I hope you enjoy this blog from Jaimie Schrock as much as I did. She is a dear friend and a treasure in the birth and VBAC community.
Fears. The what if's.
It would be one thing if all we had to worry about was ourselves.
But, there's this precious baby. This fresh new life. That deserves the best. And we love this little one more than our mouths can form the words to say.
You know this love, if you have had a child before. It's unspeakable and it grips your heart in ways you would have never imagined and could have never understood before.
When you choose a VBAC, it's choosing to do something different.
Most doctors, most mothers have been familiar with 'once a c-section, always a c-section."
No one really remarks if you choose this.
However, for those of us who have or will choose to do something that's outside of the norm, many can question us and we can question ourselves. Especially if you have had two or more c-sections.
I can't do it.
Or worst case...I rupture?
But I'm here to tell you...YOU NEED TO GET RID OF FEAR.
Well, we know that fear can be good. It can alert us to dangerous situations. That part of us is a good fear that was created in us to protect us. But this attacking fear that can strike our minds day and night, that is not a good fear.
Can I explain further? If you have chosen to birth by VBAC, I am assuming you have researched, you have thought. You have thought deeply. At one point in time, you decided this was the best thing for you, and for your baby.
And if you are like me, you prayed about it. You asked God what He wanted for your birth. You waited for an answer and when you received it you had peace. That passes over your mind and understanding.
Why Do We Need To Get Rid of Fear?
But what can we do when it prowls around us, wanting us to succumb to its temptation?
They promise us control. That if we believe them and worry with them, somehow we may prevent something from happening or if it does, our being afraid may make it better.
But those, dear readers are lies. Lies we were never meant to believe. They steal from us and nag at us. We were created to live in freedom and be at peace. When we do our best, making our best choices in childbirth and most especially when we ask God and pray about our situations, we can in fact have that peace that passes all understanding. That we have a loving God. That He is there for us. And we can trust Him in whatever we face. In birth. And in everyday life.
Your pelvis feels so loosey goosey that you’re afraid that when you get out of bed in the morning, you will land in a big pregnant heap on the floor, completely unable to support your weight any longer.
You pee every 12 minutes during the day and every 54 minutes during the night.
Everyone wants to tell you horror stories of their own births or tell you what you should and shouldn’t do for your birth.
You have hot flashes.
Getting dressed makes you short of breath.
Strangers try to make small talk and ask about your “due date.” You are not a library book.
You are always hungry but yet always full.
You cry over big things, small things, and sometimes nothing.
Fluids are leaking from places they usually don’t.
Your back hurts.
Your feet are swollen.
You have heartburn.
You don’t sleep.
I know, mama. I know. This pregnancy stuff can be HARD, especially at the end. It is doubly hard at the end.
But you know what? You can do hard things. I believe in you. You are strong. You don’t need to be rescued from this pregnancy with an induction. You can get through this. Plan some fun things to distract yourself. Seriously, spoil yourself rotten….massages and pedicures and haircuts and shopping. Eat good food, drink lots of water, rest when you’re tired…take naps! Cherish these last days of wiggles and kicks and bumps and hiccups in your belly. You will be missing them soon. Trust. Trust your body’s design. Trust the process of birth. Fear has no place here...only joy, love, peace and trust. Know that waiting and letting your baby choose his/her birthdate really is the best for both of you. Know that both your body and your precious baby were fearfully and wonderfully made. Trust that there is a purpose to every part of this process...that it was designed by a God that loves you more than you can fathom.
Hang in there, mama. Your sweet baby will be in your arms soon, I promise. You are amazing. You were made for motherhood.
As I was scrolling through my facebook feed while my kids played outside after lunch today, I ran across this cartoon. It seems absurd, doesn’t it? Who in the world would think of trying to induce a chick hatching? But that scene right there is reality in our maternity care system and our culture, friends. And that leaves me wondering: Where has our faith gone?
When God took that rib from Adam and formed it into Eve, breathing His breath of life into her, she become the finishing touch to His beautiful masterpiece. When He created her, He intended for her and every woman after her, to be the vessels of all future new human life. He built within our bodies everything needed in the complex process of bringing forth new life. Does that give you goosebumps? It does me. Women, and only women have the great privilege and honor of taking part in creating life. God uses us to create a miracle. Again, goosebumps.
Now, look again at that little comic after reading that and let me ask you: Why do we trust the design of animals more than our own? Do we not think our Creator is capable enough to get this one thing right? Do we not believe that we are more important to Him than any other creature? Are we not told over and over again in the bible to trust God and to not be afraid?
There is great joy and freedom to be found when we know and understand our value, worth, and unique design on this earth and place our faith and trust fully in the Lord...in every area of our lives, including childbirth.
Dear Sisters, you were made for motherhood.
Pregnancy and birth have so many emotions attached to them. Excitement. Doubt. Anticipation. Love. Contentment. Discomfort. Happiness. Worry. Joy. Fear.
There is a lot to be afraid of for any mom. And even more so for a first time mom, having never experienced all things motherhood before.
It's normal to fear childbirth. Especially in our country, where women stop eachother in grocery stores to share their birth horror stories with eachother. Our country, where childbirth costs more than any other country in the world, but doesn't have the improved outcomes to show for all that extra expense. Our country, where many doctors and midwives practice based in fear.
This fear is doing none of us any good. It's turned a normal, natural, God-designed process that can and should be beautiful and joyful into a cold, sterile, medical procedure wrapped in fear.
Sometimes, bad things happen. And it's awful and heartbreaking. But, letting fear of those bad things take over, steals the incredible potential there is for joy, beauty and love in childbirth. Fear is a dirty theif.
Don't let fear steal that from you, friends. You deserve love and joy and beauty.
But what about Eve? Didn't she ruin it for us? Isn't childbirth suppposed to be awful?
Birth is supposed to be hard work. I will never tell a mom otherwise. It is powerful and intense and a lot of work. But, that hard work doesn't steal the beauty and joy. Fear steals it. Childbirth can be both a lot of intense hard work and incredibly beautiful and joyful. We just need to kick fear to the curb.
*Give your worries and fears to God through prayer. Ask for His peace to fill your heart. (Philippians 4:6-7 ~ Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.)
*Claim the power you have through God to cast out fear. (2 Timothy 1:7 ~ For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.)
*Trust God's plan, not only for you, but for your baby as well. (Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.)
*Stand on God's promise that you can do ALL THINGS with Him. (Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.)
*Support. Find a provider who does not fear birth. Hire a doula to guide, educate, and support you on your journey.
It is my prayer that moms release their fears to The Lord, embrace their bodies' design, trust God's plan for them and their children, and reclaim their births.
Amber Piller - Professional Birth Doula and owner of Agape Birth Services. Serving Northwest Houston including Jersey Village, Cypress, Tomball, Spring, and Katy Texas.