The story of our son’s birth really begins many years ago, with the message that my mom communicated to me about birth, as I too was born at home. As a young child, she told me that when I was born it was easy and I practically fell out. She said it was painless and it was so fast that my dad almost had to deliver me, as the midwife barely made it to their home in time.
Often, what we choose to believe becomes our reality. I have heard many of the mainstream messages about birth (that it’s painful, unbearable, and even dangerous), but I chose to accept the version that my mom shared with me. I believe that choice was the foundation for what recently became the most thrilling, beautiful, and empowering experience of my life.
I received the most impactful piece of advice when I was just a few weeks pregnant. It was given to me by a chiropractic friend who had given birth to four beautiful sons at home. I was in the middle of telling her about something that everybody says is a common physical problem among pregnant women. She stopped me mid-sentence and said in a firm voice, “Brooke, you must not listen to or buy into the idea of what ‘everybody’ says regarding pregnancy.” Her words became a guiding force for the months ahead, and I believe they had a lot to do with why I barely experienced any of the common negative pregnancy symptoms (that many refer to as “normal”).
There are a lot of factors that contributed to a harmonious pregnancy and birth (clean diet, moderate exercise, regular chiropractic care, and constant prayer; basically the DREAM lifestyle) but early in my pregnancy I felt that the one factor that would be most important was how I controlled my thoughts. From the moment I was pregnant, I felt strongly that the baby was an expression of my thoughts, and that my thoughts could affect him on a cellular level. This understanding challenged me to handle any thoughts that came to me that were not positive, healing or loving. Most of us have heard that anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Well, I knew that I couldn’t harbor any anger, resentment, or fears, because not only would it be like drinking poison myself, but it would also be poisoning the baby.
Now, I’m not saying that I only had positive thoughts throughout the entire pregnancy. That is far from the truth. I had many fears and frustrations that I had to deal with (some related to the pregnancy, some not). However, knowing that my thoughts had a direct impact on my unborn child, I worked hard to handle any negativity much quicker than I might have otherwise.
For example, if fear would creep in when I accidentally stumbled across something on the internet or got drawn into someone’s horror birth story, I firmly reached out to God to affirm the perfection of the child and of myself. Or if someone did something that made me upset, instead of letting it fester inside, I would find someone to talk about it with so that it didn’t consume me more than necessary. Learning to let go of negative feelings even quicker was perhaps one of the greatest gifts of the pregnancy.
Also, my husband and I have done extensive work as a couple based on the work I do as a relationship coach. He is well versed at recognizing when I am fatigued (physically or mentally). Instead of reacting negatively to any bouts of “pregnancy hormones”, he was able to recognize immediately what I really needed (whether it was an opportunity to go to a yoga class, vent about a frustration, or just get some more sleep). The support of a partner cannot be understated and I highly recommend all couples experience the Ultimate Life Tool assessment and Discovery Session prior to any major life-changing event.
What I would like to add about the experience is that it really wasn’t painful. Yes, it was definitely uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t put it in the same category as pain. With each contraction, the midwives and doula encouraged me to relax into it, and reminded me that each surge was designed to push the baby out. The whole experience was absolutely exhilarating.
When I finally held Zion in my arms and looked at him, I felt as if he had always been a part of our family. I learned so much from this baby before he was even born, but I have a feeling the lessons are just beginning.