Who has ever been told “Think Positive” or “I am sending you positive vibes”? I think we all have or even said it to someone else one time or another. Why is it so easy to tell someone this but so hard to actually follow through and do? As a naturally pessimistic person I totally understand how hard to is to think positively, but I know there are so many benefits in doing so. Reduced stress, more confidence, a more carefree life, better health! So how do we harness positivity? And what stops us from thinking positively? I will answer these by recounting to you my birth stories. One was a very positive, loving, joyful experience and the other was the complete opposite – a horrible experience that I would rather forget.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Pregnancy One for Master T was a positive experience from start to finish. Despite, or maybe because of, taking almost 12 months to conceive, Master T was a dream come true. He gave me not an ounce of trouble during my entire pregnancy. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was asked by a midwife on a scale of 1 to 10 how scared I was of giving birth I said 0. I felt so confident in my abilities to give birth drug-free that I was not afraid of the impending birth. It was a means to a beautiful end.
The beautiful pregnancy helped me get into a state of positive thinking I never had with pregnancy two. So as you can already assume I did have a wonderful, drug-free birth. I did most of my labouring at home, when I arrived at the hospital I was already 10cms dilated and was rushed straight into the delivery ward to start pushing. This birth had a rocky ending and the emergency button getting pushed, but that was after the baby was out and I was too out of it to be worried by that stage. And maybe it was my positive state of mind that helped me through the rocky end. Master T gave me a dream pregnancy, dream birth and became a dream baby.
Fear Leads to Negative Thinking
Pregnancy Two with Master L was a nightmare from start to finish. Even scan we had from 5 weeks onwards brought new issues and things to worry about. Because of all these issues, I was referred to a specialist prenatal unit in the hospital to oversee my entire pregnancy. So that meant having a scan every month just to check and see how he was progressing and if any more issues were going to crop up. So it was stressful, it was scary and it was hard to be positive. Would I have a child with debilitating health issues? Mental issues? All things my husband and I would take in our stride, but no one wants to have their child suffer in any way so it made us fear the unknown.
Then at 28 weeks, a few days before Christmas my water broke. I wasn’t sure what it was at first but I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon so I decided to just wait until then to see what had happened. The doctor naturally chastised me and told me that I would not be going home that night. So for the next 7 days, I sat in the hospital waiting to have my baby. Christmas day was so depressing because my family all had places to be so I spent most of the day alone. But after 7 days the hospital said I was allowed to go home on the condition that I take it very easy. Master L appeared to be doing ok and not in any mood to vacate premises.
The next 6 weeks were the bleakest, darkest, most depressing times of my life. I had to go to the hospital every week for tests, scans and doctors appointments to check on Master L. My husband and I were fighting constantly because we were both so stressed out. Whenever anything strange or different happened (one day I couldn’t feel him moving, another day I started bleeding) I had to race up to the hospital for monitoring. One week, apart from my normal weekly visit, I was racing up the hospital 4 other times for monitoring.
In the end, at 34 weeks the doctors noticed that Master L’s growth was starting to slow down and made the decision it was time to get him out. So I went in for a normal checkup and that same night I was getting induced. Even after all the trouble, I had been through I still wasn’t prepared to give birth. I hadn’t had a chance to prepare mentally for giving birth to a baby. Let alone getting induced! Induction for me was a horrible experience. It went from no pain to extreme pain and I wasn’t even 3cms dilated.
So I went against my hopes and wishes and asked for pain relief. I am so disappointed with myself for not powering through, but I was not comfortable from the start and never found my rhythm with the birth. It came to a tumultuous end after 9 hours. I delivered a healthy, happy baby boy who was doing remarkably well despite his early arrival. He had to spend 3 weeks in special care until he was bigger and able to feed well. All the worrying and bleakness of my pregnancy came to nought, he was fine, and very loved.
How to Harness Positivity?
How do you stop fear from ruling you, like I should have done during my second pregnancy? It’s not easy but here are my tips to help you on your way.
My Final Thoughts
I should never have let my fears rule me during my second pregnancy. Instead of embracing the negative emotions that were rife during my second pregnancy I should have cleared my mind of them and embraced a more positive mindset like I had with Master T. But when push comes to shove, when you are tested like I was, you really need to hold on to those positive affirmations and ask for help. Whether it’s a professional or a good friend, never let your negative emotions and thoughts drag you down like I let mine do. Talking it out with a friend can sometimes be the best medicine.