I’m not even sure how obviously pregnant I was with my 3rd baby when the dream finally escaped my lips for the first time.
“I’d love to have a water-birth.”
I had had two wonderful hospital births. I was pregnant with our 3rd, and likely our final, new addition.
Having a water-birth was a dream that almost never happened. For no reason other than this; uncertainty. The more I think about it, the more I wonder how many good dreams uncertainty kills.
Really though, how had I lived through 24 months or more of pregnancies and never expressed this desire?
A water-birth means a homebirth in my area. And a homebirth means uncertainty. Now, let us be real here, all birth means uncertainty. While there is significant evidence in favour of homebirths for healthy pregnancies, I hadn’t gotten that far in my mind yet.
What really matters here is why was I so resistant to verbalize, let alone pursue, this dream?
My guess is that I’m no unicorn.
How many of us are walking around with unspoken dreams for fear of uncertainty?
What is it about uncertainty that keeps us quiet? For me it was: fear of being disappointed and fear of being judged for failure.
As we move into a new year – wrought with uncertainty – see if this rings true for you.
Uncertainty kills a dream with:
Fear of Being Disappointed
Being uncertain if you will succeed means being uncertain if you will be disappointed. Or if someone else will be.
In my situation, while homebirth is widely recognized as a safe (if not safer) option for healthy women and babies, there are certain reasons for transfer of care to a nearby hospital.
Not only that, but if I were to have a water-birth, coordinating the logistics of a birth tub seemed daunting. What if it wasn’t ready? What if we set it up wrong? Or the temperature of the water wasn’t exact?
There are reasons that – even if we did everything we could – a waterbirth wouldn’t happen.
I was afraid of the uncertainty. I feared the disappointment I would feel if it didn’t happen.
How often do we not pursue a dream because we simply don’t want to be… disappointed?
Fear of Being Judged
Being uncertain if you will succeed means being uncertain how you will be judged.
Rightly or wrongly, this one is huge for me. Judgement.
What if I try, something doesn’t go according to plan, and I end up in the hospital? Aside from accessing the real risks and possible outcomes if a transfer of care were necessary, my mind kept going to What would people think? if something went wrong.
How irresponsible. That was foolish. She’s so ill-informed.
Again, while homebirth is as safe as hospital birth for healthy pregnancies, there are demographics of people who fear and fret about it.
Just the mention of the idea can draw out the judgement.
It may have to do with my wiring and caring too much about the opinion of others, but sometimes judgement gets to me.
How often do we not pursue a dream because of fear of judgement?
Do We Need Certainty?
If I had been certain of success, I wouldn’t have had either of these fears.
The reality is, if I’d never let my dream of a water-birth come out of my mouth, it would’ve never happened.
As soon as it did, it was met with encouragement from my husband. And then more encouragement from others. And long conversations with sweet friends who had had several water births – imparting their experiences on us.
By the grace of God, what once was a dream over the horizon became an inflatable tub in our livingroom.
But if I’d never shared that small, sweet dream, it would have died.
I had held it so close to my chest.
And it turned into one of the most beautiful moments of my life. (I’ll share the birth story later, for those of you that love that!)
So – I thought long and hard about why I hid that dream. Uncertainty. Disappointment. Judgement.
Good dreams don’t need to die in the dark.
Kind of like this blog. Another small seed of a dream in my heart.
Any dream, big or small, can start by being spoken out loud.
Who do you love and trust that you can talk about your dreams with?
Going into this new year, I’m going to say my dreams out loud more often.
I hope you will, too!