Facing, working with, and overcoming your fears.
Pregnancy is a power period of preparation. For you, your body, your baby, your family, your home environment, your work and social life, your spiritual understanding and your personal growth in becoming the Mother. And the thirty-something weeks most of us are allowed for preparation is usually just enough to give us time to educate and enjoy; and likewise, just enough to have us fully ready to be done with this. Maybe it’s getting uncomfortable; and more than likely, we just can’t wait for that baby to be in our arms rather than our belly, and pressing against our chest from the outside in, no longer the other way around!
For now, you’re still on planet Earth and the intimate intensity of birth has not yet begun. But it’s close. So no matter how much you try to think about something else, I know, you may very well find your mind wandering back to birth. It will happen soon. And no matter how excited you are, how filled with love, how well prepared and educated you have become, many of us still have some questions left unanswered. A whole bunch of “what ifs” and “what about…” Well, my dear ones, what can I say except welcome to the wildest ride of them all, rift and riddled with secrecy, the sacred, and ambiguity. You will never know it all any more than you can plan and prepare fully for its unfolding, as so much of birth is beyond us – a part of the bigger picture, a higher realm. No matter how many births you have, or a doctor “delivers” or a nurse attends or a lay midwife witnesses, birth is and shall remain one of the deepest, wildest mysteries we may ever encounter and experience.
That said, for most of us, preparation is part of our responsibility – and knowledge, or rather, understanding of the unfolding of birth (and wisdom, skills and experience to assists us as need be) brings us peace of mind. And peace of mind is one of the greatest things we bring with us into the birthing arena. And so we strive to understand birth as fully as possible, for with knowledge is empowerment, and with empowerment is confidence – including the confidence to completely let go.
And so, for now, let’s cover a few more things that may serve to secure your choices in your heart and mind, and increase your confidence in the understanding of this incredible journey ahead.
First I want to talk about fear. No, I’m not going to avoid this topic, tempting as that may be. And I’m not going sugar coat this, down play it, deny it or pretend it’s not real. As you remember from our earlier work with Personal Growth and Well Being, emotions are real. And emotions are better handled by addressing with honor and transparency, by confronting head on when possible (with support and compassion as needed), rather than brushing these feelings under the carpet. Those emotions left tucked under the carpet tend to be the very issues that come out at the most inappropriate times. And birth is one of the best! So, let’s take care of what needs to be looked at now, with clarity and care and love.
Most of us have fears. Likewise, many of us avoid fears – or at least, choose to avoid the confrontation. As in, maybe I can fool myself, right? Wrong. Our deeper self is never fooled for long. So sometimes life (and birth) is not progressing without fear, but rather, progressing with an understanding of fear.
Assuming you may have had some fears during your pregnancy and preparation for birth, one of my goals in working with you here is to help you comfortably address and alleviate any remaining fears. What we’re working on together here is to educate and empower, which in turn allows you to often conquer, and sometimes simply become comfortable with your fear. For sometimes, it’s not a matter of “getting over” or “doing without,” but rather learning to live with.
Let’s start by openly discussing any fears you may be harboring.
- What fears, if any, arose when you found out you were pregnant?
- How about in the early months?
- What fears to you carry of the birth process?
- What fears do you carry for motherhood?
- Do you carry the burden of fears for your partner or anyone else attending your birth?
- Where do you carry your fears, or where do you physically feel them?
- What fears outside of the birthing continuum are you carrying?
- What fears have you recently knowingly confronted and overcome?
- How have you done this?
- What can we do to conquer those remain fears?
- What fears have you brought with you from childhood?
- Do you carry fears from previous births?
- Do you carry fear from previous life experiences?
- Do you carry with you the fears of others, shared through their stories and “advice” and words of warning?
- Look deep in your soul and see what fears penetrate there? (hint: many of our fears remain on the surface – simply in our thoughts)
It is through the process of education that we often begin to overcome fear. Because usually what we fear is the unknown. Though it may be ripe with great mysteries, birth is not an unknown. It is a normal, natural, healthy occurrence that women have been doing as long as we have been on this Earth. Yes, within birth there remain many unknowns. We will never know it all. But we can know your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions. We can know your fears. And we can look at them clearly, face-to-face, with honor, directness, love and light. In the process of exposing fears, bringing light to the darkness, there is a powerful release and relief. There is also strength and power that comes understanding that which we’ve been avoiding, ignoring or not seeing clearly. Therefore, even for those questions that you may not find the answers for, simply understanding the question can bring clarity, and be empowering. So, let us look at common fears and shine light on these dark places within us, if these are lurking somewhere within you. These are the three most common fears of birth:
Pain is one of the most common fears for women.
Safety is one of the most common fears for their partners.
Well being of the baby is a matter of concern for both.
So, let’s look at these three topics and do all we can to see what questions you have remaining, what we can do to find you the answers or at least a comfortable understanding. Through education we empower, and through empowerment we overcome fear. Sounds like some super hero bionic strength task, but it’s not. It’s simple. It’s easy. I’m here to help you if you need it, and I know you can do it.
So, over the next few days, let’s look deeply at each of these fears. Shine light on the darkness. And find answers, or at least understanding, to that which may have been secretly feeding your fear.