There are only two things I have found that successfully combat fear: Faith & Education.
I have had a nagging apprehension about this upcoming birth, and the midwife we want to have attend the birth, and I really really needed to address why. So this afternoon I looked it squarely in the face and asked myself: “What is it you are afraid of?”
The answer immediately surfaced and came to the forefront of my mind. During the birth of our son, I was extremely pushy and almost fully dilated, with a cervical lip. I was so so pushy, I couldn’t not push. Our midwife, after asking permission and informing me that this was really going to hurt, pushed the lip back during the next contraction. Yes, it hurt – it hurt like hell. It was the most painful part of the labor, other than pushing him out.
As I look forward into the future and ponder an upcoming eventual labor, I realize that I am afraid of that happening again. Not that pushing the lip back was necessarily wrong, or done without my consent, or necessarily unnecessary. But I just don’t want it to happen again. I really want to be encouraged to try other things, like squatting, or just breathing through a few more contractions until the lip disappears – because it will.
Now that my fear has a face and a name, I’m researching it and educating myself even more. It isn’t a given that I’ll experience the same scenario, but if it does, I want more knowledge to give me peace and strength. And the education I’ve gleaned thus far is giving me peace. I’ve learned that an anterior cervical lip is really really common. My body was working perfectly, and pushing with a lip wasn’t going to damage my cervix.
I am a little nervous about bringing this up with our midwife, but I know I need to. I have to either talk about this now, or it’s going to hinder the future labor. The fear is that strong. I am actually excited in some ways to have the conversation, because I know we will come to an understanding, and I do believe she is a good and generous person who wants every birth to be the best experience possible. I have faith in her, and I have faith in God above all.
This article provided some great insight into an anterior cervical lip, and what & what not to do. I am quite excited about continuing my self-taught labor education! I trust my body without reserve; I don’t trust my limited knowledge of it. Thankfully that is not a static state of being, and I love to learn. :)