A Beginner's Guide to Parenting // Your Labor & Delivery Toolbox

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Expecting mamas, although excited to meet their newborn, often go into labor with some fear and nerves. I remember I was anxious to have my son and so ready to not be pregnant that I couldn't wait for labor! I ended up having to be induced a week early and I was excited to set the date--to know when I could expect my little one. But then as I settled down that night and the reality began to set in, so did fear and anxiousness. 

One of the things that really helped me through my labor and delivery was a Spotify playlist of worship songs I put together before the big day. It has 5.5 hours worth of encouraging and powerful worship to keep your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). The button below will take you to the playlist I've affectionately called, "Get the Baby Out!" [I was very, very pregnant at this time, mind you!]

Another tool that really helped me through labor was some scripture verses I had saved on my phone. I would read them or repeat them in my head as I pushed through painful contractions. Here are some of the verses I found helpful:

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
— Psalm 127:3-5
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
— Philippians 4:13
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
— Isaiah 26:3
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
— Isaiah 43:1-2

Along with the Bible verses, I would say things to myself like "God made my body to do this" and "I get to be Roman's mama." I found focusing on the positive during the contractions helped get me through the pain (that, and the epidural!).

Finally, don't be afraid to lean on people. I could not have made it through without my husband and the hospital staff! When the epidural didn't go in right and I was in a ton of pain, I wanted to give up and get a c-section. I was so afraid of trying for another epidural that I was bawling. As I sat on my hospital bed, my husband, nurse, and midwife surrounded me on the floor. Looking up at me, all three told me I could do it. It was with their words of encouragement I made it through a second (and correct, hallelujah) epidural! 

Labor and delivery can be scary, but you can make it through! And at the end of it, you will get this precious human being to call your child. You will experience a love like you've never experienced before when you hold that little one in your arms for the first time! You got this, girl!

FUN IDEA: Have a photographer in the room with you during delivery! The pictures we have now, we will cherish for a lifetime. It might seem a bit odd to have someone there but I will never regret it! Besides, I totally forgot a photographer was there and now I have these incredible pictures of holding my son for the first time. What a gift!