This is a tough story for me to share, I'm not really sure why though I'm a pretty wide open book but this one feels kind of personal. I've decided to share it anyway if it can help just one person see how they may be holding themselves back. This is a story about birth, fear, and emotional blocks....but mainly about fear and how to beat it.
First I have to give you some back story, my first birth was over 13 hours long with no drugs, it was my choice I wanted to test my body to see if I could actually do it (I know some people think I'm crazy). Our second child was an emergency c-section. By the time we found out about our third pregnancy my husband and I were two busy parents with a 10 year old girl and 7 year old boy, all the baby stuff had been donated or given away and to say that it was a surprise was an understatement. Once we were over the initial shock we embraced it and were excited to have a little one running around the house again. But I also knew this meant I would have to take a step back from my busy makeup artistry business to stay home with this baby like I did with our other two children.
We had decided with our doctors approval to try a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and were so excited when my water broke 4 days before my due date, we were ready and couldn't wait to meet our little girl. Once we were admitted into Labor and Delivery I started doing all the things I had done for my first birth like squatting, dancing, trying to stay on my feet and moving as much as possible and deep breathing exercises . I did all the things that had worked before but I wasn't progressing and when your water breaks they want you to give birth within 24 hours to avoid infection. They put me on Pitocin to try to speed things along but I stayed at 1 centimeter for nearly the full 24 hours. After not dilating no matter what I did the doctor came in to let me know that if I had no progression within the next few hours that I was going to have to have a c-section. I felt like my body was failing me, I had done it once before, why wasn't I progressing?
I just had this feeling like I was holding myself back, that somehow I was blocking my own progression. I Googled "fear labor not progressing" and came across an article about a couple that lived in the city where I live (Coincidence? I don't think so.) about this exact thing and it sounded just like what I was dealing with. I texted the only person I knew that would understand, my sister, she is a trained yoga instructor, worked a Lululemon Athletica and she introduced me to personal development books and spiritual, thought leaders. I explained to her what I thought was happening, she agreed that it was totally possible and that I needed to face whatever it was that was holding me back. I started to write down everything that I was afraid of and I turned and told my husband...
- I was afraid we couldn't afford another child and keep our lifestyle
- I was afraid we wouldn't be able to love another child like our other two
- I was afraid another child might hurt our marriage
- I was afraid that my business, the one I had built from nothing into something that I loved so much, would suffer
- I was afraid that our other two children would resent us
Through uncontrollable tears I voiced all the things that you aren't suppose to say, all the things that we think but never utter out loud, I said them and I immediately felt a weight lift from me that I had never felt before. I didn't care that the nurse was looking at me like I was crazy, I felt so much better and if I had to have a c-section and unable to work the wedding I had scheduled just 3 weeks later, then so be it. I had come to peace with all of it. Then something really crazy happened, after almost 24 hours of not dilating at all, I dilated 3 centimeters within an hour and we had ourselves a baby girl just 2 hours later. My labor progressed so fast the nurses were scrambling to get their team together because they had been prepping me and were for sure I was going to have a c-section.
So why tell this story, why share this personal experience with all of you? Because I think we need to understand how fear can hold us back and can stop us from progressing. What I experienced I think so many other people do too, not just in birth but in so many other areas in our lives. I swear if just one nurse had said to me that I could be holding myself back from progressing with my own fear and anxiety, I could have avoided the near c-section a whole lot sooner.
What other ways are people letting fear and anxiety stop them from doing what they really want to do in their lives? Too afraid to say the things they really want and need to say out loud for fear of being looked down upon or disappointing someone. Humans still have a tribe mentality and we avoid doing anything that would get us kicked out of the tribe. This stuff is real, I believe with all my heart that we have the ability to give ourselves wings to fly or we clip them with our fear, doubt and worry. What are you afraid of saying out loud, what little nudges have you felt that you're trying to ignore? I hope by sharing this it will give you the strength to stand in your own truth.
Please let me know in the comments if you have a story to share, I would love to hear from you.