Remember when you first started driving and you were sitting behind the wheel of this 3000 pound machine and you took a deep breath because you couldn’t believe they were letting you drive? Normal Childbearing (NC) is a lot like that.
Slowly you take your foot off the brake and the car starts moving without you having touched the gas – the car seems to be moving at lightning speed, despite the speedometer barely reaching 5 km an hour. You hit the brakes for the first time because clearly you’re out of control and the car comes to a smashing halt. You take a deep breath and you take your foot off the brake again, this time 5 km doesn’t feel so terrifying. You hit the gas cause you’re brave and manage to drive around the high school parking lot at a conservative speed without crashing into a parked car or the curb.
What a thrill! How exciting! You think, I just drove. Wow. So you quickly graduate to residential streets, highways, and now you can’t imagine not knowing how to drive. You listen to music, dance, talk on the phone, and yell at other drivers because they aren’t driving properly, like you. NC is exactly like learning how to drive. Scary at first, you dive in headfirst into a world you feel you know nothing about, but you learn quickly and by the end of 16 weeks you barely remember a time when you didn’t know how to catch babies and do so many midwifery things.
Now 16 weeks of catching babies doesn’t make you an expert – let’s be clear. There are still so many things to learn. But your feet are wet and by the time the end of April rolls around you don’t feel like you’re drowning anymore. You actually feel like you’re starting to get good at this stuff.
If you ever feel like you can’t do this anymore – or get that inevitable feeling that you just suck at everything, remember that you learned how to drive and you will learn how to do this too.