New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Joy and Pain

Ok so what word comes to mind when you think of labor? Most people would say pain. It's true it is painful. But I often ponder on the outcome of all that pain. An incredible, indescribable joy as you get your first look at the beautiful child that has been a part of you for nine months. Why is it that those two words are so often connected? In my experience, true joy has it's share of pain with it.

My first glimpse of this concept actually came when I had a miscarriage. I was 16 weeks along. We had already heard the heartbeat and the idea of having another little one with me (I had already had two at the time), was just started to spark within me. So it hurt, badly, when I miscarried. Very badly. Lots of questions came to my mind. But I also felt a happiness and awe for the children that I already had. I had never looked at them as being such a miracle until I knew that I could have lost them. And my love for them deepened and grew beyond what it would have if I had not had the miscarriage.

Does pain in labor add the same kind of depth? I don't know. Even for those who have epidural, there is a lot of hard work, fear and just plain exhaustion that goes into receiving our little ones into this world. So, is there a connection between our pain and our joy? I think there may be.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.