I was talking with a friend this weekend who is about to give birth to her first baby in a few weeks. I think almost every woman on the doorstep of her first labour is filled with excitement, trepidation and maybe even a bit of fear. She knows that its going to be a very powerful journey, one that will change her life forever and she also knows that it may or may not go exactly as she hopes or plans.
It was during this conversation that I shared with her the things that I had found useful during my labour so I thought I would share them with you too.
About 8 weeks before I was due to give birth I began collecting some inspiring birth, baby and family images and some affirmations that I wanted to use both in the lead up and during the labour itself. I stuck them all to my wall next to my bed and started looking at them everyday.
The affirmations that I chose were:
“Just as a woman’s heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.” Virginia Di Orio
300,000 women will be giving birth with you today. Relax and breathe and do nothing else. Labor is hard work and you can do it. ~Unknown
My body knows how to have this baby just as my body knew how to grow this baby.
Every wave (contraction) brings my baby closer to me.
This last one was written on a beautiful picture of 3 waves rolling onto the sand so I imagined myself looking out to sea watching the waves coming towards me. Every contraction is like a wave; it starts slow, builds up slowly, peaks at its most intense and then it softens – just like a wave. I was riding each wave in my mind and also reminding myself that each wave I got through was one less that I had to do, and that each time I was one step closer to meeting my baby.
I also had the words Surrender and Trust on the wall. If you have already read my birth story post, you will know that my midwife always said “Trust and Faith” Trust your body and have faith in the process. She also told me that there is really not much you can learn in advance about birth [aside from a few great active positions you may want to utilize], you will know what you need when the time comes and your instincts will guide you. She couldn’t have been more accurate. My body was working and doing its thing, my baby knew exactly what to do – I just had to go along with it. It may sound strange, but I talked to my baby while I was birthing much like I had been the whole way through my pregnancy; telling him that he was doing such a great job and that we were working together and that I couldn’t wait to meet him.
On the evening of our birth I also had a picture on my ipad that I had sitting on a little table in the corner which I could see from the birth pool – it was a black and white picture of a couple; still in the birth pool holding their little baby, the mother looked absolutely radiant and the smile on her face was stunning. During the harder moments it was a gorgeous reminder of the journey that we were on and the incredible moment that awaited us.
These images and affirmations were powerful tools that ensured I was in a positive state of mind on the day. I can still remember how excited I was when I woke up the day my labour started; I was filled with an empowered confidence, a powerful inner strength and a lot of trust. Trust in my body, trust in the process and trust in my baby. Everything would unfold as it should.
On the day itself I also used some beautiful essential oil blends that I burned during the labour, some gorgeous candles, a full play list of relaxation music that I had been listening to for weeks alongside some of my favourite albums –as it turns out, my son was born while Angus and Julia Stone was playing.
Just writing this post has excited me once again in the magic of birth – I cant wait to do it again!