Prophet Mohammed, pbuh, narrated that to wake for the morning prayer is the best thing for you; to pray is better than to sleep is an additional line in the morning’s call to prayer, even. When you pray the morning prayer, and the angel on your right shoulder visits takes the news of your rising to the skies, records it with our Rabb, you can be assured of being one step nearer to paradise, insh’Allah. After the prayers finished, as the sun rises and the birds chorus raises its tune, you can feel nighttime being carried away, a sense of hope as the new day arises and even, if you’re quiet enough, the angel’s wing print as you’re left to get on with your day.
This morning both prayers and a restless toddler have had me awake since 4am. When M finally returned to sleep, nestled into G’s side in our bed, I couldn’t sleep and so I sit here, on the almost completed balcony seat, sipping coffee and watching our small corner of the world come alive. I feel nervous this morning. We have our 36 week appointment and then our doctor goes on holiday for 10 days on Wednesday. At 36.5 anxiety that Bump may appear while she’s gone is becoming a real possibility and that thought scares me a little; plus, I can’t help feel a slight sense of deja vu with this pregnancy as it nears its final days. With M, I didn’t feel a single contraction. By the time I were given the epidural, I’d been contracting actively for three days, was 6cm dilated and the labour was progressing. I didn’t feel a thing. Not one contraction, no pain or discomfort. Nothing. Were it not for the monitors showing clearly the contractions as they happened, I would never have known I were in labour. There were no Braxton Hicks nor any real lower back pain – my body just went on without letting me know. This time, I’m aware that contractions happen – my stomach physically contracts to the point you can see it, but I still don’t feel the slightest of discomfort. I guess I should be embracing this lack of feeling, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that while on one hand this makes me lucky, on the other it means I’m missing vital clues.
The sun’s risen fully by now, and from my perch I’m watching as a rosy hue fills a slight gap in the clouds straight ahead. If you merely glance at clouds you see only partially, when you look the true dimensions are revealed underneath. From here, this morning at 5.30, I see three layers to the one image of this cloud straight ahead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sadistically longing for pain and discomfort to mark the birth and when I ask myself if it really matters if I feel the contractions, I recall how some women even enjoy their labours and births! What worries me is not recognising the signals that my baby is ready to come. On having to rely on machines to tell me we’re nearing transition. On being unable to respond on instinct, naturally.
Rosy hues are changing now to burnt amber. The suns rays gaining strength as the moon retreats to the shadows for the day. From where I sit, I see not only the clouds imperfections, but the hidden depths of the layers they hold underneath. The oranges, burning their way through, the pinks, seeping endlessly into the surrounding blue sky, whites, clearer than crystal, blurry as milk, and the yellows, obvious and vibrant yet deceptively still.
It’s ok to feel nervous this morning. It’s ok to have doubt in my body. The journey is not mine for the planning, I’m just the scribe who gets to record it all down.