LET IT GO | Be In Full Control of Your Thoughts and Beliefs
I was scared of birth. Actually, the words terrified, paralyzed, and petrified might be a better use of language. I wanted a lot of drugs – I love drugs, I love hospitals and all the drugs. BUT – a cruel joke from mother nature had me allergic to the drugs in the epidural. Whaaaaaaa???? I cried for two weeks. I had to face my fears head on – fear of pain(I‘m a wimp so I was sure I’d die from the pain), and the fact that I wasn’t capable of birth and neither was my chubby body. I KNEW it was going to be impossible. All of us would die, the room would implode and all of us would just die. Birth was going to end it all. Wow – dramatic but the fears were real.
Faced with the choice of inevitable death and leaving my new baby and older adopted daughter without a mother to raise them – I was forced to explore other options for birth. Through that dark and lonely tunnel of fear – I discovered that I was way more capable of changing things up in my life than I previously thought. As women, we carry all of our “beliefs about how safe the world is, who and what we can trust in life” into our pregnancy, labor and birth. I explored where those beliefs were seated, how they got there and why I had chosen to keep them alive in my life.
I discovered that I have full control of my thoughts, beliefs and the way I “take in” or perceive each outcome in my life(this goes for more than just pregnancy and birth). HypnoBirthing was the foundation of this learning and growth for me. It reset my life and dumped my belief system about my body on it’s ass. I have HypnoBirthing to thank for the beginning of my new life as a doula, childbirth educator and single mom. In these parts – we have coined our birth classes, “HypnoBirthing for life” because the exploration into self and parenthood goes on forever.
Why do birth and fear seem to always be in the same sentence? It’s because we are no longer exposed to the human birth process. It’s one of the greatest disservices we have done to ourselves. In the “olden days” we lived close to our nuclear families, birthed our babies at home and raised them together with our village, tribe or town. We watched our mothers, our sisters and our aunts cope, moan and move through birth. We saw the skills, tools and the strength of a woman in her most powerful and vulnerable state. Birth is raw, amazing, simple, hard and sexy all at the same time. My friend Haize Hawke told me once that “Birth takes us to the edge of ourselves.” Yes it does. And not just natural, un-medicated birth – ALL birth, in all its forms and variations. To the edge.
As a birth educator – I listen to fears and worries from parents on a daily basis. A lot of the fears are fed from the media, TV and movies. The rest are “gifted to us” through our friends and family. It’s not nice what we do to each other. We spoil beautiful moments with our negative words, personal stories and hearsay with what can be the most empowering time of a women’s life. And if we really backup a bit – this is a new, tiny humans FIRST life experience. We should show love, support and compassion for this baby and help to create a safe space for him or her in which to enter the world. What are we thinking?
How do you change things up?
Thinking Idea: Get curious about where your thoughts and beliefs come from. What comes up for you when you think of the actual labor and birth part of this process?
Action step: Write it down. Write EVERY thought, feeling and fear down. Look at the words and thoughts you wrote – what feeling comes up in your body with each fear and where does it sit – do you feel it in your throat, your chest, your belly or really low, almost below your belly. See where you carry the burden of these fears in your body. I know I am sounding REALLY hippie right now – but trust me – it’s how we begin to let it all go. Record all of this and start to explore where these beliefs and fears came from. Wayne Dyer calls them memes. Memes that have run your life – good or bad – they have run your life.
Birth is natural, normal and common. It’s ok to be hesitant – it’s new and you’ve never done it before. Be willing to give up the scared part and replace it with confidence in what nature does every day. You are nature.