If you would have asked me or my husband several years ago if I ever wanted to have children the simple answer I would always give is. “No.” The reason for that was because just the idea of going through the unknowns of pregnancy and childbirth along with the pains that I would have to face terrified me!
Not only was I afraid of the unexpected but I was also worried. I had some self-doubt in my capabilities of being a mother especially since it’s a huge responsibility and commitment. However, it’s crazy how my whole perspective on motherhood and children changed when I had my first daughter, Lily, who turned 1 year old in June!
I’m sure there have been women who have felt the same way as I have so I wanted to share a little bit about my personal birthing story and what essentially helped me overcome my fear of having children. I know how scary it can be to not know what to expect and the huge lifestyle shift that takes place when one has children. But my encouragement to all first-time moms and even those considering having children is that you totally got this!!! Even with all of my fears, worries, and doubt I got through it. So if I can do it, anyone can!
My Labor & Birth Experience
I was exactly 39 weeks when I gave birth which was actually less than six months from the day I found out I was pregnant. The day before I went into labor I was getting my last stress test done at Memorial Hospital Miramar. During the stress test, they noticed that I had very low amniotic fluids and was at high risk of my baby becoming compressed by the umbilical cord. They called my doctor and he advised them to have me admitted immediately and that I would need to get induced.
As soon as I heard this news as a first-time mom-to-be you can only imagine how scared and unprepared I was. At that moment I clearly remembered what my sister-in-law and countless other people told me which was to never get induced because they had bad experiences with it. Yet here I was with no other choice but to go through the process since my baby’s life depended on it.
I remember feeling so scared and helpless at the moment and I was actually alone during that time in the hospital.
I immediately called my husband and mother and let them know what was going on so they could start heading to the hospital since I was about to be admitted and could not go home to pick up my bags. Mind you, my hospital bags were still missing some things but luckily my husband and mother were quick at packing and brought me everything that I needed.
I remember the nurse starting the induction process at around 1 am on Friday and I hadn’t dilated until 3 pm that same day. My contractions started around 11 am and then got stronger and more painful as it was getting close to 3-4 pm. It was around that time when the nurse checked me and saw that I was 3” dilated. I asked them for the epidural since I couldn’t take the pain any longer.
Luckily, I had no reactions or negative effects from the epidural, and just within a few minutes, I couldn’t feel any more contractions. I was numb in the lower half of my body. After the epidural, I was able to rest and sleep a few hours before the pushing began. By Friday night I was fully dilated and I started to feel a lot of pressure so I began pushing and within about 20 minutes my beautiful daughter Lily was born!
Although I did get a tear from the pushing and had to get stitched up, I honestly forgot all about the pain and discomfort from labor as soon as I saw my daughter’s face. It was such an indescribable feeling and moment of joy unlike any other and it was definitely worth it all!!!
How I Overcame My Fear
The fact that I had a quick, healthy, and easy pregnancy and delivery played a huge part in what shifted my fearful mindset to a positive optimistic one when it comes to having children. However, I know that not everyone will have the same experience as I had and that every experience is different and unique in its own way. I wanted to share 3 key things that really helped me overcome my fear of having children.
Something that really helped me personally throughout the duration of my pregnancy until the time of delivery was my faith in God. Constant prayer for my baby’s health and for her safe delivery and reading encouraging Bible verses significantly helped me get over my fear. It brought a sense of peace over me that I can’t describe.
It gave me reassurance that everything was going to be alright because God would give me the physical strength and protection that I need during labor. He has my back no matter what! God definitely hasn’t failed me ever and he didn’t fail me that day. And it’s thanks to my faith in him that I am reassured that if I do have another child in the future he will protect me and give me strength and a healthy pregnancy and delivery like the one before!
My encouragement for moms who may feel anxious, afraid, or worried about anything related to their child or family is to definitely read Bible scriptures and pray. God will not only give you peace of mind but encouragement as well and that is something that we all definitely need more of, especially nowadays!
Another thing that really helped me overcome my fear of having children was having a support system in place which in my case was my family. If it wasn’t for my family and my husband’s family and their incredible support through it all (especially my husband and mother) I would have probably been a nervous wreck and afraid of going through it all. Especially because I had to go to most of the ultrasound and doctor appointments alone due to Covid.
Luckily enough, they were there for me. Especially during a few emotional and stressful moments that I had during my pregnancy. And thanks to their encouragement, support, and love that really helped me get through each day. Knowing that I am not alone and will always have help and support to take care of and raise my daughter has honestly been a main factor and game changer for me in overcoming my fear of having children. It makes life so much easier as a new mom.
One thing that I know for sure is that my family will always have my back and be there for my family especially if we decide to have more children in the future. I think it’s so important to have some type of support system in place especially if you’re a mother because life shouldn’t be done alone and any small help really makes a big difference. It makes life so much easier!
My advice would definitely be to find a support system either through family members and/or close friends who can be there for you and your family, help you, and even encourage you because it really makes one’s motherhood journey a lot easier to navigate through!
Positive Thinking & Believing In Myself
The last thing that helped me overcome my fear of having children was shifting my negative way of thinking to positive thinking and believing in myself. Something that I have always struggled with is self-doubt. Especially when it comes to my capabilities. It was when I became pregnant and realized that I was going to become a first-time mother and be responsible for another human being that I knew that I had to change the way I think for my baby’s sake.
One simple thing that really helped me out during pregnancy was taking a walk in the park. Since I love the outdoors and wanted to have a natural and smooth birthing experience I made it a priority to stay as physically active as possible until the time of labor. That really helped my physical, emotional, and mental state.
There were many moments when I was walking and I would only focus on thinking positive and good thoughts in my head about the process. It honestly helped me out so much and took away a lot of fear and negative thoughts that I had about labor and delivery.
Some simple thoughts that I would say to myself throughout my pregnancy and while I was in labor that helped me get through and overcome my fear were:
“I am strong.”
“I am capable.”
“You got this!”
Even now at over a year postpartum I still focus on these positive thoughts.
It has really helped build my confidence. Now that I have the experience, know what to expect, and have gone through the pain I feel more empowered and believe in myself and in my capabilities especially now as a new mother.
Reminding myself that I am unique, amazing, and capable of handling anything and changing the way that I think has essentially helped me overcome my fear and made me more open and willing to have children in the future.
What about you? When you think back on your birthing story, what were some of the things that helped you? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!