My Birth Story and Reflections on My First Year of Motherhood

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I am patient, knowing that whatever is of the highest good is coming to me | Super Attractor card deckIn three days I will celebrate my son Oliver’s first birthday. This milestone gives me a beautiful opportunity reflect on the past year.

Delivering my son was the best day of my life. I call it my Beyoncé birth! My water broke two days before I was scheduled to be induced. I remember lying in bed with my big belly on December 17th, reading over the manuscript for my new book, Super Attractor. I was planning to deliver it to my publisher on the 18th, before my scheduled induction.

My doctor had spent hours convincing me to deliver my baby at 40 weeks because of my age. I resisted his suggestions at first, but in the end I surrendered the plan to the Universe. Reading the manuscript again made me feel so good, helping me release my fear and return to my faith in the Universe.

After an hour of reading, I stood up to get a drink… and that’s when my water broke! I yelled down to my husband that it was time to go. We grabbed the hospital bag and took off. Our baby was on his way!

We calmly drove to the hospital that night, filled with excited anticipation but also a great sense of peace. For months I’d held a vision of the labor I wanted to have. I saw myself free from fear, moving through each surge with ease and peacefully delivering my child. I held this vision and surrendered it to the Universe.

Gabby Bernstein Instagram photo from the hospital where she gave birth | Gabby Bernstein birth storyThe next morning I went into labor. I live in a country town with a small, regional hospital. As I had envisioned, I was the only person laboring in the maternity ward. I had two amazing doulas, six loving nurses, a caring obstetrician, and my incredible husband there to support me.

Outside my hospital window I could see the blue December sky and rolling hills. I played mantra music, lit votive candles and sang the word “Ahh” as I moved through each surge. “Ahh,” the universal sound for God, was what instinctively came through me. Every hour I’d meditate with my doulas, listening to mantras and gazing at images I’d pinned up: one of a baby in perfect delivery position, and one of a flower representing full dilation.

My spiritual practices were essential to my labor experience. They made such a difference for me that I recorded birthing affirmations for Spirit Junkie mamas. You can download the birthing affirmations free here.

My meditations, affirmations and visualizations guided me through 14 hours of labor. Early on December 19th, my son came into the world with grace and ease. When the doctor gently set him on my chest, I looked at my baby and said, “I know you.” It was as if we’d been together for many lifetimes. This was the best day of my life and my greatest manifestation.

Gabby Bernstein holding her newborn son's hand | Gabby Bernstein birth storyThe Universe always has a plan far better than ours. The three years I spent trying to conceive gave me the gift of surrender. I focused on feeling good and strengthened my faith so I could deliver my son in the perfect time.

Looking back, I can see how there was no better time for me to become a mother. Each day I return to these practices, reminding myself that anything is possible when I’m aligned with my Super Attractor power. I know the greatest lesson I can teach my own child is that when he’s aligned with the power of love he will live a miraculous life.

I had to live that lesson this year. After the high of delivering my son wore off, I was struck with the most challenging experience of my life. If you’ve been following my work you know that I struggled majorly in the first half of the year. In the spring I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety.

This was the scariest and darkest moment of my life. My diagnosis came after months of excruciating insomnia, agoraphobia, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. At first I thought I was just a stressed-out new mom — but it was much more than that. (If you identify with these symptoms or are struggling in other ways, reach out to Postpartum International. And if you live near NYC, I also love The Motherhood Center. If you’re in a crisis, don’t hesitate to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.)

Gabby Bernstein on a walk with her baby, looking at a white church in the countryside | Gabby Bernstein birth storyDuring this time I prayed daily, and once I surrendered I could ask for help. My inner guidance system led me to call a friend who is a psychiatrist in New York. Within hours he had me on the phone with a reproductive psychiatrist who gave me my clear diagnosis and started me on my healing path.

Once again, this required spiritual surrender. At first I resisted the idea of taking medication, but I accepted that I’d tried every single alternative and nothing was working. I talked very openly with my new doctor and I began taking prescribed medication.

The medication I took rescued me in the depths of my suffering. It’s what helped me sleep after months of insomnia and feel more like myself. Because of that I was able to truly show up for the rest of my recovery.

One gift this experience gave me was a new perspective on mental health treatment. I’m committed to erasing the lingering shame and stigma around asking for help and doing what it takes to feel better. I’ve also given voice to unspoken shame, opening up about my postpartum anxiety and depression  in The New York Times at the same time I was celebrating 14 years of sober recovery.

