I Was Scared to Give Birth
When I was 33 weeks pregnant or so, I had a prenatal appointment with my lovely midwife at our local birth center. I don’t remember anything about our visit except that I started crying while talking about the upcoming labor and birth. I was scared. I scared to give birth.
And when she asked me exactly what I was afraid of, I told her that I was afraid of dying. I remember trying to explain to her that I wasn’t really afraid of for real dying, but I couldn’t quite articulate what I meant.
I didn’t have the wherewithal to dig deeper and I honestly can’t remember her response to what I said.
I must have let it go, or dismissed the thoughts but I have never forgotten that moment as it is burned in my pregnancy memories.
I believe there was a small voice, deep down that was trying to prepare me for the journey ahead, calling me to take the journey. That voice, or that part of me that knew that there was a journey ahead and that there was a death involved.
There was nobody there to prepare me, or to explain the journey to me. I didn’t know what was coming and that I would indeed die.
But there I was, pregnant and crying because I was afraid of the death and I didn’t want to go through with it. I wanted a way out.
Don’t misunderstand me – I wanted to be pregnant and have a baby – to love a new person, my little miracle. But I wanted out. I didn’t want to let go of the safety which was in being pregnant.
I knew how to be pregnant, I didn’t know how to mother, to transform from a maiden. I didn’t know how to let go, to delve into the unknown.
“On some level we know that undertaking this journey will change us at a core level, and therefore our relationships, and this is a kind of psychic/social “death.” We fear death, even physical, social, and psychic little deaths.” ~Pam England
Birth Art: For Those Scared to Give Birth
A few weeks later a good friend of mine asked me if I had drawn any birth art, as I had asked her to draw a pregnant self-portrait. I was excited to try this as a I was feeling a tiny bit scared to give birth and I knew that fear would only hinder the birth process.
I had the image in my mind. It popped into my head and I was excited to get it on paper.
I saw myself alone, naked, belly bulging, walking up to a yellow, sandy cliff overlooking a barren desert.
You could even hear the sand crunching underneath my bare feet – dry, rough and untouched. I walked to the edge of the cliff, opened my arms wide as white feathers appeared. Feeling the warm sun on my shoulders, I lifted my eyes from the dusty ground up to the blue sky.
I easily took a few steps and then leaped off the cliff, arms still open wide and eyes looking forward.
That right there is the birth art I drew and now forever burned in my pregnancy memories.
For a list of more birth art prompts check out my Birth Without Fear blog post. It’s SO good!
How to Cope
Another thing to try if you’re scared to give birth is to take a Birthing From Within childbirth class.
In most of my childbirth classes I do specific exercises that address fears and how to work through them. I highly recommend it!
Everybody has at least something they’re hoping to avoid and a Birthing From Within childbirth class has the tools to get you through.
Ready to Give Birth
Somewhere in those few weeks after my prenatal meeting, after my birth art, I decided that I would put my breast plate on, turn the Rocky theme on and do this thing.
Something changed inside of me. I decided to answer that call. To say yes.
Say yes to what, I wasn’t sure, but I was ready to take my leap of faith and step into the unknown… doing the best I knew how, putting one foot in front of another.
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I have heard it all my life,
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.
There’s no safety in that! ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer