How Will I Know What to Expect From Birth?
Well, one thing is for sure, childbirth AIN'T like the movies!
Water breaks, crazy car scene getting to the hospital, a woman screams, a bunch of doctors and nurses rush in, partner passes out, cursing, panic, and …welcome baby!
Fortunately, birth is NOTHING like this!!
Rarely is it this fast and furious, and, it only starts with a water rupture about 30% of the time. There is usually always plenty of time (for first-timers) to drive to the hospital with no need to rush. Doctors and nurses NEVER rush in and I have never witnessed a partner pass out (though one came close)! In addition, believe it or not, women rarely curse.
So, where to go to find a good idea about what to expect during birth?
I know Youtube…
Cue sentimental music:
We see a woman at home eating yogurt talking about her contractions not being too bad, she has been timing them now for 2 hours and they are coming every 15 minutes.
She is currently swaying with her headphones and drinking water.
She and her partner arrive at the hospital, she is walking slowly, beautiful music playing in the background.
She is in bed, feeling comfy and putting make-up on saying how much she is ready to meet her baby.
She is grunting, breathing heavy, her husband is by her side encouraging her, and (voila) baby arrives!
Cue crescendo of emotional music.
Unfortunately, birth is NOTHING like this either!
On Youtube, you can pretty much fall down the rabbit hole of birthing videos with all sorts of examples of the above and millions of variations. The problem here is that we skipped the real parts, the hard parts, the parts that people traditionally don’t want to post for everyone to see. And, even if we find a video that left all the hards parts in, it can not possibly convey the exhaustion, the sleeplessness, laboring for numerous nights and days (average labor is 24 hours), the power and depth of strength needed for labor in a 15-20 minute Youtube video.
Truly, the only way to understand birth is to experience it.
It quite frankly is an experiential event. That means you can’t “watch” your way to a better understanding of it.
Birth is not a spectator sport.
You very literally have to breathe it, sink down into it, surrender to it, move with it, allow it, and be it.
Just like apples, no two women are alike, no two bodies are alike; and therefore, no two births are alike.
You will NEVER learn how YOU will feel, react, respond to YOUR labor by watching other women labor.
You will NEVER learn how to move, take care of yourself, or be in labor by listening to other people’s birth stories either. (This isn’t osmosis.)
So, how do you prepare for birth?
You invest in YOUR birth!
Seriously, people spend more time and research on what type of TV they want to buy versus a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives! Your BIRTH-day will be up there with your wedding day and how much time did you invest in preparing for that day?
You will ALWAYS remember the day you meet your children and so will your partner.
What type of memories do you want to create?
How do you want to feel when you reflect on that day?
What story will you tell your children about the day you met them?
And, don’t forget, as a parent, you will have a walking reminder of this day forever, and, every year there will be a day of celebration too.
When you intentionally invest in this moment and take a mindful, self-awareness childbirth class you WILL have a birth better experience.
Why is the mindfulness piece so important?
Because your labor will be as unique as you.
That means that you will bring all the good ways you take care of yourself AND all the bad ways too.
That means that it is important for you to be mindful of how you manage challenges.
How you respond to being pushed past your comfort zone.
How your body finds safety in chaos.
You need to be mindful of your thoughts.
You need to be mindful if you struggle to think positively when in pain.
Be mindful of your inner dialog when you are exhausted.
Mindful of your go-to’s for self-comfort.
It is also paramount to be mindful of your emotional triggers.
When we give birth, so much can come up mentally and emotionally for us.
Anxiety about motherhood and fatherhood.
Self-identity and the loss of who you were and the uncertainty of who you will become.
Anxiety about taking care of your baby; breastfeeding and sleep.
Embodiment issues, body dysmorphia, your connection, and your relationship to your physical image.
If you have experienced abandonment, abuse (physical or sexual), or neglect.
Your relationship with your mother and father can arise; be it good or bad…
Fear of the future and its fragility.
All this can spring up within the midst of giving birth.
Being mindful, having healthy tools to process such things, and preparing for these unforeseen parts of birth is essential to creating a safe, powerful and beautiful experience.
For all these reasons I have found that surfing for videos will NOT prepare YOU for YOUR experience; however, our course Connect Childbirth can.
I created this course because labor is %80 mental! Connected Childbirth addresses fear, pain, and our reaction to experiencing both. It offers mindful tools and exercises so that you can connect to taking better care of yourself in this moment. Connected Childbirth is an opportunity to go deeper into understanding how to offer yourself the best care, ask for your needs and build a team that supports your emotional and mental health too. Our course will give you the power to connect to what is right in the moment, build your toolbox for labor management and create a positive birth story.
If this feels aligned with what you are looking for, I would be honored to have you join us!