“The In Between”
You made it to the next milestone in your pregnancy, week 37. What the medical world calls “early term” because it’s significantly safer for the baby to be born now that their vital organs are now at an “appropriately” functioning level. Of course, the longer they are in your womb the better and more developed they will be. But I digress.
This is the stage where many women start thinking, it could be any day now and if you’re anything like me, some weird internal clock turns on and you just sit there and listen to the seconds tick by. You nest, rest, let your mind wander, do whatever you can to distract your mind from the “what ifs”, hide from the people beating down your door with the “any day now!”, “when do you think the baby will be born?”, “what’s your birth plan?”, the unsolicited advice, horror stories followed by “I’m sorry I don’t know why I just told you that. Something like that shouldn’t happen to you….”
When I was talking to a friend of mine (let’s be real, we were chatting over Instagram in our direct messages because it’s the 21st Century) about my current mindset she sent me a beautiful article about the in between stage that this Midwife refers to as the Zwischen (translated to ‘between’). And I can’t tell you how much more empowered I feel having a word for this hurry up and wait feeling I’ve settled into for what could be a day or a few more weeks.
Somewhere and somehow birth has turned into something of just a phase, primarily in the western world. Women work until their water breaks, they stress on how much time they are allowed to have off, bombarded with horror stories about not getting jobs, forced to sign affidavits if something goes sidewise and they can’t return to work in the allotted time given forfeiting their job, having to figure out how to manage feedings, day cares, pumping in the bathrooms, etc. Forced to relax and be strong during this time. But it’s ok to be vulnerable and open. This is a whole new chapter in your life whether you are going from 0-1 or 4-5 children.
In my opinion, society has broken the feelings and thoughts around pregnancy and made it too systematic with a “do this and not that” mentality. In the ancient Hawaiian culture, once a woman becomes pregnant, she is now a sacred entity. It’s not seen as a traumatic experience where women are supposed to be missionary screaming through their suffering. The midwife is with them from the beginning to create a sacred space to honor their birth because they are giving life and light to this world. The women are protected in this hut from negative outside influences that may sway her from an empowering and sacred state of mind. And I think that’s beautiful and needed.
So as I continue on with the remainder of this in between stage in our modern world void of hiding in a hut with my midwife for 9-10 months, I want to remember that this is my sacred place and all I can do is share my current life and light as authentically as possible and not allow out outside influences to change me from being empowered during this phase of life.
The Last Days of Pregnancy: A Place of In-Between
Ancient Hawaiian Birth