Things I Learned From Having Children

[repost from 9-24-04]

My first two births were the usual medically “enhanced” type. It wasn’t until my third delivery that I had the natural birth experience with full awareness of all the stages. It was in the final portion of labor, the “pushing”, that I experienced something resident within the human soul.

Labor is called labor for a reason. It is some of the hardest work that a person may experience, and it comes with both urgency and no means of retreat.

It was in this I learned that there is place within, after all ones strength seems to be spent, that a second wind can form. A lift above the pain, above the exhaustion, to see through to the goal…. to finish the task.

The Finns have a concept and particular word for this. It is “sisu”.

“Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of what it takes. Sisu is a special strength and persistent determination and resolve to continue and overcome in the moment of adversity. A combination of stamina, perseverance, courage, and determination held in reserve for hard times.”

A reserve.

A woman can have that within. She can have a second strength, an ability to reach beyond herself and beyond all she thought herself capable of, to rise above the difficulties….. it is there to be tapped into when necessity requires.

I have often thought of the experience of this when faced with other things that I felt were intolerable, that were seemingly insurmountable. It centered my hope and my confidence.

We are marvelously made.