Dealing with Delivery Anxiety
Last updated: January 2022
Living with endometriosis, I never knew if I would be able to get pregnant. It was a dream of mine so while it remained in my prayers, I stayed open to the many possible ways to become a mother.
With the great help of a fertility team, I became pregnant. The next nine months were filled with change, uncertainty, joy, and all of the emotions.
Now as I’m days away from delivering this baby girl, I’m feeling an unexpected sense of anxiety. As my belly gets bigger by the day, how will this baby make her way out into the world, and how will she and I do in the process?
While I rely a lot on my faith during times like these, I wouldn’t be honest with you or myself to say that I’m experiencing some delivery anxiety. It’s a BIG moment in life and likely the biggest physical demand that will ever be placed on my body.
Will I be able to deliver vaginally, or will I need a c-section? Will I request an epidural or go unmedicated?
Do I really need to be induced if I don’t deliver by my due date or can I just wait until my body initiates labor? Of course, this is also the time nine-month pregnant moms hear all the birth stories from anyone and everyone.
Some are helpful and encouraging. Others feel more like horror stories that may have you truly questioning the person’s intention in sharing the story.
Yet here I stand, awaiting likely the biggest day of my life, having to work through these emotions all while experiencing the rollercoaster of pregnancy hormones.
The three things that I’m reminding myself of during this time are:
Accepting the uncontrollable of delivery
Let me rip the Band-Aid off the first one that is personally the hardest for me to accept as a type-A control planner.
I can have the best plan in place, and I believe that I currently do, but the reality is there are a lot of variables when it comes to delivery of which I don’t have control.
I can choose to see this as an experience of being “out of control” or I can choose to see this as an opportunity to surrender to the process. Again, have a plan, but also trust the process.
That which you focus on gets bigger
Continuing on this note, I’ve lived by the motto “That which you focus on gets bigger.” I first heard it during my yoga teacher training, and it has stuck with me ever since.
So, I can choose to see delivery as an experience to fear or I can choose to see this as a miracle that I am about to experience. I also am thankful to have my husband and medical care team to support me through the process.
Tap into your breath
Likely the simplest of them all and equally powerful is the breath. Something that is always with us and can shift us from a state of stress to a state of relaxation.
Obviously, we need to use our breath during the actual delivery process, but even leading up to the big day, I can tap into my breath to ease any feelings of anxiety and anchor myself back into the moment.
Did you experience any delivery anxiety? How did you best manage it?
Coming together as a community to share our experiences is so powerful, so I’d love to hear from you.
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):