As many of your know, I recently gave birth. This was my second labour and after a long first labour, I was not looking forward to doing it again.
When I first started to feel the pain and discomfort of the contractions, I tensed my muscles and shortened my breath in anticipation of the pain. I even started to wish the contractions away (not conducive to giving birth). Deep, down, I knew that this was not the answer because, birth is not usually a quick process and the pain was going to get worse before it got better.
I knew I needed to change my current state so I called a friend of mine who is a doula. Her advice was to invite the pain. I was to picture each contraction as my body giving a hug to the baby. I was to use all the focus and attention that I could muster to fight the urge to tense and instead relax every muscle and allow my body to do what it naturally knew how to do. I was to stop fighting my body….easier said than done.
So, for each coming contraction, I focused on my breath. I focused on expelling out all the air that I could. I told my body to relax. I started with my toes and worked my way up to my face. To my surprise, the pain became more tolerable! It still hurt like crazy but I could do it.
I also noticed that when I was not prepared for a contraction, my instinct was to tense, fight my body and have my mind panic. This brought on more pain which then caused more tension in my body.
As the day continued and the pain got worse, I had to focus more and go internally. I talked to my baby during the birth, saying that we were going to do this together. I told her how excited everyone was to meet her. I surrendered to the pain and trusted that my body knew what to do and how to do it. My body contains all the DNA of my ancestors who’ve birthed children before me and so I can also do it.
It was one of the hardest things I had to do..but it was worth it. Birth was a lesson in persistence, surrender, trust, support...and I never want to go through it again.
Each birth is different and a learning experience and opportunity. What did you learn form your births? Leave a message below.
Do you have fears surrounding giving birth? Give us a call 613-446-6060
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.