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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

38 Weeks

May 10th, 2016 by Aubri


Last Friday was not an easy day. I have days like that during pregnancy when I’m dizzy and have to bend over the counter to catch my breath after pouring someone’s milk or helping someone put their pants on. So I allowed myself to forget about the dishes and the laundry and just sit, watch the babies play and catch up on some reading and writing I’ve been too busy to enjoy.

The end of this pregnancy, or “the Pleasing Strife” as I recently read it called, at last is near. Can it almost be 40 weeks? 40 weeks of carrying this new person and soon we will finally meet?

In these particularly hard seasons of life I am reminded of what Martin Luther called “Little Whiles.” Phil recently preached on this text from John 16:

“Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.  So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

In a little while we will hold this child and the past 40 weeks will be a memory. A record of travail marked as worth it.

The discomforts increase and my patience is gone. By comparison this has been one of my easier pregnancies. The hardships were more the circumstances of life surrounding this baby. The rental house and the mountain of stairs, a move, a time of unpacking and planning and settling in.

Now with all of that behind us I can finally start to even think about what’s next. This baby! A few more weeks to prepare all that must be prepared for a new one. I’m tired and all the little things of this Little While seem like BIG things.

The practice contractions aka Braxton Hicks have felt much worse this time. I think they seem to get worse every time. They certainly are frequent throughout the entire day and noticeable to the point of pausing whatever it is I’m in the middle of doing.

Phil reminds me of what these pains are foretelling. A good thing is coming. I remind him that before that good thing, the horrible thing is coming!

“All things within this fading world hath end,” the Boston poet Anne Bradstreet wrote in “Before the Birth of one of her Children.” Men waged wars, but for women each birth was another battle. No woman dared imagine herself spared, not by grace, not by wealth; pain was her portion. Even if she survived childbirth, she could scarcely expect that her child would.”

When I get this close to a birth there is a dread that settles in. It’s not been as bad as when I was pregnant with Esther and was convinced I would die this time, but there is still the familiar fear. Fear of pain, fear of death, fear of not getting what I have experienced 3 times now and really would hate to not get again, the epidural.

I read the counts of so many women through the centuries who endured pregnancy and labor and delivery with none of the modern comforts and choices we are given now. I’ve endured a handful of births with little intervention of relief and I shudder to think on the anguish these women of the past experienced in those final hours, some of them more times than modern women even believe is possible.

And that’s one reason I found great humor in this quote:

“A mother’s last child she nursed the longest, to stave off getting another. “It may be my dear wife may now leave off bearing,” Sewall prayed, after his wife, Hannah, gave birth for the fourteenth time, at the age of forty-four. Then she marked what she hoped would be her retirement by hosting a feast for the seventeen women who had attended her during her lyings-in. They ate meat to give thanks, and to pray that her trials were over.”

I’m nervous this time too because of the things that will be new, a new doctor, a new and much bigger hospital. New procedures, the unexpected.

And then there’s the rest of my list of “things.”

The heartburn. Oh the heartburn. Yes it’s been bad. A couple times a day I mix up my little Heartburn Cocktail of 2 Tums and a Pepcid and wait for it to do it’s job. Oh and who knew you’re only supposed to take FIVE antacids within 24 hours if your PREGNANT?! I did not until a couple weeks ago. Oopsie. I guess all the times I was taking 10 at a time wasn’t kosh after all. I was just thankful the babies were getting some Calcium.

The Itching has been epic this time. Thankfully it’s no indication of a naughty liver doing naughty things, but just hormonal. I scar up my skin from head to toe scratching and the babies worry about each owie they see on Mama. I will not miss the itching.

I also feel I’ve been more tired this time around. Just flat out of energy and deep into that pregnancy fog that descends very early on.

Then speaking of mores….I’ve gained more weight with this baby than with the last 5 babies combined. I blame it on moving to Omaha oh and the fact that I love to eat. My “Omaha 15” plus some! Omaha why you gotta have so many places to get good food?! So needless to say, I’m weary and heavy heavy laden, moving through the house a bit like the teetering Titanic.

And finally, and maybe the hardest part about this pregnancy has been trying to find a name for this little girl! I knew as soon as we were told we were having another daughter that this was going to be hard for me. While there are tons of beautiful names I’ve jotted down over the years, it becomes a different story when I think of actually using them. I dreaded the thought of getting this close to her birthday and still not having a name. Well, here we are. There are a couple front runners but I suppose Ant Acid or Amber Ale aren’t real contenders are they? Tick Tock. Well, whatever we decide, it will become her.

Can’t wait to see you sweet baby!

*Quotes taken from Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin





4 Responses to “38 Weeks”

  1. Sylvia Odom says:

    I like the ring of Amber Ale, or possibly Amber Aleen! No comfort, but I am sure the passing of years contributes greatly to the fatigue. You are right, though. Blame those pounds on Omaha!! Looking forward to seeing that baby girl! I know she will be beautiful, with nice strong bones. She will need them around that house! Lots of love, Fafi

  2. Kristi says:

    You’ll come up with the right name for her; I just know it.

    I’m saying prayers for you in these final days.

  3. Jody S. says:

    I’ve never met you, but sometimes I cling to virtual acquaintances like you, thinking, “She understands.”

    I am praying for you also.

    Hang in there for a little while longer 🙂

  4. Aubri says:

    Thank you ladies!! ♥