New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Monday, November 3, 2008

"She was becoming"

"I remember studying an anthropology article in family science years ago. The details are a bit vague, but the essence of the article was that our English language is so flat and inadequate in describing the experience of a new baby. "Giving birth" we say, as easily as we say, "giving to charity" or "giving up." In one culture, the word for giving birth meant "becoming a mother" but the word was not so limited. It meant not only only "becoming a mother" but "becoming a mother to this child," a word full of meaning and substance. It meant that no matter how many times a woman had been a mother, when she gave birth, it was a sweet, precious, unique experience. She wasn't just "giving birth," she was entering into a new relationship, a whole new way of being. She was becoming. The child was not an afterthought, a number, or an object that could be given. It was such an essential part of the experience that their language included it in their word for giving birth: "becoming a mother to this child.""**

I wanted to share this quote with you from a friend of mine because it describes so clearly what giving birth really means. Throughout pregnancy and labor a women experiences trials and pains that somehow form the beginning of what it means to be a mother. This is the beginning, not only of a child, but of a unit, a mother, and a family.

This is the beginning of the sacrifice, the pain, the love, the joy that we find in family life. Perhaps that's why this is such a potent memory for many women...this is when they first began to become a mother. This is also a point in time to become a family.

When I think back to my first labor, I remember throughout most of it my husband by my side. Holding my hand, rubbing my back, being very patient with me as I tried to make up my mind as to what would be the best for me at this particular time. (I think I would get quite bossy). It was a time that our relationship changed also. From being separate beings, to being one being trying to bring a life together into this world. I look back on it with fond memories because I feel like that was when becoming parents, together, really started. I was becoming, but so was my husband. It really is amazing really how our beginnings can serve as a link and a bond and a jumping off point to become a family.

**The link to where this blog is posted is under my blog list...Hands full of love and loving it(mostly).

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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.