My whole life, I have had a conscience so strong that fear has caused me to have terrible anxiety. Over the last nine years, I have been up and down with it, controlling it through yoga, medication, diets, etc. But general fear is still there.
A child was brough in yesterday due to a “near drowning”. She’s not even two. When I became a new mama, my worst fear was someone shaking my son. Now, it’s of him drowning. And with the realization that the fear is real and that it can happen, my breath is taken away by the thought of it. However, I also know that I have a lot of control over situations in which he is around water and take full responsibility for maintaining that control.
Birth was also something I feared. I didn’t want to die. That was my worst fear and as much as I tried to talk about the fear and voice it before I went into labor, I could not help the thought creeping in at times. I knew I would be okay and pushed the fear away and obviously, I didn’t die. And didn’t even come close! I laugh at this thought now because I had a really good birth with normal bleeding and only a little bit of low blood pressure at times. I also know that I’m not the only mama to fear this. The thought of dying and leaving my husband all alone to take care of his new son was terrifying. Still, this fear is there because in our everyday lives we expose ourselves to situations in which something could happen, even as simple as getting in your car to go to the store. My anxiety wavered up and down for two years until I found the right medication for me.
I wanted to talk about fear in birth because as I read blogs, articles, message boards, and books on childbirth education a huge hiccup for some mamas which can delay their labor is any unsaid fears they might have. I found it easier to squash the fear of dying once I was in labor much easier since I had already voiced it to my husband. He loved and supported me and did not make me feel silly for having such a fear. I’m certain that he helped me overcome it.
I want to encourage any of you out there who might be expecting soon that you get up some courage and voice any fears you might have, whether your fear is about birth, after birth, or something totally unrelated to birth. Get it off your chest, write about it, give it up and let go. I have to do this daily and the more I do, the easier it gets. In fact, I would not call what I feel now as a fear, but just a general I’m-a-mother type of anxiety that only mamas understand.