A natural birth can empower a mama far beyond labor and delivery. This mama shares how her own amazing birth experience helped her find her professional calling.
A few weeks ago I saw the post above on Facebook and it touched me deeply.
The process of birthing my babies and becoming a mother has been such an incredible journey and it is through these amazing, transformational and, at times, challenging experiences that I feel I have been coming closer to becoming me and finding what I truly want to do in life.
Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated and moved by everything that has to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Maybe being the oldest of a large family and having 4 sisters and 2 brothers (don’t worry, not from the same parents – that includes a step sister and half sisters and brothers) contributed to my love of children. Natural pregnancy, homebirth and breastfeeding were the norm in my family and community so I grew up to see these processes as natural.
Although I was young, deep in my heart I had such a longing to have a baby that when I got pregnant at 26 I was elated and couldn’t believe it was ‘finally’ my turn to experience this. My pregnancy felt like such a magical journey and I was floating on a cloud. Together with my partner we planned to give birth at home in water. The care I was receiving from the regular midwife practice was adequate but to me it felt like something was missing. All the ladies were friendly but I longed for a deeper connection with the person who would support me during one of the most intimate and special experiences of my life. So after some research I found a solo midwife specialized in water birth who would support us. After two long meetings with her during which we just sat together and talked of our hopes and feelings, took a moment to explore any fears we may have about the birth and really felt heard and accepted, I knew I had found the support I was looking for.
When the birth of my son finally announced itself well after forty one weeks, I dove into that birth process and let it slowly but surely grow in intensity. What I remember most of all was the excitement to finally be experiencing it, the wonder at the tremendous power flowing through my being and the thankfulness for the calm and steady support from my partner, midwife and sister who were there for us. My son was born in the birthing pool, caught by his father, after a twenty hour labor. But we were still surprised that he was ‘already’ there. He was the most beautiful little human being I had ever seen.
I felt immensely powerful after that, as if I could do anything in the world. There was something so amazingly powerful about the experience and yet so deeply calm and serene. I didn’t speak of pain – to me it felt like a constant choice I was making to open myself up to the flow of intense sensations going through me. Each one again I had the choice to either tense up and feel pain, or open up and relax even deeper into it knowing it was there to open me up for the passage of my baby into the world.
The pain did come though, but the physical pain that was so raw and real and unexpected because that is the one most people don’t tell you about was the period after birth. At once I was on a love high with my wonderful new baby but it wasn’t all easy. Just as the quote in the beginning of the article says that time felt like the real pain, maybe not only on a physical level but emotionally having to just accept and give so much more than I ever thought was possible. Oh, I completely abandoned myself to motherhood, just like the birth process, I realized that resistance to it was futile and would only cause me more pain so I went with the flow.
I can’t say I regret it for a single moment! More than six years later I have two sons, the youngest 18 months. Moreover these experiences have really brought me closer to who I really am. Apart from all the love and the joy, at times my children challenge me to my very core and make me see the darkest parts of myself but this also enables me to bring that darkness out into the light and do my best to transform it. Through the years of motherhood I have also found my professional calling as a doula and a childbirth educator.
Giving birth to my children and becoming a mother has been the biggest gift I have received and I am deeply thankful for everything life has brought me!
Photo credit: fb.com/thejoyofthis
Photo credit: Siri Amrit Khalsa