Zwischen – The Birth of a Mother

So apparently the Germans have a specific term for the final days of pregnancy…it’s called “Zwischen” which translates to “between” in english. I learned this interesting fact from an article I currently have saved on my phone browser along with 9 other articles – most related to the final days of pregnancy and what to expect during the onset of labor. It might be helpful context to share I had a planned c-section with my son due to a condition called placenta previa, thus, this is my first time preparing for actual labor.

I have no doubt Google analytics has pegged me as a pregnant woman on the verge of popping given my search history. In fact, next time I meet someone new and want to get to know them, I’ll skip the small talk and just ask if we can exchange phones for a minute. One glance at their open browser tab(s) will likely provide much insight on their current life goals and priorities, albeit quite intrusive, an efficient way to learn a lot in little time.

Just check out your open browser tabs. Do they not shed light on what matters to you most in life right now? Mine certainly read me like an open book. Here’s proof:

Tab 1) 10 Symptoms and Signs Labor is Near

Tab 2) Did Stripping the Membranes Help Induce Labor

Tab 3) The Last Days of Pregnancy – A Place of In Between

Tab 4) Red Rasberry Leaf Tea = Contractions

Tab 5) Wikipedia – Ben-Hur a Tale of Christ

Tab 6) A Long, Cold Road to Bethlehem

Tab 7) Natural Ways to Bring on Labor

Tab 8) Extreme Fatigue in Late Pregnancy

Tab 9) Preparing Your Child For a New Sibling

Tab 10) Leftover Hambone Soup Recipe

Without ever meeting me, someone could easily assume I am a very pregnant woman with a planning personality and interest in biblical history. I can’t help but chuckle at Tabs 2, 4 and 7 as they blatantly point to my desire to control the timing of a very uncontrollable situation! For the sake of time and continuity, I will digress from expanding on all my open tabs, but do want to highlight Tab 3 where I first learned about zwischen. According to the author, who is a trained midwife and doula,

“The last days of pregnancy are a distinct place, time, event, stage. It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.”

She goes on to say,

“These last days of pregnancy are a distinct biologic and psychological event, essential to the birth of mother.” 

The birth of a mother.

I’m captivated by this concept.

How many of us recognize the birth of a mother as well as the birth of her child? This article has definitely given me a new perspective on the dichotomous nature of birth since two lives are forever shaped by this event. I can certainly attest to this new birth in my own experience becoming a mom. The “me” before entering motherhood is distinct from the mom”me” I am becoming.

Becoming is the key word here.

I have mom”me” milestones just like my son has growth and development milestones. Right now I am working on the potty training milestone and just like babies and toddlers, I have regressed in my progress at times. As I approach my current pregnancy milestone of zwischen and prepare to welcome this baby, I am also preparing for the birth of my new self with an expanded heart for two. Bring on the birth of this baby and the rebirth of this mama!

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