How I Found the Confidence to Deliver My Baby

 You can clearly see how "thrilled" I am to be spun around while 8 months pregnant, haha ;) I love my Mitch, though, and the light heartedness he brings to our lives.

Photos by the AMAZING Ceclia Harvard

I'm going to start off by saying something I said frequently throughout my pregnancy; I suck at being pregnant. I don't say this because I have any sort of extra physical challenges while pregnant. I say this because I had a crummy attitude for a good chunk of my pregnancy and it was 100% because of my vanity. I've always had struggles with body-confidence and have had obsessive tendencies when it comes to trying to control or 'regulate' what my physique looks like (being majorly OCD about exercising, eating healthfully, etc). From the get-go this mind-set made it hard for me to open up to the idea of gaining weight while pregnant and feeling beautiful. I would see the numbers on the scale go up and up and up and it would drive me bonkers. I would see my once flat stomach slowly starting to protrude and I would feel "huge". There were times when I honestly wouldn't even want to be seen by anyone I knew because I felt such silly shame about how "huge" I felt. In hindsight, I look back on all of my pregnancy photos and all I see is beauty and I can't help but feel 100% embarrassed and ashamed of all of those feelings. The swelling goes down, the weight comes off, tummies shrink back down, clothes fit again and everything is OKAY. More than okay even because you have this new little life that your body created! Anyway, this isn't meant to be a body post (I'm saving my post-partum health journey for another day and after I've had a few months to truly experience it). This is meant to be a post to discuss how at about 8 months pregnant all the negativity I had been carrying with me turned around completely and how I went from being absolutely terrified of delivery to feeling confident and assured.

At about the 5 or 6 month mark with my pregnancy I stumbled across a hypnobirthing class called the "Curtis Method". I looked it up and everything on the website just spoke to me and really resonated with me and the kind of birth I wanted but wasn't really sure would be possible. From the second I found it I told Mitch about it, and shared snippets of what it was all about with him. Being the supportive husband that he is, he was all for it and told me to sign us up for the next round of classes right then and there. I'm a bit of a second guesser to begin with and the classes were a bit of an investment, though, so I held off. I kept putting off signing up for the classes and missing round after round of 5 week class increments. One day, though, I came across a birth video from one of the moms who had taken the classes and it was so beautiful, brought me to tears, and finally convinced me that I needed to give these classes a shot no matter the investment. Let me tell you, it was by far the BEST investment I made my entire pregnancy and my only regret was not signing up sooner. 

The classes were 3hrs long once a week for 5 weeks. Over those next 5 weeks, Mitch and I learned about my body, how it works and was perfectly designed to deliver babies, the stages of labor, techniques for how Mitch could be an active participant in the delivery process, and so much more. What really helped me more than anything, though, were the positive affirmations that I would practice daily. These really helped me feel more confident in and appreciative of my pregnant body. I wish I could go into more details about everything we learned but that would be a discredit to the instructor. I will say, though, that I 100% credit these classes to the confidence I had when I went into labor. They really took the mystery right out of the equation and I was able to begin laboring knowing exactly what would be happening that day and that I was 100% capable of doing it. More than anything these classes taught Mitch and I that labor doesn't have to be scary, and that it can actually be one of the biggest experiences of love we can ever feel. 

Another big component of the classes was teaching how to overcome 'pain and fear' through relaxation and hypnosis. I honestly wasn't great at relaxing and practicing the hypnosis when I went into labor but I truly think this is because I ended up having such a short amount of time to practice the techniques since Noah was born the day after the last class. I'm 100% confident, though, that with my next deliveries I'll be able to relax and truly have pain free deliveries because I'll have more time to practice and prepare.

Anyway, I would 100% recommend these classes to any local pregnant mamas out there. I promise you they will give you the tools to have a confident, beautiful, and love filled delivery! I have nothing but positive feelings about Noah's delivery and the high I felt from how amazing it was! I know an unmedicated birth isn't everyone's goal, but my goodness the feeling of it all is truly amazing and I wish every mama had the chance to feel those sensations at least once because there really is nothing like it! I won't lie and say it's easy, but it is worth it!

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