COVID-19 Birth: Awful or Amazing?

I recently read a post on a FB group I’m a part of. The lady posted an article from a mother who recently delivered with all the COVID-19 restrictions. She explained some of the different things that happened and how those ended up allowing her and her husband a most intimate & beautiful birthing experience. It was beautiful, and I was interested to see how it was accepted by the readers, so I clicked on the comments.

The majority of the comments showed gratitude for the offered perspective. In fact, one 38-week pregnant mom (let’s call her Kelly)  said she instantly felt relieved after reading that and felt more excited for her upcoming birth that she had since the whole COVID-19 stuff started.

There was one comment that caught my attention. It was long. She (let’s call her Melissa) was mad and was also due to have a baby in the next few weeks. She judged the mom in the article for everything she allowed to have happen. (wearing a mask during the birth, etc) She went on and on how awful it all was. Her anger was palpable. 

I get it. I wouldn’t want some of those restrictions either. That wasn’t the point. That mom didn’t necessarily want them either, but in the end, she saw the beauty in it all.

Let’s look ahead at these two commenters’ upcoming births. Anyone that’s ever given birth knows that birth is always unknown no matter how much planning we do. They are each so perfectly unique. But I could probably predict a little about how Kelly and Melissa’s experiences are going to go. If Kelly stays on the trajectory she’s on with seeing her COVID birth as uniquely intimate and beautiful, there’s a good chance she’ll find that in her birth regardless of how it plays out. 

As for Melissa, she will still have a uniquely, beautiful birth although she may not see it as beautiful. Chances are that she’ll see herself as a victim, robbed of the birth she was ‘supposed’ to have by COVID and the nurses and staff. For the record, I don’t judge her for that. It’s her story and that’s okay. 

But what do you want your story to be? How do you want your COVID birth, or anytime birth for that matter to be? Your thoughts have everything to do with how you show up for birth. Want help prepping your mind for birth? I’m here. I can help. Email me today to learn how.

Thoughts are Like Shoes

Thoughts are like shoes. You can try them on, see how they fit, see if they’re comfortable. Then you get to decide if you’re going to buy them & take them home or leave them in the store.

Recently, I found myself getting caught up with all the ‘shoes’ that I saw everyone wearing, even some I had purchased, (programs I bought into). I was really slipping into the lie that I had to take advantage of trying on & wearing all of these shoes. I mean, I’d paid for them. I figured once I got through all of the stuff in those programs, that I’d know enough, somehow be enough. Well, the truth is I have enough shoes to match all the outfits I have already. I am enough right now, without all of those programs.

Now this isn’t to say I don’t need or shouldn’t use some of those shoes, but what’s driving me? If I’m coming from lack, searching for something to make me enough, I’ll never find it. There will always be another pair of shoes out there that is even better. If I come from sufficiency, believing I’m enough already, then I’m just accessorizing. I lead from abundance. That’s a confident energy.

You’re already enough, right where you’re at right now. Ponder that. Feel that. Believe that. Settle into that. Then decide what you want to do in the shoes you’re already wearing.

Sometimes I Yell

Sometimes, I yell. I didn’t think I’d be that mom, but sometimes I am. I have lots of other parts of me that aren’t my favorite. You know when I realize those parts? When they drive me nuts in someone else. I see me and my shortcomings written all over them and their actions.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my office in front of my computer hoping for just a few more minutes before I was needed by a little human. I was thinking about me and all those areas that I want to improve. Let’s just say those kinds of thoughts lead to feeling overwhelmed. Then I had another thought.

If life is 50/50 (see this post for an explanation of that), then maybe I’m 50/50, too. Maybe 50% of me is awesome and 50% of me is a work in progress. What if I could accept that and show compassion for the work-in-progress part? Ahh…my shoulders relaxed just a little. 

And if I show compassion for that part, it opens me up to feel compassion for others & their lower 50. Open. Now I feel even more open. This will be something I can practice. Compassion for myself as I navigate this thing called life. You can, too! Bring on those little humans. I’m feeling more ready now.       

On the Receiving End of Coaching

I’m a life coach. I understand the model. I take clients through this model all the time. I’m good at it. All that said, I have a coach. Everyone needs a coach. Even coaches.

My coach does for me what I can’t do for myself sometimes. She pulls me out of my own story and pulls me back just enough to show me what’s really going on. She shows me where I do have control and where I don’t. Then I feel the calm slip back in where panic or frustration butted in for a bit. I can see again.

I’m grateful for my coach. Everyone need a coach. I’m ready to be yours!

The Rule of 50%

What’s that, you say? The short answer is that 50% of the time you’re going to feel great and 50% of the time you’re going to feel…not so great.

Now, let’s remember that it’s not our circumstances (the things that happen in our lives) that cause us to feel good or bad, but our thoughts about those things.

So the longer answer is that 50% of the time you’re going to have thoughts that lead you to feel a positive emotions and 50% of the time you’re going to have thoughts that are going to lead to negative emotions. Nothing’s gone wrong. This is the ebb and flow of life. It’s the natural law of opposition.

