I was largely focused on gaining control during my first pregnancy. I wanted control of my body, my labor, my baby. I was probably over-compensating for having zero experience with children prior to getting pregnant, so I found comfort in this idea of becoming an “expert” with the nine months I had before my big promotion.
This was helpful so that I could find my voice as a mother. This sense of “taking charge” is what taught me that I do have a say in what happens to my body and my baby. But this notion of control doesn’t extend much farther than that. Ironically, once I felt in charge as a mother, it was not control that would keep me going. It was trust.
We can’t control our bodies through pregnancy, but we can trust that our body is doing what it is supposed to. We can’t control the way labor happens, but we can trust that our care teams will help us through it. We can’t control whether we have an “easy baby,” or a “wild child,” but we can trust that our intuition will guide us to become the parents we were meant to be.
Now that I’ve experienced this lesson once, I can appreciate it more the second time. I’m taking control with this most-important role of soon bringing a daughter into the world, while acknowledging that there’s a whole lot of surrendering control that must happen too.
It’s easier said than done. How can you take control while surrendering it at the same time?
We all want to do everything in our power to have the healthiest pregnancies, the most empowering births and the happiest babies. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the fact that these blessings aren’t fully in our power to begin with, though. This goes against everything we are taught. We are taught that if we study for a test, we will perform well. If we exceed expectations at our jobs, we will get a raise. If we just do our part, things will happen how we want them to.
Yet in motherhood, we can do everything by the book and still have things turn out drastically different.
This doesn’t mean we stop fighting for the outcomes we want. It just means that we must not carry the weight of these outcomes on our shoulders. It means that the only way we will ever really have control is when we also have trust – trust that it’s okay to not always have control.