If you've been hanging around me for a while you would be familiar with the concept of what I call "birthy bullshit". And you also know that I'm a massive fan of journaling and use journaling techniques with all my clients. But you might be wondering if the journaling actually does anything...ummm.... useful.
Just how the heck does journaling help clear birthy bullshit and allow you to step further into your own power?
So glad that you asked!
Urgh. Planning a VBAC within our current maternity care system means policies, guidelines, and a lack of options. While journaling won't necessarily solve those problems it CAN help you deal with them and navigate through the system.
Journaling prompt #1: What do I want from my experience of the maternity care system?
Knowing just why you are there and accepting that you do actually have a choice as to whether to engage with the system ensures that you are stepping into your power and responsibility for decision making. It also ensures that you get some clarity around what you want. You do not have to be a passive recipient of care - YOU are the driver in this journey.
Once you know what you want from the system you can move onto:
Journaling prompt #2: How do I feel about asking the system (via my care provider) to meet my individual needs?
Now it's time to go deeper. How are you feeling about walking into your first care provider appointment and telling them what you want from your pregnancy and birthing care? Do you feel strong, powerful, and confident? Do you feel scared? And what do you need in order to feel confident in asking for your needs to be met?
Other people's bullshit:
Mention that you are planning a VBAC and other people have just gotta have a say. From the "are you allowed" crowd, through to the "Why would you want to ruin your vagina" people, it's actually unusual to find people who's opinion and comments aren't a little bit bullshit.
Journaling prompt #3: How can I get these people out of my birth (head) space?
Have a good think about how to ensure that these people's comments are cleared out of your brain space. I usually suggest creating 2 scripts. One for people who are in your life a lot - like your mum, father in law, aunty Mabel etc. Write yourself out a script to say to them when they give their unsolicited (bullshit) opinions. This will be completely dependent on your relationship with them and your communication style. The other script is for those random people who you may not ever see again. And this script might be something that you say to yourself after the encounter. Something that acknowledges the comment
Your own bullshit:
We all bring our own baggage to birth - our culture, previous experiences, what we've seen in the media, and random things that we've heard along the way. Not all of this is bullshit, but some of it definitely is. Knowing yourself is a really important part of preparing for a VBAC journey.
The quickest way to start clearing your own crap is to acknowledge it.
Journaling prompt #4: What is birth to me?
You need to know what you actually believe about birth and VBAC before you can move onto....
Journaling prompt #5: Where did these beliefs come from?
This will help you to work out if your beliefs come from a reliable source and what further exploration you might need to do.
These are just some of my favourite journaling prompts to help you clear birthy bullshit and step into your power. If you would like to explore this further please sign up for my FREE journaling workshop on Friday March 5th. You can sign up HERE.
PS: Want to go even deeper with journaling and clearing birthy bullshit? My 12 session VBAC mentoring program is designed to help you navigate the system from a place of power and to clear any bullshit that sits on your pathway. Send me an email at: email@example.com to find out more.
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