pregnancy and parenthood

How I stopped fearing childbirth

When I first discovered news of the little miracle growing inside of me, I almost passed out from anxiety at the thought of having to actually deliver the baby. At that point in time, I never, ever, would’ve pictured myself coming to a place of such confidence or excitement about giving birth, but as it turns out, childbirth is not a medical crisis, emergency or ailment. It’s actually quite normal and fascinating. 

700 x 300Granted the society that we live in, we’re bombarded with scary thoughts and images about birth, giving us perceptions of fear towards labor before we even get pregnant. This imagery was so powerful to me that it drained my confidence and overpowered my instincts before I even became a mother. Thankfully, this pregnancy has forced me to confront this fear head on, and I’ve conquered it just in time for little one’s approaching arrival.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I took ownership of my body: I started to give myself more credit, recognizing that women are built to do this. Just as my body was already on cruise control growing this baby, my body will also kick into gear when it comes time to deliver the baby. It’s simply my job to listen and work with my body, surrounding myself with a care team that also respects my body and my role as the mother.
  2. I placed value on my own intuition: There is an emotional and mental strength that comes from one’s intuition. This voice is easily suppressed when we let fear creep in, leading us to doubt ourselves. Once I stopped worrying so much about everyone else’s opinions on what I should and should not be doing, I created space for my own voice to come through. Eliminating conflicting opinions and tapping into what feels right to me eliminated a lot of stress, and thus, fear.
  3. I got off Google and talked to women who’ve been through it: Sure there is always a chance that something can go wrong, requiring medical intervention. Google is a great place to obsess over all these scenarios. Don’t get me wrong, I still Google things here and there, but of greater value, I started asking questions to other mothers. These real conversations opened my eyes to inspiring and empowering birth stories – which explains why women go back and have more babies, putting themselves through it all over again.
  4. I redefined my outlook on labor pain: This was probably the main source of my fear – the pain, and the fact that labor can last many, many hours, if not days. Soon I realized I have been looking at labor pain all wrong. Contrary to pain felt from an injury or illness, the source of pain in labor is not stemming from something bad or something that needs to be fixed. It is pain that stems from something good – pains that signify my body is progressing how it should. It is temporary, and it is purposeful. Understanding that difference shifted my mentality from wanting to run  to wanting to embrace it so that I can meet my little one.

So yes, I am eight months pregnant, and I am actually looking forward to labor. I am counting down the days,  packing my hospital bag, dreaming of my son’s birthday and the story that will come of it – and even better, the story that will begin from it.

I am not afraid, I am amazed.

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