Wrecking ball or building tool?
Life is uncertain; there are so many things that we do and take for granted every day. If we really sat down and allowed ourselves to dwell on the fear factors within we would likely find ourselves in a constant state of fight or flight. I don’t believe that pregnancy, labor and birth should be any different from the way we approach any new challenge in our life.
Fear is and can be a healthy reaction; it can save us from getting run over by a car; it can cause us to choose not to walk down a “dark alley” or whatever figure of speech you want to use. If we rule our fear and harness it, listen to it and use it to empower us to make wise choices; we can do amazing things. When fear holds us back and causes us to make mistakes; or miss out on chances in life is when fear rules us. Fear is anchored in the unknown. I believe that when you gain knowledge, you begin the process of harnessing your fear.
Guide as you walk through life
We harness our fears by acknowledging what we truly fear. I challenge you to take a moment and do a personal assessment; what is it about pregnancy, labor, birth or parenthood that hold fear for you. Make a list. As you list your fears, you can then address them head-on with information, options and comfort measures that are available to you. You do not have to conquer your whole list of fears at once, but break it down into smaller, manageable options.
Our fears can guide us as we listen to our bodies. During labor, channeling what could have been fear into a guide can help you remember to use your B.R.A.I.N. during labor. (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition and Need time/Nothing). When our fears control and overwhelm us we can lose focus of our goal, but when our fears are addressed and harnessed, they can help us be wise and reach our goals.
Observing the outcome
Does facing and harnessing your fears mean that you will always get the “birth of your dreams” or that you will avoid everything that you don’t want? No, but you will be equipped to deal with the interventions and changes in your plan as they arise. Having a team around you supporting you and using the knowledge you have gained to assist you to make the best choice for you will make all the difference in how you feel about the outcome of your birth journey… or really any challenging event that you face.
First look, first step to the next chapter
During my years as a doula, I have seen both happen during labor and birth. Seeing the euphoria on a mother’s face as she views her baby and exclaiming, “I did that?!”is such a special place to be… THIS first look is better than the “first looks” at weddings. Being a witness and support as daughters become mothers and mothers become mothers over again is such blessed place to be. No matter the path your journey takes you on, being empowered through harnessing your fears and using them as a tool will change your outlook on the journey.