Gabby Bernstein pushing her baby in a stroller and looking out over rolling hills | Gabby Bernstein birth storyToday I can live to testify that, as Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” The massive bottom I was in was the catalyst for my greatest transformation. Sometimes we have to fall apart to be reborn, and this year was a rebirthing for me. Experiencing mental illness stripped me of all my ego’s outward perceptions of myself. This was the miracle.

Through my recovery I’ve grown to be more centered, grounded and in-the-moment than ever before. I cherish the smallest moments and I have a newfound respect for my nervous system and overall well-being.

In Super Attractor I talk about how appreciation can reframe even our most difficult times…

Appreciation dissolves all blocks to the presence of my Super Attractor power | Gabby BernsteinWe spend a lot of time focusing on what we’re experiencing rather than how we’re experiencing it. We forget that we can change our experience of anything simply by shifting our point of focus. Any situation can be experienced with more love when we choose to see it through lens of appreciation. Even the tough times can be seen through this lens.

When you choose a perspective of appreciation you can find great growth opportunities instead of remaining the victim of your experience. For example, when I think back about hitting bottom with my drug and alcohol addiction in 2005, I have nothing but appreciation.

My deep gratitude for my recovery is what has kept me clean and sober for so many years. I appreciate my addiction because it was the catalyst for the spiritual path that I am on today. I don’t judge myself for being a recovering alcoholic and addict. I celebrate it!

Through appreciation I’ve been able to turn what could have been a shameful time in my life into a miracle. I look back on my bottom and thank the Universe for all the divine lessons and clear direction on my path. Most importantly, I appreciate my addiction because through my recovery I’ve been able to help others get sober too.

My greatest reflection of all is that the foundational spiritual path I’ve been on throughout my life was what saved my life. My faith in the Universe, my reliance on spirit and my ability to surrender are what guided my healing path.

I release time and let the Universe show me what to do | Super Attractor card deck | Gabby BernsteinBecoming a mother has also changed me. Now, months into my recovery, I can truly cherish every moment with my son. The week he was born I got a text from my friend Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent. She said, “Your son is your new guru.” She was right! This child has taught me so much. He’s inspired me to go deeper on my healing path so that I can heal my nervous system, release stagnant energy and become more free. In the energy of my freedom I give him space to thrive.

Oliver has proven to be my greatest spiritual teacher, giving me a new sense of presence, patience and most of all an opportunity to deepen my faith in the Universe. He is my greatest desire made manifest. I know that the birth of this soul is a reflection of my willingness to be guided and my trust in a plan beyond my own.

My son has also taught me to release my need to control more than ever before. When you have a child, you must accept that you can’t control anything. Of course, it’s not only true in childbirth… it’s true all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can decide how you’ll show up for them. Being on a spiritual path helps you recognize the difference.

As I say in Super Attractor…

I’ve chosen to perceive hard life experiences as spiritual assignments for growth and healing. I’ve accepted that nothing happens by accident. And I know that as long as I remember I’m a Super Attractor, I will be able to accept difficult experiences as opportunities to fine-tune my inner power and get closer to consciousness. The tough stuff offers me a chance to shine the crystal that is me.

Being a Super Attractor doesn’t mean everything is perfect — but it does mean that I show up for life with faith, no matter what. Claiming my Super Attractor power has helped me to move through rough times with much more grace, honesty and compassion than I otherwise would.

Gabby Bernstein sitting on a curb in Houston | Gabby Bernstein birth storyOur willingness to surrender to the Universe is what allows an invisible guidance to take over. When we surrender, we realign with faith, and in that alignment we are shown where to go and what to do. We can relax and trust in the unfolding.

Thanks to my own surrender, I was able to recover with a lot of grace and compassion. Not only did I give birth to my son, but I also gave birth to my seventh book! Going on tour with my family I love that I get to travel with my husband. Zach is always capturing random moments and turning them into art. It’s a blessing to have a partner who believes in me. Our shared mission is to help a lot of people and have a lot of fun.

I’m deeply grateful that this year I was able to travel around and meet Super Attractors all over North America. I’m so excited to continue the tour in 2020 in Australia! Teaching the book’s methods to you and bringing them to life onstage is a beautiful gift. Thank you for coming out, for waiting in line, for asking such thoughtful questions.

One of my favorite parts of my job is answering questions at my live events. I let go and trust in the answers that come through. I’m also blown away by the vulnerability and authenticity that the audience members bring forth. It’s brave to speak up in front of thousands of strangers and share your truth. It’s in those truthful moments that the group receives a collective healing. In the presence of authenticity we are given permission to get honest.

