It’s no secret that I dislike giving birth.
Pregnancy is generally pretty great (although the lack of ankles I’m dealing with right now are less than pleasant) and the mass rush of love once baby is in my arms is pure perfection, but the unknown hours of labor and the whole “giant baby coming out of a too small space” scenario leaves me crying. Literally. Currently I’m on countdown, not to baby’s birth day, but to the day that I don’t have to dream going through labor.
Most of my worry is based in fear …
How long will labor be?
How painful will it be? Is less than last time an option?!?
Will I have back labor? Will my water break first, last, never?
How hard will pushing be? Will I tear? Will my baby get stuck?
Will my baby be OK?
Some of my fears are rooted in reality. I’ve had a really long labor. I’ve had a baby get a little stuck. Some worries are just me being an emotional, crazy pregnant lady. I know a lot can go wrong during birth, but the statistics are in my favor … Healthy mom + healthy pregnancy + knowledgable care provider = healthy baby and fantastic birth experience. It’s going to be that simple. Really. I mean, that’s what I’m telling the fear monster who creeps around all my blissful birth dreams.
Truly though, motherhood is plagued with fear. And I hate it. Because fear takes away joy and when I really evaluate my motherhood experience, it’s full of joy. Fear has no place. So I’m constantly looking for ways to push fear out and invite joy in. If fear has no place, it has no hold, and then, it has no power.
Easier said than done, I know.
For me, that transition from fear to joy is founded in faith. I believe I can birth this baby. I believe our story is meant to be perfectly imperfect. I believe that, before I know it, the worry of birth will be behind me and life with this new little one will be precious and fleeting and all sorts of good.
It takes me being proactive though. To remember all those things. To make them the forefront of my mind. And often, I get distracted and overwhelmed and yes, hormonal. Then all the anxiety comes rushing back.
It puts me back at square one and I know, to enter into birth, I have to choose to be the greatest birth warrior of all time. I have to have faith that I CAN DO THIS.
One way I’m finding that inner gusto is by peppering my life (and house!) with birth affirmations. When I see them, I read them. When I read them, I memorize them. When I memorize them, they become part of my self-talk. Then, instead of saying, “Birth is hard. I’m scared, I don’t want to do it.” I say things like, “I can hold peace and discomfort together with grace.”
I have used birth affirmations is a variety of ways throughout each of my pregnancies, but none quite compare with Mama Natural’s Affirmation Cards. One, these things are beautiful, like little art cards that bring a pop of color to the day. Two, they’re really empowering! And not in a cheesy way. In the way every mama needs as she gets closer to her birth. Plus, there are 50 cards, so when you fall into the depths of pregnancy despair (not like I’ve been there myself, lol!), you’ll have a whole bundle of encouragement to help get you back on the birth warrior path.
I’ve loved dwelling on these calm, engaging affirmations and if you’re expecting, I’m pretty positive you will too. Kick out fear, bring on all the good stuff, and let’s birth these babies like a boss!
Affirmation cards c/o Mama Natural