Becoming a mother opened up a whole new world to me. A world where most conversations revolve around pregnancy, child-birth, hospital choices and birthing classes, healthy (or sick) children, babies and the hours they sleep, challenging trips to the supermarket, daycare, swimming lessons, The Wiggles, and playgroups.
As an avid reader and writer dedicated to my job as parent, I research many differing techniques in parenting – from sleep training, to attachment parenting, to the benefits of extended breastfeeding, to the uprising of the stay-at-home dad, to hypno-birthing.
I’ve read that one of the most important decisions we will make as parents is how we birth our babies. And I am witness to a growing movement on securing our rights to give birth based on our own (informed) birth choices, instead of being led by the hospital and their systems.
Women swap stories about their personal birth experiences. I believe this story-telling and sharing of experiences is wonderful, therapeutic and empowering.
As far as I can tell, though, the terming of doctor-assisted or drug-assisted birth as unnatural comes from a place of misunderstanding. Most of us want the best possible outcome for the baby, and that’s why we talk about natural birth so passionately. Discussions and opinions (especially the professional ones) on natural methods are important, yes. Compressive information for the mother and father is beneficial, yes. The health of the newborn is essential, yes. But the emphasis that is put on what happens in the delivery room and whether it is natural and therefore RIGHT could be the biggest mistake of our times.
Our birthing experience is our TRUTH at that time in our life. There can be no better mirror into who we are, what we believe, our repeating patterns, and what we are presently attracting into our lives, than the raw and exposed, remarkable, life-altering, energetically-charged and spiritual experience of giving birth.
The feelings that we take into labour are reflections of how we feel about ourselves generally, and amplified. Feelings such as:
Inadequate … Versus … Capable
Reactive … Versus … Proactive
Weak … Versus … Strong
Pessimistic … Versus … Optimistic
Dependent … Versus … Independent
Lonely … Versus … Supported
Scared … Versus … At peace
Uptight … Versus … Relaxed
Indecisive … Versus … Decisive
Uninformed … Versus … Informed
Sometimes what happens in our life is the result of what we have just created for ourselves. And at other times what happens is the result of a long-period, or lifetime, of programming.
Because of this lifetime of programming of what we believe we are worth and deserve in life, perhaps we can’t all pick and experience our ideal birthing. As confident as we are in our ability to birth naturally, it might no happen. Whether we realize it at the time or not, our general emotions in life will be mirrored back to us in the delivery room. And this is RIGHT. This is PERFECT. This experience is what makes you YOU.
For me, this is the true definition of NATURAL BIRTH.
Wherever you are, or were, during your birth experience, it’s exactly what’s right for you.
The best thing you can do is be grateful for the experience and understand it is you. If you want, take the opportunity to reflect on your birthing experience and see what you feel and believe about yourself … so you can make changes for the better. See a councillor to understand why you made the choices that you did.
The way you act before, during and after your birth experience is apart of your journey, your life story and your purpose in life. The feelings you have are essential to building your character and moving forward in your life towards the destination you are headed.
My strongest wish for everyone on their journey into parenthood, is to accept that any kind of birth is natural. And naturally, this is beautiful.
Day by day we aim to repair our bodies and have trust, faith and optimism for the future. You can join me as I walk to wellness in the private facebook group Joanna Haley Homestead (Journey to Wellness)
Joanna Haley, Author