Man at Desk

Foreboding Joy & Thankfulness

Two times. I had successfully birthed children two times and yet the anxiety of birthing another haunted me throughout my entire pregnancy.

"Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience," Brown says. "And if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy." (Brene Brown)

There was the fear of pain, but more the lingering echo of the trauma I experienced with Aiden's birth (my firstborn). See, her placenta didn't detach. So from the most peaceful and smooth birth at home, we headed to the hospital after about three hours of waiting. By the time the doctor pulled (read ripped) the placenta from my abdomen, I had lost enough blood and fluids to be drifting in and out of consciousness. Aiden was perfect, peaceful, had already nursed and was not admitted to the hospital- something I look back on now and for which I am thankful.

All of that to say my heart was anxious.

There are certain people in each of our lives that we can pinpoint as sources of strength or as those that you're certain will speak truth to you. There are three in mine that I constantly turn to when I'm searching for truth in the midst of my emotions: my mom, a woman named Denyelle who has been stable in my life since childhood, and a woman I work for named Brandi- who has taught me how to listen for truth in different ways than I would have thought I could learn. To these three and all the others who prayed throughout that last month- thank you.

Finally in labor, truth became instinct. Instinct reminded me that though pain is eminent, the joy that follows should not be turned into fear or a sense of foreboding. Three hours of labor, three pushes, and out came this little baby covered in vernix and absolutely beautiful.

Ivy James.