As I’ve become older and wiser…..31 equals old and wise, right?….I’m learning to embrace obstacles that are put in front of me. I’m learning to absorb, observe and modify insecurities that exist within me. I’m no longer threatened by my short comings. I don’t feel the need to make excuses for the way I am. I’m slowly learning that I do have qualities that I don’t like, but I can control them. It takes effort and awareness, but I can work on becoming a better me.
Last Wednesday I was hit in the face with a huge insecurity. I had no idea I had such a huge distrust of support systems. As soon as I felt uncomfortable, I shut down. I rejected every offer of support Christian offered me. I turned into a version of myself that I don’t like – a version of myself that does nothing but hinder me from experiencing life.
Looking back on life events where I found myself in similar situations, it’s obvious to me now. Christian and I have gone biking together dozens of times. At least half of those times have result in me becoming overly anxious and emotional. My anxiety and emotions lead me to getting angry at Christian. My anger at Christian lead me to retreating back to solo-Kristy who needs no one and prefers to do everything alone. For the record, I don’t like that version of myself.
I love biking. I love biking with Christian. I am not confident on a bicycle. It’s another element that I may or may not have control over. This is one of the reasons I love running. It’s just me, my feet, and the road. If I’m biking with Christian, and I don’t know where I’m going I’ve been known to have some anxiety and a few tears.
Me + Bicycle I don’t feel like I have control over + relying on Christian to support/guide me through a trail = ANXIETY
Me + practicing comfort positions for labor with a room full of strangers + relying on Christian for support = ANXIETY
It’s a simple equation that always results in the same not so desirable outcome.
Now that I’m aware of this problem, I owe it to myself (and Christian, and Cole, and Chet) to learn healthy ways to deal with these variables. Shutting down is not healthy. Unneccessary anxiety is not healthy.
In less than 2 months, Christian and I will be heading to the hospital to have our baby. I know the day is going to be filled with anxiety, emotions, discomfort, pain, and a lot of tears. I also know that I won’t have control over what is going on in my body. It is my job to be aware of my body. It is not my job to control it.
Me + Labor/Pain/Emotions I can’t control + relying on Christian for support = AMAZING BIRTH EXPERIENCE
It is up to me to change to the outcome of the equation. Knowing my natural tendency is to retreat, Christian and I are coming up with strategies to make sure I feel safe, confident, and secure.
#1 – We hired our doulas (who I absolutely love without even really knowing them!) to be with us during labor. They both have an amazing energy they carry with them. They have an endless amount of knowledge about the female body and the labor process. I also feel incredibly comfortable with them and connected to them.
#2 – I’m currently working on a vision board to remind myself of all the reasons why I want a natural birth and why I cherish the support I receive from Christian. (once again our amazing honeymoon in Utah is the foundation for the board….”I’m here if you need me” is not only the gift we received during our honeymoon, it is also a huge part of our relationship, and it will be a huge part of Chet’s birth process)
#3 – We are quickly learning some dos and don’ts for Christian in the delivery room. A lot of them are the exact same dos and don’ts Christian has learned by supporting me while I’m training for races. A lot of them are the exact same dynamics we have learned that worked for us on our honeymoon in Utah, while hiking up mountains, and while biking together. Maybe I can get him to write a guest post about his does and don’ts!
#4 – I’m working on being open and accepting of the support that Christian offers me. I have to learn to trust the support he is offering.
Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves. ~ Walter Anderson
It’s a work in progress, but I truly believe that awareness is the hardest step. Now that I’m aware of my insecurity, I can consciously make choices to eliminate my distrust of support.
Can you tell we loved our honeymoon! I can’t wait to go back with both boys! Those 8 days in Utah truly shaped our relationship, fine tuned who Christian and I are as people, and connected us on level we didn’t know was possible. It’s no surprise that we love Utah!