Sweary, shouty raw birth…that’s my birth, what’s yours?
This may make me sound like a complete nutcase, but I really enjoyed my 2nd birth, in fact I felt slightly robbed that it was so quick! I can’t say the same for my 1st birth, and the reason for that was that I felt fearful, I had a certain expectation based on others experience, and I was fearful I wouldn’t be able to do it.
I have never feared childbirth, I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by positive birth stories, my mum, my sister, my friends, all very positive about birth, and I had always held a great deal of respect for the process of pregnancy and birth through my work as a massage therapist, I still remember that feeling of awe I had in that anatomy lesson about pregnancy and birth, it was always a calling!
But going back to my expectations of birth, before I was pregnant I had seen this amazing programme all about hypnobirthing, it showed clips of different women birthing serenely, smiling and calm, completely quiet, and I thought, yep, I will have one of those please!
So when a few years later I found myself pregnant I did everything I could to get the birth that I wanted. I hired an independent midwife so I didn’t have to be dictated to by policy (I have never been good with following rules!) And I did the hypnobirthing training. It was all very interesting, the various breathing techniques, distraction techniques, there was a lot of finding my happy place, and quite a lot of team work, counting down to a place of relaxation etc. Now the alarm bells should have started at this stage. I am a massively independent woman, and the thought of having to rely on another person during my labour did not appeal, and I am also not the quietest of people, I like to voice my opinion, share my thoughts, but I had decided that I was going to hypnobirth my baby into the world, because the other alternatives I had seen were screaming in agony, so didn’t much fancy that!
What I didn’t fully understand is that when it comes down to it, to birth well, in comfort and confidence, you have to do it your way, not the way other people do it, because your birth is unique to you!
What I really needed to do was understand myself better, have honest and open dialogue with those who know and love me to understand my own coping strategies, my strengths and weaknesses, and remember that deep awe and respect I had felt when I 1st learned about pregnancy and childbirth, because it really is pretty awesome!
So anyway, back to my 1st birth, it was pretty fast and intense for a 1st baby, about 7 hours, and on paper it all went well, I was quiet, I did it alone, in water at home, no physical trauma. But inside of my head there was a battle going on, I didn’t want to find my happy safe place, because that was sort of telling me that where I wasn’t happy and safe, and in all honesty the ‘pain’ wasn’t so bad to need to escape it, but because I had these skills to do I felt compelled to use them, and I felt that by calling out, by speaking how I was feeling was going to be some sort of failure, a sign of weakness, so I just ploughed on. Transition was particularly tough as it went against all that I was battling to hold on to. But then he was born, we had both got through it unscathed. But I had caused myself a great deal of suffering mentally with the conflict I had created by trying to escape the thing that all my instincts told me was amazing.
This is not to say that there is anything wrong with hypnobirthing, it has helped a lot of women experience beautiful natural births, just wasn’t my cup of tea!
So fast forward 4 years and here I am pregnant again, but this time it was different. Those 4 years of being a mum had changed me. I had found it so tough, really put myself through it, and to be honest, those hypnobirthing skills served me better as a mum than they ever did during birth, the ability to stay calm, to escape to my happy place were well used, maybe there should be a course called hypnoparenting! But after much counselling (I suffered PND which led me on a massive journey of self discovery) Much journaling, meditating and frank conversations with my husband I was in a much stronger place, and this time around I wasn’t going to try and escape birth, I was going to immerse myself in it 100%. I fully trusted my body and the process, I wanted to feel every sensation, I had trained myself to relax my body, to embrace the intensity and sensations as something remarkable and fulfilling.
And I did, all 45 minutes of it! I laughed, I moved, I made funny noises, I swore, and I loved every minute of it. Transition was a funny intense adrenalin fuelled moment that gave me the oomph to tip me over to birthing my baby, and boy was that good, every last moment of feeling my baby coming out of my body was amazing!
I absolutely loved my 2nd birth, and if you compare pictures of the 2 births you can see the difference, I am beaming as opposed to shocked, and I truly feel this has a knock on effect to how I felt afterwards as well. I was true to myself, it was gritty, it was sweary it was my birth, and I loved it!
What do you think your birth will look like? Do you have an idea in your head of what sort of birth you want, and is it true to your character, your strategies, your body and beliefs?
I will never tell you how to have your baby, what I will help you do is discover how you might have your baby, I will help you to discover what is important to you, what skills you already possess, and how to be free to birth the way that you want to birth, staying positive and flexible, open and loving, and full of confidence.
Birth is a natural process, one that we can assist if we have the knowledge and confidence to do so, but it also doesn’t come with a manual, there is no right or wrong way to birth, but how you feel about your birth can have a lasting impact, so feeling confident and supported and feeling true to yourself is crucial. I can help you feel all of these things.
If you would like to know more about birth coaching and how it can help you towards a more confident birth then why not book in for a free clarity call. Email me today and we can book in a time for a chat!
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