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<p>Hi Ladies,</p>
<p>Im 23 weeks pregnant with my second baby.  First pregnancy was a really peaceful time, birth was not what we had planned and I spent awhile digging out of post partum depression and adjusting to my new normal. </p>
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<p>With this baby there has been alot of different feelings.  Upset in the beginning because I didnt feel ready yet..frustration with finding a supportive care provider.. fear over the holidays due to a breast lump scare..  and now comes the anxiety around the actual birth.  The "what is safest for everyone?", can *I* handle a homebirth?  What if there is an emergency and Im so far away from a hospital?  What will labor be like?  Will it even start?  What if it's different than the "normal", how will I maintain my trust?  How will I be able to trust this caregiver when Ive had such horrible experiences with almost every medical professional and midwife that has attended me?</p>
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<p>What I do know after approaching this very analytically, I cant rationalize or think my way into nirvana regarding this :)  Ive got to just let go.  I know that for me, the biggest lesson of motherhood has been surrender.. but surrender has been so hard through my life because Ive never had people I trusted to protect me.  I have a history of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the people who were supposed to protect me and trust has been a long process.</p>
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<p>I completely trust my husband and we have done alot of hard but incredibly rewarding work in the last couple of years.  So much healing has occured.   Ive drawn healthy boundaries, removed people from my life that were negative and unsupportive..  but still, here I am facing one of my biggest fears which has translated into -</p>
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<p>"<em>What if you arent enough... AGAIN</em>?"  Good enough, prepared enough, worthy enough, lucky enough..</p>
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<p>It's a meme from my childhood that Ive done alot of work around but it's a process and pregnancy brings alot of things up to reprocess.  The irony of this is that Ive been to 100+ births, I was a midwifery student, doula, childbirth educator, hypnotherapist.. I believe 100% in every woman I come in contact with to move mountains, but sometimes I dont believe that much in myself.</p>
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<p>I have an amazing therapist but by some bizarre stroke of "luck" we are both pregnant at the same time.. very different in our pregnancy approaches.. I find myself holding back some fears because Im so protective of the space of pregnant women.. Changing therapists isnt an option because she is the only person in 15 years that Ive ever found that has been able to help me feel safe enough to process deep hurts and childhood trauma.  I am so much stronger now then Ive ever been.  But with strength sometimes there is an illusion of control.  Before during the brokenness there was mad grasping for control..  now I know logically that control is an illusion, but yet I seek it in affirmation.</p>
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<p>So, here I am seeking healing and suggestion here in community.  Open heart and hands to ask sisters, mothers, daughters what they have done in their lives to help process their anxieties around birth.. how they were able to surrender to this journey.. during pregnancy, during birth and beyond.</p>
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<p>Here is my current approach..</p>
<p>1.  We are headed on a babymoon (to also celebrate DDs 3rd bday) to hawaii.  Im hawaiian and always feel such happiness when surrounded by aloha and in the land of my ancestors.  I wanted to do a bit of a ritual while I was there.  Im planning on writing my worries and fears down and sending them out to sea.  Then, I'd like to visit Kukaniloko - the ancient birthing stones.  Kukaniloko means "To Anchor the Cry from Within " which seems fitting :)  Ill leave a letter there to my ancestors and all women asking for the things I feel I need and blessings for my hopes in birth.</p>
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<p>2.  Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a wonderful source of wisdom for me.  I've been listening to her audio series and it has been really illuminating.</p>
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<p>3.  Im really trying to prepare my body for an active birth.  Although Ive got a weird hypnosis block right now, I listen to affirmations I recorded while on the treadmill, repeating each one and trying to store it in my body.</p>
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<p>What are your rituals or ways of processing?</p>
 

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<p>Hi MamaChef.  I love your approach (and I'm sorry for you past traumas).  Connecting to my pregnancy and my babies spiritually is very important to me as well.  I would LOVE to go to Hawaii with you and visit those rocks!  What a beautiful tradition.</p>
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<p>I meditate daily using various pregnancy meditations (I got the twin tracks from Hypnobabies although I'm not doing the complete hypnobabies) and I love pregnancy meditations from Belleruth Naperstak.  Although these meditations and affirmations are a-religious I include prayer in mine since I believe my babies are in God's hands.  During meditation I also use the same essential oil each time.  My hope is that the same scent will calm me in labor.  I think we often forget the power of the nose!</p>
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<p>I also think the process of WRITING DOWN affirmations is important so I plan (as I did with DD) to create a beautiful book of birth affirmations to take with me in labor.  The process of making this beautiful book was so cathartic and I hardly needed the book in labor because they were in my head.  (of course, I enjoy scrapbooking so this may not be for everyone!).  I've heard of others that find the same peace through art.</p>
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<p>I've recently had my calm shaken by a friend who was also pregnant with twins losing one of her babies at 32 weeks.  It was just crushing and reminded me how fragile it all is.  It just made my pregnancy rituals more important to me than ever. </p>
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<p>I hope others share their rituals! </p>
 

