As my due date approaches I find myself in a completely different headspace than my first pregnancy.
I had a scheduled induction (which I didn't end up needing) and the day before I was set to deliver I was an inconsolable mess. I couldn't even get on the phone to talk it out with my mom or husband. I just cried. Literally, all day.
In my defence, if I even need it, giving birth for the first time is an insanely looming task to which you ultimately know nothing about (until you've been there and done it).
There is also this silly reality that people you encounter throughout your pregnancy love to tell you their delivery horror stories, and it really doesn't set a positive tone for the experience. So the unknown and the gruesome stories took its toll on me and sent me on a trip of worries and fears.
Panic set in, full force and all the sudden I didn't think about things like what her hair or eyes might look like, I just desperately wanted a healthy baby and a healthy me at the end of the wild journey.
I know my hormones played another big role in my emotional breakdown that day, as they were in hyperdrive (since I ended up going into labour that night). So raging hormones, unknowns, fears and worries meant breakdown. The realization when it was all said and done? Our bodies are nothing short of miraculous and giving birth is nothing short of pure magic.
It became clear to me that childbirth and the experience of labour is entirely based on perspective.Is childbirth everyone's definition of beautiful, definitely not. Was it mine? Absolutely.
It is in my nature to see every "bad" situation with rose coloured glasses. I see the lessons and the learning (everyone knows how much I love learning) and I get excited about its purpose along my path. And in that way I was able to see the beauty in childbirth.
My first delivery experience ended up going really well. I had my husband and my mother with me (the two closest people in my life) and a great nurse who I easily communicated with. I remember feeling empowered, in control and confident. And oh the wash of emotions when I held my baby girl for the first time. Woah, a whole new meaning to the word love.
So let's fast forward 3 years and after lots of learning about my role as a mother, a wife and my connection to my inner self I find that I am genuinely looking forward to my next delivery day.
Now I feel ready.
I have continued to develop as a person along my path, my relationship with my partner has only grown stronger over the years and having a successful delivery under my belt is just the icing on the cake. I have made empowered choices about my pregnancy and birth plan and feel confident that this experience will be just as beautiful if not more!
I've studied the teachings of Gurmukh and hypnobirthing, I have a midwife team who I feel connected to and comfortable with and I am over the moon excited to have an opportunity to deliver at the Toronto Birth Centre.
Other than the rough start to my pregnancy, damn that first trimester, I have felt great. I stopped getting sick, I stopped getting migraines and had the chance to thoroughly enjoy our last summer as a family of three. Zinnia and I went on countless adventures, to many cottages and spent lots of quality time with family and friends. It set a wonderful tone for the transition to a family of 4 ahead of us. We were conscious of what was ahead of us, and soaked in every last drop.
Over the last few months I dove deep into hypnobirthing. Listening to podcasts, reading the book and meditating to the music. I've been practicing my breaths for each stage of labour and couldn't feel more confident that our baby, my husband and I will work together as a team to bring him into this world, peacefully.
I've designed a pack of mantras which I'm reciting daily in preparation of a positive and relaxed mindset. My husband has done his hypnobirthing research and is fully supportive in our plans and we are completely on the same page.
I am nothing but the vessel to which our son will enter this world. I have complete and utter trust that my body grew and carried this baby for the last 39 weeks and will undoubtedly know how to motion him out when the time comes.
Hypnobirthing has squashed all birthing horrors for me, and has taught me so much about the process of delivery. I will pass along its powerful message to everyone I know in a hope to positively impact their birthing experience as much as it's impacted mine.
From conception our bodies know what to do. Hormones shift, organs move, muscles relax, and our bodies do it entirely on their own. Over time, labour shifted to an experience where women are told they needed to practically force a baby out, with excessive pushing while lying on their backs and its truly counterproductive to what's actually happening.
Why would our bodies know how to do everything in regards to conceiving and growing our babies, but not know how to finish the job? Silly, right?
When we tense up our whole bodies to push our babies out we clench our uterus, cervix and birth canal. We pulse cortisol through our bodies and we prevent them from naturally using its surges (contractions) to motion the baby downward.
In hypnobirthing we use a deep level of relaxation, allowing our bodies to surge naturally (contract) and use nothing but a focused and inward directed breath to assist in what it already knows how to do. It's a beautiful concept that once I dove in, made so much sense.
So now my family and I wait for my body to tell us when it's time and we will embrace my final delivery together. I will be sure to report back more on our experience with hypnobirthing, the birth centre and the birthing tub which I'm really psyched to try!
I've got my happy place, my team, my oils, my stones, my music and of course my body and my breath. Bring it on labour, I'm so ready to work alongside you and smooch that precious baby of ours.