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Rosary

There's something very reassuring about clasping those rosary beads in times of need. If there's no medical issue preventing you from holding on to them, wrap them around your hand or wrist, and try praying between contractions. Hubby can probably lend a hand on the prayer front, too.

Gratitude notebook

In the early stages, when contractions are manageable, focus on everything you're grateful for. Concentrating on the positives can help your mindset, and if you get the new dad to write everything down, you can read it again and again when you're feeling overwhelmed or bone tired in the weeks, months and years to come.

Holy water

Try sprinkling a little holy water on the hospital bed when you arrive, asking for God's protection of you and your baby. Once your little one is in your arms you can also sprinkle him or her with a little bit, too. To have your water blessed, speak to your local parish priest or the Catholic chaplain at the hospital.

Prayer card

It's always handy to have a prayer card in your purse or bag. On this occasion you might want to have one that is specific to the job at hand, so take a look at some of these prayers to say in labor for a little guidance.

Something saintly

You could bring a book on one of your favorite saints -- you never know, you might have time to read a few paragraphs between contractions, or your husband can read a few passages to you. Alternatively, you could bring a medal of your favorite saint to hang on to for dear life when things get a little more painful. These are great saints to accompany you through pregnancy and labor.

Soothing music

Consider preparing a playlist of some of your favorite songs that have a deeper, spiritual meaning. Whether you opt for hymns or music from artists you admire, the words that help remind you that God is by your side.

Bible

Have some favorite quotes from Scripture prepared in your Bible. You can bookmark passages that will add even more meaning to your whole birthing experience, or passages that will reassure you when you're feeling anxious or in pain.

Crucifix

Labor and delivery is very difficult, and many women of faith have found strength and comfort in gazing at a crucifix during their most painful moments. It can help you to focus on the Lord's love, and remind you to join your sufferings to His.
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