And whether you came out for my book tour or not, THANK YOU for reading Super Attractor, giving the book to your friends, practicing the methods, sharing your miracles on social media and reclaiming your own Super Attractor power!

Be proud of your commitment to these practices and celebrate your internal shifts. May this New Year offer you many miracles. And may your spiritual practice clear space for the Universe to midwife your dreams.

Believing in spiritual guidance gives me certainty and the freedom to keep dreaming, even when I can't yet see the result | Super Attractor card deck | Gabby BernsteinAs I reflect on 2019, I can say proudly that all the struggles I experienced mentally and physically were part of a bigger plan. The Universe had a plan to crack me open more so that I could get closer to freedom. I have come to accept my dark moments as opportunities to heal more, love more and show up in the world in a more powerful and authentic way.

Take some time before New Year’s to reflect on your 2019. Give yourself the chance to celebrate the tough stuff as the catalyst for your growth. You wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now if you weren’t willing to grow. Something cracked you open so that you could be here reading this today.

Super Attractor by Gabby BernsteinWhen you reframe your difficult times, you become free. Obstacles are opportunities, rejection is protection and struggles can lead to freedom. Trust that the love of the Universe is in every experience, and when you tune in to it you can see it with faith rather than fear.

On the back cover of Super Attractor, I share a passage that I hope inspires you to commit more deeply to your spiritual practice:

You can decide today to recalibrate your energy and commit to love and joy. In an instant you can choose a world beyond your fear…. When you embark on a spiritual path, a shift occurs whether you’re conscious of it or not. And if you stick to the path and stay committed to your practices, one day you wake up and you’re new.

Celebrate 2019 as a journey to becoming new. Welcome 2020 already reborn, transformed and ready to receive great gifts from the Universe.

With love,
Gabby

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  1. beautiful story Gabby. My daughter is 6 months old and I still struggle with insomnia since her birth letting go of my strong attachment to sleep. Thanks for helping me to not loose hope and know that this shall pass. Amber x

    1. You’re welcome, Amber. If you didn’t see it yet, check out the conversation that I had with Rachel Platten on Saturday. You can find it when you visit my Instagram profile. I think you will find it helpful. Happy Mother’s Day, sister! xo

  2. I read this post when it was first released, but today I came back to it.
    My fiancé and I are currently in disagreeable circumstances. We were schedule to marry in October and had planned to start trying for a
    Baby as soon as we are married. I’m going to be 37 and he will be 32.
    However with the current world circumstances our wedding will be post-poned as my family are now unable to fly from Australia to South Africa for at least another 9-12months. This has thrown everything and given my age I already felt that waiting till October to start trying was pushing it.
    Anyways after discussing this with my fiancé I thought we agreed to start trying and we would get married with a very small ceremony to make it official then have the big celebration next year.. Turns out I was wrong and he thinks I’m being ridiculous and negative by even putting it out to the universe that we may have difficulty and he absolutely doesn’t want to start trying until a) we are married and b) all our ducks are in a row. This is very hard for me and I am much like you Gabby, I am spiritual and I have manifested so so much goodness in my life. I have a huge trust and faith in the universe and I coach women on this stuff all the time. However, now my realism is being bought to the surface. I’m not getting younger and so so many women at this age struggle so I want to start trying now, but unfortunately I am met with his response that we cannot try until we are ready because he literally believes as soon as we make that decision I will fall pregnant first go.
    I recognise I need to surrender into this and I totally trust in the divine timing of me falling pregnant, but it is just so so hard right now to be challenged with his ideas and him saying I’m being negative. Then I read your story and I know you said you had to surrender, and you tried for 3 years to conceive and although I know I can and will push through any hard times I face, there is another part of me who is unsure.
    My belief is to start trying now and trust in the timing. Would love to know what you think? I know I need to just surrender but I have so much fear about missing out on becoming a mother and it’s put me in this icky place.

  3. I just came back here to read this again as I am now trying to conceive and need to have faith. Your words makes me feel inspired to believe in the Universe’s plan and surrender my own. All I can say is a big THANK YOU for sharing this and being so inspiring.
    xx

  4. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. As I go through my own journey with motherhood, there’s so much from what you’ve shared that I will keep in mind. I really appreciate that you share the highs and the lows — not enough women and families talk about it and it leaves so many feeling isolated in their own situations. Here’s to spreading more wisdom and light!

