Descriptions of birth tend to vary among all mothers; anything from tumultuous, scary and crazy... to joyful, challenging and exciting.
Seldom do we describe a birth as sexy, right?!
Why don't we see birth as intimate and sexy? Is it the environment?
Imagine for a second the most romantic daydream you could ever have...
Got it? Ok, keep that image in mind.
It's BABY DAY. You're in a hospital room with cords strapped to you, beds that move every which way, and the smell of freshly bleached stained floors...
Not the scene we just envisioned from our best romantic dreams, right?
One thing we do know: Something special is happening.
A baby will be born and there will be an outpouring of love and ecstasy coming soon!!!
Too often, birth is portrayed as a scary and dreaded event in a woman's life. However, with the age of social media, I am grateful to see the birth experience demystified through photos and videos. There are many beautiful birth videos and photos of women in their glory, swaying to the beat of their own bodies, breathing baby down and keeping calmly to her affirmations. But let's face it ladies, not many of us feel this way during birth, although we would like to.
The unknown aspects of labor can be scary. Very scary! Fear of the unknown is the leading cause of anxiety and stress in labor, and quite frankly, in life! With many fear-based books out there for new moms, it comes as no surprise when fears arise before and during labor. Our society is ridden with fear facts about everything from what is in our water to when the world is going to end. We don't stand a chance listening to those voices that can flood our screens every day.
A bit of great news: It is said that it takes 10 positive thoughts to erase 1 negative thought. Imagine what negative aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum can do to the psyche of an already emotionally charged pregnant woman? What if we replaced those thoughts with positive ones about birth? Would we be as afraid of the process?
I personally believe in the power of love and fear to embrace the intimacy of birth. Love and fear play vitally important roles in our life, and for good reason. However, birth is one of those moments to decide love and only love. The most rewarding, easiest and quickest births have been with women who have chosen to invite the role of love to play out in their labor setting.
Fear and anxiety have no proper place in labor. Kick them to the curb. They may want to peek their head in every once in a while but you have the power to turn them away, just like you would a light switch. Click!
The intimacy met in the laboring room can be unlike any other, if the stage is set properly. Lights dimmed, essential oil diffuser going, calming music, the sounds of oohs and ahhs...wait a minute, this sounds like a romantic evening we envisioned previously! We CAN equate birth to something so sensual because hey! We all know how the baby got there right?! ;)
As Ina May Gaskin says,
"The energy that gets the baby in, gets the baby out."
So if we set the scene for romance and sensuality, how do we prepare our mind, body and heart?
Typically, in the realm of natural labor preparation practices, once a couple satisfies the
3 S's (Safety, Support, Security), a positive experience ensues, regardless of the outcome. Or the setting!
With having the ability for couples to be themselves in their own rite, parents set the stage for positive change in the birth realm. This is where a doula can come in to help create that setting, in advance, so that mom can feel safe, supported, and secure.
The journey to safety, support and security can be a rocky one, but one well worth embarking on. In fact, it would be wise for parents to establish these systems firmly, well before the baby is born. Help from a doula can be highly beneficial. Why? Because when the unexpected happens, there are safety nets. We all need that in life. For finances, we have an emergency fund. For auto accidents, we have insurance policies.
In short, with a doula equipped to hold that space for the 3 S's, you have an insurance policy on the livelihood of your family. Then you have a sacred space for a positive experience and engagement for everyone involved in the birthing process, especially mom! This creates much less turmoil physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually!!!
When we pull out an insurance policy on our own well-being, we create Possibility. Choices. JOY even! We start from a place of worthiness, peace, and love. We are essentially doing our children a favor by ensuring that we put the gas mask on ourselves first before they even make it out of the womb. For the betterment of ourselves, we owe it to our children to set a standard for love, joy, and peace for ourselves.
The joy found in embracing labor is uncanny. Labor is happening for you, not TO you. The intensity of contractions have a purpose, not to harm you. Joy wants to meet you in that space. In choosing love and peace over anxiety and fear, we open doors to joy. With the proper tools in place, it is a completely obtainable reality.
My job is to empower you! I want you to know that you are going to ebb and flow through the highs and lows of pregnancy, labor, and beyond, just as waves on a shore. The grace you bestow upon your body, mind, heart, and soul are paramount pieces to success in your journey through motherhood. Don't let fear take a foothold in your life because someone or something told you so. Any of those thoughts are garbage and have no place in your birth plan.
So give yourself some grace and birth the way you would if you were to plan a date for a special someone because that special someone is YOU, my darling dearest mama! Dim those lights, light some candles, play some beautiful songs, and clear your head of the gunk. Let your mind and heart open to the date you will have with your baby.
And ahhhhh...Let the intimacy begin with you. Your love surpasses all.