"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..
Part 1: Relaxation
Childbirth practices around the world all seem to carry three similar traits, known as the 3 R's. Some cultures lean on one of the R's more strongly than others but in truth, they all work wonderfully when done in sync with each other.
Below are some tips that I have come to find as the most helpful. They all encompass the 3 R's in one way or another:
Let's start with the first R: RELAXATION
1) Setting the stage -- Relaxation looks different from woman to woman. The key is to envision the most relaxing atmosphere that looks right for you -- and make your birthing room like it!
So let's create the ULTIMATE spa day for your birth experience!!
Here are some suggestions to make your birthing space a personalized spa:
a) Essential Oils - Lavender in an oil diffuser (add Wild Orange for an uplifting scent)
b) Dim Lighting and/or LED candles
c) Music - Calming like a spa or motivating like a workout. Whatever sets the mood for each stage of labor!
d) Comfy clothes - You really don't HAVE to wear those ugly gowns at the hospital. Your own cozy robe can help you feel at ease in a hospital or birthing center room.
e) Things that feel like home - Blankets, pillows, slippers, birth art, music, significant trinket, etc. Bring WHATEVER makes you feel most at home. This is YOUR space so make it your OWN. You'll be glad you did!
2) Touch -- A day at the spa wouldn't be complete without a massage now would it?!
You deserve some TLC during labor. Make sure your partner knows what you like and don't like beforehand. Practice techniques and positions that feel the most comforting to you. Soft touch that induces goosebumps increases seratonin and oxytocin, the happy hormones that keep labor progressing. Alternatively, firm pressure can ease those achy spots and feel grounding. Foot massages and acupressure are relationship savers!! Email me for a special handout for your significant other to do on you throughout your pregnancy and labor! Lastly, counter-pressure can ease back labor when nothing else can. It is the #1 mainstay support amongst laboring women.
3) Water -- What spa doesn't have a jet tub option?!
Also referred to ask the "Aquadural"-- it works wonders. Water has a calming effect on laboring mothers. There is just something about water. I have never heard any complaints about water in labor, whether it be by tub or shower. A water birth can have amazing results for minimizing tearing and having a very calm baby emerge.
4) Chiropractic -- Now the birthing team is complete!
A natural modality in healthcare, chiropractic care has been proven to short labor and assist baby in getting into an optimal occipital fetal position for birthing (occiput: head down facing mom's spine). Make sure your chiropractor practices the Webster technique in case of a breech or posterior positioned baby. They will know how to safely and gently turn the baby into a better position in the last weeks of pregnancy.
Speaking of baby's optimal fetal position, practice popular poses like hands and knees, yoga ball bouncing and moving those hips around.
Lastly, PLEASE don't rest in a reclining sofa or chair. The year of the La-z-Boy recliner was a momentous year for C-Section rates and posterior positioned babies.
Read more on posterior babies here: https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/posterior/
There you have it! RELAXATION...Ahhhhh...Now go rest up and anticipate Part 2 to come very soon -- where we talk about RHYTHM.
Blessings to you all beautiful people!
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!!