It’s not that often that I feel silenced and unable to speak up, but lately, I have been. I have been reticent with my excitement about giving birth, going into labour, and for all of the experiences that are to arise as a result.
I have been silent because I don’t like how people tell me otherwise, view me as naive, or try to tell me the “truth” about giving birth. Labour is awful, terrible, painful, scary, uncomfortable, the worst pain ever experienced, traumatic, needing to be numbed with an epidural, out of your control, not about you, an emergency, excruciatingly long and persistent… they say. Labour is labour and I’ll be glad it’s over when it’s over.
Maybe it is all of those awful experiences and I’m sure for some people it is. But I can’t imagine that something so natural has to be that awful. Surely, we can make any experience awful if we try hard enough. Our brain has developed a wonderful capacity to skew reality and make things seem one way or another, with reality being subjective. It happens time and time again when we misremember, say something we didn’t realize was harmful, over and under predict our ability to accomplish something, psych ourself up or down to alter our performance, or misjudge something like a person, a jump, or how we might feel in a given situation. We are constantly seeing things NOT as they are. Is it possible that that same thing has happened with birth? It is possible that we can birth without fear or pain?
Most women do tell me how awful birth and labour is. But for every 9 who do, there is one who tells me that birth is an incredibly powerful surge of energy that takes over a women’s body. There is another woman who tells me it’s a right of passage and a wonderful experience. There is another who tells me she enjoyed labour, it was like a party, it wasn’t painful, and it was easy. And yet another who says she welcomed and embraced giving birth and labour and went through it consciously and with awareness.
I know that I don’t know what it will be like for me. But I know that I have prepared, and still am preparing, for a birth that has the potential to be wonderful, fearless, and intense. I can chose to listen to those who claim the negative and let those versions of reality permeate in my mind and change my brain.
Or I can chose to listen to those who claim the positive, who claim their birth was intense, not painful, and energized, not awful, and welcomed, not feared and let those versions of reality permeate my mind instead and change my brain and all its preconceived notions for the better.
Eventually, I will have my own experience to draw upon and speak about and formulate an opinion on but for now, I do not want to be denied my excitement and I want to say that right now, in this moment (of naivety or optimism), I am not afraid. I am quite excited about going into labour and giving birth.
Of course, I am also willing to be wrong. Am I in for a surprise? Indeed I am. And I am quite looking forward to it.
If you want to learn more about your mind and your brain's potential, pre-order my book until the end of the month for the special fundraising campaign: https://pubslush.com/project/6092
Resources for Preparing Birthing without Fear:
Mindful Birthing: http://www.mindfulbirthing.org/