Contractions of Life

Alright ladies, when you experienced your first strong contraction during labor, was it exactly the way someone described it to you? My guess is probably not. You can’t really explain a contraction. You’ve just got to experience it.

I remember when contractions started getting intense with my second birth, I remembered vividly feeling that same feeling with my first baby. As a contraction began, I would brace myself, hold my breath & relax when I got through it feeling triumphant that I got through another one. Well, this didn’t last too long til I was asking how soon the epidural doc could get there.

When it came time for baby #3, I was determined to have an unmedicated birth. I signed up for a hypnobirthing class & made my husband come with me, so we could do this together. In that class, I learned a very different technique for dealing with contractions, or ‘birth waves’ as they called them. To start with, the instructor explained the muscle layers of the uterus & what each layer was doing during a contraction & how that helped open the cervix. When a contraction started, I was to take a deep breath (giving those muscles the proper oxygen they needed to work so hard) & just relax my whole body. Then I was to continue taking deep, slow breathes throughout the contraction. As it finished, I would do one final cleansing breath.

In comparing the 2 very different ways I dealt with those contractions, here’s what I found:

with the grin & bear it method, I fought against the very work the contraction was trying to do, created more pain for myself, and actually slowed down my birthing process. With the other method, I understood what was happening with my body & how to work with it, I gave my body lots of oxygen to work with, and got out of the way, so my body could do what it was designed to do. When I would experience an intense contraction, there was some actual excitement believing that the contraction had made some headway in opening my cervix.

In life, we experience ‘contractions’ if you will. They have a purpose which usually has to do with our personal growth. We can fight against them & suffer through it. That’s an option. The other option is to take a deep breath as it starts, and then lean into it, being willing to let it do its work and learn & experience what you need to. I feel like leaning into them helps them pass a whole lot faster. Life’s contractions are going to happen. What’s your game plan for the next one?

what to expect when you’re expecting?

Yes, that phrase is a bit cliche, but what should you expect? Let me ask this…what do you want it to look like? I have a friend who was cruising along just fine with her first pregnancy. Every time we talked, she was doing great, said she hardly felt pregnant.

Then she had a chat with a well-meaning sister-in-law who told her how awful pregnancy was and how awful she would feel. As we talked a few days after that conversation, she was like a different person, the yuck of pregnancy had hit her full force she explained. She couldn’t wait for the whole ordeal to be over.

Trying to help her not loathe the rest of the pregnancy, I explained that 2nd trimester is usually when you feel the best. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, and you could see a glimpse of relief come over her, and she said she thought she was maybe beginning to feel a little better.

First time moms don’t know what they’re supposed to be feeling and experiencing with this new adventure. Now I’m very aware that not everyone experiences a blissful pregnancy and sneezes the baby out! But I am trying to say that our thoughts are so very powerful, and it’s good to be aware of them.

In my next post, I’ll be explaining a powerful tool that will help you recognize your thoughts and how they are creating the result you are getting. It’s a good one!

what kind of birth do you want?

So have you thought about what the definition of a successful birth is to you? I’ve heard many mothers say “healthy baby, healthy mother” as their goal, but is that enough for you? There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. I just want you to think.

Everyone is SO different when it comes to defining this. As I’ve looked at my own births, it’s funny how I perceive each one.

On one, forceps felt like a welcomed blessing that saved me from a c-section. On another, I felt like the Dr. ripped the baby from me with forceps. Same circumstance (Forceps were used to assist in delivering baby), but my thoughts about the circumstance were VERY different.

With one birth, I was elated to receive an epidural. When I got an epidural with another, I felt like a complete failure. My sister has had a c-section that was completely traumatic for her, yet is welcoming and excited for the c-section she’s scheduled to have next week.

Our thoughts are so powerful! Take a moment and write down your thoughts about your birth whether it be an upcoming birth or one you’ve already experienced. Remember, there isn’t a right or wrong here. Just be curious. 

As we move forward, you’ll see how you can try on different thoughts and create a completely different birth experience. This works for both upcoming and past births.

the best thought model ever

I learned this thought model from Brooke Castillo. This is not a new concept, but she explained it in a way that resonated with me. It’s one of those concepts that when you think about it, it just makes sense. For me, it has been a complete game changer. We will revisit this again and again, but here’s the overview:

So how does this look in real life? Circumstances are the facts and are neutral. They’re unchangeable and are completely out of our control. Our thoughts follow so quickly behind that we often mistake those for the circumstance. Our thoughts then cause feelings which lead us to act a certain way. Then we end up with a result that confirms our thought.
So what? Why does this matter? It’s SO huge! We have COMPLETE control over our thoughts which means we can affect how we feel & act, thus creating the results we want in our life.
Yes, bad things happen in life, and I’m not saying that you need to put on rose-colored glasses and act like everything is wonderful. Sometimes we need to be in the hard place for a bit, just don’t hang up curtains and make that place permanent. Be aware of the power of your thoughts and be curious about what those thoughts are creating in your life.

why am I doing this?

My name is Kim. I’m a wife, a mom, a birth coach, and many other roles, but these are the roles that I’ll be focusing on in this blog. I love birth. Lots. I didn’t always. There was a time it scared me. Then there was a time that it empowered me beyond anything I’d experienced, and I wanted to shout it from the the rooftops. Then there was Jonathan’s birth. It changed everything.
It’s been over a year now. I was so excited for his birth. This was baby #6. I knew how to give birth. My husband & I felt very inspired as to how his birth was supposed to play out. It was going to be a sacred, beautiful experience for our family. Well, it started out beautiful, but in the end, I felt cheated in ‘the perfect birth’ I was ‘supposed’ to have had. It all felt very traumatic. I cried. Lots.
I’ll explain more of the details of this part in the future, but here’s the overview. I learned some incredible tools that helped me work on my thoughts. I used those tools to work on my thoughts about this birth experience. I now LOVE Jonathan’s birth. It was sacred. It was beautiful. My family felt heaven in a special way that day.
The circumstances of that day didn’t change. They never will. My thoughts about it changed which changed my feelings about it. This lit a fire within that I must share. This is why I started this blog. My prayer is that you, too, will be blessed by these beautiful tools. Let’s get going on this beautiful journey!