A part of me feels silly writing this post, because, let's be honest women have been having babies for as long as humans have existed but I also know that there is so much wisdom that comes in the experience of birth and have been asked on multiple occasions to share my experience. With that said...
My water broke at about 6PM on August 24th (her due date!) and she was caught by my nurse at 5:19AM on August 25th! In the time in between, my husband, mom, sister, and best friend helped me through the contractions, reminding me to breathe through the discomfort and relax in the moments of peace. I had taken a bunch of classes beforehand (I'm a nerd like that) but out of everything the three mantras that helped me through it were:
1. There is no where else I need to be
2. There is nothing I need to do.
3. God/The Universe is with me!
These may seem simple enough- and they are, but for the sake of applying this to your everyday life, let me give you a little background. The first mantra There is no where else I need to be came to me after reading the book Mindful Birthing where the author Nancy Bardacke outlines practices to use to support you in being mindful during your labor. One such practice is becoming more aware of what is happening and taking solace in each and every moment. The idea of being mindful during labor scared me at first, and I thought, "why would I want to be mindful of the pain?" But as I reflected deeper, I understood that the invitation wasn't for me to become more aware of the pain, but instead become more aware of the miracle that was happening, the knowledge that the discomfort would pass and that the discomfort/pain itself was a moment I could relish in! I know what you're thinking, relish in the moment of a labor contraction? That sounds crazy! But life itself is no different, every moment is a moment of a miracle that is your life, every moment will pass, and every moment is a moment you can, if you choose to, relish in.
Now to dive into the second mantra,There is nothing I need to do. Again when I was first introduced to this idea in regards to delivering a baby in the book HypnoBirthing by Marie F. Mongan, I was confused! I remember thinking "Huh? Nothing I need to do? If all goes well I'm still going to have to push a baby out of my vagina! What does she mean, nothing I need to do?!" Lol, that's of course the PG version of the thoughts that went through my head. Needless to say, I thought the idea of "doing nothing" was ridicules! But as I read further, I learned that women in comas have delivered babies vaginally. Now, it's important for me to acknowledge that I do know that vaginal births are not always possible for everyone and I am grateful that cesarians exist to keep the baby and mother safe. For the births that are delivered vaginally, I learned that our body knows what to do. In repeating the mantra There is nothing I need to do , I was acknowledging my body's amazing capabilities. I had done everything I could do up until that moment (exercised, ate well, took classes etc.) and now I needed to trust my body. Once again though, you can apply this to your everyday life by doing what you can to prepare while also trusting in the moments that matter the most, that you are built to handle whatever is about to happen!
And for the last mantra God/The Universe is with me...To my surprise, during active labor, I wasn't cursing up a storm like I thought I would, honestly, I didn't have energy to talk at all. During the hardest moments though, I found myself going to my foundation of spirituality and calling out "Jesus!" Although I no longer identify as Christian and believe God is called by different names in different religions, I find the most comfort in my upbringing's name for God- Jesus. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church where people called out when they felt the Holy Spirit move them, responded with "Amen!" when the pastor spoke the Truth, and cried out, "Jesus!" in moments of gratitude and pain. For me, calling out Jesus was just that- me acknowledging and reminding myself that God was taking care of me in this moment of discomfort and for that I was grateful! There was also a surrender here, one that might sound morbid, but my calling out Jesus was also my way of acknowledging that whatever happened, even if I were to die in this moment, God had my back! A long-standing practice I have is whenever I am scared about my eminent death, I go back to the moment I'm in and acknowledge that if I were to die doing X, I'd die doing what I wanted to be doing. This moment was no different. If I were to die giving birth, I would have died doing exactly what I would have wanted to do in that moment, and that in it of itself, helped me relax. So in daily life, whenever you're facing a moment of fear, go to your higher self- God, The Universe, Source, or whatever you call the energy that is breathing you, and surrender. Surrender in the knowing that you are taken care of in life and in death.
Practices for Implementation:
Feel free to adapt these mantras to fit your needs! Post below and let me know how it goes!