As many women feel before giving birth, I was nervous about the unknown that lied before me. In recent doctor/midwife visits I was told the baby was approximately 8 pounds 14 ounces, give or take a pound and still growing!!! My thoughts always drifted to the question, “How will this baby get out?”
My mind would play over and over like a tape recorder all the unsolicited stories told to me over the years about the labor being “agony,? or the constant suggestions to “Definitely get the epidural!” I even recalled a comedy skit where they compared the birth and delivery of a baby to a watermelon coming out of a garden hose! Oh, how that comparison sent chills through my body. From discussing this with many friends that have or plan on experiencing pregnancy, I learned being on the receiving end of all these horror stories is common place. And ironically, it seems that women tend to be the perpetuators of these types of warnings and negative experiences to each other.
I knew going into my pregnancy that I would not welcome needles, being operated on, etc. My entire life I have had phobias of all these things. So believe it or not, the epidural was not even something I considered for fear of the needle involved. So I began to focus on alternate strategies to ease my worries and nerves.
I began to believe in my body. I believed and still do that a woman’s body was created to give birth. We seem to forget this, and unfortunately, I have found that there is not enough support for women to help them have the confidence in this simple fact. If you go into something with a negative attitude, well then chances are your experience will be negative. On the flip side to this, if you believe in yourself and see the whole experience of giving birth as a positive one- your experience will be better for that.
I used simple methods that helped me to give birth completely naturally, two times. I meditated. Under the suggestion of the Lamas class I attended, I brought two pictures to meditate on. I brought an intricate picture of a butterfly and a picture of The Statue of Liberty. I focused and studied these pictures through my deep breathing and the contractions. I did not focus on the contractions. I used visualization techniques to bring my minds eye and focus some where else. I brought my own cd player and had beautiful meditation music playing the entire time. I focused on the roses on my feet. I had my blanket and pillow from home. I wore a pretty pajama top and beautiful flip flops. I did not just lie on my back and focus on my body going through uncomfortable changes. I focused on everything else, but me. I never referred to what I was experiencing as pain. I refused to give that word a life.
While I am not trying to advocate for natural birth, and I do not shun the use of “pain management,? I just want to put it out to the women of the world, “Believe in yourself and the beautiful ability that your body has to bring life into this world.” While Cesarean Section is necessary to some births for the safety of the mother and child, it is too often used to avoid the experience of giving birth the way nature intended it. It seems it is even pushed by medical field. Perhaps it is because of the increased malpractice that is being experienced and/or the convenience of this procedure. Too often mothers request Cesarean even before the due date because of fear or because they have been put into a position where they focus on negative, don’t believe in themselves and their body’s ability to give birth.
Expectant mothers should prepare themselves by getting educated, and months before giving birth the mother should enroll herself in a birthing class. There are several options out there. There are hypno-birthing classes that focus on teaching the mother meditation. The power of the mind is an amazing thing.
Believe in the possible- not the impossible! Giving birth is the most wonderful experience.