait until we moved to our new city (just a few months away) and my husband got settled in his first year of graduate school before even attempting. Because of this, my husband was very resistant to my impression and when he prayed about it did not feel the same as I had.

Then he was surprised when I learned I was pregnant a couple of months later. For me, even though the news was unexpected, I wasn't really surprised because I had already been told that a baby was ready to come to us. Its this story that merits a complicated answer to the question, "was this a planned pregnancy?"

There was magic around us when he was conceived, and a power greater than the two of us lead us forward. We felt drawn to each other in that time and place and under those circumstances. It wasn't likely that I was fertile at the time and yet it happened, in joy and ecstasy.

As soon as I was pregnant, I knew it was a boy so I was not surprised to find out I was right. Even years before, I had had dreams of breastfeeding a baby boy. It had felt so real that as a teenage girl, I was shaken by the seeming realism. Before pregnancy, I had felt for a couple of years that my first baby would be a boy. We knew very early in our marriage that he would be given my husband's middle name.

And so it was. He is now a vibrant, strong-willed, precocious three year old little boy. He has given my life a passion, direction and drive that it was missing before and laughter everyday. Without my little boy and the experiences of his birth, I would not have become the ferocious mama I am today working for the protection of mother's and babies rights in our country. He has been teaching me balance as well as through his pregnancy, infancy and toddlerhood, I started and completed a master's degree, helped create a national then international non-profit organization and assisted the forward progress of a national service for expecting families.

A song that I feel characterizes the connection I felt with my little boy before his birth and how his being transformed my life is from the Shrek soundtrack, "It is You I Have Loved."

As a newborn, I rocked him in my arms and sang the lyrics to him and felt that the hole that had been missing in my life had been filled.

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