don't be afraid.
know your body.
know your body.
a huge part of being in control during contractions is letting go. don't let their intensity make you doubt yourself -- float above them, but sink into them. give in. have faith that your body is working and contracting not in vain. don't fight against the waves. if you feel fear because of the pain, remind yourself that millions of women have birthed before you and millions will birth after you. that god created your body to give birth. that your pain is for a purpose. know that each contraction brings you closer to holding your precious baby in your arms.
your body will not labor in vain -- even prodromal labor, if you experience it, is preparing your uterus for the hard work ahead. remember in those last few weeks, when you are uncomfortable and tired and just want your baby already, that the day will come, and it will forever be magical to you.
remember that fear creates tension, and tension creates pain. stay completely loose -- your fists, your legs, your arms, your shoulders. when you are laboring hard, the contractions will be so intense that they will demand every bit of your attention. concentrate through each one. remember that they will come in waves -- they will become greater and greater and until they peak, and then they will slowly loosen their grip. relax, though you will want to tense up. breathe, though you will want to hold it in. remember: let go.
as a natural reaction, you will want to tense your body. sort of like... when you are so cold that you can't help shivering, or when you stub your toe and you can't keep from howling and jumping up and down. except it will be harder. of course! but you can do it. you are strong.
do what you need to to keep your body loose. move to the rhythm your body will give you. work with the contraction. give into the contraction. sway back and forth. go on all fours. lean over a table. use low, loud moans rather than high, strained sounds and breathe through loose lips to keep your face from tensing. move your head, shake your hands, roll your hips, put your head back and let the intensity out through your voice. do what feels most comfortable to you. try different positions. listen to your body. breathe. don't forget to breathe. when the wave comes crashing into you and you want to hold your breath, don't. breathe! in and out, with force. send oxygen to your baby. in through your nose and out through your mouth. move and breathe. if something doesn't feel right, tell someone. if you need to move or walk or lay down or not be touched in a certain way, make sure someone knows.
remind yourself over and over that you are made to do this! tell yourself, just a few moments until this one has passed. listen to a song that will give you strength. watch birth videos to give you encouragement. know that if they can do it, you can do it! trust in the strength of your amazing body, and trust in god, remember that god has blessed you with this amazing honor -- to grow, carry and birth a life.
when it gets hard, try talking to your baby. tell her you can't wait to hold her. tell her how much you love and adore her. tell her she is doing a good job and that you are working hard with her. remember that the instant she is born, the pain will completely vanish, lost in indescribable joy and amazement, that your heart will be in your throat as you lift her to your chest and kiss her precious, damp head and breath in the sweetest scent -- a scent that to you, as her mama, will smell stronger than to anyone else in the room. you'll remember that scent forever!
you will think over and over about her birth! the birth she chooses will be a part of her story. maybe not everything will go as planned. maybe it be completely different than what you hoped or assumed -- but that's okay. it's the beginning of her story, and it is beautiful. however it unfolds. embrace it.
after she is born, the days that follow will absolutely be the most beautiful days of your life. more beautiful than anything else you will ever experience. you'll be floating in the clouds! every funny face, every whimper, every cry, every time she is nourished by your body -- you will just fall more and more in love. you will watch her and not be able to take your eyes off of her! everything will mean something different to you. everything will be brighter, more purposeful. you'll feel wiser, and at the same time, like there is so much more mystery to life. love songs will be sung to her. you're just too good to be true, can't take my eyes off of you. you're like heaven to touch, i want to hold you so much. at long last love has arrived, and i thank god i'm alive. you're just too good to be true. can't take my eyes off of you. remember when you are going through the absolute hardest part of labor that you are about to experience the absolute best thing god has gifted humanity. a precious, tiny person that you will love more than anything in the entire world.