New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Accepting and embracing pain

"What an amazing feeling to experience the pains of bringing a child into the world. I am by no means saying that I was strong about it or didn't do my share of wanting it to be over. I got whiny, and whimpered at times over the 12-hour labor. Yet, through it all, I loved the fact that I could sacrifice in this way. Through experiencing the pain, I could be the life-giver! In this society we are taught to be afraid of pain and to do whatever we can to rid ourselves of it. Instead, the key is to accept and integrate it. Tim likened it to the way sun dancers give of themselves and endure great physical pain to pray for their loved ones."

I loved this woman's birth story! You can find it here:

What I really appreciated was her idea that the key to working through labor is to accept it, and integrate it. I have found how important these two things are and that it is an on going process from the time you first decide to work on it, to after the baby is born. I have seen that labors are the most painful when women no longer do this. It's at the time that they decide they absolutely need the epidural that the pain becomes true pain. It's when they start fighting it and pushing it back, that it becomes unconquerable.

I found this to be true with my own labors. I have very vivid memories of one time in particular when I forgot to accept the pain and it hurt much worse than it had before. I pulled myself back in and refocused by allowing the pain to work through me. I was amazed at the difference between one contraction and the next.

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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.