While I'm only 34 weeks along and realize I have a bit more time before baby arrives I believe it's never too early to start preparing for labor! Since we don't know what the future holds I've been a little nostalgic thinking this could be my last pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, I am ready to be done with the nausea, constant potty breaks, hemorrhoids, and feeling like my body just can't stretch any farther! But this pregnancy has gone by so fast! I don't want to look back and think I should have cherished the fleeting moments of Cordelia's beginning. Even more, I'm really looking forward to giving birth again!!!
You may be thinking "Who's this crazy person EXCITED about giving birth??" But really, it's such a precious thing to experience! I get to be a part of a lot of births in my work but it's completely different when you're the one bringing life into the world. I felt like such a fraud as a doula after I gave birth to Charlie...."This is what I've been telling women to breath through?" "That is what the books meant when they described transition??" You can only know so much. Once you experience birth the information becomes so much more.
Charlie's birth was long. Within the range of normal for first time moms but we weren't expecting to have to work so hard for 38 hours. Looking back I don't really regret the choices we made or the way our birth story unfolded but I am inspired and excited to have another chance. My husband was a rock and our doulas were amazing! But I feel like this time we're even better off since we've already walked through the process together.
Still every birth is different and unpredictable. So I'm making it a point to prepare my birth environment for the long haul this time. I found some great birth affirmations online and wanted to share with them with you!
First are these adorable scripture cards by Shannon Bacus! She has designed 12 scripture cards to be used as a focal point for mamas during labor. Read them to yourself or have your partner read them aloud to help you find the strength you need.
Second are these free printables from Glow Doula. They're visually clean and appealing and the inspiration is just right for those of us needing encouragement without getting too "birthy".
Third, if there's a special quote or picture that really speaks to you but you're not a graphic designer I've found PinWords to be a great resource. You can upload a photo or use one of theirs as the background and add the text you like. Then pin and print your own personalized affirmations. I made one today using a favorite verse from 1 Timothy.
So far I'm pretty happy with my birth affirmations. I hung them on our gallery wall in the living/dinning room today to see how they look. Pretty good if I do say so myself! My husband gave me a supportive grin--but wondering how long he'll have to read about my cervix opening before the big day I'm sure.