Monday, February 28, 2011

Here we go

Recently Stuart started asking me if we should keep a baby blog. We already have a house blog about the process of constructing our Passive House, and many of our friends have kept baby blogs chronicling their prenatal and postnatal stories and photos. It seemed only natural that we might start one as well.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn't want a typical baby blog with photos and brief updates about my latest doctor's visit or the status of our nursery. Those are perfectly fine blog topics, and I enjoy reading those, but it didn't feel right for me. That's because all I've been thinking about for the past four months is what's going to happen to my body during this pregnancy, how I'll feel, whether I'll be able to face the natural birth I hope to have, and what I'll need to do to keep my body and baby healthy so that I can give birth the way I was meant to, without interventions and unnecessary medical procedures.

What I've been feeling so far is terror. I know what I want to do for my baby's birth, but I'm scared of whether I'll be able to face it -- or whether I'll encounter some complication that keeps things from going as they should. Lately what I've found the most comforting is talking to other mothers about their birth stories, hearing that what I'm feeling is perfectly normal, and most important, seeing that no matter how hard others' labor experiences may have been, in the end, the baby came and everyone was happy and they were changed forever. In other words, it all turned out fine.

My hope is to use this blog to share more personal stories about what I'm thinking and feeling throughout pregnancy for two reasons: a) To help me give words to my complicated emotions so that I can face them and work through them, and b) to hopefully gain the support, love and shared stories of my friends, whether they've already been through this process or not.

The story behind my blog's title is a bit complicated. I am terrible at titles, so for inspiration, I searched online for other baby blog titles. Many had cute or ridiculous names that would never fit my purpose (just Google baby blog and you'll see what I mean). One used the word "unknown," which struck my fancy. First, the cliche of "Into the Unknown" entered my brain. I considered it for the title of my blog, but then I realized "Into the Unknown" sounded a bit forbidding. That's not how I want to feel about this pregnancy. Yes, there are plenty of unknowns, but I want to feel like my journey is exciting and natural and life-changing. "Unknown" didn't do that for me.

Then my my inner music nerd popped in and said, "Into the Unknown is also a Bad Religion EP." And even better, their follow-up EP was titled "Back to the Known." Long story short, Bad Religion is my favorite punk rock band, and "Into the Unknown" was an EP they released in the early '80s where they decided to randomly change musical styles (it wasn't pretty). They followed with "Back to the Known," abandoning the weird style they'd tried to adopt and returning to their punk roots.

This idea of heading "back to the known" seemed to perfectly describe how I want my journey toward motherhood to be. I could see this time as a series of unknowns to deal with and possibly to fear. But I would rather return to my roots, so to speak -- my roots as a woman, as someone who is part of a much larger group of mothers who have birthed for countless generations, as someone whose body was made for this journey and who can do this.

So here I go. Back to the known. Thanks for helping me get there.


Now, just because I can't help it, even though this has nothing to do with babies or motherhood, here's my favorite song from Bad Religion's "Back to the Known."