I am now 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I feel physically and emotionally ready now to give birth again for the fourth time! I have set up my birthing space at home. I have my crystal singing bowl in the corner of the room ready to be played by someone throughout every contraction…the sound that will be “holding my hand” and keeping me focused as I vocalise through my labour. I have the birth pool blown up and ready to go. I have the “Feng Shui for birth” kit set up to help with cleansing and bringing the right energy into the room. I have chosen an awesome independent midwife who has made house visits from three months into my pregnancy who I have built a relationship with and who I trust completely if it comes to making any big decisions during the labour, birth and with baby in arms. I have had a Blessingway ceremony, had a beautiful henna design drawn on my belly, had professional photos taken and have completely cleaned and sorted out my “nest”.
Yes I have made many conscious choices and some people may believe that because I have “done this” three times “successfully” already I wouldn’t have any fears and all will be well…
Well, they are wrong. I’m only human after all! During this pregnancy I have experienced more fear than any other. Probably because I have read more about birth and heard many more horror birth stories since starting my birthy business, Soundbirth. Because of this I have felt SO grateful and lucky really, to have had three beautiful homebirths in the past but I also feel that if awful things like this can happen to other women then who am I to think that it couldn’t happen to me too!
Here are just some of the fears that have sometimes consumed me during this pregnancy!
-fear that my baby will die
-fear of being transferred to hospital
-fear of having to have a c-section and feeling like I have “failed”.
-fear that baby will be posteria and the labour too painful and long for me to birth naturally
-fear of the pain – especially at the end when I usually feel like I’m going to die
-fear of feeling depressed afterwards and not being able to take care of my family because of it
-fear of having to deal with sore vagina, haemorrhoids, sore nipples…
-fear of being sleep deprived…again!
STEPPING INTO THE UNKNOWN!
What I have realised is that all of these fears come down to the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN! Because the truth is that all of these things COULD happen AND all of these things MIGHT NOT happen. I don’t know…nobody knows… The reality is that the outcome is completely out of my control!!! And we, especially in our society, are not used to feeling out of control! We want to know the outcome, we want to know how to do it, we want to know everything about everything inside and out before taking action…just in case we fail, feel pain, feel stupid and the list goes on. Giving birth though is one of those peak life experiences (close to being faced with death) that can’t give us these answers which therefore forces us to face these fears and surrender to the moment. Scary stuff for any “normal” human being…
EXPRESSING THE FEARS
What has helped me during this pregnancy was that I vocalised my fears in front of my midwife, my husband, my children, my Mum, my sister and the friends who came to my Blessingway. Yes, I cried. Yes, I felt vulnerable and shame even for feeling so fearful about things that I “should” feel confident about since a) I have done it three times before and b) I teach women how to cope with pain etc. using sound through my business!
What I realised though that after expressing and exploring the fears and tears I was able to release them…It was like the fearful thought needed to turn into a sound (spoken words) so that it became separate from my body and mind. From here I was able to see the fear for what it was (a thought) and see clearly why that thought was scary (something to do with a past experience). Only then was I able to step into the spaciousness of the UNKNOWN…because that was all that was left… The “I don’t know” mind. Scary…but SO freeing! In this space I could take a breath and be present in the moment knowing that all I actually can do is surrender and trust that the birth will unfold as it unfolds and that’s that.
If I had held in these fears because I was worried about what others would think of me or if I was afraid that if I voiced them they would come true…I would STILL be holding these fears in my body and mind. I’m sure that like my first two births they would then arise again during labour and birth and afterwards which are really not ideal times to feel be feeling anxious. I want to feel CLEAR before giving birth again. To know that I have looked at all the heavy, all-consuming thoughts and emotions so I can be fully present with my body making space for me to freely birth my baby into the world.
I feel I am ready now to face the unknown… to surrender to the awesomeness of giving birth again.
Bring it on!
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!