So when you’re having one of those crappy days, just remember that nothing’s gone wrong. Sometimes you just get to hang out in the lower 50 for a bit. The other will swing back around eventually, and you’ll probably appreciate it even more.

Looking at You

What do you think about yourself? Really. Stop & take a minute to answer that. Do you like the answer you’re coming up with? Did you answer it truthfully? Did you add what you think others think about you? Don’t, because their opinion has nothing to do with this.

The good news is you get to decide. You can believe anything you want to believe about you. You can just make that stuff up. The key is believing it. A belief is a thought we’ve thought lots of times.

Pick what you want to think about yourself & get to work believing it. It’s fun!

5 Questions to Get Through Rough Spots

Before I share the 5 questions that will help you get through stuff, I want to warn you of the one question that will throw you in victim mode faster than you can blink. It’s never helpful. That question is ‘why?’ Make sense? Don’t go there. You’d serve yourself better to ask ‘why not’ rather than ‘why.’ Okay, done with that soap box. On to the good stuff…

1. What’s the story I’m telling myself about this? If you understand the difference between thoughts & circumstances, you know that our thoughts are the stories. I’ll do a more in-depth post about this soon, but you get to make up the story however you want. Pick one that serves you.

2. What if this is so much easier than I think it is? ‘This’ refers to whatever you’re going through or have to do.I like to use this one when I slip into the overwhelm trap when going over my to do list. It just helps me call out the drama my brain is offering me. It’s a good one.

3. Who do I want to be as I go through this? You can be the helpless victim at the mercy of everything happening around you or the strong and resilient one who figures it out and pushes through. You get to decide.

4. What if this actually turned out to be a gift in my life? This question makes a little room to let you see what good might eventually come from a situation. You might even see the blessings that already come with the trial.

5. What would my future self 15-20 years down the road tell me about what’s going on right now? She’s a wise one, you know. She has perspective & is distanced from what feels so big to you right now. You might even consider writing a letter to yourself from her perspective. That is a powerful tool.

Obviously, there are an endless number of great questions that raise awareness. That’s you’re goal though….awareness. You’re trying to pull back just enough to gain a little perspective. You’ve got this!

Long Shortcuts

When we bought our home 10 years ago, the first thing we did was gut the kitchen. We had a certain amount of money saved & wanted to stay within that budget and make every penny count. I remember planning out all the details.

We decided to have the cabinets installed before putting in the tile. It didn’t make sense to pay for tile under the cabinets where we’d never see or actually use. Makes sense, right? Wrong. That decision to cut a corner & save some money has definitely cost us much more than it saved us.

We didn’t consider that our dishwasher wouldn’t fit because the counter height goes from the floor, which was 1/2″ lower than the tile. We had to have the counter guy come cut the granite to buy a little room for the dishwasher as well as pop 2 tiles up to be able to get the dishwasher to fit.

Not to mention the 2 times we’ve had to pop & relay the tile since to replace the dishwasher & have a recall item fixed on the dishwasher. Would I change my shortcut if I could go back to those early planning details. Heck yeah!

Sometimes shortcuts backfire. Sometimes we just need to invest up front, do the hard thing. I can’t go back and change that now, but I can learn from it as I move forward. I’m willing to do the hard things, willing to invest time, work, and money. The payoff is well worth it.

Wasteful Worry

Worry is never about something that’s happening in the present. It’s always about something happening in the future. Oh, and can our brains have a hay day with that…coming up with so many different scenarios of what could happen. It’s not reality. It’s not helpful. At all. Ever.

The present is do-able. We can do the now. We can figure out solutions to what is going on right now even if it’s hard, but no amount of worrying about the unknown future can really prepare you for that moment. It’s wasted energy.

Are you a worrier? Try this if you’re brain still really wants to worry. Set an alarm on your phone for a specific time of day. Then set a 5 minute timer. This time is only for worrying. Worry all you can during that 5 minutes and worry hard about any and everything you can think of to worry about it. During the day, when your brain offers you something to worry about, just remind that brain of yours that you only worry and 8:00pm…or whatever time you schedule.

You’ll find this practice frees your mind up quite a bit during the day. Think of all that time to think up amazing things that life rather than foster fear. Have some fun with all this new time & freed up energy.

The Moment that Changes Everything

You know that moment. You’re standing there by the bathroom counter watching the tiny window that will foretell your future. There it is, a faint, blue, second line.  All of a sudden, an avalanche of emotions comes rushing in. It’s a mixture of excitement and fear and everything in between. I’ve experienced 6 positive pregnancy tests in my life, and I felt that rush of emotions every time. (I’ve also experienced a lot of negative test results, but that’s a post for another day.) 

Within that crazy bag of emotions, there are so many questions and fears….is this for real…am I up for this…will I be a good enough mother…this baby is in there and will eventually have to come out…is the baby going to be healthy…what if I have a miscarriage…what doctor do I choose…where do I deliver…will it hurt…am I going to be sick?? The list goes on and on. In this blog, I hope to help you sort through those thoughts, help answer your questions and concerns, and help you to create and have a beautiful birthing experience which starts the moment you see that second line.