“Rather than succumb to your fears, get to know them intimately, in this way you can accept your fear and move on.” - Krystal Bernier
I am so excited to be pregnant and creating new life. It truly is the most amazing experience I’ve had in my life thus far. With only one hitch, I have been terrified of giving birth.
Before I started my quest to learn everything about labor and delivery, the pictures Hollywood painted of painful birthing experiences tormented me. I was convinced labor was going to be an unbearably painful and bloody experience. I would arrive at the hospital panicked. I would be whisked away in a wheel chair to a sterile room where I would be forced to lie on my back as doctors and nurses watched, probed, and continuously monitored me. I would be forced to take pain medications, contraction enhancing synthetic hormones, and finally be sent off to surgery to have a caesarian. My heart was full of fear and I dreaded the day I went into labor.
As I’ve been progressing through my pregnancy, I’ve asked questions about what to expect on that beautiful day my little baby comes into this world. Other woman’s stories have painted a different picture of birth. They are stories of bravery and love, tales of beauty and sacrifice. Most women spoke without fear of their experience and told how proud they were that they overcame the pain of childbirth and welcomed their mini-me’s into their arms. They depicted an experience that was out of this world.
I was shocked, amazed, and heartened. Could this be, is there really nothing to fear? Can I do this, can I manage the pain, and can I have the birth I want?
Talking with others about their experiences gave me hope. So, I started researching. I watched documentaries about all different types of birthing experiences. I read about the science of labor and delivery. I learned about the hormones involved, how nature intended the birthing experience to be, and how animals in nature react to observation during labor.
From all my reading, listening, and learning I realized, nature is smart, she knows what she’s doing. A woman’s body is built perfectly for having a baby. She is programmed with a finely tuned hormonal balance that allows her, in some cases, to even experience pleasure during birth. A woman is strong, she can do it, she can overcome pain and bring a new and glorious life into the world.
Rather than succumb to my fear, I gained an intimate knowledge of that fear. I learned so much about my fear, that I lost the panic that sent me reeling into an abyss of “I Can’t”. I have gained strength from my knowledge and I forge ahead with a clear mind and an open heart.
I know I can do this, I know I can give birth to this baby, and I know it will be the best day of my life!
What technique do you use to overcome your fears?
Photo by José Manuel Ríos Valiente