During my last trimester, I remember being scared spit-less. The only way for my soon to be born baby -to exit my body, was going to be vaginally or surgically. Either way, it was going to hurt. Birthing didn’t look like a walk in the park. For more information and help on this subject, click here to read this article on Birth Trauma.
As a way to move past my fear, I read everything I could on birthing. I read up on Lamaze birthing, breast feeding, was cautious not to consume anything that might compromise a healthy pregnancy and labour. I continued doing yoga up until the birth. Regulating and practicing relaxation, breathing deep into my body, made sense to me.
Going into the hospital, I was scared. Being a life-giver, I would have to face my own mortality issues. I felt like I was going through an initiation into a level of sacred feminine experience reserved for the mature, not for the weak of heart. Many women and babies died in childbirth in previous centuries. My own mother had been drugged, woke up to a swaddled baby beside her, completely disconnected from the process and miracle of life. I wanted to be fully aware of my birthing, and I planned for the best experience possible.
Feeling my body adapt to my baby, there was an attunement that required a focus I didn’t know I could hold. Expanding my ligaments, my flesh, I opened into the pulse of life, the breath that consumed me. I could feel the bones of my baby- curled up like a chicken; push against my bones from the inside of my body. Just when I felt I could do no more- she was born.
I had adrenaline energy. Similar to an athlete, pushing through fatigue, finding another reserve of energy. I was both tired and invigorated, and I felt like I was in a low level of shock. Getting to hold my baby seemed unreal, surreal. She was just a little purple and waxy looking, she didn’t quite look real yet. The emotions, the natural high level of my hormones- I felt like I was in slow motion contrasted to the buzzing activity of the nurses going about their tasks. So this is what it feels like to be a mom.
My birthing went pretty good. Yes, I ripped, had stitches, was in pain. It takes 6 weeks to heal. Yet, I had the need to talk about my birthing, because I had gone deep into my resources, past my fears, into the sacred body-mind consciousness deep within me. The joy and marvel of holding my baby soothed my body and soul.
My story was fairly easy to listen to, as it was straight forward. The birth went as intended. There were no emergencies, my recovery was great, my baby was healthy. We went home to a supported environment. So what happens for the women who have a hard time talking about their deeply personal and maybe difficult birthing experience? What about the women who didn’t come back from their fear? Many women do not get the family support, so they can recover.
In severe trauma, we fragment, and leave behind the scared, damaged, frightened pieces of ourselves. In trying to cope with our survival, and our ability to move on- we may sacrifice the potential integration, the deeper levels of honoring ourselves.
In sharing our process with other women, we have the opportunity to value, to honour our journey as well as theirs. In the listening and holding emotional and spiritual space for another, we make more room for our own. We can transcend the fear, and move into a new relationship, sense of self, and the deep connection and spiritual awareness of the feminine.
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