Recently my husband and I received planning permission to build my dream home. I have to say ‘my’ dream home, because it really is my dream, and I’m incredibly lucky to have a husband who is so supportive of my dreams.
After we got permission I was on a dream-home-high. I dreamt of walking across the hardwood floor in my bare feet, of gazing out the large window toward the stream, of opening the skylight over our bed contemplating the stars… It was blissful.
Then I went to the architect and it soon hit home HARD… my God is there a whole world of work to be done, and as it is my dream, I am the director. My husband has taken on the role of producer. He says he’s happy for me to take the lime light on this one!! So I make the decisions, I negotiate, I investigate, I have the last word on how it’s going to look. Except for the kitchen!
As I walked in the misty rain the other day, my son Josh sleeping in the buggy, I thought back to when I gave birth. It reminded me of the planning process and where I now find myself, permission in hand, lots of new decisions to make. Naively, I thought that the pushing part of giving birth was the easy part. Once labour is done, the cervix is open, and little baby comes sliding out with the help of a few well timed pushes. What could be simpler!
Little did I know at the time that my 84 hours of labour (yes you heard right), was the easy part. The 90 minutes that followed felt like the previous 84 hours, all squished into one awfully difficult collection of shouting (not by me), dilemmas, desperation, hopes and expectations. I managed to push out my son, with the help of an episiotomy and sheer determination. But I can’t help wondering, has the last few months been the ‘labour’ part of our building experience? Am I now naively falling head first into the hell that is – building our home. Will the next 12 months be a collection of painful memories, that I had hoped and prayed would be serene, peaceful and joyous?
As I lay awake in bed last night, trying to shake off the shiver of dawn, I sobbed, “I can’t do it, I’m never going to be able to cope with all this, I’ll have to cancel my life for the next 12 months, I won’t be able to do any yoga, I’ll have to shut down my business”. Well I went on like that for a good 30 minutes before I finally fell back to sleep again. Josh turned in the bed and woke me a bit later on, only this time I was warm and cosy, I was surrounded by the softness of the bed covers, lulled back to sleep by Josh’s gentle snoring. I realised how much I love Joshua, how every moment of labour, pushing, sleepless nights, poopy nappy’s were worth all the inescapable moments of pure and utter joy that he brings to me EVERY SINGLE day!
I met a friend today and he reminded me to never give up. I thought to myself that If I can get though labour and birth, I can build this house. I will face this head on, and though I might cry in the night, and sob into my pillow, I will reap the rewards of a wooden floor underfoot, and the happiness of knowing that it was something I helped to create.
There are moments in our lives, many infact, when it can all feel like a little too much. Where we wonder, really search and ask ourselves, can I really keep on going? These can be desperate times, filled with moments of pain and turmoil, tears and heartache. But there is always relief, whether it comes from the smile and support of a friend, the kiss and hugs of a baby, or the frothy delights of a yummy hot chocolate. There is ALWAYS something that reminds us to keep on going…
to never give up…