It makes me sad that when we think of birth – the images that quickly come to mind aren’t happy, empowered and joyful. A disservice our modern day media has “gifted us” where we can easily share and perpetuate even more fear and distrust of this beautiful process.
The beauty and power of pregnancy and birth blows my mind. From the tiniest, most complex ingredients- that have to be perfectly timed and in harmonious circumstances (with all odds of those coming together at the same time and place are astounding) the sperm meets the egg. And from that recipe of remarkable DNA coming together, a tiny human begins to grow. That’s your new baby.
A new baby that you nurture with your emotions and body right from the beginning. Are you creating a safe space for her/him to live in? How does it “feel” in there for them– safe & wanted? Your baby, that you feed on demand, develops with every nutrient you take into your body. Every hose pill supplement and Oreo cookie shake directly impacting the growth and development of a human system from brain to toenails. Your body moves its own organs up and out to accommodate the physical growth of your new baby. Your body also grows a placenta – an entire human organ that will release out of your body when it is no longer needed. If you weren’t aware of it – you have a new super power – you grow humans AND extra organs. Men cannot grow either one! (they do have a significant role in the “magic coming together- egg meeting sperm part” however). You – your body – solely gestate, care and nurture another human being into existence for 10 months (40 weeks = 10 months). And then – when the timer is up, your body goes into labor and releases your baby.(and against popular norms – no one stays pregnant forever, babies always come out) We as human beings have done this for millennia and it is nothing short of a miracle.
Why then do we worry about this process so much? The same process that grew us into who we are. Birth is the common denominator between all of us – our belly buttons serve as a reminder that we all came in the same way. Do we fear the pain? Do we fear the unknown? Do we fear the stories we have burned into our brains? Or do we fear the fear?
One of the main components for not fearing birth or harboring fear around it, is to understand fear and where it comes from. Once we figure out how to make fear work FOR us, not against us- things shift.
We are born with fear. Some fear is inherited, passed on through our genes from generations before us (but that post is for another day). The remainder of fear is a unique guidance system that protects us from things that could harm us. If we didn’t have fear, we would trust the unknown and could walk off a cliff without hesitation. Have you ever seen a baby who has a floor bed? They inch to the side, feel the drop at the edge and scoot back. It’s awesome to watch because it shows how instinctual the guidance system is built into us. Fear is the internal radar system of personal self-protection. It will stop us in our tracks until we find the safety we need to survive.
When we shift that power from “freeze” to “flow” – that’s where the magic begins.
How do we befriend fear?
One of the skills I learned late in my own pregnancy is what I call “thinking reset.” It’s an undoing of the story that we have in our minds around certain things. Thinking reset can also be “unbrainwashing” ourselves. The reset happens when we begin looking at the fear with an open mind. In the previous post, you may have already started a list of fears and where you feel them in your body.
HypnoBirthing helped me unlearn and reset a lot of stories that simply weren’t true for me. I hadn’t even given birth to my baby yet so why was I letting someone elses experience with their own unique experiences shape my new one? I learned to let go and create what I wanted instead of what I feared. I still use those skills today. Am I perfect at it – no way. But my life is 180 degrees different than it was ten years ago and so much yummier. Fear shows up to let you know what you need more insight and education around – that’s true in ALL aspects of your life but we are just going to talk about birth right now.
If your fears are “learned” fears (things others have said, movies/tv shows, friends stories) – resets are pretty simple. If these fears stemmed from “lived experiences” (meaning you have fear because it personally happened to you) then sometimes you may need more talk or processing around it with someone who is a birth professional, a therapist or depending on what it is, possibly a trauma therapist.
Action Step: State what the fear/concern is. Write it down and why you are scared of it happening. Then then figure out what you would do if it did happen and write that down. (Who would you turn to? What resources and support do you and your community have available? What changes would happen in your life if that fear showed up?)
Once you are able to unravel the fear and get it to a basic form – it’s now not so big and can be dealt with simply. Some fears are a quick reset as you demystify them. You may find that after you write things out, creating a backup plan for that fear if it were to happen, takes the sting out it and it simply drops out of site. LET IT GO…YOU HAVE A PLAN JUST IN CASE..MOVE ON.
When you think of YOUR baby’s birth – picture what you want and what your baby would want. The feeling in the room is always within your control – in fact, it is the ONLY thing that is within your control. The majesty and the power of your body and how this baby (babies) are working together in perfect synchronicity is unexplained. Be in awe of that and honor it. Your fears affect your baby and their birth. Reset what you don’t want and get support with things that seem overwhelming. Birth is a natural process and there is no need to overthink it. Gather education around birth and make fear your friend.