During my pregnancy, I was obsessed with educating myself on that scary thing called birth. I read every possible book I could get my hands on, watched birthing documentaries, did Hypnobirthing and the SheBirths online course and worked with an EFT coach and Chinese Doc and what I learnt shook the very notion that I had been lead to believe - birth wasn't scary. Women's bodies weren't faulty and incapable of birthing their babies! I was flooded with knowledge from midwives to obstetricians, from birth support workers to other mummies who had survived the trenches and learnt that my body was more than equipped to birth my (big) son thanks to an incredible host of hormones, pain inhibitors and muscles, all I had to do was trust in the process, not rush it, develop a self-care practice (that would support my mind and body) and just breath - literally just breath!
And I did just that. I knew that if I was to be successful in having the birth that I wanted I needed to have a strong visualisation practice, one that was forefront and centre in my house so I wouldn’t forget. I took inspiration from the Hypnobirthing affirmations, mainly because they as they are well studied and reported as being incredibly powerful in assisting with eliminating pain, fear and improve birth outcomes significantly. The birth affirmations I chose became the cornerstone of my practice and I set about designing a series of Positive Birth Affirmation Cards that resonated with me, tweaking and blending together the ones that felt motivating and emotionally supportive. There was, of course, some key requirements that I had to meet when designing them; they had to be large enough to see from a distance (and in the dark), modern, sexy and as my mind works in pictures they had to express the type of movement and progress each positive birth affirmation and hypnobirthing affirmation was expressing.
I hung them around the house and would stop and look at them every time I walked by, was stretching, cooking or meditating and when my labour day came referred to them constantly. They worked a treat!
So on the 22nd May 2018 my baby arrived (weighing 4.5kg) exactly as I had been visualising in 6 hours, (2hrs of which were active labour), with no drugs or medical interventions and in the dark comfort of my living room (yes planned).
It was focused, calm, at times funny (read Ina Mae Gaskin's Childbirth book and you will learn that smiling and singing does wonders for progressing labour) so much so my midwives had a hard time trying to work out if I was in established labour or not and for the most part pain free - sure my hips cramped with every contraction and yes when Charlie got stuck and had to be pulled out that sure hurt, but I was in control of my pain, I had a remarkable tool to bottle it and turn it down - it helped that I knew I was safe and the pain was not life-threatening - I even had the most incredible 25 mins sleep (proper snoring) just before he started crowning.
I truly believe his birth would not have been possible if it hadn't been for my dedicated meditation practice, two incredibly devoted and skilled midwives and a Doula (omg ladies get yourself a birth coach, so so so helpful!), my strong and supportive husband and my Positive Birth Affirmation Cards.