  5. Well its my own son’s birthday and so I happened upon this. I am cracked open in more ways than I knew I needed. Isn’t that the glorious thing about a spiritual life? I love to grow, learn and understand myself better, so that I can be of greater service some day. Thanks for sharing your authentic truth. I love that in people! Being real and authentic is more impressive to me than money, followers, status, good looks, etc. God bless you Gabby. <3

  6. I love how inspiring you are. Your light shines so bright! We have a lot in common and I look forward to learning more.Thank you for sharing.

  7. Happy New Year Gabby! Thank you for this letter, and your amazing gift of Super Attractor. As the Universe would have it this is exactly what I need right now.❤

  8. Thank you for this beautiful post Gabby, for being so honest and real. You help me so much and I can’t wait to see you in Sydney xx

  9. Dear Gabby,
    Thank you for being a person whose experiences often mirror my own, as it helps me to make the right choices, validates what I have experienced (I am a few years older than you) and gives me tremendous hope. The first step to healing is to admit our powerlessness over our challenges and to acknowledge the unmanageability that can result. Every time you speak your truth you help others to step out of the shadows, into the Light! Thank you for the awareness that you contribute to my life. I seek clarity, and I find tremendous clarity in your work.

    1. Hi Natalie, thank you for your beautiful words. I’m so grateful that my work has served you. Sending you many blessings. xo

  10. This is the best thing I have read all year. I receive this! “Hard life experiences are spiritual assignments for growth and healing” is a gem I value and something I can teach the children I work with on a daily basis. Changing the way we experience things is also a valuable tool. I am ready to surrender.

    Thank you for all you are.

  11. Gabby, I love you so much. Thank you for your commitment to us. I have tears in my eyes as I finish reading this, and connect to every word. I have so much shame around planning a spiritual home birth, and having an emergency c-section 2yrs ago with our baby boy, Indy. After a whirlwind of a year from an unexpected separation with hubby, to divorce papers drawn up (whilst still breastfeeding) and then surrendering to our Love and reuniting I understand the trauma on a very different level, but it showed face and I’m almost grateful for everything. Grateful to my husband for kicking me and Indy out, (I found it and I know what you’re talking about!) but stilllll struggling with the birth. We’re now expecting baby No. 2! From a whole new celebration of Love… (I’m only 5 weeks) but wanted to share 🙂

    As a beautiful coincidence my Guardian Angel is called Gabby! He manifests as a male energy presence. Have you read ‘Angels in my Hair’ by Lorna Byrne? (This is what started my Spiritual journey) It’s not stuff you don’t already know, but she is a true manifestation on our planet right now… you’ll know if you feel drawn to find her.

    Sending you SO MUCH LOVE and appreciation. Thank you thank you.

    Pip xx

  12. I found this upcoming challenge at a time I will call My. Ahhh Moment…..
    I bought Gabby’s book and I am so glad I did.
    It really has touched my inner soul….

    Thank you.

  13. Hi Gabby, thank you for sharing your story from experiencing infertility to surrendering and now, celebrating your son’s birthday! I am 10 months in recovery and have been struggling with infertility as well but your practices have been my beacon of hope. Thank you so much for shedding love and light on mental health, infertility, addiction, and your story on postpartum depression. ♥️

    1. Proud of your sobriety milestone Chan. Remember making small right actions over time add up to miraculous change. Sending you so much love and light.

  14. Hello Gabby,
    What an amazing & inspiring story. Thankyou for sharing!
    I have all your books, you have really helped me get through some tough times! I’m extremely grateful.
    Thankyou for all that you do.
    Sending you peace, love & light & many wonderful blessings to you & your family xxx

    1. Thank you, Patricia. I’m so grateful that my books have served you. Wishing you and your family many blessings. xo

  15. I love you gabby. you don’t know me but you are my guru. you gave me different ways to live life.
    for me, you are a life changer. you are a beautiful gift for us. thank you so much, Gabby.

  16. Your birth story resonates with me in
    many ways as a mom of a young child who takes medication for a mental health reasons. Thank you for sharing it. I appreciate your willingness to speak to the stigma of mental health and to view it and any fear/pain as an opportunity to be more connected to the Universe. I believe that any personal pain/challenge/fear can be shifted as an opportunity to grow and become a more empathetic and kind person to others.

