Have a little compassion…
Breathing a woman down into that quiet still place of acceptance and surrender is divine. Second pregnancy and this little one at 38 weeks is still breech.
After trying acupressure, acupuncture, moxibustion, medically assisted turning, meditation, visualisation and yoga positions, the little one doesn’t want to go head down.
I quietly observed my client as she was preparing herself to face the unknown. She was breathing out all the tension and past beliefs that she had held onto about c-sections. She was making peace with the situation and what she wanted for herself and her baby.
Who really knows, the baby could still turn by next week. The little one could turn as my own daughter did 20 years ago after 7 days of breathing, meditation and yoga positions to encourage, yet they don’t always turn. As women we must support them in their choices, rather than project our own agenda and beliefs into an uncertain situation.
Pregnant women are gathering and pulling in every thread of courage and strength that they have to meet the unknown challenges of birth. They don’t need to have their personal power challenged and eroded away from albeit, well intentioned advice and the sharing of random unwanted birthing stories.
I am a childbirth educator and a doula and mother of four who gave birth naturally with ease each time. My personal experience is that you can have a natural birth, you can breath through the contractions with dignity, ease, serenity and joy.
You can birth powerfully whilst feeling deeply connected to your baby and the process. You can expereince ‘yoga’ the total union of mind, body and soul whilst birthing. You can experience a divine sacred birth where you open your heart and body to receive the abundance of the creative source of life flowing and rippling through your body. You can be totally at peace and one with this without fear, simply breathing and surrendering. Observing and allowing the breath to rise and fall with each contraction, with an open courageous heart.
The body is amazing gift. Nature is indeed kind if don’t allow our fear to get the better of us. However, birth doesn’t always feel this good and magical. For years I was made to feel ashamed of having ‘extraordinary experiences’ rather than the routine medically assisted one. So for years, I have been asking the question, what does it take to create the birth that a woman desires?
Sometimes the empowerment in the situation lies quite simply in finding your voice and asserting what it is that you want confidently, whilst feeling supported.A woman cannot find her voice easily, if society is nagging her and sitting in self righteous judgment about which path she ‘should’ be walking down.
Generally, whatever path a woman chooses is the right one for her and her baby. We are not all going to birth naturally. We are not all suddenly going to decide that we want c-sections, epidurals, water injections, gas, pethidine or morphine. As an educator, and doula, I get to hear what people are thinking and feeling. I get to hear the stories of my sister said, my OBGYN said no, this random woman in the street said, “Take the drugs!’, my yoga teacher said this and my therapist said that, if I cut the chord to early then I am damaging my baby!
There is so much fear around birth choices. A common cry, ‘I can’t have a c-section or I wont bond with my baby!’.The medical and routine is the enemy! ‘They can’t take my baby away!’. They are not the enemy they are well intentioned people who have studied and devoted their time and energy to wanting or thinking that they are making a difference.
If we are choosing to birth in the medical system, then we need to accept and work within it limits, whilst engaging with the team on the day and working towards a natural or the best potential and positive outcome. If you want them to support you how can you go in there on the defence thinking that they are the enemy? If the medical system really doesn’t work for you then make a different choice. There is a different choice available, its called Homebirth and despite recent events, it is indeed a safe option.
I constantly hear about one side fighting the other and really people, its about coming together and working towards a higher common good. That can only happen when both sides surrender the fixidity of their belief systems or you are left with high drama and trauma. I believe that a woman can birth her baby with ease, yet I have watched many that are unable to after 27 hours of labour, heads getting stuck or heart rates dropping.
We need to embrace compassion and if you are unable to do that, then you need to step back and honour yourself and them for their choices regardless of the fact that they differ from your own. I am as passionate about natural birth as I have ever been and with each new day more aware of the need to hold no judgement around a woman’s birthing preferences.
What works for one woman does not necessarily work for another. What inspires me most is being witness to a woman standing in her own truth and voicing what she wants. It’s important to find the right support once you are aware of what it is that you do want.
Defensiveness and conflict have no place in preparing for birth and certainly not in the birthing room.‘Pain is experienced in the brain, yet is shaped by a tremendous range of external factors. The response to pain is partially determined by ecology, i.e., the physical and social environment. Your birth place and the people in it, play a vital role in your relationship to pain.’ Pam England. Birthing from Within.
Guiding a woman towards acceptance and surrender is an essential part of childbirth preparation. That takes courage for both the facilitator and the birthing woman to go within themselves and let go of any limiting or negative beliefs around the process of birth that they may have.