Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Positive Birth Support

As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy (24 days til my official EDD!), I am realizing, once again, how important it is to surround myself with positive, supportive energy. The end of pregnancy is often the toughest time, at least for me. After 37 weeks of sacrificing my mind and body to grow this little person, all I want to focus on is how amazingly excited I am to finally be able to give birth to her, and meet her. This is a time where I want to focus all my energy on preparing for the birth, surrounding myself with people that support our choices, and doing things that make me happy.

(37 weeks)

So with that in mind, here is a funny story to think on today: A friend of mine was visiting another friend at her apartment yesterday. Apparently the upstairs neighbor was in labor, and birthing at home. They could hear everything going on upstairs; the low, guttural moaning of a mother deep in labor, the swish-swish of the birthing pool, the loud cries and instinctual yelps, as she went into transition, and the final howls and groans of pushing out her brand new baby. My friend said she was almost in tears, just envisioning the whole, beautiful process,and the strength the mother must be feeling having just been thru that spiritual journey. The other friend who was there hated having to hear the whole thing, complained about how loud and annoying it was, and said, "Thank God I don't have to do that--I get an epidural!"

This is exactly the contrast of opinions I hear constantly from mothers around me; at the park, at church, on T.V., at the library, standing in line at the grocery store.......
Now, I'm not saying who is right or wrong, but I am saying that when you've made such an important choice for your life; something that is deeply meaningful for you and your family, it is really nice to be surrounded by people who understand, who embrace our experience, and who support our visions of a natural childbirth. (and we are grateful we don't live in a small apt complex!) So for these next few weeks of pregnancy, I just wanted to share some things that help me stay positive:

-Get together often with friends or family who support our choices 100%, and who love us and know us well.
-Talk with my husband frequently about the little details of our birth.
-Don't accept unsolicited advice from anyone, who doesn't support our choices. (this might mean telling someone to back off, nicely and firmly)
-Read uplifting, and inspiring books about birthing women who have gone before me.
-Practice visualization and imagery of our ideal birth experience.
-Watch natural birth videos, which make me cry happy tears.
-Simplify my life--eliminate negative things or people that may bring me down.
(ie..Stay away from the lady at the library who tells me a horror story about her daughters birth, every.single.time. I check out books.)
-Only share personal information with people I know will be supportive.
-Be humble and understanding of those people that just don't get it, but be sure to speak up, or educate when necessary.
-Continue teaching our kids about the natural birthing process, so they don't grow up confused. Also, prepare them for the reality of the birth. (Micah has me practice my loud noises so the boys know what to expect.)
-Hang up favorite quotes and scriptures that uplift and inspire.
-Think about holding, snuggling, and loving our new baby, any time soon!

Top picture: we tied strings around our wrists until our friends baby is born, with a special blessing in each, that everything will go well.
Very bottom: A onesie I decorated for a friend. Puffy paints rule.


Katy said...

This is beautiful Sally - just beautiful! I add my positive energy and support to you and your family for this birth. I felt like I had to crawl into a hole when I was pregnant with Liza because we met opposition 95% percent of the time when it came to preparing for our homebirth, but oh, to see this amazing list of happiness just brings me joy. Thank you! I can't wait to celebrate this birth with you. Until then, treasure these last few weeks of pregnancy!

arianne said...

Many of my feelings exactly. You've been a great source of support for me. I hope I can be the same for you!

redrockmama said...

I love the onesie!

I saw your favorite quotes around the house...very uplifting and inspiring!!

Our groups of friends are the only people I can talk to about natural birth; my entire family thinks I was nuts for doing it without medication. It was the most transforming experience of my life; I wish every woman could experience the rush of euphoria, confidence and empowerment!! And the LOVE!!! I would never choose to do it any other way. GO SALLY!!

tracy said...

Oh, Sally! I am so excited for you to birth this precious baby! I love how you write your thoughts and feelings and you express such deep and tender emotions. Birth is transformational, at least, it can be. I have been thinking of you a lot and sending you wonderful birthing energy.

Love you!

Sally Jackson said...

Thanks friends for the "positive support!" I am starting to get really excited about having this baby! I look up to all of you for inspiration.