Here are some of the Affirmations I've been telling myself, since I got this wonderful list from Mani. Hope they are helpful for Soon-to-be-Mommas out there.
Childbirth is a normal, natural event
-This one is really important for me to keep reminding myself of. I'm constantly battling the outside forces that are the family and friends concerned about a home birth. I know that hospitals are for sick people, and I am not sick. I'm pregnant. There is a difference. Before I was even pregnant, I assumed I would deliver in a hospital setting without pain medication, but after a great conversation (a.k.a. Real Talk) with some friends in Seattle I started thinking about my hypothetical pregnancy and delivery. I know a lot of things in the medical industry are helpful in the short term but often destructive in the long term. I also know that there is a need to be saved or rescued when in a hospital setting. I think the long term affects of hospital birthing are catching up with women and their self awareness, self trust and self faith. Women have been birthing for what the last 200,000 years? and in the last 100 years we've made cesarean sections (A MAJOR SURGERY) a normal procedure for birthing?! Women laying on their backs to give birth, because they can be monitored better?! Unnecessary tests that often result in false positives; causing mother's and father's alike to feel the often unnecessary pressure of a rushed or "emergency" delivery?! All of these occur routinely in hospital deliveries. And I, do. not. want any part of it.
A GREAT book for any soon-to-be-mom, or woman thinking abut getting pregnant is The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer it talks about all of the above issues so much more eloquently than I ever could.
It is safe for me to do things differently
-Same as above. It is safe for ME to do things differently, or not the norm. (see: hospital births). I am healthy. I am aware of my body and what it's capable of. If I was not healthy my midwife would not allow me to birth at home. She would be supportive and possibly act as a doula for my birth, but I would not be able to birth at home if I had certain medical conditions. I also have enough respect for my body to know that if for some reason I couldn't deliver naturally at home, I would have a better emotional birthing experience at a hospital or birthing center where I would have the necessary support.
Another great book for birthing (in any setting) is Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England
My baby and I are working harmoniously together
-After talking with Mani at our last meeting, she described the actions my baby would take during childbirth. She talked about how the baby would position him or herself and twist and turn at the end to come out correctly. These are called the cardinal movements. I had never heard of them, and assumed my body would be forcing and shifting and moving the baby into the necessary positions, but really the baby is going to be working just as hard as me to come out safely, and this is comforting because I really do have a partner in all of this.
I am strong, healthy woman fully capable of birthing and breastfeeding my baby
-I think there is an obligation for women who decide to have children to be responsible and sacrifice the comforts of their normal lives to breastfeed. I know not all women agree with me. I know some women really don't produce enough milk because of outside circumstances. I know some women don't have the support necessary to breastfeed. But after reading about the effects of formula, I refuse to use it. I will sacrifice the comforts of my body and normal schedule to breastfeed. I will produce enough milk to feed my child (or I will find other supportive women willing to share their milk) and I will do what is healthiest for my child, and I will do all of these things with the support of my Husband and family. Here is a great link to information on formula and breastfeeding: Click Here.
My body knows how to give birth and I will let it
-This goes back to the whole natural-ness of birthing. Just like my body knows how to breathe, or get sick, or go to the bathroom, my body knows how to birth. If it didn't I wouldn't be pregnant (and I would accept that of myself and my body and respect that). However, I am pregnant, and just how my body knew how to get the baby in, it will know how to get it out.
I am strong and I can let my contractions be strong.
-As explained to me by Mani, Contractions will NEVER be stronger than your body, since it's you and your body producing them. If I hadn't read this or thought about it in this way, I really might not be able to mentally deal with the pain of contractions (and, who knows, I still might not be able to deal with them) but having it explained in this way has eased all my fears of how painful the experience will be. I know I can handle what my body does to me, because it's me and my body doing it.
I know I have strong opinions and I know some people might not agree with them, but I hope most of you reading this know; this is what's best for me and my family. I hope I'm not offending any of you with my harsh opinions, but rather inspiring those of you who don't think you're strong enough or capable of doing a natural birth, or raising your children naturally. There is a strong support system out there for women and families who want to live a healthy natural lifestyle, and I hope you can find those resources in your own communities, just as I have found the in mine.
Good Luck and Happy Baby Growing!