Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Natural Birth Isn't A Big Deal
Seriously folks, natural birth ISN'T THAT BIG OF A DEAL.
Sounds silly, dumb, even self damaging coming from a gal who actually makes money teaching people HOW to have this natural birth. But in the end, it is simply TRUE. Natural birth is something that almost all women are perfectly capable of in almost all situations.
Yes, having a natural birth in a negative or unsupported environment can be very difficult. (This is why your choice of birth place is SO important.)
Yes, you should take a birth class to "learn" how to give birth. (Really you are simply RE-LEARNING what you always knew but have forgotten from years of listening to negativity, misinformation and fear. You are re-creating what once was common women's wisdom about their innate power and ability.)
Yes, birth can be hard, overwhelming and even the big P, "PAINFUL". (Maybe we need to re-think what exactly the word "pain" means when it comes to life and birth.)
Yes, giving birth naturally can be triumphant, empowering, awesome and a VERY big deal to the woman who accomplishes it. (It was for me and millions of others, in fact, I believe that birth is divinely designed to be transcendent.)
Yes, all of the above may be true, but still I insist that natural birth is not that big of a deal. It is something you can do.
Your body as a woman was designed to give birth. Your spinal cord was designed to allow you to FEEL your labor, not to be the port for a large needle and numbing drugs.
Your legs exist so that you can walk, move, and sway, not so that they can be placed in stir-ups.
Your contractions naturally come in brief spurts or waves. Rarely will they last longer than a minute. Even if you had days of labor if you added up all the time that was actually spent having just the contractions, it would amount to merely hours. You can do anything for a mere minute. Very little of even a hard or long labor is actually spent in "pain" or enduring contractions.
Your uterus contracts and squeezes to move your baby down and out and to prepare you mentally and physically for a monumental arrival. Your uterus does not do this simply to punish you or overwhelm you. It serves a unique purpose and accomplishes it well.
We fear the unpredictability of labor. How long will it be? When will it start? What will it be like? Why should I experience this? But all of these unknowns serve to prepare us for the task of motherhood and the patience, humility, flexibility, and grace it requires.
"But the pain, how do I handle the pain?" women ask. Pain, though something we often fear is not in fact deadly. Sometimes things that kill us can cause pain. Labor and birth however are not meant to kill us. Their purpose is actually quite the opposite- birth exists to bring life, not take it. Maybe you don't want to feel your labor, but you are perfectly capable experiencing it. The sensations of labor exist to prepare us, not hurt us. You may be surprised the confidence that can be gained by doing something you didn't think you were capable of. In fact, sometimes the hardest labors teach us the most about ourselves and what we are capable of.
"Will it hurt? Can I handle it?" we ask as we contemplate the the coming birth. The answer is a resounding, "YES." Yes you can do it. Yes you can handle it. You were made for this.
Your baby's birth will be a big deal to you no matter how you experience it. It is awe inspiring and larger than life.
Birth though is also everyday, common, possible, normal, natural and no more than you are capable of. It is the way women have been giving birth for a millennium.
In this way it is true. Natural birth isn't a big deal. You don't need to fear it. It is not bigger than you or stronger than you. Birth is simply a very normal part of life.
Despite all the hoopla and studies and classes and worries that surround modern childbirth, let's never forget one thing: birth is not a big deal. I fear we have become so caught up in the how and the why and the techniques and the knowledge that we have forgotten the simple truth; Birth is normal.