Before I became pregnant I had decided I did not want to have children. I like children and babies, however, I was terrified of giving birth. In the society I grew up in birth was seen as a very scary, very painful event … but worth it. Well I wasn't prepared to endure all that pain and fear to discover whether or not it was worth it! When I discovered I was pregnant I went into shock as I knew I would have to experience the agony of birth. I was told many horror stories about birth. Other women were very willing to tell me about how awful labour can be and that I had no idea what horror was coming! All but one of the countless stories frightened me. I realised that I had to go through with the birth, that was not an option for me. However I decided that I could choose the kind of birth I wanted.
I decided that I would have a natural birth at home, no drugs, no agonising pain and only 3 hours in length. My partner laughed at me for being idealistic. However after the birth he smiled when he acknowledged that was exactly the birth experience I created.
I chose to stop talking to other women about their experiences (or at least stop listening and taking their stories on board!) I chose to have minimal input from doctors and hospitals (if there had been any signs of complications I would have gratefully accepted their help), I chose to forget all the awful birth scenes I had witnessed on TV and I started tuning into myself and trusting that my female body knew exactly how to birth a baby with ease, even joy.
I spent the second half of my pregnancy in Spain, we were living there and looking for a permanent home. In Spain the term 'to give birth' is Da la Luz which means to give light. I embraced this perspective and radically transformed my feelings toward birth.
Birth is an incredibly important event, not just for the mother but for the baby too. It will affect your child throughout their life. Unless a person addresses a traumatic birth it will continue to affect them negatively their whole life. Many studies have shown that the most disturbed criminals had the most disturbing, traumatic births…. This made me think even deeper about the kind of birth I wanted because I knew it would set the stage for the kind of life I wanted to offer my offspring.
During labour there was no screaming out in agony for hours on end. The worst labour got for me was when I said calmly to my midwife “I feel rather .... uncomfortable”. In between her soft laughter she replied “oh you’ll probably feel rather uncomfortable for around ten minutes and then the labour will be over”. That really was as bad as it got. This is what I had created.
During the birth I was calm, centred, in control and in complete awe of my body, my female wisdom and the wonder of natural birth. Like many mothers I was glowing for weeks after the birth. I did not experience depression afterwards like many females have told me happens. I had no problems returning to my former size and shape. Much of this is down to how I took care of mySelf, by body, my emotions, my attitude.
We are all different and the things I did to prepare may not work for you so I encourage you to explore all your options. The following suggestions will give you some insight into how I created a magical birth. I used a combination of breathing exercises, herbs (research this thoroughly as some herbs can be harmful in pregnancy), yoga postures, nature walks, visualisations, meditation, prayer, painting, journalling, wholesome, fresh, living foods, fresh air and sunshine. I took great care of myself during pregnancy and after the birth my body (mind & spirit) was in even better shape than before!
The biggest ally I had was my conviction, my intent, focussing my mind on what I wanted. I decided with real intent that I must detach from the distorted modern view of birth. I decided with real intent that I must reclaim my female power and trust the wisdom of my female body to do what came naturally. For me the birth was a magical experience because anything else was not an option. My child and I deserved a magical birth experience. And this is exactly what we had. I encourage you to consider all your options and incorporate what appeals to you. Trust yourself. Really, you do know what is best for you and your baby.
If you are interested in reading more about natural childbirth please see the Bookshop which has a section dedicated to natural childbirth. I have read and recommend all of the books listed.