Trusting in the process

I’ve come to a big realization lately.

My thinking that our little man would arrive early was primarily driven out of fear. I wanted him to arrive early because the sooner he is earth side, the sooner he is in my arms and the sooner everything is safe.

This fear derived from years of failing to conceive, followed by a successful IVF conception which resulted in an ectopic pregnancy loss. Every time we thought we were almost there, it was taken away from us. Call it PTSD. Call it crazy. Call it whatever you want. The point is: the past few years have been emotionally traumatic.

In the infertility and pregnancy loss community, we support each other, but we also are too familiar with each other’s stories of grief and despair. It continues to fuel our own insecurities. I keep thinking back to a woman I met through a friend a year ago whose son was stillborn. She was due to be induced, but was sent home due to the labour and delivery unit being full. When she returned 48 hours later, their son had passed on.

As I made my way through the 3rd trimester, this story sat in the back of my mind. I convinced myself that my son HAD to arrive before 40 weeks. There was NO WAY he was coming late. There was NO WAY I would face what this other woman did.

In all honesty, I do believe that he will arrive safely. I can’t predict how or when – especially since I’ve turned my intuition down to protect myself during this pregnancy – but I know that he will be in my arms, crying, breathing, eating and being the little human being that we have created.

I feel very fortunate to have many friends in the medical and holistic wellness communities that I can turn to for support. Even though the old wives tales aren’t helping me to bring on my labour, I have been reassured by many friends that it’s completely normal for a first time Mom to go overdue. Since I have zero medical reason for an early induction, our local hospital would not even consider it a possibility until 10 days past my due date. That being said, I know that induction labours can be lengthy, have increased pain and also increase the risk of requiring a c-section. One of my nursing friends highly recommended I wait as long as I can before agreeing to induction.

Tomorrow afternoon, I have an OB appointment. I’ll be 41 weeks. I keep hoping my son will arrive naturally before this weekend, but I know tomorrow is an opportunity to discuss my options with my doctor. I guarantee he will do another membrane sweep and hopefully that does the trick.

My acupuncturist reminded me today that it’s ok to be happy. It’s ok to let go of the fears that have been deeply rooted in me due to past traumas and open myself up to joy and love as we bring our son into this world.

She’s right.

Sometimes when you’ve spent so long being pulled down, you almost expect something to go wrong. It’s hard to let yourself experience true happiness.

As I approach the birth of my son, I’m ready to accept it whichever way its meant to unfold. I will embrace it. I will own it. I will make it the best experience possible for my husband, my son and myself. Although there will always be fear during times of change, I will not let it steal my joy.

We’ve come so far. We’ve worked so hard to get here. We deserve it. It’s our time and I’m ready.

Motherhood awaits me.

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Facing fears during pregnancy after loss

Before we took our hypnobirthing classes, I was struggling with a lot of fear – about the upcoming anatomy scan, reaching viability, etc. Hitting 20 weeks was a huge milestone for me. This timing perfectly coincided with a hypnobirthing class on releasing fears. My husband and I both wrote down a list of anything that was bothering us and released each item through a visualization exercise.

On Monday night, we met with our doula to discuss our birth preferences. I prefer the term preferences because we all know that you can’t plan exactly how your labour and delivery will go.

I told her that my biggest outstanding fear is the potential for going overdue and resulting in a stillborn. I thought this fear might impact some of my birth preferences (i.e natural labour onset versus induction), but that I want to dig deeper into it and try to release it before I make a definite choice.

My doula was very reassuring that fears are a normal process of the journey. She reminded me of the statistics around gestational periods and how we can always use more natural ways to induce labour before seeking medical intervention.

My best friend is due to have her baby next week. She visited her OB this morning to discuss the possibility of induction.  She’s having regular monitoring to ensure that everything is ok.

I reminded her that she needs to trust her intuition. If she feels like anything is wrong, then she should go directly to the hospital. Then I realized, I need to listen to my own advice.

I am a highly intuitive Momma.

I believe that everything will be fine.

I believe that I can have the natural birth I desire if it’s my preference to do so.

I am grateful for every kick my little boy gives me as it reassures me that he’s alive in there.

I am excited to welcome him into our world.

So, I’ll continue facing my fears during this pregnancy after loss, trusting in the process and continually growing as the journey moves on.

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What are your biggest fears? How are you dealing with them?