the fear that started the journey
During my first pregnancy my husband and I were living in a run-down apartment in a sketchy part of town. We lived near a number of bars, which meant there were often people puking outside of our window at 3 am. If it wasn’t that, then it was bar fights, car accidents, or random strangers banging on our window.
Our neighbor below us was a crack addict, and one night when I was six months pregnant and home alone, he started banging on our door threatening to kill me. When I didn’t answer, he got louder, started swearing, and tried to break down the door. I can’t know pregnancy is like for other women, but it made me feel really vulnerable. This night created unmanageable fears for me.
I desperately wanted to have a home birth, but the bathtub in our apartment was one of those really shallow designs that doesn’t allow for much water, and I was also worried that the sound of a birthing woman may set off the addict downstairs. This environment was the breeding ground that caused my fear to flourish.
I was able to alleviate some of these fears because we were saving a down payment to buy a house and were planning to be out of our nightmare apartment by the time our little angel arrived. I wasn’t looking forward to moving while eight months pregnant, but I knew it would be so much better than having to stay in that apartment with a new little baby. Two months before my due date, my husband and I were excitedly looking at houses and were getting preapproved for a mortgage. Then, our mortgage broker stole our down payment. Yup, he took all of it! And, we had no way of getting it back (the police are still investigating it to this day). I was devastated and full of fear.
To make matters worse, I knew I couldn’t give birth in our apartment, and I was terrified of having a hospital birth. I desperately called the only birth center in our area only to find that they were fully booked. I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be giving birth in a hospital and then bringing my newborn home to an unsafe environment.
To make matters even worse, there were relationship issues surfacing in my marriage that were making me fearful of the future. Add to that the fact that we didn’t have anything ready for our baby, I was self-employed and didn’t have maternity leave, and my husband’s business was slowing down.
Things were pretty intense.
Not to mention, I still didn’t know how exactly that big baby was supposed to come out of such a small place and we had just found out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. Twice. To add to the increasing negativity and fear, I had a history of sexual abuse that I knew could complicate my birthing process. All of this scared the bejeezes out of me, and at that moment fear swallowed my entire life.
I was a paralyzed, frightened mess.
For a few days, I was a quivering puddle of tears. As a psychologist, I decided that I had to figure this out for myself. Knowing that there had to be tools and strategies to help women overcome these pregnancy fears, I got to work.
I read hundreds of research articles and read as many books as I could get my hands on. I took every related training program that I could get into in order to work through and process all of the different fears that I was stuck with. I experimented with dozens of different therapy approaches and techniques.
I synthesized all this information into a process that is now Birthing From Love. Implementing these methods for myself, I spent the remainder of my pregnancy processing and releasing every fear I had – large and small.
One week before Jackson was due, a friend invited us to move into his house. It was the most amazing gift anyone has ever given me because it allowed me to have a homebirth.
Because I had released all of my fears about giving birth, it was much easier for me to trust the entire process. I still had no idea what was going on, but instead of fearing the unknown, I was able to embrace it wholeheartedly. One morning, I started feeling a cramping sensation accompanied by a huge appetite. I ate an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and went back to bed. When I woke up, the cramps were still there, and I called my midwife, who said it sounded like Jackson would be born sometime that week. Around 2:00pm the cramps gotten stronger and I climbed into the tub. I didn’t think I was in ‘real’ labour, so we didn’t call my midwife.
Around 3:00pm everything changed. Suddenly, the cramps were much more intense, and my whole body started pushing. I told my husband to call my midwife, and he did. She listened to the sounds I was making during contractions and recognized that I was in active labor. She told me to reach inside and see if I could feel anything. I did! My son’s head was one knuckle away. She told my husband Matt that she was not going to make it in time.
I remember this moment clearly; fear tried to sneak into my mind, saying, “Oh my god, you’re going to have a baby without your midwife here to help. You are totally on your own.” Because of all the work that I had done on letting go of fear, I knew exactly how to send those thoughts back where they came from. I remember that moment distinctly because it was the most painful contraction I had. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the fear that caused the intense pain.
My husband was talking to the midwife during that moment. After a few minutes I heard him ask, “Should I call them right now?” This got my attention; out of all the fears I had worked through, the one that still remained was that I would be delivering my baby in the back of an ambulance. I sobbed to Matt, “No, please don’t call them.” That was yet another crossroads through my fear, and I felt my entire body tense up as I had my second most painful contraction. Again, I used one of the tools I learned to let go of the fear. It was in that moment that I felt fear leave me completely, making room for love to take over. This allowed my body to work perfectly with my baby, and my son was born two minutes later. My husband was still on the phone with the dispatcher, and I remember him saying, “The baby is coming.” One second later, he looked over at me and Spencer and said, “Umm, the baby is here.”
Jackson slipped into my arms. As I unwrapped the cord from his neck, he made one small squeak. I cuddled him, and we lay back in the tub. The midwife and the paramedics arrived five minutes later. Jackson and I were perfectly healthy and blissfully happy.
The midwife said I had a precipitous birth, which basically means it was super quick. Precipitous births are extremely rare, especially for first-time moms. What surprised me the most was that precipitous births are supposed to be especially painful because everything has to happen so hastily. I remember one of my first thoughts after Jackson’s birth was, “I could totally do that again.” My birth was quick and was relatively easy. I know that some of it has to do with luck, but I also know that lots of it has to do with preparing my mind beforehand to support my body and my baby. I know now that letting go of fear is absolutely one of the best things any woman can do to prepare for childbirth.
Many friends were aware of the tsunami of fear that I had experienced during pregnancy. Soon after Jackson’s birth, other women started asking me about how I was able to work through all of my doubts and worries. Those women inspired me to put all of my research materials together to create a program that could be shared with other women who were scared of the birthing process. That’s how Birthing From Love was born.
The BFL Digital Program is ready to be born!
It’s due date is June 15th & this is the kind of due date you can rely on!
We’re celebrating! With presents for you!
Yay! Gifts! And they are the best kind :: inspiration & wisdom to empower you to have a peaceful, positive, and powerful birth experience.
I’m talking audios & videos to inspire your mind & beautiful graphic designs to delight your eyes.
Sign up to get in on the celebration.