What Will You Think About?
Fear in pregnancy, fear in labor. Fear about the postpartum.
Don’t get me wrong. Fear is a real thing we can feel. It’s absolutely something that can and does impact us, and can keep us up at night. It can keep us from moving forward. Its grip can be so intense.
Many of us have had past situations, traumas or even may be in our first pregnancy. Things can feel uncertain. Unsteady. And we feel afraid.
Some of the roots of our fears can go down so deep. So deep in fact that when we are challenged to move out of fear, we can become offended, arguementative and even angry. “If you understood my WHY for this fear, you’d never tell me I could possibly NOT struggle with it.’ We try to justify why we have to continue to hold it in our hands.
But what if I told you, you can let go of it? You absolutely, truly can. And that it would actually be to your benefit.
When we are in fear, we can’t operate in faith/love. It is not possible. It is truly not even a thing. When we are in fear we aren’t walking in love.
What does fear do in labor? It changes the cocktail of hormones. We can enter fight or flight instead of having oxytocin flowing (oxytocin being the love hormone). We can close up instead of relaxing. We fear which causes tension which causes pain. And the cycle repeats.
But what if we could trust the process of birth? It’s a normal, natural process that we have been taught to fear. We have been taught its needs to be managed. We are taught that it’s dangerous. We are taught that we aren’t capable. But when we go in with fearful thoughts, we can sometimes end up creating an outcome we didn’t want.
Again, fear from society, fear within ourselves, fear from past experiences. All real. All things we feel. And how can we stop the cycle of something that feels so real. That we have believed for maybe sometime, possibly our entire lives?
It’s so simple that it’s not. They key is to think of what you WANT to have in your pregnancy, labor and postpartum. That’s it.
But how? How can those simple words change a huge moment such as that when you literally give life to your precious child?
Neuroplasticy. Whatever you think about becomes the easiest to keep thinking about. You create neural pathways in your brain every time you think about something.
So? What will you think about? I chose to think about the birth I wanted. Every night before I fell asleep I thought of how it might look. With my first VBAC, I didn’t know how it would look. Because I hadn’t ever done it. But I chose to think of how it might look and how I might feel. The joy. The excitement. The redemption.
I thought about this over and over and over. I rehearsed it in my mind. Whenever I had a negative thought during the day, I would quickly divert my attention back to the birth I wanted to have.
I also spoke out loud affirmations. I used Bible verses. I said I was strong.
I remember having my last prenatal with my doula. We sat around the fire pit talking about my birth. By this point, I had visualized so much and I had said so many affirmations, that I totally and completely believed I would have the birth I wanted. In fact, I told her just that. That I was firm in my want and belief for my healing birth. And that no one could convince me otherwise.
I have read and talked to people who had really amazing stories about their health. They healed from things doctors said wouldn’t be possible. And they did it with meditation and visualization.
So, yes. Fear. It’s real. And it can be fed. It’s meditation upon something which has not yet happened.
So why not use that same energy and meditate upon something which has not yet happened. But think about what you really want. What’s beautiful. What’s amazing. The birth that you dream of.
You hold more power than you realize. Not just in birth, but in life.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Philippians 4:8