    1. Thank you, Liz, for sharing your experience as a mom. I am grateful that this blog post has resonated with you and that you’re willing to see obstacles as opportunities! Sending you and your family much love in 2020! xo

  17. Thank you, Gabby. So many of the things you have talked about have also been my lessons to learn in 2019. I wanted a new job with benefits and paid holidays and weekends off and fun, joyful people to work with. I had envisioned it over and over all year and talked about it and finally, finally realized I had to let go and trust that the universe would bring it into fruition. I gave my 2 week notice at my old job and four days later I interviewed for the job I have now. It came about at the exact time it should have based on some things had to change at the store for me to be brought in. It has given me everything I want, plus it gives back to the community every single day!!! It works. You MUST surrender and trust that the universe will bring that which is most in line with your true purpose and you must take steps in the direction of your true purpose so the universe knows your are serious.

    1. Congratulations, Jan. Thank you for sharing your miracle moment! I say in Super Attractor, the Universe always delivers! Keep shining your bright light! xo

  18. Hi Gabby – I wanted to thank you so much for sharing all of this. It really hit home with me. My husband and I have been TTC for the past 7 months – the constant negatives have been so hard to deal with. Thank you for your blog – in reading the posts Ive discovered that I have been manic manifesting. I am now trying to surrender any time I notice a thought that is based in fear or in an attempt to control….though I think what I am struggling most with now is trying to vibrate the energy of JOY. I can get myself to peaceful, calm, accepting place, but real JOY is much harder. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you <3

    1. Thank you, Lauren, for your honest share. It sounds like this is an opportunity to practice surrender. Here is the link to my blog and Supersoul Sunday talk about the 5 Steps to Spiritual Surrender. I hope this serves you. xo

  19. Listening to your book just makes me feel better and lighter, like I’m not alone. Sometimes, if I just need a spiritual boost or if I need to get out of my own head, I queue up Super Attractor or Universe and just let go and listen. Thank you.

  20. Dear Gabby, I just want to command you for your unflinching trust in the universe and for your own spiritual and human journeys. Thank you for being so real, so open and vulnerable and for sharing with us your own processes to finding internal peace and wellness and control/master the blocks you encounter on the way… Thank you for bearing it all for others to witness, learn and emulate your courage. Thank you for helping us brake down the barriers that invariably show up, for your helpful tips on living better, delivered with such simplicity and insight. The notion of living beyond our fears by recalibrating our energy. Shifting our focus on appreciation and committing ourselves to joy I find to be very effective as our vision or visualization of our desired state or goal is what sustain us.
    I love your humanity, creativity, energy, resourcefulness and that you are unstoppable and never abdicate. Congratulation for your victories and success.

    With love,
    Danielle

  21. Thank you Gabby. This has been the most challenging year of my life, and I needed to see this words. Perfect timing This year I tapered off 15 years of antidepressant medication, and am learning patience and surrender as my body and mind heal. I appreciate your openness and vulnerability. ❤️Sat nam.

    1. I’m so glad this served you, Veronica! Sending you healing light as you continue on your journey. Sat Nam, sister!

  22. Thank you Gabby. I just had a son who’s 15 months old. I experienced a lot of health issues that were extremely painful
    After the birth of my son plus post partum so I can relate to your post. I learned a lot from that pain and have grown so much. I am ready for a new year which hopefully will be a healthier one for you and me!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Melissa. I’m holding you in prayer and healing light. Wishing you and your family many blessings in 2020!

  23. Thank you for speaking up, and out, about your experience with mental illness. You are helping in the removal of the mental illness stigma.

    You words spoke to me. Hitting bottom and learning to reframe it, is powerful. I have never considered bottoming out as an opportunity…but now I do.

    Sending you Light & Love. Keep shining, Splendid One.

  24. Thank you Gabby, for sharing your vulnerability …. I am taking the time to reflect on 2019 as you say with a different view point or attitude, after all I’m here and I’m still working on growth and healing. Supreme self care can help when you have been a people pleaser , doer and fixer…. messages from God to slow down and take care of my business – my needs wants and preferences. To know that my voice is important to me first and then to be heard by others, to go to the stillness of God to hear my intuition and guidance from Creator. To feed my soul and refuel my spirit. Amen thank you Gabby

  25. Hi Gabby you are amazing. My daughter and I First met you in Toronto at seduction of spirit. We both have your supper attractor, she is into it I haven’t started yet. Just by reading your letter your gave me the will to start. A lot has happened in my life, I’m now going to do what I’m here for, I’ve been postponing my true purpose for too long, feeling I’m not good enough still got to study more…… will be 66 in January and 2020 is my year. If I hear you are coming to Canada I will send you a personal invitation for 08-08-2020, this will be the day that I officially start teaching yoga, meditation and arts retreats in Mayo Quebec. Wishing you, baby and husband the best that the Universe has in store for you.

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