"We have no idea what we are doing..."
The moment a woman is pregnant, I SO wish she received a special download into her brain of all the things she needs to know going forward from this moment on. Wouldn't that bring such peace and understanding to the situation? Me, oh my!!
My Backstory: In 2010, I was a newly pregnant single woman on the verge of chaos, not knowing what my future would hold. Fear flowed through my entire body for days as I scrambled to read, research, and refine this new state of existence. So much to think about, so much to do!!!
Today: As a woman on the other side of pregnancy and birth, I am deep in the trenches of motherhood. I must be vulnerable with you and admit that on some days, I feel like "my self" has returned! And I can confidently conquer any animal cracker that gets thrown my way. I am Wonder Woman!! ->
But on other days, motherhood can be dreary, dreadful and downright powerless... when all I can do is lay on the couch with my kids and let them watch whatever they want for a few hours until nap and/or bedtime. This mommy'ing thing is TOUGH ladies!
Encouragement: I'm here to tell you that you are DEFINITELY not alone - Your child chose YOU to be their mom. That is saying A LOT considering they could have chosen anybody else in the world...but they wanted you to be their mommy. What a privilege and a blessing...
But let's be honest, LADIES --
We have no idea what we are doing.
Seriously! Us moms are just wingin' it and praying we don't don't cause too much damage to our kids. But take heart, dearest one. We are imperfectly human... In time, our grown-up children will understand that mom's human nature and love is what nurtured them to the best of mom's ability.
If I had a few TIPS to give you dearies, they would be the following:
(because I know ain't nobody got time for a long-winded blog) ---
1.) Use your breath to carry you through each day...hour...minute...second -- Breath is there to hold you, keep you level-headed, and secure. Use it often and deeply! Yoga with Adriene helps me connect to my breath.
2.) Use your intuition. TRUST that it will guide you. Ask your intuition for guidance, new perspective, anything! Like a mama muscle, intuition gets better and stronger with use -- it's your wise inner bestie!
In closing, I wish you beauties the Best and Highest Good and Blessings for you and your precious families.
Lastly: Just like traffic, so it is with raising littles --
There is chaos, impatience, and frustration but one thing remains: We are in this together..
We all know that childbirth can be a lot of things. Women experience it in a variety of ways. Ideally, we would all love to embrace the journey and come out on the other end triumphant and empowered by the thrill we just experienced. But just HOW does one power through the intensity of labor, with the grace of a gazelle and the strength of a lion??
Here are 7 tips to help you discover ways of surrendering to the tidal waves of labor and birth.
1.) Address anxiety
Everyone knows that anxiety can render someone in an emotionally catatonic state. During pregnancy, it can dramatically escalate. So find ways to understand where your anxiety derives and how to keep it at bay, even if it's just for the time being until you have a baby. There are many great resources out there for you to explore: counseling, support groups, Byron Katie YouTube talks, meditation, visualization, etc. Remember, anxiety is fear about the future and depression is fear about the past. The happy medium is right in the present moment. That's where you will find your answers within, in stillness.
2.) Root into affirmations and truth
Hypnobirthing is a common birthing method that includes birth affirmations. Customize them to make them yours. Write them on note cards and recite them every day until the big day. And then you can tape them around your laboring room for inspiration when you need it most. This will enhance the truth you find and know inside. Rooting into something positive and encouraging can be just what your mind, heart, and body needs to come out of labor and birth in a joyous way.
3.) Address fear
Oftentimes fear plays a big part in childbirth. What we must understand is that even though fear will never go away, we do have a choice of how much of it will play out in our lives. It will always be a battle to our dying day of choosing love or fear.
Have you ever had a conversation with fear? I do this exercise with clients who have a lot of anxiety. I will ask them to write a letter to fear and it helps in those stressful times. A letter may go something like this:
I know that we have had a long relationship with each other. Thank you for being there to keep me safe at times. I have appreciated your comments, whether they were true or not, and you have served a purpose in my life. However, during this special time in my life, you don't get to run the show. You may stay outside of my space for the time being and look from afar but you are NOT allowed to be part of this labor and birth. This is a joyous part of my life and I am looking forward to all of the love and surrendering I will be doing. You will not be needed at this time.
4.) Examine thoughts
Thoughts play tricky mind games on us. Fear lets us think many crazy things. Believe it or not, but those thoughts are NOT YOU. You are not your thoughts! We create suffering when we attach to our thoughts as if they were truth. But you get to decide what is truth because you have a beautiful choice with every thought.
When thoughts of failure come in, know that this is coming from a part of you that wants to sabotage your efforts. Think of them like voices from a bad little angel on your shoulder. Tell him "thank you for your comment", flick him off and start listening to the "good angel". Call her the Holy Spirit, intuition, your conscience, whatever she is to you. Any thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure of heart, and trustworthy are the ones to follow. TRUST that they will lead you where you need to go in labor.
This, my dearest, is mindfulness. And remember, practice makes perfect.
The voice you listen to most will win!!
5.) Address intimacy/vulnerability
Let's face it, birth is probably the most vulnerable time you will ever have in your life. Your body and heart are displayed out there for all to see. If you struggle with intimacy and vulnerability, as most of us do, I urge you to check out Brene Brown on YouTube or through her books. They contain an oasis of knowledge and truth for you to discover. I would love to expound upon vulnerability in a later blog because it deserves its own space. It is a wellspring to healing and extraordinary breakthroughs!
6.) Root into what creates peace
Prepare for birth by creating a spa-like atmosphere that works for you. What would you want on a relaxing spa day? Foot massage? Soft smells? Calm music? A beautiful scenery? The goal of a childbirth laced in letting go will consist of all of these and more. Seek out ways to make your ideal spa day possible for your baby's birth day. Your baby will thank you (eventually)!!
7.) Repear steps 1-6 until STILL
Having peace about your journey into motherhood is quite a feat in and of itself. Nobody is perfect and many times we will never fully get the experience we desire. But I love what Bobby Unser said, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet."
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about this blog post!! Shoot me a comment and let's start a conversation!!