Preparing for Birth: Facing My Fears
I have hesitated about posting this, but finally decided it’s worth the risk if it will benefit others. Hopefully it will. I wrote the following at the prompting of my doula and have been meditating on and praying through it. I don’t usually give caveats to my posts, but please… be nice. I don’t need criticism or horror stories right now, I need encouragement, support, and positive words. Each pregnant woman faces childbirth in different ways and has different desires and expectations. Mine is but one of millions.
Also, this is obviously about childbirth. So… don’t keep reading if you don’t want to. You have been warned.
I trust my body and the God-designed process of birth. As I concentrate on relaxing, I can feel my body opening up. I visualize my cervix opening, making way for my baby. Each wave is a sign of progress — one step closer to meeting my precious baby boy. As I visualize my body opening, I see a flower opening, as if in a time-lapse, in my mind’s eye.
My body is connected intimately to my mind. As I release my fears, my body is more fully able to do the work God created it to do. I am at peace and trusting God for the outcome of this perfectly normal process. An important part of the mind-body connection is recognizing, facing, and releasing my fears ahead of time.
The fears I have for the birth of my son include
1. Labor starting with my waters breaking in some inconvenient location such as the store, church, the car, etc.
Though I know only about 10% of labors begin this way, this may be my biggest fear. I am a planner by nature and appreciate some advance warning. I recognize that I have no control over how and when labor begins. The first signal is exciting. However my labor begins is the best for my baby and me.
2. Labor lasting for days.
This fear stems from worrying about running out of strength and energy and the possible consequences. I will refrain from watching the clock when labor begins. Jeff can track times for reference. Early labor does not count toward the time of the real thing — active labor is what really counts. I will focus on the moment I’m in while in labor rather than on what may be ahead. My body and my baby will take all the time they need for a successful birth.
3. Throwing up during labor.
This is a mild fear based on a friend throwing up with every contraction when her daughter was born, and my own vomiting from extreme physical exertion (usually accompanied by extreme heat). I am not afraid of throwing up at some point in labor, only of continuously experiencing it. My body will retain all of the fluids and energy it needs to birth my baby.
I refuse to be influenced by the culture of fear surrounding childbirth that has become so prevalent in our culture and society today. I look forward to rather than dread the birth of my baby.
I am not under the illusion that childbirth will be easy. Quite the opposite! I know it will take a lot of hard work and, accordingly, I am working now to prepare for it, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I want to work with my body, not against it, for labor pains are pain with a purpose. What a great reward awaits at the end!