"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

21 January 2011

On Being Buff 'n' Tough

I don't know if this is a universal secondary school experience, but it seems like when you enter middle school or high school, it becomes a compliment for girls to be called "buff." It's supposed to connote strength, toughness, and ... it's just supposed to be a positive thing.

Well, honestly, I have to admit that whenever I hear "buff," I immediately think either "in the buff" or of those extremely muscled, oiled heavy-weight lifting women on TV (which I think is gross). It's just not one of those phrases that makes me feel affirmed.

Until now.

Nich and I were talking recently about labor and delivery and how we wanted to begin praying very intentionally and specifically for that process. After reading up on the various options for pain management during labor and taking our very informative birthing class, we have decided that it is right for me to go drug-free (unless there are complications, obviously). I shared with him how our friend Jess had said to me early on that she totally felt like I could do it (which meant more to me than I think she knows).

And wouldn't you know it, my terrific husband says, "Well, honey, you're a tough girl. Sometimes, you get scared before the pain, but once it's there, you deal with it pretty well."

I'm so glad for the support I've had from friends about cloth diapering, breastfeeding, labor, amongst a myriad of other aspects of pregnancy/mommyhood, and I hope that continues. But having a husband who is thoroughly supportive is a gift for which I am so, so, so grateful. I don't know how some women go through this transition in their lives without spouses, because truly, having Nich share in this joyful anticipation with me makes all of it that much more beautiful.

Because I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy this morning, I'm going to leave you with these photos from the immensely talented Kerianne Brown. Check out her website; her work is absolutely lovely.


  1. You totally can do labor drug-free, Hannah. I am the biggest pain wimp around, and I did it four times. (Well, with Josh, I finally did ask for some pain med, but he was born before it even took effect, so I wished I hadn't bothered!) Just keep telling yourself you're a strong woman, and strong women have been having babies drug-free for centuries. I'd always tell myself, "I can do anything for a minute." And then I'd repeat that the next minute...until it was over, and then I was so proud of myself for really doing it :)
    Oh, and you should be getting a box in the mail sometime soon!

  2. Thanks, Carol! It really has been wonderful to have support and encouragement from friends about our decisions regarding Baby G. :~) It helps us "dismiss" the nay-sayers much more easily, too.

    And thank you for thinking of us! We (I) LOVE mail - except the business kind, of course - and between Christmas and the baby, our mailman has been kept quite busy!