Even before I became pregnant, I knew my preference would be to have as natural a birth as possible. I do not react well to medications in general (seriously, I took a codeine based med once and The Hubs was shocked by my extreme reaction to it!) and while an epidural is a great choice for many mama’s-to-be, it just isn’t right for me. The idea of not being able to feel half of my body is more stressful to me than the pain I know I will feel. I know many of you moms out there are probably shaking your heads and smiling, thinking “just wait and see”, but over the past few years I’ve had to have several rather painful surgeries and each time I refused the painkillers. I know this will be a completely different kind of pain, but I prefer to go in assuming no meds and take it from there. I have a wonderful doula who has been helping me learn ways to overcome the pain and in the midst of those she also offered up the idea of visual birth affirmations as a way to focus on my goal. Her idea was very arts and crafts though and I am NOT a DIY crafter. Seriously, I fail miserably every time I attempt my own craft (I also waste a ton of money because it all gets thrown out lol!) so I was completely horrified by her idea.
I watched a gorgeous water birth on Self.com and loved the birth affirmations the mama-to-be had created and posted on the walls around her. The phrases were inspiring and the images were simple, but simple or not, there is no way I could create something along those lines. I took a dismal trip to the craft store and left frustrated. The following day it hit me though; I love to take photos and write, so why not combine my two favorite mediums to form my own artistic birth affirmations?
I recently discovered Artifact Uprising and love the philosophy behind their designs, along with their printing styles, so I took my favorite Instagram images, uploaded the photos to their site and added my own phrases on top of each image. I got the pictures back recently and LOVE how they came out.
This was a good reminder that while my art form is different from others, it is mine and what speaks to me. In the moment, during childbirth I hope these images will help me to remember what I would like to accomplish; to have a safe and birth for myself and out baby. They will also make a beautiful memento for this period in time afterwards.