A Good Time To Be Born

A Good Time To Be Born

Fear is a virus – so easy to catch – and when it runs its course it can be debilitating.  I often write songs about overcoming fear because it is a message I truly need to repeat over and over.  It makes me feel empowered to sing from the perspective of a fear-junkie who has beaten the bug.  My own lyrics – these words were gifts to me, wrapped in a melody – they only ever make it to the stage if they bear repeating.

Something new that I am learning about fear: it’s one thing to fear for yourself and it’s another thing to fear for your child.  For the first couple of weeks that I knew I was pregnant Randy really wanted to keep it a secret, just in case it didn’t work out.  This was how we were advised and it seemed like wisdom.  So my first experience with pregnancy before I could talk about it openly with anybody was fear.  That first fear, the fear of miscarriage, in that early stage makes it hard to celebrate the good news.   Then came the paranoia.  Addiction to Google searches can put a pregnant girl’s fear on steroids.  People love to tell their horror stories, they love to judge and warn to spread old-wives-tales and rumors, maybe even with good intentions.    It’s enough to make even a healthy person feel like a crack addict.  Everything that touched my lips, my skin, even fumes in the air made me worry and I found myself constantly typing every worry into that little Google box.  Sure enough almost all of it came back with a big fat red NO as an answer.  I was so paranoid about doing things wrong that when I first went out with my friend Shelly and told her the news she was like “Girl, you’ve gotta get excited about this – you seem so stressed out!”

Finally I called a friend who is a midwife and she kindly stayed on the phone with me for over an hour as I raked through a list of questions and worries.  She eased me back from the edge.  A week later when I met my midwife Joanne she worked a few more knots out.  Her philosophy is more like “Unless you are actually doing crack, drinking a pint of whiskey a day or living on Mountain Dew and Ho Ho’s you are not going to kill your baby.  Just try to make the best choices you can each day and remember that stress and worry is just as bad as junk food and diesel fumes”

As my pregnancy progressed I have learned to listen to my body more and focus on adding healthy things, instead of freaking out about avoiding unhealthy ones.  But there is another fear, a deeper one that has surfaced lately in my dreams and journaling.  The fear of bringing a child into this world.  I think this one got me young and planted its roots pretty deep because it is a big part of the reason I have waited till I was 35 to even seriously consider having children.

From my teens until around the time I turned 30 I thought the world was spiraling downward.  Watching the news like Theoden watching the orcs storm his stronghold, white-faced, saying “What can men do against such reckless hate?” (Lord of the Rings) I think I have been waiting for the world to end in a terrible way.  Then in the last few years I have shifted to a longer view of things, in both directions of the timeline, past and future.  I have started to realize that for all the horrors of this current age, it is no worse than it has ever been.  Even Jesus said there will always be poverty; there will always be war.  People will always be inventing new ways to be cruel to each other.  And though it doesn’t take away the pain of it, it is no longer such a shock when horrible things like school shootings and bombs at public events happen.  There are stories of snares in every “safe” place.  I cannot keep myself safe or predict what tragedies might lie in wait for me in the future.  I can only plant seeds each season, walk in the direction my feet are pointed, trust God, and not let fear rule me.

My favorite verse in the Bible, and I say it every time I feel afraid, is “God has not given us a spirit of fear.  He has given unto us a spirit of power, a spirit of love and a sound mind.”

So I am writing a new song.  Right now the chorus goes something like this:

“I believe it’s a good time to be born.  I believe it’s a good time to begin.  I believe it’s a good time to start over again.”

It’s not profound, but it’s important for me to say, if only for my own mental health.  I need to repeat the words that remind me that this world is full of hope in every direction.  It always has been.


About ebirdsays

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Nationally-touring band, The Ragbirds. I was born in Buffalo, NY, followed a boy to Michigan many years ago, then decided to stay. I live in Ann Arbor with my husband Randall (he plays in the band too), my daughter Aviva and our cat Bhya.

8 responses »

  1. I can relate to these fears you have, my one piece of advice that has helped me overcome fear is to live day by day, moment by moment. God gives us daily bread, not weekly, or monthly. To have peace one day at a time seems like the way God intended it.

  2. Thank you for sharing you honest words and thoughts Erin. As a mother I can so relate to these fears of raising kids in this world, but like you, I’m so thankful for God’s promise of us having power, love and a sound mind. Keep telling yourself the “Truth till you believe it!” Hmmm, that sounds like some lyrics from a really good song I’ve heard! 🙂

    As a doula, I smile big because it sounds like you have a great midwife caring for you. I think it makes a big difference in a woman’s pregnancy journey when she has people who will listen to her and encourage her and tell her that pregnancy and birth are normal and beautiful. You are going to be a wonderful mama! See you in Chicago in June!

  3. The only thing I see wrong with this most beautiful and honest statement is the part where you say your lyrics aren’t profound. They most definitely are! Cheers and good luck in overcoming your fears and sharing with more than your closest peeps! Thats courageous. Good luck to you in family life. It will be rich In sure! Your thoughtfulness in undertaking such huge responsibility in motherhood is for lack of better words…just great!!!

  4. My wife and I just attended the e-bird and friends family show at the Ark…..my 15 month old son loved it!!
    I can totally relate to your fear regarding raising a child in this day and age….it seems as though things are getting more dire day by day. In the face of that fear , my wife and I did decide to have children anyway….and I’ve come to realize that my son will undoubtedly add to the wondrous side of this world and help offset the evil that is glorified by the media at every turn.

    We need more good people like you to have babies!!

    • Thanks Jimmer! That’s a great perspective to add – the untold value of adding a good, kind-hearted person to the population. Thanks for your comment!

  5. I’m so glad you quoted that bible verse in the end since I kept thinking it while reading your post. it’s ironic that your midwife’s name is the same as mine :-). Just ease up on the worry and stress, keep close to the Lord when you do have fears and all will be well. we love you and pray for a happy healthy baby! please keep us abreft of any news and know that are always in our prayers. much love from Vegas!

  6. Dear Erin,

    About fear, Eye think you know how Eye feel about the powerfully, profoud, “Brave New Beat”! : ) Hope you will Eyenjoy ~Flying with the Seegulls~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTF-LIOxxgs ~ Not Eyexacly what was Eyenvisioned, but without any planning, close enought to make me wonder if We should think of it as premonition or Deja Vu? Either way, it’s a Loop of !nspiration that Links back to you >+=> Thank you for !nspiring flight! Please let Us know yOur thoughts ~

    Angelic LOVE! GOoD Dawn!

    JS : )

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