I have said it before, that the pain and struggle in labour prepares you for motherhood. I want to say it again.
This birth was very different. No neighbours or passersby would have heard me calling for help! No, I was focussed and at peace. I did not scream once. I was breathing in and breathing out. Seeing myself floating in cool waters like a sea turtle, making no ripples. My husband helped, my midwife helped, the birth pool helped, but I did it. I sometimes felt like I was between two big waves, just survived the one and unsure whether I will survive the next. But I had no choice. It was then that I heard it. A soft voice, my own, saying something that it never had before: you can do this. I almost laughed at the voice, wanting to tell it that I do not respond well to that kind of encouragement and belief in my own abilities, never have, but I was too tired and let it talk.
Well I did do it, and I did it well. And now when it is rough with three kids under 5 and I want to burst into tears and self pity like I always do, I hear a familiar new voice. It says, today is a bad day, but tomorrow will be different, and you can do this. And now I believe it.