Everyone needs to take some time to rejuvenate their spirit, no one more so than you, the expectant woman. Preparation for birth usually includes reading books, attending childbirth classes, and hearing countless "birth stories." Unfortunately, while preparing you for the physical nature of birth, some of these preparatory exercises can also cause uncertainty with regards to your ability. If we were all surrounded by positive thoughts and words of encouragement, our fear and doubts would be greatly diminished. The reality is that we get bombarded with phrases like, "Labor is the most excruciating pain you will ever feel," "You are crazy to think that you can give birth naturally," or "I had a 48 hour horrendous labor and pushed for 4 hours before they had to do an emergency cesarean to save the baby…just get a cesarean right away." How can you not doubt your abilities?
Regardless of whether you desire to birth naturally or with medication, the important thing is that you need to examine your sole for what you want from the birth experience. Do not look at birth as something that you cannot do because it is too difficult. It is a challenge, for sure. For some, the challenge is getting through early labor without medication, for others it is getting through the entire labor and delivery. It is about setting goals and working towards those goals, whatever they may be. Below is a compilation of empowering quotation to encourage you to go for it…your ideal birth. Whether that ideal is reached is not the victory, the true victory is the lessons learned along the way that enrich your life forever.
" People do not lack strength, they lack will. ~ Victor Hugo
" Energy and persistence conquer all things. ~ Ben Franklin
" A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.~ Patricia Neal
" We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. ~ Marcel Proust
" You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
" Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly higher than if aimed at an object on level with yourself. ~ Joel Hawes
" Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ~ Ambrose Redmoon
" A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. ~ Walter Gagehot
" Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been erected to a critic.~ Jean Sibelius
" You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. ~ Ziggy
" Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, there you long to return. ~ Da Vinci
" Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength. ~ Ralph Sockman
" To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour. ~ Robert L. Stevenson
" The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. ~ John Ruskin
" Energy is the power that drives every human being. It is not lost by exertion by maintained by it. ~ Germaine Greer
" Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress. ~ Nicholas Murray Butler
" You can have anything you want--if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose. ~ Abraham Lincoln
" Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals. ~ Sydnes Smith
" Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch--what makes you go beyond the norm. ~ Cicely Tyson
" If you want to touch the other shore badly enough, barring an impossible situation, you will. If your desire is diluted for any reason, you'll never make it. ~ Diana Nyad
Be sure to share these positive thoughts with your partner. He needs to find strength and confidence for his role as your support person. His task, too, can be frightening and that fear may be the source of any lack of confidence he may have in your abilities. Invite him to share in this preparation for birth. If he is not willing or able to meet you where you are and encourage you to go where you want to go with this birth, then you may wish to have one more support person, or doula, with you. It certainly does not make him less of a person, he just may need something different to help him process this life altering event. He may not be able to give to you emotionally what you need to achieve your goal. Therefore, find someone who can, but do not exclude him.
Each of you should sit down separately and write on paper what it is you want from the birth experience. Individually examine what you personally want, what you want from your partner, and how you envision working as a team to achieve both of your goals. When the goals are similar, it makes for a great team. When the goals are vastly different, you may want to have a third person who can help both you and your partner have the experience for which you hope.
We cannot complete a marathon without encouragement and support, both physically and mentally, and neither can we hope to reach our goals for birth. With positive thinking and unending encouragement, we can go farther than we've ever imagined.
Be mindful and set your intentions toward the type of birth AND parenting you wish. This is a great beginning and will point you in the right direction.