By Emily Boyd
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is merely to be understood.” Marie Curie
Never a truer word…
Until only a week ago I would hands-down rather be in labour than go on a plane. The fear I felt about being in the air was like no other: sweaty palms to the point of causing dehydration, irrational thinking (understatement!) and the most stomach-turning nausea. All in all I was a big sweaty mess. So at a time where I should be getting excited about a much needed holiday I was instead panicking excessively over the dreaded flight.
Why is it that I had no fear entering that birthing room on D-day but dreaded the plane? One night when I woke up in a pool of anxious sweat I had a lightbulb moment. I don’t fear labour because I have the knowledge and experience to understand the whole process, but I haven’t a bloody clue how that thing stays in the air or lands after travelling at 500mph.
Knowledge is power, knowledge empowers.
So I decided to be as proactive in learning about aviation as I am about birthing, and practice what I preach. I read books, googled statistics, practiced relaxation techniques, visualised positive flights and got Katie to do a coaching technique on me. I was going to nail this flying business. I will not be controlled by fear – I would not sweat a millilitre of sweat out of my fingertips!
With the power of knowledge and some tools in my toolbelt I was feeling pretty confident. And I did it! I nailed it! I could never before understand how people could enjoy flying, (it’s a means to an end,) but on that flight I cried a happy tear: flying is beautiful, there truly is nothing to fear but fear itself. I had the best flight of my life.
When I was pregnant, if I had a pound for every time someone said to me, “Doesn’t it put you off having a baby?” as they stared down at my bump I would be, well, not rich but able to buy at least a Starbucks a day! See, when I was pregnant I had been a midwife for seven crazy years. This question mainly came from the partners of the women I was looking after and they would stare blankly at me as I responded, “No, I can’t bloody wait to be in labour, it’s going to be amazing.” I wished every women and her partner was able to see birth the way I see it.
I was lucky enough to have experienced so many birthing journeys from women birthing in a car to emergency deliveries, but I had no fear entering that birthing room because I knew that what ever was going to happen my body knows what to do, I just have to breathe, and I’m in the safest hands possible.
My journey with Suffolk Babies started after I had my first baby. I wanted every woman and her partner to feel safe and positive about their birth, to have the tools and knowledge to reduce the fear and anxiety that can be associated with labour.
I hope that in our classes we begin that journey of empowerment for the both of you. If you would like more information on our classes please get in touch.
Director of Antenatal Education, and Co-Founder of Suffolk Babies