Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Letter to Myself as I Prepare for Birth

Dear Sara,

You are about to undertake the most difficult and simultaneously profound task of your life. You are giving birth to your little boy and to yourself as a mother. The task of birth is a metaphor for the task of motherhood. You will be called upon to bring forth your resolve and your determination and your perseverance and your patience and your trust in yourself and your community of support.

You have gathered together an awe-inspiring team of people to guide your way along the journey. You have done everything in your power to build a solid foundation for the gentlest and healthiest birth experience possible for your family and yourself. Now it is time to surrender to the experience and let your body do its work. Your work will be to stay out of your body’s way.

Your body will warm up with mild contractions that will gradually intensify. You will be excited and possibly anxious about the onset of labor. You will get through this early stage by working with your life partner to get everything ready. You will set out your supplies and fill the birthing tub. You will tie up loose ends so that you can focus and enter the chrysalis that will give birth to the transformation of yourself as a person and of your expanding family.

You will practice relaxing into your uterine waves. You will practice surrendering to your body. You will trust that your body is positioning your baby for an optimal birth experience.

As the pain intensifies, you will work harder to turn inside, relax your face and your entire body, and surrender to your body’s work. Your doula will help you move into different positions and breathe through the pain, one contraction at a time. You will have to decide over and over again that you can do this. You will nurture yourself with food and drink, and you will make frequent trips to the bathroom.

Your uterus will continue its miracle of pulling the cervix open and thinning it out. Your baby will position himself in the most efficient and effective way to descend the birth canal. You might think you are losing control. You might think you can’t do it anymore. Do not despair; these signs mean you are getting close to bringing your little boy from the inside to the outside. Turn your fatigue into an even more relaxed body. You will get a burst of energy soon.

Trust this process. Trust your body. Trust your baby. Trust your self.

Your perineum will stretch and your baby will practice entering the world. Out and in. In and out. When he finally emerges from his chrysalis, you will bring him to your chest and embrace his sweet body. Your partner, his father, will begin the important work of drying off the baby’s water-nurtured body. His cord will continue to pulsate. You will bring his sweet lips to your breast.

Afterward, you will bathe together to heal, bond, and return to the water’s embrace. Then you will head to bed as a family. Your home will be restored, and you will settle into the peace.

If, at any point, the birth deviates from the plan, you will rest assured that you have done everything within your power. You will relax into the Universe’s intentions and embrace the expertise of your team.

Through it all, stay focused on the healthy birth of your sweet baby boy and the birth of yourself and your partner as strong, patient, resilient, intentional, optimistic parents and to the birth of your expanding family that laughs together, learns together, and loves together.

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Sara Fay said...

This is beautiful. I hope you three have a healthy happy birth.

Ellen said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experiences of pregnancy with us. I hope I can be as positive and centered as you have been. Congratulations!

V. Wetlaufer said...

Oh, Sara, this is lovely. What an excellent idea. I am such a fan of such affirmations and visualizing of the process and it sounds like you are prepared to have a profound birth experience.

Best wishes for an incredible birth just as you've envisioned it!

Julie said...

Love it!

Thank you for sharing your preconception/pregnancy with your readers in such an intimate way. I hope you have exactly the birth experience you want! Good luck!

Rachel said...

Sara! I love it!
I am looking forward to feeling this way someday!

My grandmother told me after she gave birth to my uncle and held him in her arms, the nurse asked her how she was feeling. She exclaimed 'delicious!'.

Wishing everything wonderful for you and your family.

Sarah said...

Lovely and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this.
I wish you all the best!

Davanie said...

Such a gorgeous letter and beautiful intentions! What a lucky little baby!

redfrizzz said...

you are a strong woman, and you will be a strong force in birth. Good luck, and keep in mind that YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

Anna said...

I want to thank you for sharing this journey with your readers. I am six months pregnant and your writing has helped me feel empowered every step of the way! I wish you all the best on the path to and from birth.

Maureen said...

This is awesome Sara, you've totally inspired me for my birth journey ahead! I wish you a beautiful birth and thank you for all you've shared with us!

Delray said...

So amazing!

Kelsey said...

This is so beautiful and so strong. Keeping you in my thoughts as you prepare for this amazing experience!

Ingenue said...

I am awed. You will be a force to be reckoned with. And yes, you can do this. Thank you for sharing yourself so completely with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Sarah this is beautiful! You are doing so much to prepare yourself for this birth--you WILL walk away with the birth of your dreams! I am not going to say "good luck" because I don't think having a satisfying experience is about luck. It's about preparation, going with the flow and giving yourself fully to the experience. I have no doubt you will do all of that :)

Nicole said...

I'm 7 months pregnant, and like the others have found your words inspiring and empowering- and reassuring. Thank you for sharing- we'll all be sending positive vibes your way as the baby's arrival nears!

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