Preparing my Mind for Labor & Delivery

As you probably know by now, I am very close to having my second baby.  Of course, Brent and I can’t wait to welcome home our newest addition to the Moore family!  But I have to tell you, I have not been looking forward to the actual day that I have to make that trip to hospital to actually have the baby.

I’m a Weenie
I am definitely not like some of my wonderful friends who amazingly and somehow superhumanly muscle their way through labor and delivery on their own.  What I mean is, you won’t find me attempting to endure that agonizing discomfort without the use of meds.  Rather, I am just so very, very thankful for a little invention known as the epidural & will be asking to receive that miracle drug just as soon as my doctor will allow it!  But that’s just me!

My First Experience with Childbirth
As my due date approaches, I have found myself becoming anxious and fearful about having to face that physical pain again.  Granted, I made it through Jude’s delivery just fine.  As you can see, I am still alive and have fully recovered from the experience.  And I did enjoy the benefits of an epidural, but… I was not able to receive that relief until much later than I had hoped and had to endure more discomfort that I had expected. 

As it turned out, I was completely unprepared for how to mentally handle the pain.  I knew that I needed to think on truth, to renew my mind with Scripture, to believe God’s Word in that moment… but I had no idea of what to tell myself.  Literally, the only Scripture I could recall was Genesis 3 when Eve disobeyed God by eating that forbidden fruit & God cursed her with pain in child birth!!  Not helpful in the moment!

So, I have been determined with this baby, to have my mind ready with some truth to help when the going gets tough!  Here are the top new thoughts I am asking the Lord to help me dwell on and believe during some of those painful contractions.

New Truth-filled Thoughts to Help in Labor & Delivery:
1. I will not fight against this moment, but rather accept it- just as Jesus accepted the painful plan the Father laid out for Him on the cross.
For the last several months, my Sunday morning Bible study group has been studying the book of John.  It was amazing to see how often throughout the book, Jesus realized that “My time has not yet come.”  Finally, in John 17:1, Jesus prayed before He went to the cross, “Father, the hour has come…”  Jesus did not resist the hard and physically painful future that God had for him.  In fact, in the next chapter, when Judas Iscariot and the Roman cohorts came to seize Him, Jesus did not put up a fight against them or use the power of His deity to get out of a hard situation.  Rather, He willingly handed Himself over to them to be crucified.  He even told Peter, “The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” 

clockSo, I have found myself these last 9 months cheerfully saying, “My hour has not yet come!”  But I know that very shortly “My hour will come,” and “Will I not accept this painful blessing that the Father has given me?”  He knows what He is doing with me, and even though I would like labor and delivery to be completely painless, I am going to trust God’s plan and accept what He has for me.

2.  I can willingly sacrifice my physical body for someone else- just as Jesus willingly sacrificed His physical body for me. 
This is the heartbeat of the gospel.  Jesus definitely did not have to suffer for us on the cross and give His life for us, but He did because He loves us and wanted to reconcile us as sinners to a loving, holy God.  It’s amazing.  And now, also amazingly, He has given me an opportunity to identify with Him in suffering physically for someone else, my baby.  I want to do this well!  And not complain and hate every minute.  Rather, I am praying God gives me the grace to come under physical pain and look like Christ as I love my new baby’s life more than my own.  This really goes back very much to what I’ve shared with you previously about what God is teaching me about dying to myself in motherhood and how God brings LIFE when we willingly DIE to our own desires.  Here are a couple of passages I’m hanging on to:

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.” Phil. 3:10-11

3.  God has promised to be my help in times of great need.
I realized as I was reading Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick that my mind has been so focused on and so believing that labor & delivery is going to be so terrible, that I had completely forgotten that God has promised to be my help and give me the strength that I need to be victorious.  How could I forget this??  It’s like I’m so certain of the pain, yet not so certain that God will come through for me.  God, increase my faith so that I may depend upon You for the help I need!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven & earth.
He will not let your foot be moved.  He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper.  The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil.  He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
Psalm 121

So, this is my plan!  I have printed out pages of other passages that go along with these new thoughts that I will take with me to the hospital and either read myself or have my hubby read to me during those tough moments.  I am also hoping to have time to create a play list with some good worshipful music to help focus my mind on truth.

Mainly though, I am just praying God gives me the grace to actually walk in these things He has shown me.  It’s so easy to know the right thing, but much harder to actually walk in it when the time comes.  But I am trusting that He will give me the grace I need to honor Him by trusting Him and depending on His Spirit to help me obey so that ultimately He will be glorified in me!

Also, I would LOVE to hear from any of you moms out there that have found success in this area!  Please share in the comments below what was helpful to you during your own childbirth experience!  Blessings to you all!

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6 thoughts on “Preparing my Mind for Labor & Delivery

  1. Relaxing and meditating on scripture really helped me alot! The more you can consciously relax your body, the more you can labor with less pain. If you tense up, then your muscles work to stop labor. Use Relaxation CDs. Sit on a birthing ball(exercise ball). The ball took lots of my pain away. Find what position works for you. Pitocin contractions are much, much, much more painful than going into labor on your own. Stay hydrated and empty your bladder often even if you don’t feel like it. A full bladder slows dilation. Sometimes, for once during your whole pregnancy, you will not notice it’s full.
    That’s just a few of my top tips after 4 babies.

  2. Amy, thank you for sharing! I love these tips! Will definitely put these into practice. And, yes, I was on Pitocin with my first, so maybe that explains some of the pain! Thank you again. Very helpful!

  3. Courtney, what perseverance you are showing through this !! I sure do miss studying with you but still have ALL my notes 🙂 Your post is a great example of how to prepare our minds for hardships we will face. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Praying for a safe delivery for you and baby Moore.LOVE YOU !!

  4. Elizabeth and Kevin used index cards and wrote scriptures on some of them and verses from songs, and the kids drew some pictures on some. They punched a hole in them and tied them all together with string, kind of like we did with verses and a key ring. They gave it to me before my surgery because they knew I would be scared. It really helped me before, as well as the actual day of surgery and recovery. I read and reread them when I would get scared. It was the best gift they could have given me. I still use it. My favorite verse was Isaiah 41:10 Do not be afraid, for I AM with you; do not be confused, for I AM your God. I will strengthen you, yes; I will help you, yes: I will uphold you with My righteous right arm.
    One thing that helped me when I was in labor was thinking that each time I had a contraction, my body was doing what is was supposed to be doing, The contraction was opening up my cervix so the baby could come out, and that was a good thing and just go with it. Also, as long as they let me, I would walk back and forth during the contraction. I just focused on making it to the door and then back to the other side of the room. That way I wasn’t focused on the pain, but on walking and making it back and forth.
    I love you and have been praying for you and baby.

    1. What a sweet gift, Gretchen! I am sure that was a big help! Thanks for sharing Isaiah 41:10 and also your other labor tip. Very helpful! And thanks so much for the prayers!! Lots of love to you, too!

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