Thursday, October 16, 2008

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, It can achieve."

"Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought." Napoleon Hill

In our culture we are bombarded with ideas that childbirth is painful, unpredictable and frightening. We are taught that these things are "normal" and that a healthy baby is the best we can hope for. If we want a different kind of birth we have to make a conscious decision to seek out information that reveals the true face of birth, and then we must be diligent and consistent in placing these ideas, plans, and TRUTHS in our minds through repetition of thought. This is exactly how I came to believe in and achieve peaceful, calm and unhindered unassisted homebirths. People often assume that by now, after having so many children, that they must fly right out of me! That it must take little to no effort at this point because I'm a "pro". That's really ridiculous and not true at all. Time and experience have allowed me to take an intimate look at many of my own beliefs and ideas. I've learned a lot about myself over the years and I've watched my body respond to labor and birth under many different circumstances. So there are benefits in having multiple experiences from which I've gained wisdom and am able to make better choices from. But babies don't fly out of me and labor is work. I chose to start the work during pregnancy. The work for me involves dealing with any lingering fears, doubts, and frustrations, swimming in positive reinforcement through books like Ina May Gaskins and Birthing From Within, the experiences of others who have walked the path I intend to walk, and protecting my vision by eliminating exposure to what most people consider the "norm" (ie: A Baby Story on TLC!) So no more watching (and yelling) at the t.v. while a woman goes through a hospital birth. :-) This leads me right into the next quote...

"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. " Napoleon Hill

This is something I first learned from my sweet husband. He often tells me I need to protect my dreams. It's taken me a while to understand what that means for me personally but I have a pretty clear picture of it now. If I can fully grasp the value of my visions and dreams and the power I have over making them a reality in my life, I will be very mindful of guarding them just as I would my own child. For me, that means being selective when I share my beliefs and intentions. I will not engage in petty arguments with fearful people about childbirth. It's one thing to share on my blog where I am free to express my thoughts and feelings and quite another to have to talk it out with people who expect that it's my goal to convince them of my choices. I protect them by resisting the temptation to rely on anything external to tell me that which I already know. For example, this time I didn't bother with a pregnancy test. You know, with all 6 of my children (8 pregnancies in total) I knew EACH time when I conceived and if I was iffy about that, I certainly knew before my period was even expected to arrive. Why do I need to pee on a stick to confirm what I already know? A pregnancy test doesn't make the baby real. The baby is there, pink lines or not. Protect it. I understand now.

"Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true." Napoleon Hill

There was no experience that allowed me to see this as a reality so clearly as when I was in labor with Seraphina. I had a midwife during my pregnancy with Sera because I had given in to the fear that my uterus would somehow be "tired" the fifth time around (I can only imagine how tired Michelle Duggar's uterus must be as she prepares for baby #18!). I really wish I wouldn't have allowed myself to be so affected by a midwife who had never even had a child of her own :-/ But, whatever, I wanted a "mommy" figure there, and it turned out to be the blessing and curse that a mommy figure can often times be LOL. Anyway, back to my intended story, I was unsure right up to the onset of labor about whether or not I wanted the midwife there at all. Having the flu and missing a nights sleep resulted in my thinking she would be a great benefit as I was completely out of it and my hubby was desperate for some rest. We had been up with the sweats, fevers, you name it and were totally spent and ready for a good nights sleep when my first hard contraction came. It sent me right into tears and I thought I'd just fall into the arms of the midwife and let her do all the work for me. Silly girl that I am :-) So we called the midwife and almost immediately my contractions came to a hault. She showed up at my door and even my amniotic fluid stopped leaking! I wouldn't find myself in labor again until 2 days later. You see my thoughts about labor and childbirth were already firmly planted in the safety and privacy of an unassisted birth. I already had a relatively painless 2 hour UC with Lucius only a year and some before. I didn't like anyone in my birth space and had very strong beliefs about the unnatural act of anyone besides my hubby sticking their fingers and faces in places only he's allowed to go. So it was no surprise to us that my body said forget it! HUGE difference from my UC with Lucius where I went from 0 - 10 centemeters in 2 hours and felt fantastic :-) The mind os a powerful thing.

“Self-disciplined begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don't control what you think, you can't control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.” Napoleon Hill

Discipline has always been a tough one for me. Mostly because it requires patience. Patience to see baby when it's time and not give into the temptation of getting an ultrasound so I can go baby shopping early :-) Patience to allow labor to begin at the right time even if I'm 41+ weeks into the pregnancy and my water has been broken for several days and I haven't had a single contraction yet, as has happened to me 4 times already and am now convinced is just another variation of normal. Not easy to have patience, but everything I believe in requires it. Discipline would've been key in Seraphina's birth. I would've taken better care of myself as I prepared for the birth by resting and getting good sleep, I likely wouldn't have had the flu if I didn't insist on going out for midnight walks to try to get labor started, when it was below freezing and snow was everywhere and baby was NOT ready to come out. Discipline is necessary for the work of pregnancy.


Shannon said...

I've read Napolean Hill from a business perspective - I find it interesting that you apply it to pregnancy and childbirth!


Angel said...

They are life principles really. I find that most of it can be applied to any part of your life that you want to achieve success in. For me, that's everything! Even pregnancy and childbirth :-)