Fear and Birth
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear should not be our motivator as we bring our children into this world. There are things around us that can cause us fear during pregnancy and birth. Whether our own anxiety, or concerns that arise from shows we watch, stories we hear. OR even our own care providers who scare us with their comments (ie: this is going to be a BIG baby)
What if we use our power (instincts and mind) as mothers, our love for our babies and our sound mind (education) to make our decisions. This will lead us on our path to the best birth we could have. So many stories I could share about this. I will say that I think deep down we have some sort of knowledge of our births, or we can find that if we search and by using these 3 things proactively we can create the best birth possible.
For instance with Devon somehow I knew he would be born at 34 weeks. I had been on bedrest for quite some time and made lots of trips to the hospital for Preterm Labor. A nurse mentioned if I could keep him in until 34 weeks, he would likely be fine! I latched onto that and made that my focus. 34 weeks was my goal. The day before I turned 34 weeks I sent out an e-mail to family and friends saying, my next goal is 36 weeks. The next day (34 weeks exactly) he was born emergency cesarean for nothing related to Preterm Labor. If he had been born then due to PTL I would think I created that by focusing on that date so much. But I think in this case it was a way to prepare me for his surprise birth.
It wasn’t easy to approach my next pregnancy and birth without any fear. But I knew in order to have the best birth possible I had to let go of that. To know and believe this was a new baby and a new birth. I knew my instincts would let me know if there was an issue. I loved this new baby and I educated myself so I felt confident moving forward with my VBAC plans. I used hypnosis to help let go of fears and to really accept that this was a new birth. And it was. J
My friend was past her due date with her 5th baby (4thVBAC) She went in on a Thursday for a weekly check. She was 4cm, the OB wanted her to go get induced. She said, NO! He insisted she go do a non-stress test and she must get induced on Monday (41 weeks), basically admitting it was to cover his butt.
She said, “baby is moving fine and I feel at peace” So she rescheduled NST for Friday. Her intuition said, All is well, she felt strongly that an induction was not a good idea and her “education” supported this and made her feel ok about rescheduling her NST. Baby was born easily early Friday morning. She did not let the OB’s fear color her decisions.
I recently attended a birth as a doula with one of my Hypnobabies Students. She had anxiety about birth in general and that was one of the motivating factors for her to take my classes. The skills she learned and the education she gained helped her to enjoy her pregnancy and look forward to her birth. I found it interesting that she was originally contemplating homebirth, but really felt she should have a hospital birth. I thought classes might sway her the other way, but no, she felt hospital was best for her. Which is important, moms should have babies where THEY feel safest.
During the birth the OB mentioned that the baby may be big and may not fit into her pelvis. This prompted J. to ask about if she did need a cesarean and she got anxious was there anything they could give her. The OBsaid, “Use your Hypnobabies tools, that is what they are there for! Because we can’t give you drugs for that until after the baby is born.”
A short while later an emergency arose and suddenly mom was heading off to a cesarean. While the room around her seemed to be erupting in fear and chaos, I reminded her to go to her special place (a Hypnobabies tool). I felt this feeling of peace and she must have as well, an instinctual knowledge that all would be well. She easily went there (her special place) and stayed calm before and throughout the procedure… though less than an hour before she was worried she wouldn’t be able to stay calm if such a thing happened. The power of our mind is incredible! She stayed calm and focused and was able to enjoy her baby’s birth, though it wasn’t the birth she had planned or hoped for. BTW, the baby was under 8 pounds, size was not a factor in this birth at all.
I can’t help but wonder if deep down somehow she knew that she needed to be in a hospital. I also think maybe all her practice was for this moment. Being able to stay calm and present during her baby’s birth. Instincts are powerful things.
I can’t help but feel this post need some more happy stories. Really while 2 of the births I mentioned above ended in cesareans, they were both medically necessary. But here are some links to some happy stories. One thing I teach in Hypnobabies is surround yourself with positive birth stories, so here are a few of my favorites. There are over 140 positive birth stories on this site.
McKenna’s Birth – mom had a traumatic first birth and used Hypnobabies to overcome fears from first birth and stay positive about upcoming birth.
Aspen’s Birth – Mom and Dad’s point of view and some pictures.
Sam’s Birth – Mom’s 3rd Hypnobaby
It is hard for me to see mothers moving forward like sheep without thinking or using their power! I am quite sure they all love their babies, but if they can understand their power, educate themselves on their choices before and during birth it will help empower them as mothers as well!
My hope is that all women will use their power, love and sound minds to create the births they want and need. I hope we will love and support each other, regardless of the different choices we make. I hope we will be willing to offer information and support in a non-judgemental way and allow women to birth the way they need to.