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<p>Thank you so much for sharing, Liora! </p>
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<p>Please excuse all of the questions but Ive been looking for a new pregnancy related hypnosis program because I have a hard time listening to my own scripts and getting into a level of hypnosis that is therapeutic.  That is why Im doing the affirmations while Im working out.  Have you ever heard the hypnobabies affirmations?  Are the Belleruth ones notably different? How would you describe the feel of them?  Do you like the music?  I hate the hypnobabies music and Im not fond of alot of the affirmations in general that she uses. </p>
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<p>I love that you mention essential oil and our senses.  When I developed my own hypnosis program for birth I created queues for all 5 senses. Id let my clients pick their scent.. and it was always one of the best ways to deepen hypnosis and relaxation when I was a doula for one of my clients.  Scent is a really powerful sense for me as is taste.  Honey sticks, flavored tic tacs etc were another aspect of the program.</p>
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<p>THANK YOU so much for reminding me of the important of writing things down.  I used to have clients create a birth board the could use as a focal point.  Im not feeling too artsy this pregnancy so I think I blocked this part of my own preparation, but I definitely want to create several images and words to hang up around the house as talisman and focal point.</p>
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<p>Im so sorry to hear about your friend... and I wish you could come with me to the birthing stones! ;)</p>
 

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<p>I need guided meditation.  My mind wanders too much when I try to guide myself.</p>
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<p>I definitely prefer Belleruth Naperstak's guided meditations to Hypnobabies (I did her Infertility ones as well through IVF).  I like the Hypnobabies affirmations because they are specifically for twins which is nice.  I think the hypnosis track has too much "intro" (explaining hypnosis) and I don't like the music.  Belleruth has the most amazing, soothing voice and the music is nice.  I just love how she talks about being surrounded by smiling ancestors offering your their energy.  However, she doesn't call it "hypnosis" just "guided meditation" - I'm not sure where I stand on hypnosis but I think the suggestions and practice of relaxing and connecting with my babies is so valuable.</p>
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<p>Here's the Belleruth tracks I do: <a href="http://www.healthjourneys.com/Product_Detail.aspx?id=15&mcid=&catid=27" target="_blank">http://www.healthjourneys.com/Product_Detail.aspx?id=15&mcid=&catid=27</a> 100% worth the money in my opinion.</p>
<p>I also like this one: <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/meditation-for-pregnancy-guided/id293747141" target="_blank">http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/meditation-for-pregnancy-guided/id293747141</a> although it kind of throws me that it is a guy's voice.</p>
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<p>I never thought of adding taste!  Great idea!</p>
 

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<p>MamaChef, what a beautiful and inspiring approach you have to overcoming your fears and anxiety.  It sounds like you are on the right path in so many ways.  I just wanted to add that I had a traumatic first birth experience and only through my belief in the awesome power of the universe, the belief I found within my womanhood, and the knowledge that all will be just as it should - was I able to break through and release all fear, resulting in the most graceful, simple homebirth I could have ever wished for.</p>
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<p>Every day, I followed the path of my fear and anxiety.  I allowed myself the feelings - I did not try to meditate them away or turn them into positives - I really allowed myself to explore them - to truly OWN them.  By letting all the negativity into my brain, I gave it a path on which to travel - and travel it did - right out of my mind - creating space for peace and joy.  I spent quiet time, mostly in the evenings, sitting with my eyes closed and soft music on.  Sometimes it helped to do a little yoga first to become aware of my breathing and body.  But then I would just sit, alone, and work it all out in my head.  Eventually I worked my way through everything and felt absolutely no fear whatsoever - both regarding the birth and the postpartum time.  </p>
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<p>I know this 'technique' may not work for everyone, but I thought I would throw it out there.  It really helped me get through a scary time and into a place of beauty.</p>
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<p>My only actual meditation has always been "There is no way to peace.  Peace is the way."  It works for calming my mind in just about any situation.</p>
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