Thursday, March 26, 2009

What If

As I was doing some dishes this morning, I was reflecting on the UCAN meeting and other birth stuff. I was thinking about myself a year ago and the affirmations I had written out for my birth; I got to thinking about "what ifs." When you plan a UC, you run into all kinds of "what if ____ happens?" comments.

I once found a list of "what ifs" on a forum or mailing list that I feel pregnant women should seriously consider. I can't find the original list, but I thought I'd put down here what I remember, and some I've added. I think we sometimes forget that these scenarios are just as or more likely than the ones we normally hear about.

What if...

  • my baby lines up in the most ideal birthing position?
  • my body goes into labor exactly when the baby is ready?
  • my contractions are effective and move the baby along exactly as they should?
  • the sounds I make accentuate the power of the contractions?
  • my cervix thins and opens at just the right pace?
  • I find the best position to labor and birth in and the movements of my body amplify the effectiveness of the contractions?
  • the people and scene around me are full of faith and confidence and support?
  • the cord is tucked close to the baby and out of the way?
  • I get enough rest between contractions that I can handle the next?
  • I am up to the challenge of each contraction? what if I am strong?
  • my perineum is strong and flexible?
  • the baby's shoulders turn to be in the best position to slide out?
  • the baby is aware and has no problem with the transition to the outside world?
  • the baby latches on perfectly and suckles well?
  • my uterus claps down quickly and effectively to push the placenta out?
  • the placenta is birthed whole and is healthy?
  • the birth is pleasurable?
  • the birth is empowering?
  • I find a strength in myself that I never knew before?
One year ago, I was still not in labor, though I was "overdue." I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated with that. Frantic and stressed, I wrote on a forum about how anxious I was to birth and that I was past 42 weeks. I was reminded to be calm and relax and welcome the baby. I received priesthood blessings reaffirming that I would have my baby in my arms soon. McKay and I spent those last few evenings before Margaret's birth lying on the floor listening to meditative music. I took warm showers and McKay gently combed my hair. Also, to prepare for my labor, I wrote out some affirmations that I read to myself. When I was in labor, McKay read them to me. They are personal, and I'm afraid that they show my weaknesses. Pregnancy and labor can be vulnerable times. Still, I'd like to share them just in case some of you pregnant women would like to hear them, too.

I am a good person. I am already a good mom. My birthing and parenting choices are made with God as my center.
I am strong. My body is physically ready and able to birth. McKay believes in me. God believes in me. Christ believes in me. I love myself and I am not afraid.
I am beautiful. My body is beautiful. I will not interfere with my body's birthing abilities. My body knows how to birth. God made my body in His image.
I will be comforted. Angels will lift me up.
I forgive myself. I am made to do amazing things. I am a leader. I am wise.
This home is safe. God, McKay, the baby, and I are a family- no one else's opinions matter.
Fear is not a good enough reason to do any thing.
This birth is in God's hands. It will be beautiful.
I am brave. I am calm. I am amazing.
"In All Her Power" by Cary York, watercolor


  1. Thank you for sharing your affirmations---they really are a personal thing. Even though I haven't written out my own since I listen to the Hypnobabies affirmations track (which you can borrow sometime if you like---I might even be able to email you the mp3---not sure how to do that exactly, but Josh says it's possible, so I'll figure it out.), when I listen to those affirmations, I still feel ways to apply them personally to myself and how I feel about pregnancy and birth. They really have empowered me. It makes me think about how affirmations really can help us in any situation when we could be confronted by fear---maybe before a big test at school or starting a new job or standing up for some political or civic issue...could be anything, really. Hmm...I might try that.
    I also enjoyed your list of "What if's"---so true that when we focus on the positive, the negative possibilities don't even seem like possibilities anymore because we have faith that the positive will happen.
    You're great. :)

  2. Those are beautiful affirmations! Often women forget that childbirth isn't supposed to be as scary as we make it out to be. Fear is often what drives us to make decisions that we regret, in childbirth or otherwise, so I loved that affirmation the most.

    I agree with Jamie: you are great!

  3. yup, I'm one of those pregnant women who needed to hear those affirmations... thankyou!

  4. Thanks. I am 13 days past my due date. My other two were 10 days and 7 days late. I didn't get discouraged about being past my due date with them, but since I hit 11 days I have felt so tired, and have started to doubt that I should just let my body take its own time, but I know deep down that is what I want to do. So thanks for sharing.


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