My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

What I Learned Through Labor

Despite the fact that its been over 9 years since I’ve been in that position, and at the risk of alienating my 5 male readers I can finally wrap my head around things.

I’m not sure what’s taken me so long, but the feelings have never fully left me. The emotions are so intense. More than that, however, is the reality that it changed me. Or maybe it just helped me see what was already there.

There are all kinds of labor and every one can teach us something. Don't miss these 5 things from My Ink Dance

I can do more than I think I can. I didn’t think I could do it. At all. The people who love me most were even worried, but knew the anesthesiologist would help us all. And it did. Twice. But by that third time, I was a different person. I was more confident in my abilities.

Somehow choosing to have my third without drugs wasn’t about the “right” or “natural” way to have a baby, but about my pushing myself further than I thought I could go. There’s no right way to have a baby, and you don’t get a gold star if you follow a certain path. My path was for me. And I surprised myself.

Fear is temporary. I’ve always struggled with anticipation. It’s the worst. And pregnancy is full of it. Labor too. But the fear isn’t forever. Fear doesn’t end with pregnancy either. But it doesn’t have to be forever. {This book is so encouraging if you struggle with fear.}

Pain is temporary. Ditto for pain. It’s hard to imagine that it will end. But it does. It always does. Whatever pain you are facing there will be an end to it. Whether the baby is born or time heals the wounds or you can’t see an end this side of heaven, we are promised an eternity free from pain.

Emotional extremes are often side by side. I sometimes laugh when I’m supposed to cry. It’s a problem, especially at funerals. But it’s also a reminder that emotions are unstable and their rivers run close, weaving in and out of one another. Embrace them. Feel them fully, but don’t let them dictate all you do.

You may find another side of yourself when under duress. Maybe it’s your truest self. Maybe it’s just the meds. Either way, pain and fear and emotions reveal parts of you that you may not have known were there. That’s not bad, it’s enlightening. Embrace it and learn from it.

There are all kinds of labor and every one can teach us something. Don't miss these 5 things from My Ink Dance

These truths became evident for me through childbirth. Not everyone has that experience, but that doesn’t mean we don’t labor. Every one of us has places in our life that push us into a new beginning, push us through hard circumstances, push us to places we’ve never imagined. 

And pardon me for using the word push so many times. I couldn’t resist.

Labor is a pushing, a moving through, a changing in the most beautifully raw way. Sometimes it’s good to look back on those times and see what you can learn about yourself.

What has labor have you been through and what has it taught you?

Sharing words at #raralinkup and with these great writers today!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

14 Replies

  1. Becky, HA, was a little hesistant reading because of previous birth stories I’ve heard in far too much detail for my stomach’s sake. But this was fantastic. I was going to copy a favorite quote here- but nearly every point held one : ) Thanks for this unique and helpful take on pushing through labor (of various kinds!)

    1. Becky Hastings

      LOL! That’s so funny Bethany! So glad that it spoke to you. My goal was to use the framework of labor to touch every reader. I’m glad it worked for you 🙂

  2. Becky, this was great. I didn’t realize you weren’t going to go into detail, and that instead you were pulling the nuggets from the experience.

    I am always captivated by the way you write (like you talk?) And what you say is true, that we can’t let our emotions dictate us. I think I struggled with this, got better, and am finding myself on a wobbly slope again.

    This time I am letting people in though, and communicating with my spouse rather than pretending I am A OK lol.

    The last part especially resonates with me right now. Through the writing challenge this month, and without planning what I am going to say really — what I really believe has been able to surface. And then I can take those things before to get realigned if they are “off.”

    Love you friend. Love your heart!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Meghan, I am so incredibly grateful for you and your heart for people!

      Yes, I try to write much like I talk. Although if we were to have tea you would find I’m a lot sillier in person. The words that make it to the page are often those that swirl in my head 🙂

      It is so helpful when you see that it is good to let people in. Even if it doesn’t always go well, it’s worth it for you. Our practiced vulnerability with one another helps us be more vulnerable with God.

      Your writing challenge has been beautiful. It is exciting to see pieces of you emerge!

      Again, so grateful for you! xoxo

  3. We all have to learn to push through life! Great lessons here, friend! XO

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks Liz 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing these lessons, Becky! It’s so true that labour (of any kind) is not easy but it can teach us a lot. Often it’s in the tough times that our true selves come out and we somehow find the determination and strength to keep on going!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yes, yes, yes!

  5. “5 male readers.” Haha. I always worry I’ll turn off the few that I have too. I like the way you just address it up front. I’ll try that next time it’s a female-ish topic. 🙂 And, great points. I think about this in the context of exercise sometimes. I want to stop a lot sooner than I (hopefully) stop. Having that goal in mind helps you achieve it, and learn more about yourself in the process, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing, friend. 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Great comparison Brenda! That goal mindset certainly helps 🙂

  6. Pat

    Thank you for this great blog! So clever and lots of truth. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. I’m still struggling with getting my blog going, so no webste yet.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you Pat. And don’t give up! Keep writing 🙂

  7. Ahhh, Becky. Wise words. Labor taught me that God does not give us what we need UNTIL we need it. I worried and worried about it prior to delivery day. But a friend reminded me that I did not have grace for labor yet–and wouldn’t until I needed it. God is always on time!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Isn’t that amazing? God always gives us things at just the right time. We may not always understand, but we can trust in faith!

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